To My SGAUMC Friends: Thank You

August 20, 2022

To My SGAUMC Friends,

One of my guilty pleasures is watching a show called Pro Football Talk with Chris Simms and Mike Florio. One of the topics they debate is if a football player deserves to be in the National Football League Hall of Fame. A criteria they use is by asking the question, “Can you tell the story of the NFL without talking about this player?”

This past summer, while twelve months into my appointment, my church voted to leave the United Methodist Church (UMC). In August, the South Georgia Annual Conference approved the church leaving. Also, in August I notified my District Superintendent I would be staying with my local church.

For a variety of nuanced reasons I decided to leave my theological home that has supported, nurtured, and fed me. However, I am not leaving in anger, bitterness, or animosity. I am leaving with a tremendous spirit of gratitude. 

While you can easily tell the story of the UMC and the South Georgia Conference of the UMC and not mention me one time, there is no way to tell my story without explaining the rich ways the Triune God has blessed me through the people, ministries and churches of this conference. 

At Cordele First UMC I was baptized as a child, confirmed as a middle schooler, and had a “strange warming of my heart” while in high school during a testimony from University of Georgia Wesley Foundation student testimony. In college, I grew as a student at the Georgia Southern University Wesley Foundation. I met my wife at Pittman Park UMC. As a director of youth ministry at Statesboro FUMC I felt a call to pastoral ministry and married my wife. Both my children have been baptized at the Hagan UMC. While serving Twin City UMC I was commissioned a provisional elder.

While I am optimistic of the good things God has in store for the future, I will not move forward without looking back and marveling at the ways God’s love, mercy, and grace have blessed me through the UMC and particularly the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

****

Friends, while I do not mention my future plans here, I do plan to play a role in the future church I join. I understand this can lead to mixed emotions. If you see me posting and writing about a future of Methodism that is different from the path I was on, I understand how this can make you upset. Please know I understand if you need to take a break from following me on social media. I still plan to partner with UMC ministries in the future. If there is an appropriate way I can serve alongside you in the future, I eagerly look forward to it.

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