Dr. Michael Helms
Senior Pastor

I was called to preach at age eleven and I pastored my first church while still in college.  I didn’t pastor again until after I completed my Master of Divinity, served as a youth pastor for 4.5 years, and earned my doctorate.

Those two years as pastor were enough to make me realize how difficult the job was, so I got all the training, experience, education, and mentoring I could before I stepped into that role again.

Counting the two years I pastored as a college student, this year makes 30 years that I have been a pastor.  I have been honored to pastor three churches during this tenure. 

My wife has been faithful and given me her unwavering support.  She knows how much I have loved my work, how much I have sacrificed my personal time, and too often my family time to take care of the needs of the church.  I was privileged to baptize our sons and watch them grow into Christian men, and husbands, and John a loving father. 

In recent months, Tina and I have talked about our lives and our future.  We have decided that we want to make some changes that will alter our future and my position at this church.   

While I am not through serving God, I have decided that at the end of this year, my time of serving as your pastor will come to an end.  My last Sunday and official duties at the church will be December 20.  This is a decision that Tina and I have reached together, for our happiness, and our well-being.

I am retiring from my duties as pastor at this time so you can begin work now to find an Interim Pastor, possibly by the beginning of the year.  In this way, the ministry of the church is not crippled or hampered by the lack of leadership.  Hopefully, by the time you find a pastor, the issues of COVID will mostly be behind us and you will be ready to launch into a new era of ministry and growth.

Believe me, it’s not easy for us to leave.  You are family.  When we leave you, we leave the most important community we’ve known for more than eleven years.  So, we will grieve.  We will miss you.  We covet your prayers.  In my heart, I believe the timing is best for this to occur now rather than later.

God is already preparing me for the next part of the journey.  I am looking forward to it.  Likewise, God is preparing you for the next part of yours.  Let’s celebrate our good times together over the next few months, but then look ahead.  Don’t look back.

Please support your church staff!  The interim period will be a very anxious period for them.  They need a church filled with encouragers and supporters. They are all called, capable, talented, and dedicated. 

Please love each other. Be the church God called you to be. Pull together.  Get along.  Pray for your leadership. 

When I think of you, the words from Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi will be in my heart:

I thank my God every time I remember you.  In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 1:3-6)