Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Partners in Planting

I want to express my gratitude for these men who have led their churches to support Cross Point on a monthly basis (listed alphabetically):

David Birdsong is the pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Port Neches. I first shared my vision to him in about 10 minutes at the local Baptist association office. Two months later he spotted me at a high school football game and ran me down to tell me how excited he was about the church plant. He caught it and was eager to help. I’m thankful for his leadership and his bold faith.

Pat Cammarata is the pastor of Carpenter’s Way Fellowship in Port Neches. I’ve known Pat for almost 15 years. We were first introduced by a mutual friend in Houston and he bought me lunch (and gave me some nerf toys!). Pat has always had a generous and cooperative heart. He loves Jesus and is burdened for others to know the love of Jesus too. His passion for people is infectious and I’m thankful for his partnership.

Travis Cardwell is the pastor of Baptist Church of the Redeemer in Missouri City. Travis and I met in “baby Greek” class several years back and it has been a joy to see the Lord use him at a wonderful church not too far removed from the planting stage itself. His commitment to expositional preaching and a robust theology is an example I strive to emulate. In so many ways BCR is the kind of church we pray Cross Point becomes.

Dustin Guidry is the pastor of Ridgewood Church in Port Arthur. Dustin both challenges and encourages me by his faithfulness and through our friendship. The Lord has used him to steer Ridgewood out of a bleak financial situation and toward a healthy and organic church life. This is mainly a result of a dependence on the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. Their fellowship contagious and I pray it rubs off on Cross Point.

John Jones is the pastor of Jade Avenue Baptist Church in Port Acres. John and I met right after Hurricane Ike during clean-up efforts. Little did I know at the time what a special work God was doing in his ministry and what a valued friend he would become. John re-planted JABC with his family and the 3-4 ladies who were still attending at the time. Eight years and over 50 people later the Lord has blessed his approach that majors on Biblical faithfulness and simplicity. JABC is one of our most hands-on ministry partners and are such an inspiration.

Cliff Mayton is the pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Spring. Cliff provided me my first full-time ministry role and was a valuable mentor while I was in college and seminary. He helps smooth some rough edges and imparted pastoral wisdom to me I could never get from a book. Memorial’s story is a lesson of big faith and commitment. All that said, MBC is my home church and so it is very special to have their support.

Raymond McHenry is the pastor of Westgate Memorial Baptist Church in Beaumont. I’ve not known Raymond as long as some of the others on this list but what a source of encouragement and wisdom he’s been already! His counsel was integral to making the transition from my previous pastorate to church planting so smooth. If I’d not had his wisdom to glean from I’d surely have made a mess of things! He has warmly challenged his church and they have graciously responded in helping us in so many ways.

Phil Sigman is the pastor of Central Baptist Church in Port Arthur. CBC has provided me with a study office. It is close to my home so I have quick access when my wife needs help with our little ones but it is also a place to bear down and do the work in the Scriptures. Phil continually challenges me to think Biblically about everything and inspires me to dig deeper and deeper in the text as a Christian and as a pastor. I love being attached to his leadership and to their church family.

Joe Worley is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Groves. The Lord used Joe to get me out of Houston (something I wasn’t eager to do) and to give me a burden for the Golden Triangle. He was the first pastor I went to when I was wrestling with church planting and he was the first pastor to say “we’ll find a way to support you”. He said it and he did it. I’m thankful for his friendship, his example, and his kingdom vision. By the will of God it is because of FBCG that I’m in the Golden Triangle, that I met my wife, and that I’m a church planting pastor right now.

I know the Lord has put it on other pastors' hearts to come alongside us in the months ahead and even more are helping by weekly prayer and by sending evangelism teams. All these men have been used by God to be part of the Kingdom coalition that is planting Cross Point Church. Thank you, brothers.

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