Twenty-five Years and Counting!

Twenty five years ago on October 20th I was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. I remember that day well. It was a Sunday afternoon at the Lexington Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Virginia. My brothers and my parents had joined me for that important day. The Presbyterian Campus Minister from my sophomore year, John Schneider, the pastor of my home church, Gary Charles, and the pastor of the church I attended in college, John Sloop, all participated in the service. Dr. Charles preached a sermon based on the call of Moses entitled, “Barefoot on Holy Ground,” and Dr. Sloop charged me with the words “be in touch” - in touch with God and in touch with the people I serve.

I had a meaningful and fulfilling ministry in Lexington, Virginia focusing on youth and college ministry. I was blessed to serve with a man who became a mentor and close friend. It was also there that I met my loving wife Brooke. She has been instrumental in sustaining me in the ministry for all these years.

After five years, we moved to Monroe, North Carolina and began our nearly 10 years of ministry at the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church. During those years, I learned a great deal about leadership and guiding a congregation through a time of transition. The personal highlight of our time there was the expansion of our family from two to five!

Then eleven years ago we moved to Lexington, North Carolina. It is here that we have raised our children; and it is here where I have had the privilege to serve alongside of you as we have worked to “Call People to Faith, Develop Them as Disciples, and Send them to Serve.” We have a remarkable church family made up of remarkable people. You truly are welcoming to anyone who walks in the doors of the church. Most of those who have joined our church in the last 11 years will mention how welcomed they felt when they first visited. The exuberance and joy of the passing of the peace in our worship services puts a smile on my face every Sunday.

It is hard to believe that twenty-five years have passed so quickly. It really does seem like yesterday that I started this journey. Yet when I look at my children who are now nearly grown, I do realize that the years are going by quickly. This passage of time reminds me that each of us are just stewards of that which has been entrusted to us. Our church has been around for nearly 200 years (long before us), and it will be around a long time after we have gone to be with Jesus. We are entrusted with the ministry of the church for a brief period of time, and as such, our stewardship of it requires the best each of us can bring to it.

So, I encourage each of you to bring your best to our shared ministry as we seek to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to a world in desperate need of good news. Remember that you don’t just go to church...you are the church wherever you represent the love of Jesus to those around you.

May the Lord bless each of you!
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee