My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord
After much prayer and counsel, it is under a great burden and God-given desire to preach the word of Christ every week that I submit to you my resignation as pastor of education and discipleship at First Baptist Church in Lindale, TX, effective October 30, 2023.
My family and I will be moving to Casa Grande, AZ where I’m honored to be named the pastor of Providence Reformed Baptist Church. This church of equally faithful and loving saints, with a hunger for the word, has called me to shepherd this flock and take up a pulpit ministry to preach the full counsel of God.
It is never easy to know how to handle such a decision or to break this news, and I hope no one is upset with me or my family that you didn’t know. My ambition is no secret—I have to preach. We’re not leaving out of any hurt feelings nor bitterness toward anyone. We would still encourage anyone to join this church, where the gospel is proclaimed and the saints are loved. It has been my privilege to have served here, to have lived with you and learned so much.
You have taken care of me and my family. You fed us and paid our bills so I could be devoted to full-time ministry. Had you not called me to pastor, my son Ezekiel would not have been born. My oldest Annie was baptized here. You have taught my children. And we have forged so many great friendships. Our time was short—just three years (seems like it was only yesterday). But we will not forget you.
My sermons will be online, and I will continue my podcast and videos. Should any of you decide you need a break from the humidity and would like to try a dry heat, you are welcome in our church any time.
On behalf of Beki and our children, to Pastor Tom and his wife, Jennifer, to my fellow elders and ministers (Andrew, David, Doug, Erik, and Mark), to the teachers of both adults and children, to my Sunday school class, and to everyone in our First Baptist Church family, thank you. If we don’t see each other again this side of heaven, we’ll see you on the other side when we gather at the throne.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you. He will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). Pray for us and we will pray for you.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Pastor Gabriel Hughes