Last Words

Ordained elders in the United Methodist Church serve as itinerate pastors. During ordination, we promise to go where the bishop sends. It’s like signing a blank check with the currency of your life, trusting another to spend it wisely.

In April, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson announced the pastoral appointments for the North Georgia Annual Conference. She has appointed me to serve as the new senior pastor of Northside United Methodist Church in Atlanta. This Sunday, June 11, I will preach my final sermon at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville.

God has richly blessed  during the past four years in Gwinnett County. I often tell people that pastoral service resembles dog years—one has to multiple the number of years by 7 in order to obtain the true age of a pastor! Using this math, I have actually served First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville 28 years over the last 48 months.

The past weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions. This is home, and we love this congregation dearly and will miss the community greatly. However, we are also excited about the fresh opportunity to serve Northside United Methodist Church.

The bishop has assigned Dr. Royeese Stowe as the new senior pastor of FUMC of Lawrenceville, and her first Sunday will be on June 25. I have no doubt the congregation will welcome Dr. Stowe with graceful love. I solicit your prayers for the pastors and congregations involved during this time of transition.

Sometimes more than letters are lost in contractions. Consider the word “Goodbye.” The term actually shortens the phrase: “God be with you.” So today I don’t say farewell to Christ’s saints in Lawrenceville.

Instead, my prayer is that God will be with you . . . until we meet again.


15 thoughts on “Last Words

  1. As tears flow I know God has your days planned as they should be. I accept that , but accepting that and many other of God’s plans brings tears of loss and tears of joy for God knows the future. Thanks be to God!!


  2. Bill – we have missed you and everyone at FUMCLV these past 9 months or so. I pray your transition goes well and I appreciate all your prayers and support for Pete, Peter, and I


  3. Who will water the plant with leftover coffee water, remind us that it is “hump day” or give the “office mascots” doggie treats? I’ll be praying “God be with you”, but I do not like goodbyes!


  4. You’ve left “footprints on our hearts” and our Church family is better for having your leadership, caring, inspiring messages, warm smile and lovely wife! Like the Irish Blessing, I pray for God to hold you always in the palm of his hand.


  5. Bill we so appreciate all you have done for us. Your time, gifts, and teaching has given us the leadership we’ve needed these past four years. I pray that your time at Northside will be equally productive for the body of Christ there. May God richly bless you above all you may think or imagine. Love in Christ, Sandy McAdams

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. Bill, you are a true brother in Christ! We have been blessed by you and the gifts God has bestowed upon you! Thank you for all you do for God’s kingdom here on earth! May God bless you, Tracy and your family!


  7. Wishing you and your family well in your new appointment. You have touched many people in the churches that you have served. God always has the right plan for us. Blessings!


  8. Thanks so much for all you have done in your service at Lawrenceville, Bill. I will miss having you here, but I also know God is at work in your life as you join your new fellowship. May the good Lord Bless and Keep you and Tracy as you move to your new ministry.


  9. Bill, thank you for your many wonderful sermons and loving support of my personal family and church family at Lawrenceville UMC.

    Have fun at Northside UMC with all of those rich attorneys!


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