My Dear Friends,

Though this will be my final newsletter greeting to you, you will always be dear friends to Carmen and me. It has been twenty-five plus years of working together and experiencing some of the greatest “highs” I’ve ever known . . . and, of course, some “low” times as well.

I never knew as a young eighth grader at McKinley Junior High School in St. Albans, West Virginia, that the sense of God’s leading me to the ministry I was experiencing would ever lead me to leave “Almost Heaven” to come to the Old Dominion to make our home. And Suffolk will remain our home.

As you know, the ethics of pastoral ministry will not permit Carmen’s or my continuing physical presence and participation in our church, but our hearts and our prayers will be with you always. I am very proud of our board of deacons for stepping up to the plate and seeking God’s will and direction going forward. They have a good solid plan to implement and there are exciting days ahead.

In the 161 years of Suffolk Christian Church, I am only the 12th pastor. Dr. Staley, of course, had the longest tenure, 40 years plus an additional 10 years as the active Pastor Emeritus. And, our beloved Dr. Bob Marr was with us for 23 years. This says a lot about the strength and stability of our congregation and I could not be any more proud of you. When you have completed your thorough and thoughtful and prayerful review and study and analysis of your future ministry, I will be right there to welcome number 13!

My last Sunday in the pulpit will be on September 26, one service only, at 11 am. I would be more than honored and blessed to see you and your family that day. Carmen and I want to thank you for these good years. May you be blessed with continued and challenging and fruitful ministry as “A Beacon of Hope on Main Street”!

Love to you all,