Dear Evergreen, Urban & Rock Church Family,
I know that the last 5 months have been very difficult for all of you and your families. The allegations brought against me have put a great strain on each of you, on the lay leaders and on our dear pastors, and Board of Trustees. All of this, of course, has been heartbreaking for me, that each of you has been put through this. The last 150 days of my life have been the most difficult, devastating, gut-wrenching days I have ever faced. It has been excruciating on Kathy and me, and on my precious kids and their families.
We are very grateful to so many of you, who have sent loving cards and letters and e-mails of encouragement and support. And for the hundreds of you who have prayed daily, some many times a day.
I wanted each of you to know, from my heart, that I bear no ill will towards our Board of Trustees or the EMT pastors for the very difficult decisions that they have had to make because of this horrible ordeal. I know they have tried to do the best that they could, in the most strenuous, and difficult of circumstances we have ever faced as a church.
This has certainly tested my faith tremendously. Through it all, I have continued seeking the Lord on my daily prayers walks, and other times throughout the day. I believe and sense that the Lord wants to bring me to a new chapter in the book of my life. There is no doubt I have missed serving God’s dear people during this time. That was an added weight that I was unable to serve you, dear believers.
As of July 1st, I will resign my position as a pastor of The Rock, and as an employee of Evergreen Church/The Rock. The decision to resign was decided several weeks ago and was not dependent on the outcome of the investigation.
I believe God is leading me into a new/different ministry direction. I believe it is time for me to leave my ministry role with The Rock and Evergreen, and begin to establish a new ministry called Strong Disciple, to serve believers by raising my own support, to personally help, coach, disciple and teach fathers and husbands. To mentor young men, and help men develop some life-sustaining spiritual habits, do some house conferences, dads workshops and other types of conferences in an endeavor to help build strong godly fathers, strong godly husbands, godly Christians, and strong godly families and marriages; who can effectively win their children to Jesus Christ, and nurture, raise and train those children to love, honor and obey the Lord Jesus. This, as you know, has been a passion of mine for all these years.
Over the last 150 days, I have had much time to think and pray. I believe God wants me to focus my energies and my gifts on directly coaching, mentoring, discipline and teaching men, fathers, and husbands, doing some conferences, doing dads workshops, help to strengthen marriages and families. I also hope to help those who are walking through very difficult painful ordeals in their lives and to be a personal encouragement through compassionate empathy.
The truth is, the vast majority of kids in Evangelical Christian families, fall away from the lord, and either never come to know Him, or never live upright, Godly lives and are simply lukewarm and apathetic. I believe a husband and father’s passionate, Christ-like love for his wife has great power and influence on his children’s hearts and minds, as they witness first-hand the living re-enactment of the Gospel, lived out daily, by a father who sacrificially, and passionately loves, serves and leads his wife and children spiritually. Kids who grow up in that kind environment want that love story. They want the God of that love story they see their fathers live out with their mom. Fathers and husbands have a tremendous influence on their children’s lives, character, and faith. Fathers can and should have a great influence on their children’s faith and life choices. My experience over the last 42 years has shown me that most men have had no real picture or example of Godly fathering to learn from or how to really love a woman in the way Christ intended. Many just don’t know how. I believe in the current cultural climate of America, this is our greatest need, and I want to endeavor to focus on it, through my strong disciple/new ministry.
As I look back on the 30 years since I co-founded our Evergreen, Rock and Urban Refuge churches, I am amazed at all that God has done. It is really astounding. We have seen what many others never get to see. Thousands of lives changed by Jesus Christ. Churches planted and established, pastors raised up and ordained, hundreds of thousands of people through our church services, personal witness, mission trips, etc. have heard the good news of Jesus Christ, and have been nurtured and built up in their Christian life. What a thrill it has been to be part of it with each of you.
Throughout the last almost 32 years of pastoring and leading our churches, I want you to know I have given you the very best I had to give. I gave my all to help you understand the grace and love of Jesus Christ. I gave my all to help you understand and live out God’s precious word. I gave my best to care for you in a loving and compassionate way, as I shepherded so many of you. I gave my best to help lead, shepherd, teach, disciple and train you for Jesus Christ and His purposes. My wife Kathy and I always tried our very best to be a living example to you of a Godly marriage and to demonstrate what it means to love, train and raise Godly children, who become disciples of Jesus Christ.
I have worked tirelessly, taking on every possible responsibility I could, to serve you, and our churches, and build Jesus Christ’s precious people. I believe God is leading all of you into a new chapter of this church’s history. These are difficult days to be a Christian, and I am excited to see the new young pastors God has been raising up in our churches. I know God has wonderful things ahead for you all. He will build you, His precious church.
I urge, give your utmost for Jesus Christ. Love Him with all your heart and soul and build your lives and families on the Word of God. Do not compromise Biblical truth, dare to defy and live for God!
My passion and zeal for Jesus Christ remain the same. My passion and zeal to build strong disciples of Jesus Christ remains as passionate and fervent as ever, and will till the day I die.
I will never forget you, I am here to serve you in any way I can. You are among the dearest and most precious people I have ever known. I will carry you in my heart for the rest of my life.
With deepest gratitude,