I realized the other day that I have not written anything new for quite a while, so here goes. It is really exciting around here now as work continues to progress on our new worship facility. The building is now under roof and soon we will see walls going up. It is amazing as I have been able to see the various stages of the building taking shape.

First, it started with the bulldozing of the site. Dirt had to be moved to get the site ready for building. Then the foundation was dug and concrete was poured. Following that the framework went up. The roofing process followed that and now we are at the place where walls will be going up soon. We continue to pray for good weather that the work will be able to progress on schedule. We pray also for the work crew as they are driving a good distance daily to the work site. We are thankful for their skill and ability to do the work they are doing. Our projected goal for occupancy is Easter of 2020. That date will be April 12. It is not certain we will be in the new building by that date, but that is the goal.

As we approach the new year, 2020, I do so with some mixed feelings and emotions. Joan and I have been in the preaching ministry for 50 years. I began preaching in 1969 when I was a sophomore at Kentucky Christian University. It has been an incredible journey for us with preaching ministries at Pond Creek Church of Christ while I was in school, Pricetown Church of Christ near Hillsboro, Ohio, 5th Avenue Church of Christ in Williamson, WV, and the last 35 years have been with the Central Church of Christ in Portsmouth. Our plan is to retire at the end of July of 2020. I will reach my 70th birthday on July 31, and it is time for me to retire. We do not know what the Lord has in store for us, but we are excited about what He has in mind. It is exciting, but it is also difficult for Joan and me. In the 35 years we have been with Central Church of Christ, there have been 1,820 Sundays when I have been preaching. I know there have been those days when I was on vacation or sick, but my point is I have been in the pulpit for a long time at Central. It is difficult for me to step away from that and think of someone else doing that. It is difficult for Joan and me as we have built wonderful relationships with the people. They are not church members, they are family to us. Both Joan and I want to urge you to pray for our Elders at Central as they have begun the search for a new preacher. Pray that God will lead them to the right man who will lead Central Church of Christ to great strides of growth in the kingdom.

Only God knows what lies ahead for Central Church of Christ. I am confident that this church can be a strong outreach place for the kingdom. Follow God’s leading, do His work faithfully and let Him lead.

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