Laying Down My Conductor’s Baton

The writer of Ecclesiastes has so beautifully said, “To everything there is a season; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to reap; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to dance and a time to mourn.” [pullquote_right width=”53%”]I consider myself the most fortunate of all church staff members anywhere; to have served you for forty-one years[/pullquote_right]

As a minister of music, if I were adding to this lovely text, I might say, “there is a time to pick-up the conductor’s baton and a time to lay it down.” So, after almost forty one years of ministering with you, the time to lay down my conductor’s baton will soon arrive. What a great honor and privilege I have had of walking with you during these “seasons” of your life. And from the depths of my heart, I thank you for faithfully walking with me during my “seasons” of life.

During these forty-one years with you, I have been so fortunate. I have:

● Worked with talented and faithful choirs… none more so than our wonderful Sanctuary Choir!

● Worked with wonderful volunteer leadership in our children’s choirs.

● Worked with extremely talented and dedicated organists such as Bryan King.

● Worked with wonderful pastors and talented staff who appreciated and respected the role of church music. I began my ministry here while John Jeffers was pastor. I conclude my ministry with Tripp Martin as our pastor. How fortunate can a minister of music be?!

● Been a part of this great Faith Family, Auburn First Baptist… with our diversity; our unity of spirit; and our common belief in the importance of worship incorporating both the heart and the intellect.

Thank you for the ways you have demonstrated your love to me and to my family throughout these years. There is not a minister of music anywhere that I would have traded places with. In fact, perhaps I should feel guilty for keeping this position for myself for so long… but whenever I thought about leaving, I always felt led “to stay.”

My last Sunday with you as Minister of Music will be September 14 of this year. It is my hope and desire that this early announcement of my retirement will be beneficial to the recently elected Staff Development Committee, the Music Committee, the Personnel Committee, our pastor, and others who will be charged with helping secure future music leadership for our congregation.

The coming months will give me the opportunity to more thoroughly reflect on our time together. But in the meantime, please know that I consider myself the most fortunate of all church staff members anywhere; to have served you—Auburn First Baptist Church—for forty-one years.

Auburn First Baptist Church