My First Church…(Part 4)

I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic lately as I’ve found a number of facebook friends from my first church, Pine Mountain Christian Community Church.  So, I thought that it might be fun to reminisce a little bit about how God brought me to PMC Church and some of the lessons I learned there.  This is the fourth in a series of posts on “My First Church“.

cfiles24505 This will be the last post in this series of posts on my first church, but I wanted to conclude the series with some final reflections on leaving PMC Church.

Leaving PMC Church was definitely one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do as a Pastor.  I loved (and still love) each of the people that I came to know through my ministry there.  I still talk to Pastor Ray pretty frequently, and I even see one of our Student Leaders (Bethany) every year at the Shepherds’ Conference.

When I spoke with Ray, Amy and I had already decided that we would stay at the church, as long as it took for them to find a new youth pastor, because we believed so strongly in the ministry there.  After moving to Bakersfield, this meant a lot of long early morning commutes (we would leave for church at 5am or 6am in the morning to make it for worship practice) and late nights (we would stay on Sundays ‘til 9pm 10pm for High School Group).  I still believe that it was best for us to stay on on a part time basis, rather than to simply abandon the ministry and let it die.  At the same time, staying for such a long time as a part time pastor did leave some pretty bad scars on me.

Anytime a pastor leaves there is a lot of pain involved for both the pastor and the flock.  In this case, what was already a really painful situation seemed to become even more painful as we waited for the next man God had in store for PMC and as we continued plugging along at the ministry.  Fortunately, in God’s sovereignty He did bring a new shepherd to PMC’s Youth Ministry and Worship Ministry (Ryan Rumbley), who is doing a great job of caring for the flock that I left behind.

cfiles47252 PMC Church has a changed a lot in the four years since I’ve been gone.  Pastor Ray is no longer pastoring there, many of the people who Amy and I knew have left, and some have gone to be with the Lord.  As I write this final reflection on leaving PMC Church, I’m reminded that the greatest joys in life are almost always combined with the greatest sorrows.  For Amy and I it was a great sorrow for us to leave PMC Church, but that great sorrow was combined with the great joy of knowing that I was being obedient to 1 Peter 3:7 and in time lead to the great joy of being called to Emmanuel Baptist Church where I continue to shepherd God’s flock here in Mount Vernon, WA.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

September 07 2009 04:00 am | My First Church

2 Responses to “My First Church…(Part 4)”

  1. Nancy Miller on 04 Nov 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Hi Drew, I just finished reading your blog about your first church at PMC. I really enjoyed it and it brought back some wonderful memories & also some sad ones. We recently made a trip to CA & spend a night at the PMC hotel and had lunch with a couple of old friends. As you probably know, PMC has been struggling lately. Their last Pastor lost his wife and he decided he couldn’t continue. The church really needs our prayers. Thanks for sharing & helping me walk down memory lane. God’s Blessing!

  2. Drew on 04 Nov 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Hey Nancy, it’s so good to hear from you!
    Yeah, I did hear about the hard times PMC is going through right now. I was down there in January and visited with a few friends, this was before the pastor’s wife passed away, and even then it sounded like things were just kind of hard 🙁
    Ray and I have kept up over the years and he seems like he’s doing pretty well at a church out on East.
    Anyway, it’s great to hear from you. Thanks for following the blog!