Our family was called yesterday to Amis Chapel Baptist Church north of Oxford, NC. We know we are called for this assignment at this time, but the vote was not as high as we had expected. It was 79 - 21 in favor. I became Amis Chapel's new pastor immediately. We are excited and happy. So many greeted us at the front of the church with "Prayers answered, prayers answered!" and big hugs.
Promptly at 2:00pm, I led my first funeral. It was for 93-year old Ruby Bradshaw, a long-time beloved member. My preparation for the funeral advised brevity and simplicity. The funeral took fifteen minutes, and the graveside in the church yard took another ten, plus time to assemble both places. A number of people including the family said the funeral was well done, at which I was greatly relieved.
When I arrived at the church for the funeral, I sought out the funeral home director from South Boston, VA, and found him on the front porch. He asked, "We don't get down this way that much. How long have you been pastor of this church?"
"About thirty minutes," I quipped. He jerked his head back shortly until I explained, and then we had a good chuckle.
We plan to move to the parsonage toward the end of the month. Our new address and phone is visible if you click on the snowy church picture above.