Originally published in the 2017 Spring Quarterly Explorer

Sometimes a simple thank you seems hardly adequate. But for now, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your presence, your words of affirmation and covenant, and your official welcome to me at the Pastor Installation Service on February 12. While words often fail to describe adequately what is truly felt in the human heart, still I must convey my immense gratitude, deep sense of honor, and renewed energy I feel after this service of installation.

I know it’s dangerous to begin thanking individuals—lest I forget someone. Regardless, I must say a particular word of thanks to Fred Anderson, Currie Carter, Jean Cauble, and Liz Seward for their tireless efforts as Installation Committee. Moreover, I am grateful to Kim Crowley, Bob Gallagher, Libby Grammer, and administrative staff for their gracious assistance in planning the service. Thank you, Warren Johnson, for the beautiful ways you documented the service in pictures. Thanks, George Davis, for running sound and video (no easy task!). I am grateful especially to Drs. Slatton and Clingenpeel for their constant support, encouragement, and prayers. To all the ordained clergy who participated in the processional and sat together as a witness to faithfulness in ministry, thank you for serving God and our church.

God has blessed us as River Road Church, Baptist with a beautiful vision for ministry to Richmond and this world. What’s more, I know that God has already placed within us all the knowledge, energy, and resources we need to bring this vision to reality. I believe the key is to remain tethered to the heart of Christ through prayer, Bible study, fellowship together, and generous service to others.

I am excited about the past, present, and future of our church! It is a joy and honor to serve as your pastor.

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