It is crazy that I have spent almost the same amount of time in Virginia as I did growing up in Ohio. I came to Liberty and have been living in the New River Valley ever since graduating in 2007. There are so many personal and ministry milestones for us that have taken place in this little town: First real grown up job, lived by myself in a sketchy one bedroom apartment in Blacksburg, got engaged, bought our first house, we had our kids here, recorded an album, put on a couple concerts, got to be a part of true discipleship, led worship for a few retreats, opened for Rend Collective and a ton more.
I have grown so much over the past 8 years at Northstar Church. It has been an honor to lead this congregation into worship every Sunday, and be a part of a great staff that has grown, shrunk, grown again and evolved over the years. I have met so many awesome people, and gotten to send a lot of them out into other ministries and really see them live out the ‘Be the Church’ motto. Over the past year or so LaRae and I have felt a pull on us for something, but we could not put our finger on what that was. All I knew is that it would involve worship. I know that is what I am called to do, but that was all I knew for a long while. With lots of prayer and tons of conversations with friends, mentors and other ministries it became very apparent that our time as Virginians was drawing to a close.
Our family will be moving to Sarasota, Florida to be a part of Lakewood Ranch Baptist Church, and I will be serving as their Worship Pastor. In a way there is a lot that is unknown, but I do know that I get to continue to lead the Church into worship which is my true hearts desire. I am looking forward to plugging into another church family, and even though it is hard as I look in the rearview mirror, I have caught an enthusiasm for this new work and am very much looking forward to being there. I know that our fair skinned family is in store for lots of sunblock, sweat and peeling skin, but none the less we are excited. An added bonus to this move is that LaRae’s side of the family is just a short drive down the coast and I am looking forward to getting to spend more time with them since we have lived states away since we have been married.
I have nothing bad to say about Northstar and my time here. I would still put the hard press on anyone living/moving to the New River Valley to visit Northstar and get to know the people and leadership there. I know I will miss these people, this church and this area, and I will look back at this time very fondly as life moves forward. I also got a little blurb in the paper so that was cool 🙂