This past Sunday afternoon, we celebrated the ordination of Kristan Pitts. Is there any better day to be ordained than Pentecost Sunday?
I became Senior Minister of First Baptist Greenville in the Summer of 2014. Since beginning my service here, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing and/or participating in the ordination of: Kendra Plating, Maria Swearingen, Sally Sarratt, Kathy Sharp, Carrie Nettles, Dylan Rigg, Anne Garner, Camille Loomis Rehnborg, Sarah Laurence, and now, Kristan Pitts. Reflecting on these moments and following the lives of these ministers, I feel compelled to affirm the Prophet Joel’s words have truly come to pass, “God declares, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophecy.” Prior to 2014, First Baptist Greenville has raised up and ordained a host of other ministers. This church has historically been a fertile seedbed for the nurture of faithful, competent servants. God’s Spirit seems to harvest here quite often.
There are many who bemoan the future of the church. I disagree. Particular congregations may lose their way. Select churches may close their minds, close their hearts or close their doors. Exclusive theologies may lead to the eventual demise of some religious communities. The church – God’s church – however, will continue to thrive in the world. I see her future at every ordination.
I placed my hands on Kristan’s shoulders Sunday afternoon and spoke to her the words I speak at most ordinations (and more frequently in private discussions with ministers), “Stay married to God. Stay married to the scriptures. Stay married to the church. Stay married to them even when it’s frustrating to live with them.” May we all do the same. Happy Pentecost.