Camille and I are deeply appreciative and humbled by the Anniversary Celebration last Sunday of our 20 years at Anderson Mill Baptist Church. So many of you spent countless hours preparing for this event and the results were incredible. The day with our family and our church family will remain one of our most cherished times. Plus, the Memory Book and the gift trip this fall were unexpected treasures!
These 20 years have gone quickly but have been good ones as we have faced both joys and challenges together as a family under God’s leading and blessing. Several times on Sunday, the statistics were shared regarding the fact that a very small percentage of pastors remain with one church for 20 or more years. That’s true, but you have made that relationship an easy one to maintain through these two decades. The 20 year tenure says as much, or more, about you – the church – as it does about us.
You have loved our children and helped them to grow into adults who love the Lord and His church. Sometimes pastors’ kids leave the church, or at least have a less than positive view of it, because of what they have experienced or known during their years at home. But you have given our children the encouragement and room to be themselves and grow with you in their walk with God. You have shown them what a loving, God-honoring church looks like. And for that, we are deeply thankful.
You have also loved Camille and me and have been willing to follow and grow together. You’ve been willing to make changes necessary to reach a changing community while remaining faithful to the ministries God has given us. You’ve stepped up to accept challenges that require additional money and time in order to see that others hear the gospel and experience God’s love.
And, you have exhibited a heart for the world. Look around you in worship to see faces from as many as 10 different nations and cultures who worship together in this church family. With enthusiasm, you have taken the gospel to Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras, Bangladesh, New York, Missouri, Arkansas, and throughout the city of Austin. You have also been in the top 5% of Southern Baptist Churches in per capita giving each year for the past 5 years for our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for World Missions. Thank you for being a Great Commission Church.
God blessed our family when He brought us to Austin, Texas 20 years ago. It has been our joy in serving with you and we look forward to what lies ahead as we continue to engage people in our daily paths to take their next step with Christ.
We love and appreciate you!
Pastor Rod and Camille