This morning I announced my plans to retire as Senior Pastor of Morningside Baptist Church. This is a decision that I have made over the past year and a half with much prayer and thought. June 10, 2014 will mark my eighteenth year as Senior Pastor of this loving church.
Morningside is in a strong, stable position. We have had modest membership growth over the past several months. We again finished last year with a surplus financially. We have a very fine staff in place. Our Full day preschool program is at near maximum enrollment. Many things are going well.
I know that now is the right time for the church and for me to make this transition.
My last Sunday at Morningside will be June 29, 2014
Next Sunday we will celebrate Easter with two services. We will have a baptismal service at 8:30 A.M. with music by the Golden Tones. At 11:00 A.M. we will worship with music by the Sanctuary Choir. I will preach at both services.
Wednesday night we will have a time of Ask the Pastor. I will attempt to answer any question you have concerning this decision.
Thursday night is our Maundy Thursday Communion service. All are welcome.
Friday noon is our Good Friday service followed by a light lunch.
As we say our goodbyes over these next two-and-a-half months, I will continue to serve. Once I leave Morningside I expect my ministry to continue through writing, teaching, pastoral counseling, and preaching in the larger community.
I want to encourage the congregation to do three things during the coming months.
1. Pray for the strength and well-being of the church.
2. Remain a faithful Christian and a loyal church member
3. Do all that you can to promote a spirit of unity in the congregation
Clare joins me in expressing our appreciation for the great privilege you have afforded us in ministering alongside you. This congregation has been our church family for eighteen years, and we will miss you. With deep gratitude, we will always hold you in our hearts and continue to pray for you. You have been and will continue to be a treasured part of our lives.
Kirk H. Neely