June 22, 2011
Dear Church family,
I am very excited about what God is doing here at First Baptist church. The growth, outreach, camaraderie and excellence of this church is a minister’s dream.
BUT today is the culmination of about 9 weeks of resistance, prayer, and finally willingness to embrace what God seems to have for me and my family. I have accepted God’s call to go to Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas and serve on her staff. My last Sunday as Minister of Education and Discipleship here at First Baptist will be June 19, 2011
We make this decision with GREAT EXCITEMENT but a heavy heart.
I cannot thank everyone this morning but I want to thank THREE GROUPS OF FOLKS:
- Staff Leadership
- Dr Jeffress for taking a chance on me almost 9 years ago (personnel committee for agreeing to it) and asking me to be the Minister of Young Adults. Allowing me to come back to Wichita Falls and serve in my home church.
- Pastor Bob (Dr. Bob McCartney) – for hiring me to be the Minister of Education and Discipleship shortly after he arrived here.
- His Passion and Vision are infectious and we soon adopted them as our own
- His steady leadership and excellence in the pulpit has blessed my family and this church.
- He has become not just my pastor but my friend.
- I trust him and respect him more than you will know
- He (and MaryAnne) has blessed Margie, me, and my kids by being a man we respect and admire not just in the pulpit but at the dinner table.
- I want to say publicly: “Thank you for allowing me to serve here on your team”.
- Jerry Royal – It is no secret that Jerry is one of my closest friends in ministry.
- Jerry is a gifted leader and teacher
- He has been a ministerial peer, and then boss and has handled that transition with integrity, sensitivity and wisdom.
- We have walked together through the ups and downs of ministry.
- He has been willing to “pick me up” when needed and “push back” when necessary
- I have grown more and “walked better with God” because of his friendship.
- WE have grown more b/c of Jerry and Mary’s friendship.
- The STAFF I have gotten to serve with:
- They have been tested by the fires of ministry and been found faithful, deeply spiritual and competent.
- They are fiercely loyal, incredibly competent.
- They work hard and expect little in return.
- They rallied around me and Margie when I assumed leadership of the Ed Staff
- There are no self-absorbed egos.
- I am honored to have served alongside them
- THE CHURCH BODY (this is my home)
- When I was 13 years old (1980) I gave my life to Jesus Christ in what is now the East Sanctuary of this church
- Asked Margie to marry me on the platform (East Sanctuary) and Dr. Chapman married us 11 months later here at FBC
- Some of you even took care of Margie when she was a child.
- I baptized my son here in this church
- My kids have deepened their faith here
- Not a Sunday goes by where someone does not come up to me and thanks me for something I may or may not have had anything to do with.
- You have blessed my kids
- You have blessed my wife
- You have accepted me as one of your own
- You have APPLAUDED MY STRENGTHS AND COVERED MY WEAKNESSES
- You have made it easy to serve here.
Our Pastor, Staff and Body have shaped our lives for almost 9 years. (IN many ways for 31 years).
There are exciting days ahead for First Baptist Church!
PLEASE PRAY for us during this transition as you can be sure that we are praying for you.
Hixon and Margie Frank, Sydney, Sarah-Clare and Grayson