Just a few minutes ago I read the following to our congregation:

After many months of discussion and prayer, the Pastors”™ Council has recognized that our present leadership make-up has reached an impasse in how we function as a team.  When considering what would be best for the long-term benefit for the majority of the congregation, I have concurred with my other two team members, that I should step down from my position as Co-Senior Pastor of FBCSJ.  Therefore, today I am accepting a severance offered by the Pastors”™ Council and will resign my ministry here effective June 1, 2010.

We, as a team, have not reached this conclusion hastily.  We have been discussing it for many months.  My leaving is not due to any issue of sin (either within myself or anyone on the team) and there is no fundamental doctrinal or seminal philosophy of ministry division.  We have, however, recognized that it would serve this church and the kingdom of God best if we separate.

I do affirm my love, support, friendship, and loyalty to both Marvin and Stacy.  Our parting is very much mutual and will in no way dissolve our personal relationships. We on the Pastors”™ Council affirm the strategic and God-wrought blessings of the past eight years in our team approach to ministry.  None of us regrets our approach and we believe what we have accomplished together has been from the Lord.

We do, however, recognize that our leadership structure has changed and needs further change to be most healthy for the long-term benefit of the church.  We believe God was the author of our coming together and we see His hand in our separation.  We are convinced that this new season of ministry will result in even greater blessing for this church and for each of us as pastors.

In order to allow the Pastors”™ Council to move forward without hesitation, I have accepted their severance and will be immediately relieved of my pastoral responsibilities outside of preaching on Sunday evenings, and finishing my doctor of ministry project, which will conclude on May 30.  In assisting our congregation, Pastor Stacy and I will take our evening service tonight to answer your questions and shepherd our flock through this transition.

On a personal note, the greatest joys of my ministry to date have been spent in this church.  As you have welcomed Kelly and me into the details of your lives, so we have sought to share the depths of ours with you, hopefully providing you with a more robust understanding of God, and deeper affection for Christ, a stronger loyalty to God”™s Word, and a serious commitment to Christ”™s Church.  We have walked with many of you through your joys and struggles and you have shared equally in some of our most pleasurable occasions, and a number of our own darkest moments.  Our family loves your ministry to us.  We have loved ministering to you.  We have and will treasure each of you.

As the Apostle Paul said of the saints in Thessalonica, “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us . . . For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation?  Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?  For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:8, 19, 20).

We thank you in advance for your prayers for us and be assured of our continued prayers for you.

Please pray for the flock in San Jacinto, her remaining leaders, and our family as we all begin a very new transition to the next phase of ministry for Christ.

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