Dear Ancient City Baptist Church Family,
As many of you have already heard this past Sunday morning, I have accepted an invitation from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC to advance my education. Darlene and I have been praying about this opportunity for some time now and feel that this fall would be the best time for us to begin this new chapter in our ministry. My last Sunday in the pulpit will be Sunday, August 1st and the Deacon Body is now working to find God's man to replace me as the Interim Pastor. The timing of seeking after someone to take my place in August will be considered in partnership with the Senior Pastor Search Committee as they continue to search for our next Senior Pastor.
I have always considered it a great honor to have been blessed with the opportunity to serve with all of you here at ACBC. It was just ten years ago when I was saved and baptized in our church. Shortly after that, Jeff Gatlin and Dr. David Rice began to mentor me and prepare me for a life committed to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of you saw the Lord at work in my life and provided encouragement for me to seek His will when I was a brand new Christian. You saw fit to ordain me both as a Deacon and as a Minister of the Gospel. I can't count how many dinners, cards, hugs, kisses, and tearful gifts of encouragement we have received from you all over these past few years. I will never forget everything that all of you have done for me and my family.
Our second child "Karis" is due on August 5th. I plan to spend the first part of August at home with Darlene and the family as we prepare to leave for Wake Forest on August 26th. As you can see, this departure is close to the birth of the baby and we do have another back-up plan in case the baby is late or there are health complications. Please pray for Darlene and the new baby! Classes begin at Southeastern for me on Monday, August 23rd. I will be enrolled in coursework to fulfill the requirements first for a Master of Theology (ThM) which will take 2 semesters. Following this, I hope to be enrolled in coursework to fulfill the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (PhD). This program will take from 3-4 years depending on the speed of the writing of my dissertation. Once I finish this work, I hope that the Lord will use what I have learned to help grow His Kingdom both in the Academic and Church related ministry fields.
Thank you to everyone who has made our ministry here at ACBC such a wonderful time. Many of you have helped to meet our needs spiritually, physically, and emotionally. May God bless you all for your tender care of this young pastor and his family.
In His Service,
Pastor Josh Dryer