Welcome home

18 Apr

These past few months have been tough.  Tough for Ebenezer.  Tough for the staff.  When God called Justin away, a huge void was felt not only in our church but also in our staff family.

We really are like a family.  When one of us hurts, we all hurt.  When one of us celebrates, we all share.  I guess you might say we are more than a team.  Justin was a big part of that team, and he IS loved.  And the lack of his presence was felt for sure.

The process to find a new minister in the Southern Baptist church is difficult.  Unique.  We don’t have a bishop or overseer that could merely assign a new staff person.  We kind of act as independent entities, have to search, evaluate, and find on our own.  That is exactly what Personnel has done since October.  The pool of candidates was whittled down from over 100 eventually to one.  Unlike the business world, if you are trusting God in the search, you approach candidates one at a time.  After an initial interview, that is what we did with Nathan Neighbors.

Nathan was born in Columbia but grew up in Florence.  Graduated from South Florence High School.  After college he married his high school sweetheart, Ashley (Ellis), and they headed to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  And they have been serving God faithfully since…

One of the my favorite things about this part of the process was how Nathan seemed to fit right in with Ebenezer.  With our church staff.  The first time I met him face to face, it was as if I had known him for years.  Honestly, I kept my feelings close to the vest to see where Personnel would land.  Eventually, they felt the same thing!  We all knew that this was the man.  But we had to continue working the process until all of the stars aligned.

I am thankful that everything aligned, and Nathan is already at work (so to speak).  Of course, he will work an appropriate notice at his current church and will then be on the field with us towards the end of May.  I am excited to see all that he brings to this vital ministry at EBC.

And, when I say “Welcome home!!” to he and Ashley, it means more than welcome to Florence!  I am thankful that Ebenezer is their new home!  I am thankful that they are already part of the family!!

One Response to “Welcome home”

  1. Nathan Neighbors April 19, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    Thanks David. I look forward to you being my pastor. I look forward to serving along side you at Ebenezer. Let the future begin and let’s bring this town we love to the feet of Jesus.

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