Following the Lord: A special announcement from Pastor Chris Noland

The scriptures teach us that God is sovereign and He guides the steps of His children. God has a plan for all of us. His plan may lead us down various paths throughout our lives. Unfortunately, many never experience the joy of following God’s plan due to a life of disobedience. It is my desire to follow the path that God leads me on and to allow Him to guide my steps on a daily basis.

God reveals His plan to us as we walk with Him daily in obedience to the Word, in prayer, and in living a Spirit-filled life. God will also use the circumstances of our lives, the gifts and abilities He has given us, the dreams and passions He has planted in our hearts, and relationships with other people in order to confirm His leading in specific areas of our lives.

Some time ago, I received a call informing me of a church in Tennessee that was in need of a pastor. The church was familiar to me and when I heard of their need for a pastor, it was intriguing to me. The First Baptist Church of Decherd Tennessee is a church where my Dad pastored many years ago. I was a small boy at the time and we moved from there in order for my Dad to go to Seminary when I was about 10 years old. I do have fond memories of that special place. My grandmother was a member of that church and was highly influential in the lives of many people in the church and community. FBC Decherd is a church with a rich history of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus and living out the Gospel as they engage the surrounding community and involve themselves in mission efforts globally. In November of 2015, my wife and I began prayerfully considering the possibility of serving at FBC Decherd. Through a rigorous process of questions, meetings, and prayers; we have seen God’s clear hand in opening the door to bring our family to First Baptist Decherd.

Over the past 5 ½ years, I have served as pastor of Spruce Head Community Church in Spruce Maine. Our time in Maine has been fruitful in a lot of ways. We have seen God work in the lives of many individual people and families. We developed great friendships both with church members and with people in the community. We have seen the establishment and growth of Maine Ministry Outreach Center as a ministry to help local churches in reaching the youth of Maine. This has also been a time of personal growth, learning, and development. I am grateful for all that the wonderful folks at Spruce Head has taught me over these years. Leaving Spruce Head is not an easy thing. We live in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on the planet. We have a great relationship with the church and we deeply love the people. One silver lining, is the fact that we will be able to continue to be connected with the people of Spruce Head as we come back to visit family and friends each year and continue to support and encourage the spread of the Gospel in this needed area of the country.

However, when God calls, we must answer. We must obey. There is no doubt in my mind that God has orchestrated a plan for me to serve as pastor of First Baptist Church of Decherd Tennessee. I believe that the future is bright and God is going to do great things at FBC Decherd and at Spruce Head. Over the years, God has chipped away at my life and given me various experiences in order to prepare me for this moment, for this opportunity.

Lord willing, my final Sunday as Pastor of Spruce Head Community Church will be on April 24th 2016 and my first Sunday as pastor of First Baptist Decherd will be on May 1st 2016. Please be in prayer for me and my family as we make this very important transition. May this be a reminder, that no matter how God leads, and no matter where God takes you in life; God is Good all the time and all the time God is Good!

 

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