Gloria and I have been in the ministry together for 35 years, even longer than we’ve been married. After college at Charleston Southern University, we were blessed to go to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary shortly after we got married. During college and seminary days I served in church staff positions, principally music and youth. Since graduation from seminary in 1987 I have been a senior preaching pastor. The call of God to Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2), has been the priority for me in the midst of the myriad of all of a pastor’s duties.
In the mid 90’s God began to impress upon me that we should start a new church, so I began getting ready. I was serving a large First Baptist Church in an upstate small town, yet I began to prepare for becoming a church planter. In 1998 we moved to the midlands. I learned more about starting new churches and Gloria served in the Missions Mobilization Group of the South Carolina Baptist Convention for 13 years. In 2000, we began doing the ground work to plant a new church. The next year we assembled a planting team that included the Peacheys, Stones and Parris’. Upon the direction of Lexington Baptist Association we selected an area that needed a new church. Our team first met in a home in the mission area. Then we met in a restaurant and then a community center. We gathered more people, had our first baptisms in a community pool in August of 2001, and then began meeting every Sunday at Dutch Fork Middle School. Our congregation grew as we reached people who did not go to any church and many who had no church background.
In 2003 River Springs Church was constituted as an autonomous church. Charter members who are still members of RSC are: Tim & Gloria Shull, Jared Shull, Hannah Shull, John & Cindy Peachey, Alex Peachey, Megan Peachey, Scott & Patricia Stone, Hali Jeffcoat, Hannah Stone, Krystal Neeley, Daniel Marsh, Tony & Lisa Rodriguez, and Jimmy & Davii Parris. In 2003 Pastor Jimmy was ordained to the ministry and we broke ground on 15.6 acres between Irmo and Chapin. We entered our new multi-purpose church building at the end of 2004.
We’ve had many baptisms as the Gospel changed lives and produced “springs of living water who each take the Gospel to our dry and thirsty world.” I have been stretched in every possible way in the 17 years that I have been planter and pastor of River Springs. Our family has been All-In in every sense. Gloria and I have been blessed to see many lives committed to Christ and many strengthened for His service.
When I became Director of Missions for Edgefield Baptist Association, Pastor Jimmy and I became co-pastors of RSC, knowing that the day would come that I would step aside and Pastor Jimmy would be the senior pastor. That day has come, as I announced at the October 15 congregation meeting.
My resignation from River Springs Church is effective November 17th. My last Sunday with you is this Sunday, November 12 and Gloria and I will teach our last Kidventure on November 15. I will continue to serve as Director of Missions for Edgefield Association and will devote myself to helping churches and pastors. While Gloria and I look forward to this new chapter in our life, we are also sad to leave the church we started. Our address, emails and phone numbers remain the same. We remain friends and dear friends.
We fully support Jimmy and Davii as they lead RSC and we commit to fervently pray. I invite you to renew your commitment to help and support Pastor Jimmy in every way you can. Gloria and I will continue to send our tithe to River Springs; I implore you and beseech you to tithe faithfully and also give generously through River Springs Church. “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.
Please come to worship at River Springs this Sunday. Bring your tithe to show God that you honor and trust Him and bring an offering beyond that in proportion to His blessings to you. Worship our wonderful God with Gloria and me and celebrate God’s blessings with us in a wonderful fellowship meal.