THE LAST DAY OF THE JOURNEY IN KINGSVILLE

I will always be grateful for the support and encouragement that FBC Kingsville gave to our family.  They were good to us.  God used them to grow us spiritually and give us the opportunity to learn so very much about ministry.  To this day I value my precious friends made there.  Many of those friends have moved other places and I hear from them from time to time.  Nothing can remove from my memory the many spiritual victories of those days from the first day to the last.  Speaking of the last day, I preached my final message in Kingsville on the second Sunday in July of 1995.  I brought both a morning and evening message.  In the morning service, there were many tears from our family and from the family of God.  A large number of people came to join the church that day.  One came for baptism and was prepared to be baptized on that very day.  I asked one man why he had chosen to join that day and his answer was such a powerful indication of the blessings of those days.  He said, “I have been attending for some time, but I wanted to be able in the coming years to say that you were my pastor.”  I was speechless.  Community leaders attended who rarely came while I was pastor.  Some of those leaders came for membership.  They were people I had shared with over the years and like the man I mentioned did not want to miss the opportunity to come before I left.  It all served to cause me to question if my ministry was really over in Kingsville.  I would struggle with this for an entire year before I finally realized that God’s purpose was being served in our move to Georgetown.

The search committee from Georgetown, half of whom are still in Crestview, had carefully interviewed me.  They did the best that they could to provide for our family, but even with that effort we would be taking a very large cut in our salary to make the move to Georgetown.  Once again the First Baptist Church in Paris had seemed very interested in us.  They were still talking to us right up until the day I phoned Georgetown to consent to come in view of a call as pastor.  In those days FBC Paris ran around 1000 in Sunday School.  For some reason, I could not sense God leading us there.  By every reasonable measure, Paris would have been better for us.  God would not let me turn away from Georgetown.  I am grateful to the Lord for the faithful prayers and encouragement from those of the search committee.  Without them I would never have come to Georgetown and experienced the blessings of those days.  My last day in Kingsville broke my heart, but Georgetown would break me in ways that I didn’t even know that I needed.

Dan Wooldridge

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