Dear Bebo,

I am writing to express my appreciation for your all your help and support over the last year following my departure from the local church where I had been serving as Senior Minister.

As you know, this departure was not something I was expecting and I had little knowledge on what to do next, or how this could affect my future career in the ministry.   In your position as Chairman of the Shepherding and Advisory Committee for the Presbytery of Mississippi Valley, you reached out to me and provided the practical advice I needed on how to proceed the day after that fateful Sunday when I was asked to resign.

It is one thing to receive advice about the difficulties preachers encounter in ministry (one seminarian suggested I consider my career in vocational ministry as ended) and quite another to receive counsel from someone who has experienced these slings and arrows himself and is willing to share his wisdom.  In Scotland where I served with the Free Church for 12 years, they refer to the latter of these as “sanctified common sense,” and I am sincerely grateful that the Lord placed you in my life during this period.  I am convinced that no one else could have provided the type of counselling and guidance that you offered, due to the unique challenges and nature of the work of the ministry.

In addition, your network of connections throughout the PCA provided the information I needed to help guide me through the application process to the multitude of job openings within the PCA, and your knowledge of the individual situations at churches always informed my approach to them.  Your experience and wisdom as a Christian leader is well-known throughout the church, and the many favourable endorsements of others within the church speak volumes about your own years of faithful service to the Lord’s people.

Bebo, I trust that you will continue to offer the same wise counsel and encouragement to others that I benefited from, and I am looking forward to our next lunch at the N’Awlins Grill in Clinton, MS.

Rev John D Wagner
Interim Pastor
Reformed Presbyterian Church
4210 Crow Road
Beaumont, TX  77706