Friday, June 1, 2007

Farewell Message from Jeff and Martha Parish

Farewell Message from Jeff and Martha Parish
by:Jeff Parish, Senior Pastor

Almost 11 years ago, God started His new church on Davis Islands.Several months after its start, He clearly called me to be the Senior Pastor. I have had the delight of watching Him work as He has called each person here to be a part. It i the thrill of a lifetime to see the way He is changing lives through salvation, healing, and spiritual growth through the ministries at DIBC It has been my honor to serve Him here. Several months ago, the retiring Senior Pastor of 37 years of First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks asked me to pray about replacing him. It is not the first time that 'a Pastor or members from another church have approached me believing that God may be calling me to lead their congregation. This time, as in each time before, I committed the matter to careful prayer and consideration to determine God's will. In each case before, God clearly confirmed in me that the ministry at Davis Islands was both my assignment and my passion. This time, however, I did not find that same confirmation. After much prayer over several months, God has made it very clear that my time at Davis Islands has come to an end and I am absolutely confident that He is now calling me to lead the church at Indian Rocks. While I know in my peart that God is moving me, the process has been very emotional because of my love and passion for this church. The decision to leave Davis Islands has been one of the most difficult of my life. I have felt like a father leaving behind his cherished children. My comfort in this painful time is my knowing that this is God's direction. Ifmy ministry is to have integrity, I must act on the obedience of which I speak from the pulpit. Now what about Davis Islands? The future of God's church here is very bright. He has assembled a wonderful team of gifted, talented, and Spiritfilled staff members who have managed the business and ministry affairs of the church for the past several years. They have seen that things work while my time was almost completely consumed with sermon preparation and study and
counseling. These folks are passionate and will continue to see that the ministries at Davis Islands function and flourish without interruption.They will be under the
leadership of Associate Pastor. for Ministries,Todd Roberts, ~ serving as the Interim
Senior Pastor. They will continue to be supported by the strong team of lay leaders who make up the Finance,Personnel, Nominating, Missions, and Properties Committees. Meanwhile, by the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, there will be a Pastoral Search Committee assembled to begin the search for the next Senior Pastor. Davis Islands Baptist Church is positioned to continue operating and growing as
the strong Pastor-led, committee-run church that it has become over the last
11 years. If! have done the job that God called me to do, the church will grow and prosper in my absence. The best days are ahead for this church as you move into the new Ballast Point facility in the fall. What an exciting time that will be! I know
God will use you and that property to bring many new believers to a growing relationship with Him. I urge you to stay faithful in your relationship with God,
in your fellowship with other believers in your church, and in your financial
support of His work here. I love you, and I look forward to hearing about
God's work in you and your church in the years to come.

Here is his introduction at his new church.