Today I announced my plan to retire from my position as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. Our church has been engaged in church-wide succession planning for the past two years. We surveyed all church leaders to determine how long they had been serving in their various positions. We all also ascertained how long we felt we could reasonably and effectively continue serving in light of our ages, health status and plans for retirement and relocation. We then began identifying younger people who could accept new positions of responsibility and preparing these younger people for leadership.
As the Senior Pastor, it was incumbent upon me to participate in this planning process. As a result of my own self-assessment, I concluded that I should begin the process of preparing for identifying a new person for my position by my 30th pastoral anniversary which is November 2020.
I began discussing this with key church leaders in 2018 and we spent almost a year considering the best way to lead the church into our next season. Many churches wait until the position is vacant to begin searching for a new pastor. We all believe that would not be the best approach for FBCLG. We prayerfully developed a plan, the Diaconate Ministry presented the plan to the church at our midyear church business meeting, and the members appointed a Pastoral Search Committee to lead the search process to identify my successor.
Our goal is for the church to select my successor by early next year and for that person and I will work together until November 2020 when I will retire. Until that time, I will continue to preach, teach and lead the church as I have since November 1990.
I am grateful to God for almost three decades of productive ministry and for having had such a supportive congregation. I am extremely grateful that I am healthy and available to participate in this transition that will usher in a new era of spiritual growth, educational excellence and economic empowerment. I also thank God for helping me change my lifestyle and begin saving money for retirement so I can afford to retire.
I have been active in community, church, political and business activities since 1968 when I was a student at Montclair High School. God has blessed me with tremendous opportunities to serve culminating with my call to serve as Senior Pastor of this great church. As this season comes to an end, I would like to thank all of the members of First Baptist for allowing me to to be their pastor for these many years.
To God Be The Glory!