This year will mark my 35th anniversary as an ordained minister. I was ordained to Gospel Ministry in November 1982. I was a twenty-one old college student who was serving as pastor of congregation in Decatur, Georgia. I had served as Minister to Youth in this congregation for two years. The Senior Minister suffered a stroke during the latter of those two years. He was unable to recover from the stroke, and I was eventually invited to pastor the church. His inability to continue to lead provided both an opportunity and a demand on my life. By ordaining me, the church placed a trust in me. They invested in me, and I invested a significant portion of my life and energies in them. It was a turning point in my sense of place in the church. It shaped me for the future…and to some degree…I shaped the church for her future.

This Sunday, March 26, I’m inviting our young adults (aged 21-40) to join me for a luncheon in the Fellowship Hall after worship. The meal will cost you nothing. The presentation will be brief. You may feel free to bring your children. I would like to share with you how First Baptist Greenville (FBG) can make a difference in your future and how you can make a difference in the future of First Baptist. You may not consider yourself a ‘leader’ in the congregation of FBG, but each of you is vital to the continued health of this congregation… and this congregation provides an essential perspective and foundation for your life.

My life was shaped by the trust placed in me by a congregation in Decatur, Georgia, over thirty years ago. This Sunday, allow me to share with you the degree to which I am trusting you – this congregation is trusting you – to pick up the mantle of leadership. You may call the church office to make your reservation or respond to the Evite (if you received one). I hope to see you Sunday…

— Jim