This weekend was an exciting time in the life of our church. We hosted our prospective new pastor, Dr. Blake McKinney, in a series of get acquainted meetings with different age groups in the church on Friday and Saturday and then heard him preach yesterday morning. He chose 1 Samuel 17 as his text, using the familiar story of David and Goliath to stress the basic message that God is bigger than our problems and our challenges. It was a good, biblically-centered sermon that was engaging. What I appreciated the most was his introduction to the sermon, saying that while it was a bit awkward with the sermon in a sense being part of a job interview, he wanted us to lay aside those concerns and hear what God had to say through the Scriptures.
We had good turnouts for the different age-group meetings and a great crowd in each of the morning services yesterday and again last night for the vote. The church clearly was overwhelmingly convinced that God had led our pastor search committee to Blake and the vote indicated that. 98% of those present voted to call him as our new senior pastor. He will move his family here after the Christmas holidays and begin his ministry in January. His first sermon (other than the yesterday's trial message) will be January 10th.
I think our entire church body is excited about this new page in our church's history and looking forward to the challenge that comes with new leadership. It promises to be an exciting new year for the congregation as we welcome a new pastor and gear up for our 150th anniversary celebration in April.