It is now January 2023, and the beginning of a new year. This month is named for Janus, the Roman god of passage and new beginnings. Most sculptures and pictures of Janus show a man with 2 faces, often an old bearded man facing backwards and a young man’s face looking forward. This is what January means to most of us. We look backward and think about the past year, things that went well and also the things that weren’t so good. Then we look forward and think about goals, plans and wishes for the new year. Many people make resolutions of lifestyle changes they think will improve their lives in 2023.
This January, we are looking backward and forward at the same time at Crabtree Valley Baptist Church. Sunday, January 1, was a day to look backward as we said goodbye to Pastor Johnny. During our worship time, we remembered and celebrated Johnny’s 20 months of ministry with us. Jean Glosson read a poem of appreciation and farewell, a gift was presented to him and later we shared lunch together. Johnny shared some reflections about his 37 years of ministry. He reminded the church that although we do not know what will happen from this point on, God does. We need to trust God for what lies ahead.
Under Johnny’s pastoral leadership we have shared some happy and sad times. We moved out of the pandemic year, away from virtual services to meeting together. Johnny became both our leader and our friend. He and Cathy and his family became part of our church family. We certainly wish him the best as he retires from church work, but we will miss them.
Now we look forward. For the next three months, we have supply pastors lined up to lead both Wednesday night Bible Studies and our Sunday morning worships. Rev. Tim Pearce will be leading our services for both January and February. He is a graduate of NC State, with a BA in Accounting, and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Campbell University Divinity School. He recently retired from East Coast Electrical Equipment in Youngsville. He has served as supply pastor for several area churches and held numerous positions at Woodland Baptist Church in Wake Forest.
Tim and his wife, Julie, have been married for 42 years. They have four adult sons, Vann, Stephen, John and Andrew. They are also proud grandparents of 6 grandchildren, ages 2-10. After retiring, they have moved back to Raleigh to be closer to them. We look forward to getting to know him and hearing his messages.
During this period of transition, Johnny’s sermon, entitled, “From This Point On”, offers advice from Paul about what needs to happen as we move forward to become the church God wants us to be. His focal text was Philippians 3:13-14: 13 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
January 2023, begins a new chapter for both Johnny and our church. With God’s help and guidance, it can be a great year as we, individually and as a church “Press on toward the goal of perfection, to be all that God has called us to be.”
Barbara Best, Deacon Chair