It’s with sadness but also excitement that I write this article. As you may know by now, God is moving me to another chapter of ministry. I announced to our church family on Sunday, October 23 that I have accepted the call to be the Senior Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church in Centennial, Colorado in the Denver Metro area. By the grace of God, the vote was unanimous (154-0) as God opened the door for an exciting and very different opportunity.
But when one goes somewhere, one must leave somewhere. And I leave a church family that I have loved dearly for eight precious years. I have treasured the ministry and missions opportunities, the twelve young men and women who have come from our church and are in full-time ministry and missions, and those who have rolled up their sleeves to help Boone’s Creek spread God’s glory from our neighbors to the nations!
During the fast that happened at the beginning of the year, both Cindy and I at different times sensed that God was opening up a new door. That door, by His gracious providence, was to Colorado. Colorado? Turns out that Colorado has very low humidity—perfect for Cindy and her lupus (and accompanying joint pain). God’s call, while strange and scary at first, is one that God provides for in a great way.
But there’s another bigger reason: God has called us to a significant mission field. Denver is 95% unchurched with more Mormons than Southern Baptists out there (130,000 to 80,000). Within a five-mile radius of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church is 255,000 people (almost the size of Lexington)—not to mention that Denver has a population just shy of 3 million people! Yes, it is outside the Bible belt—so Christianity is not a cultural. In fact, for the majority, Christianity is either not on the radar or decidedly identified with the Mormon culture.
So God is sending me to a place that is in need of men and pastors to preach the Word of God clearly and passionately and to reach an unreached community one soul at a time. In the process, He is taking care of my wife and children better than I could ever dream of on my own.
I expect some will have very different reactions ranging from all extremes. Some have asked if it was something they did or could have done. To quote Jesus, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” I leave in spite of all of you, not because of you and with a clear conscience that I served you to the best of the abilities God has given me. You are family to me and always will be. But as my friend Cecil Short said, “I hate to see you go, but if God is calling you away from Boone’s Creek, then God is calling someone else to Boone’s Creek.” True! And I pray he is one to take you forward as fishers of men!
My last service at Boone’s Creek will be on Sunday morning, November 13. After Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia, I (and my dog Biscuit) will drive the 19-hour drive to Centennial to begin on December 1st, with my first Sunday December 4. Cindy and the children will stay behind to finish their semester at Blue Grass Baptist School. Pray for us during this transition!