Jay Announced His Retirement after 29 Years at First Baptist.

The seasons change. As summer gives way to fall and fall yields to winter, in the same way God orders the life-cycle of His children. On September 11th the calendar shouted, “Jayboy, you are 65!” The years have wings and they have ushered in a new season for us.

After diligent prayer, thoughtful consideration, and consulting with wise counsel, Mary Ruth and I have determined this is the right time to start the process of handing the baton of Pastoral Leadership to a new Shepherd for our beloved First Baptist Family. My retirement will be June 30, 2020.

A CALL TO PRAYER

CHURCHWIDE FAST TO SEEK FATHER GOD’S CHOICE OF A NEW PASTOR FOR FIRST BAPTIST

EXPLANATION:

The Pastor Search Committee, in conjunction with the FBC Prayer Team, is asking that each FBC member join in a united time of prayer and fasting until a new pastor is secured.

The 24-hour fast is from dinner on Sunday night to dinner on Monday night. Please choose from the following options:

A. The 1st Monday of each month

B. Two (2) Mondays a month

C. Every Monday

The fast can be of one’s own choosing as led by the Lord.

PREPARATION:

Psalm 66:18  |  “If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me]…”

So as you begin your fast, please meditate on the following:

A. Praise the Lord for what He has done for you (Psalm 100)

B. Thanksgiving for Jesus and for His shed blood (Ephesians 2:13)

C. Confession of any sins that are separating you from the Lord (1 John 1:9)

D. Worship the Lord for Who He is (Psalm 2:11)

E. Spiritual Armor this is a spiritual battle, requiring spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18)

INTERCESSION:

Isaiah 55:11  |  “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

Pray for the Pastor Search Committee members to be:

1. Unified in all they do (Psalm 133:1)

2. Protected from enemy attacks (Psalm 91)

3. Anointed with the Holy Spirit as they interview each candidate (Acts 1:8)

4. Be respectful of each other (Philippians 2:3-4)

5. Be very confidential in their work (Proverbs 11:13)

6. Practice an active prayer life, with fasting, while serving in this capacity (Matthew 6:5-18)

Pray for the FBC family to:

1. Pray for each member of the Pastor Search Committee on a regular basis (Ephesians 1:16)

2. Pray for God’s man to fill this position (1 Samuel 16:4-13)

3. To respect the decision of the Committee in regards to the candidate chosen (1 Corinthians 16:16)

Pray for our future Pastor and his family:

1. That his decision to accept the call to FBC be extremely clear (Isaiah 30:21)

2. That he be a man who seeks the guidance of the Lord with his whole heart (Deuteronomy 10:12)

3. That he be a man of humility and obedience to the Word (Psalms 119:105)

4. That he exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)

The selection of our new pastor will be a process. Let us not grow weary, but remember Matthew 7:7-8:

“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.”

Pastor Search Committee Report
February 16, 2020

From the day Jay revealed his retirement plans, we were enjoined to faithfully pursue Christ’s unchanging orders to fulfill, without wavering, every purpose for our church; and, with one heart and one mind, to employ fervent intercession for this time and in the days ahead that we would progress in faith and growth, while we press on to discover His choice for our next pastor. Thank you for accepting the challenge to intercede, to continue in the unity of love, and to work for growth in ministry. Since the day of Jay’s announcement, September 15, 2019, we have welcomed 80 new members to our church. Praise the Lord!

Some of you may be anxious and you want to know who our next pastor will be. Your Search Committee wants to know too. We continue to meet as a full committee or in smaller groups almost weekly. We designed, administered, and analyzed a congregational survey, compiled a church profile, developed a pastor profile, and collectively we have listened to hundreds of sermons as we continue to diligently search for the man God has already anointed. We continue to receive recommendations, which are all studiously reviewed, as we fervently ask God to give us insight and clear eyes to discern His great purpose and will.

As we prayerfully narrow the field of recommended candidates, we continue to fast from Sunday evening meal to Monday evening meal. I pray you will be energized to join us in our weekly fast and in fervent prayer for your Pastor Search Committee and for our new pastor. This assignment has been entrusted, not just to the devoted Search Committee you selected, but to all of us.

Our 190-year-old church is a priceless asset and witness, not only to our region, but also in Alabama, the U.S., and even to the most remote part of the earth. I firmly believe our best and most fruitful days are still before us.  Let us keep running the race without becoming weary.

So now I urge you, my dear brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with your Pastor Search Committee in praying to God for our church and that His will be done. Romans 15:30.

Douglas McElvy  //  Chairman

PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE

justin aday

JOHN ASHWORTH

andy birchfield

RODNEY BLEDSOE

Jane Burdeshaw

JANE FERGUSON

Jim frankum

STUART HENDON

BILLY IRVIN

BILL LAMBERT

caden lockett

Basil Manly

DAVID MARTIN

bill mccrary

Douglas McElvy

TANYA MCLEMORE

STEVE ROBERTS

James WHitehead

SOO SEOK YANG

If you have questions, please email Douglas McElvy or Andy Birchfield.