Last night I resigned from the church I have shepherded for the last six years. Though we joyfully await what God is going to do at First Baptist Church of McRae, Georgia, we are saddened at the prospect of leaving so many that we are close to. The following is the full text of that letter of resignation.
Dearest members of Parkwood,
It doesn’t seem possible that one could be full of excitement and overwhelmed with deep sadness all at the same time. But that describes exactly the state of my heart this evening.
On July 31, 2005, I began serving as your pastor. Since that time you have been to us a model of a loving, supportive, gracious congregation. It has been a joy to walk together with all of you, to worship with you, to serve alongside you, and, personally, to serve and lead you as your pastor.
I have had the privilege of being a part of your lives as you went through various joys, pains and adversity. I have had the privilege of counseling with many of you and opening the word of God to you in dark hours of trouble. I am especially thankful that I had the opportunity to experience complete freedom from the pulpit, bound by nothing other than the sure word of God, never afraid that I was going to be chided for preaching against someone’s pet doctrine.
But now the time has come for us to say goodbye.
Last Sunday morning, I preached at, was voted on, and offered the position of Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in McRae, Georgia. I was contacted by this church in late July and have been talking with them for a number of weeks. It became clear, as we prayerfully continued in the process with them, that this was where God was leading us.
The purpose of this gathering tonight is for me to offer my resignation as the pastor of Parkwood Southern Baptist Church, effective Sunday, November 13, 2011.
We feel at peace with this decision, even as we struggle with strong feelings of grief over having to say goodbye to a church that I believe has its best days before it.
If I have made any positive contribution as your pastor, I give God praise for it. Where there have been mistakes and shortcomings, I take full responsibility. We simply want you all to know that we truly love each of you more than we can say. We will leave this place feeling as if we have family in Clarksville, Indiana.
Please hear these words from the bottom of my heart. Although my relationship to you as your pastor will soon change, my love and desire to see you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ will never change. That is why this is difficult for me and Teresa. We’ve grown close to you all over the past few years and now we are being moved away.
I am certain of one thing… If God has called me away from this congregation then he has another man prepared for it. I will do everything in my power to make your transition to your next pastor as smooth as possible and you can be certain of my prayers during the process.
The only regret we have in following God’s calling is that we must part with you, whom we love so dearly. You are good people who desire to follow our Lord. You have been so supportive and gracious to us, and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity we have had to serve our Lord Jesus at Parkwood Southern Baptist Church.
Grace and peace be with all of you,
Todd and Teresa Crosby