The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! What joy we shared together on Sunday, as we met at the tomb to discover that God in Christ has made all things new! Our Holy Week and Easter observances this year were among the most meaningful of any I remember, and I give thanks for you, dear church, who live out God’s love in our midst and sets it free for the sake of the world.

It is within that Easter joy that I delight to share in the good news that God has called together two servant leaders and First Baptist for ministry in this pivotal season:
Nikki Byers
Interim Minister for Missions

Brent Greene
Interim Minister for Discipleship

Throughout the eBlast, you’ll read about all the ways we’ll celebrate Nikki and Brent this Sunday. I do hope you’ll be part of the festivities!

You know likely better than I do that these two hardly need an introduction to our church! Nikki and Brent are both members of our congregation, folks who know and love our church so well in countless ways. You’ve seen Nikki teaching children’s Sunday School, walking to church from her home across the street, and active on Wednesday nights. You’ve heard Brent singing in the choir, teaching youth Sunday School, serving with the Nominating Committee… and if you’ve been a member for awhile, you surely remember the significant ministry to our church that Brent led among us for fourteen years. They come to these roles with a deep wellspring of love for First Baptist and true excitement for what God is doing in our midst.

They also come with ample wisdom for ministry, abiding connections to partners within the community, fresh perspectives and energy, boundless creativity paired with a careful listening ear, and nothing short of true vision for how they will lead us to be more faithful disciples who ‘practice bold love of God and neighbor and boundless compassion for all people.’ Clear within their job descriptions are leading our church to implement its four mission priorities, and their capacity to do just that is abundantly clear. We are in strong and vibrant hands!

In many ways, we’re entering some new territory together! Nikki and Brent enter our staff as part-time ministers — Brent in a bivocational capacity alongside his work as a teacher, and Nikki in retirement. They have full lives and responsibilities outside of their work with us, so we will navigate together how to make these vital jobs thrive in the constraints of a part-time schedule. The Personnel Committee has been clear that these should be longer-term, and that reviews should occur along the way to assess the ongoing fitness of role, duties, hours, and minister.

I say with confidence and great expectation that God has called Nikki and Brent to lead us for such a time as this! They are both uniquely equipped, brilliantly strategic, deeply faithful, and authentically courageous ministers of the gospel, and I am overjoyed to welcome them among us.

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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