In the summer of 1963 a family friend, Buddy Fehrman, took me with him to preach for a little country church outside of Bloomington, Indiana. That was my first sermon.
During my Junior and Senior years of High School, the brethren gave me opportunities to preach on an appointment basis throughout central Indiana. I attended Florida College with one goal in my mind. To preach the gospel of Christ. During my college years, I was preaching on a regular basis.
In the 49 years Norma Jean and I have been married I have been preaching. Most of the time in a located work. Our ministry has taken us to Ohio, back to Florida twice, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and now Texas.
But now the time has come for us to begin a new chapter in our lives.
When we were approached in January of 2016 about moving to Texas, I declined saying we were not ready to move. Plus I had been considering cutting back from full-time local work when I turned 70 in 2018. The Shepherds at West Main said that was not a problem. They graciously agreed to a 2-year commitment, after which we could pursue other opportunities for ministry.
The past 18 months have been pleasant and profitable. Though the decision to move for a short time was difficult, we believe it was the right decision. Our work has been rewarding. And we’ve accomplished the purpose that was set before us. We have three loving, caring elders who shepherd the church and are served now by 12 deacons who minister in a wonderful way.
Next year Benjamin Lee, currently with the Dowlen Road church in Beaumont, TX, with his wife, Nikki, and son, Joshua, will move to Lewisville and begin full-time work with West Main. The church will be blessed to have Ben. He is a talented and enthusiastic proclaimer of the Word. Although it will only be for 3 months, I’m looking forward to working with Ben as we make the transition.
So, on May 31, 2018, we will conclude our work with the West Main church. There is a tinge of sadness, but we know this is the right decision. Both for us. And for the church.
To be clear, I am NOT retiring from preaching. Not now. My health is good. And I believe I have several more years of profitable ministry before me, Lord willing.
We are working on some plans in the second half of 2018 for extended travel coupled with some preaching opportunities. The freedom from located work will allow us to hold more meetings and possibly engage in some foreign evangelistic efforts that have not been possible in the past. We plan to continue publishing ThePreachersWord for the foreseeable future. Possibly do some writing that has been on the back burner. And, of course, spend more time with our four grandchildren. Our plans, however, are being made with the Biblical caution of James 4:13-14.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.
So, we are turning another page in the book of life. Ready to write another chapter. Excited about the future. And willing for the brethren to use us in the Lord’s work as we have time and opportunity.
We solicit your prayers that in all our future endeavors God may be glorified.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman