Since I first arrived at River Road (and even before that), Dan Bagby and I have had numerous conversations in which he conveyed to me that while he did not desire to work forever, he wanted to stay as long as he could be of help to me and the church. My consistent response was, “Dan, while I do not desire to take advantage of you and your ministerial spirit, I’d love to keep you as long as I can.” You can see how this conversation kept going in circles.
Dan has decided that the time has come for him to retire as Minister of Pastoral Care here at River Road Church. While I knew this decision was coming, I nonetheless am grieved by it.
Like many of you, at so many of life’s mile markers, Dan has been Christ to me. When I was his student, Dan served as mentor, guide, and friend in addition to being my teacher. When Andrea and I experienced what was for us a dark time, Dan lit a candle and helped us walk through that. And now that we are ministry colleagues, I have benefited (probably more than I realize) from his deep well of ministry experience. He has been gracious and generous in his leadership and friendship.
I am including his letter of resignation to the right, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share what Dan has meant to me personally and pastorally. The fact that my story isn’t unique—we can each share stories of Janet and Dan’s ministry of love and care—is a testimony to the Bagbys call to serve God and others.
While I’ll miss him roaming the halls during the week (keys hanging out of his belt and coffee cup in his hand), I’m grateful we’ll have Dan around our church fellowship for many years to come. Pray with me that retirement will be a blessing for Janet and Dan.
With love and thanks,
Dear River Road Church,
Almost six and a half years ago I was allowed to assume the position of Interim Minister of Pastoral Care at River Road Church, Baptist. At the conclusion of the first year, I was honored to continue my part time position on an open-ended agreement that removed the word “interim” from my title. The bond, care, and support that I have received from the membership of this congregation have been immeasurable. I have felt trusted and blessed in many ways, and Janet and I have experienced grace and community of significant proportions.
The time has come for me to begin the journey of retirement. I’m hereby submitting my retirement as Minister of Pastoral Care at River Road Church, Baptist, effective December 31, 2017. These have been extraordinary days of wonderful moments and rich experiences that I shall always treasure. I have only undying gratitude and cherished memories for the opportunity you have allowed me in sharing this sacred journey with you.
Janet and I plan to remain as members of River Road Church, as we have been since 1994. I remain in your midst as a servant hoping to maintain the friendships and ties we have been privileged to share. My prayers attend our mission and calling together, under God’s wisdom, in this community of love.
Daniel G. Bagby
Originally published in the 2017 December Explorer