HOLT, MI – As 2017 began The Cedar Street Church found herself in a season of unrest with some important decisions to be made for her future. When the dust cleared in July, the church was without a Pastor. The importance of the role played by our Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) Executive Staff cannot be overstated as the guidance given to the church brought us to a promising future.
Tim Patterson, Mike Durbin, and Tony Lynn met with Church leaders as the challenge unfolded. Their counsel and training led to a swift organization of a Pastor Search Committee. Their sage direction was a precursor to the ready help they would prove to be critical over the next eighteen months. As a group they demonstrated a remarkable ability to counsel and help while carefully avoiding directing the decision-making process.
The product of their efforts and the Search Committee’s hard work was the calling in September, 2017 of Dean Mathis as the Intentional Interim Pastor. In the intervening months the wisdom of calling Pastor Dean has proven obvious as his experience and “folksy” style brought a much-needed chance for our church to take a collective breath, and prepare for a preferred future led by God. Pastor Dean, and wife, Betty Sue, finish their assignment this month with an obliging love from the congregation.
Now as 2018 has concluded we are about to take the next step. The Cedar Street Church has called Matthew Carter of Garner, NC as our Pastor and he’s expected to be here to lead us beginning in January. This Southeastern Seminary graduate will have a couple months to enjoy his first winter in Michigan! We are excitedly looking ahead to new life in our church. As you get the chance, send Pastor Matt a note of welcome and encouragement to 1705 Cedar Street, Holt, 48842-1803.
If you haven’t seen thousands of examples before, then perhaps Cedar Street Church’s experience will serve to inform of the efficacy and vitality of our cooperative form of denominational life. Through the blessings of the SBC Cooperative Program these servants were educated, called, and employed by the BSCM. They came alongside of our church as we looked beyond the challenges of the moment to the promises for the future. Their steady resource was invaluable and we are forever thankful.
Bottom line, our SBC Cooperative Program giving makes Jesus known around the globe while also providing the BSCM with leaders who will enable the serving and resourcing of our churches. Call them from time to time and especially when you need them!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Carpenter, a Michigan native, is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, a retired Navy Chaplain, and member of The Cedar Street Church. He and wife, Sue, list hunting, fishing, travelling, and reading among their earthly diversions as they pursue the purposes of God.