I had never considered myself “Pastor” material. Instead I always thought of myself more in line with my Father Ed Loper’s deacon ministry. I was called to be the pastor’s friend and confident. I was the one they could come to and know their words were both Respected and Protected. I was the one that challenged them when they needed to be challenged and encouraged whenever I could. I was the one that remembered and reminded the Body of their service and sacrifice. I was the one who was able to address those things it is often difficult for a pastor to bring up.
I had served in that capacity with 4 different Pastors and again, never thought about becoming the pastor of a church, until the pastor of our church informed me that he had been transferred to a new location in Texas and that he was going to resign from our church. He went on to ask me “Why aren’t you the pastor of this church?” I went home that night deeply troubled by his question and resolved to seek the Lords guidance and to seek the answer that God would have me answer, and so I began to pray. A week later I told my beloved wife Debbie what had happened and asked her to pray with me about it too.
I had worked with our church when we lost our first pastor to a move to Missouri, handling the pastoral needs of the people and bringing in guest speakers from the BGCO to lead our services. But this time I felt like God was calling me to not only perform the pastoral duties but to also preach each week and see how God would use me in both roles. I also determined not to be on the search committee for pastor this time so that they would be free to pursue whomever God led them too. My final request of the Lord was that if it was his will that I become pastor of Faith Baptist Church, that He would guide the committee to approach me for that role without my seeking the role. You see I still did not want to be a “Pastor”.
It has now been almost ten years since Faith called me as pastor and I remain convinced that I was not called to be a pastor but rather was called to be the pastor of Faith Baptist Church. My role is just one of many, neither more nor less important than any other role. God has worked in this Body over and over again. We have been tested by fire, and we have walked on the mountain. But over and over again He has held us upright with the power of His hand and we are still convinced that He has huge plans for our little church as we seek to be used as a lighthouse in our community.
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