The TIE – Spilman Memorial Baptist Church
Transitions and Thanksgiving – by Dr. H. Powell Dew, Jr.
This past week, our Pastor Dan Cromer, submitted his letter of resignation and retirement. As the letter was being read to the congregation on Wednesday, October 24th and Sunday, October 28th, there was a hushed silence and sadness in the room. Many eyes were moist with tears and hearts were heavy with realization that cancer had overwhelmed Dan’s body and he was no longer able to continue to serve as Spilman’s pastor. I have spent many hours talking with Dan and know in his heart, if his health would have allowed it, he would have continued to serve our church with great enthusiasm and joy.
Transitions …. For Dan, this is now a time of focusing on his medical treatment, spending time with his family, speaking words of encouragement and love to Lisa, Alena and his family. It is my prayer that God will add many days, weeks, and months to this time of focusing on those important tasks.
Transitions … For Spilman it is also a time of transition. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to fill in in Dan’s absence during Wednesday night Prayer Meeting and Bible Study, and led in in worship on Sunday mornings. This time of transition has enabled this congregation to embrace the ministry of nurturing each other while Dan was unable to be with you during those critical doctor visits, medical tests, and hospitalizations. It has allowed the leadership of Spilman to step up and assume the mantle of leading, guiding and nurturing the mission and vision of Spilman.
As Spilman enters a more formal transition in the search for a new pastor, please be in prayer for the nominating committee as they select a pastor search committee. Be in prayer for the deacons as they continue to nurture the members of the church in the Family Ministry Program. Be in prayer for the upcoming decision related to the ministry opportunity of partnering with Hope Preparatory Academy. (As you know, this was a passion of Dan and Lisa’s.) Be in prayer as this church searches for the next shepherd of this great congregation.
I am reminded of the many transitions in my life. Some were planned and others were planned for me. The same is true for a church. Some transitions are planned, others are planned for us. Yet in the midst of the good and not-so-good transitions of life and church, we need to turn our hearts towards giving thanks to God.
Thanksgiving … We give thanks for the ministry that Dan and Lisa have brought to Spilman Memorial Baptist Church. We give thanks for the impact he has made on so many in such a short period of time. We thank him for his love for God and his enthusiasm and desire to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ under the inspiration and prompting of the Holy Spirit. I am thankful for the way this church has assisted and honored its pastor during this difficult time of tests, procedures, surgeries, hospitalizations, and treatments. I know this church will continue to be as supportive as it can be in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Thanksgiving … We can give thanks that God has planted Spilman Memorial Baptist Church in Kinston to be a light in a dark world. We can give thanks for so many that have invested their time, talents and treasures in building up the Kingdom of God. We can give thanks for the many pastors that have served Spilman. We are thankful for how their ministry calling has been joined with the lives of the members of Spilman. We give thanks to those that were once a part of Spilman and are now continuing to serve our Lord and Savior in the new places they live and serve.
As we gather with our family and friends this Thanksgiving season, let us give thanks unto God for the transitions in life and in church. Help us O Lord to have a thankful heart – today and for all eternity!
Thank you, Dan, for being my pastor!
Your Friend in Christ,
Dr. H. Powell Dew, Jr.