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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today I officially stepped down as pastor of First Church of Lebanon. I have accepted a position with the Free Will Baptist International Missions Department and will be relocating my family to Nashville, Tennessee within the next couple of weeks. My transition is quick, simply because of the nature of my new position and the launch of a new campaign at the end of this July (not much time to get things rolling).

As one might imagine, this has been an extremely difficult decision. One thing I’m learning through all of this is that the older you get the harder “faith steps” become. Because the older you get the more stuff you have in your life that is impacted by your decisions – children, home, contacts, friends, family, you name it.

We have been privileged to invest six years of our lives leading and challenging the people of First Church to grow in their personal relationship with Christ and to make His name famous throughout the world.

As we work through this transition faze we greatly appreciate your prayers. Relocation means we have a house to pack up and sell. At the same time, we are trying to find a place to live in Nashville. Not easy while saying goodbye to friends and moving to a new city to tackle a Goliath of a ministry task.


PastorBill-Hillview said...

Hello Joe. Praying for you and the success of your ministry move. What will you be doing?

Chris and Tammy Stubblefield said...

You all will definitely be in our prayers for the move and your new position.

Matt Lappin said...

The people of Bear Point say hello and want you to know that we are holding you and your family up in prayer. Be encouraged admidst difficulty because the Lord has great things in store for you.

cristie said...

We're so excited for what the Lord has in store. He has been preparing you and your heart for this for some time! It's fun to be on the outside of your forest and seeing all the trees! The view is spectacular from here! The Martine clan will indeed be praying for all of those details. I have sweet Karlee and Kassidy on my heart as I moved every 3-4 years growing up and I know how hard it can be at their ages to say goodbye. Daddy .. it won't be pretty .. those big tears, but know that the Lord has led and therefore .. he will make good and bring them a new and wonderful set of buddies in good ol' Nashville! Give everyone hugs .. I bet Klaire is so beautiful and wonderful these days. Is she as busy and as mischievous as our Maliah?

Greg B. said...

My friend and brother;

I have read this over and over looking for the right words to say.

There is an evil side of me saying to be angry with you, but I do know this is your calling. I am so happy for Julie, the kids, and yourself.

Know that our prayers will always be with you guys. We will miss you dearly.

Remembering though that we are only a phone call or an e-mail away.

Love ya bro!


Dan Rohler said...

Exciting news about your new step of faith. I pray the transition for you and your family will be smooth and that peace will abound for you in every step along the way. Our family is stepping out right now too in bringing our two boys home from China. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Hebrew 11:1. Now Faith is the foundation on which our Hope(Confident, joyous, expectaion) is built. That is why I am excited for you. Expect the best.
Dan Rohler