In 1999 Richard knew he was to give up his corporate job, corporate insurance and job security with a company he decided he wanted to work for since college and go into the ministry. Our young family had also invested our retirement building a C-store/TCBY. Our church was transitioning from downtown First Baptist to re-located large family church. There were those who didn't like this change and the transition was both a physical and spiritual battle. It was a time of trying but also a time of knowing that God was in control and He had blessed our pastor with vision and strength to endure. The first time Richard's new position of Administrator/Minister of Education was voted on it failed. People we've never seen before came to a business meeting, insisted we didn't need a new church, much less a new position, and also argued his salary and the fact he had a large family. I'll never forget that night when several men from the church came to our house to say they knew this was the right thing and we just needed to hang in there. Richard had already quit his job at Tyson, our new store wasn't producing any income, just demanding funding. Church friends and the sale of a piece of property we had purchased carried us through several lean months. Richard joined the FBC staff full-time in October 2000.
Richard oversaw the building of our present church building and we moved in it November 4, 2001. He spearheaded 3 stewardship campaigns, small groups, was the interim youth minister and helped lead music while we were short a music minister. He was on the search committee for two of our present staff members, the board that began our Pre-School, handled all of our finances, benevolence and support staff for the better part of 12 years. On the side he has been an ordained deacon and elder, taught numerous Sunday School classes and small groups of all ages.
This year he has taken on a new challenge. He is a church consultant with Horizons Stewardship Company. It's a great opportunity to work with pastors as their encourager and their confidant as they are growing in their ministries. He's had over 12 years experience being a #2 and supporting a pastor. His administration, financial and management experience combined with his love for the local church give him a good balance to help these churches.
He also works two days a week with Rhea Lana's Inc. talking to prospective franchisees and doing some administrative work for RL.
He now works at home and he travels, and it's never the same each week! We're at home, but he's on the phone, he's at his new office setup in our bedroom, or he's answering emails from church leaders all over! He's loving the challenge and the variety and I'm thankful for his renewed energy and excitement.
Most people in our church don't know what Richard did on staff. They knew he was on staff but unless they needed something he was in charge of, they didn't even know he wasn't on staff since August! In October several precious friends who did know his work hosted a lunch in honor of him after church. Richard didn't much feel like this was a good idea, but went along with their plans. His time at FBC was honoring to the Lord, I know some of the things he had to handle that were not encouraging, were full of conflict and were just plain hard. I know he has been faithful, a hard-worker and a servant for the Lord first. I'm thankful for the time he was able to work there and I pray his legacy will be one of faithful service.