I recently saw where a church where I formerly served held “Church Appreciation Month” in September. The staff had special events for the church. It has really turned the tide for the church. So, I choose today to express my appreciation as someone who has pastored.
I want to begin by thanking the teachers at Portsmouth Christian School for playing a key role in my salvation and spiritual development. Your role laid the foundation for my Christian life.
I want to thank Asbury United Methodist Church, though no longer meeting, and its pastors for allowing me to serve at such a young age. You were extremely bold to hire me at age 15 to direct church music. That was risky, but you believed in me.
I want to thank Pastor John Pritchard and the people at Calvary Baptist for funding my first three college semesters while I served you. You guys poured into me during some very formative years.
I want to thank Pastor Jim Melton and Bethel Baptist for allowing me to serve as their interim music director while I was a college student. I learned a lot of hard lessons there, but you followed a very young guy’s leadership.
I want to thank Emmanuel Baptist and the pastors I served alongside for allowing a young boy with zeal and little knowledge to serve. The choir followed me joyfully, and I will cherish those 2 years forever.
I want to thank Southside Baptist for enduring me for 6 years. I look back at this first full-time ministry and wonder how you put up with me. I felt my way through the dark on so many occasions. Pastor Ben Glosson gave me nearly 75 preaching opportunities during that 6-year period. I will always cherish that.
I want to thank Pastor John McKnight and Hepsibah Baptist Church for over 3 great years. These were honestly the best years I experienced in music ministry. God exceeded my ability, and I give Him the glory. This church loved me, licensed and ordained me, and continues to encourage me as I get to see many from the church since I still live in the same area.
I want to thank Tar Heel Baptist for taking a chance on me, a guy who never served as a senior pastor. I couldn’t give you my absolute best because of my family issues, but I had a lot of fun preaching.
To Pastor James Gibson and the people of Maranatha Baptist, you took in this broken guy and gave him a second chance. You let me preach when I was ready to hang it up. You were small, but your love for me and my kids was big.
To Ebenezer Baptist and my dear friend, Pastor Jimmy Boggs, I never thought I would only serve you for 7 months, but God had other plans. I had tons of fun during that time and have some good memories.
To those who walked with me during the season of Overcomers Church, whether you attended, prayed, or whatever, that was also a special time. I’m thankful for you and your belief in a difficult vision for a rural, southern area.
There are so many I could thank who have invested in my life in some way. You may not have been a part of any of these churches, but you refreshed and help me grow. I thank God for you. Many of you on the blogging journey have been encouraging. I am grateful and blessed.
Many of you know I will close this blog in two weeks. I encourage you to stay connected through any of the following below:
Facebook: mdwinters103 (personal) or Matthew Winters Ministries