Going to Bethlehem

It’s already been announced on Facebook, but now it’s time to tell the story here on the blog. 

Me and my wife, along with family that joined us for the day.

This past Sunday, after a unanimous vote, the congregation of Bethlehem Baptist Church (founded 1790) in Warthen, GA, called me to be their pastor, and I accepted. That means I will be moving away from the Chattanooga/Soddy-Daisy, TN area and relocating to “Bulldog” territory (as in Georgia Bulldogs).

NOTE: It won’t be easy to get on board with the whole “bulldog” thing, but I am a certified Atlanta Braves fan, so that helps. I’ll always have orange blood.

It all started several months ago when I was contacted by the pastor search committee from Bethlehem Baptist. They had gotten my resume from the SBC database and wanted to know if I would be willing to be considered for the position. I knew I would not be the only person under consideration, and since I figured they would find someone else more qualified than me, I said it was OK. I mean, why burn any bridges, right?

Eventually, one thing led to another and I got to the point of multiple interviews, background checks, and trial sermons. I wasn’t actively seeking to leave South Soddy Baptist, but it became apparent after a while that the writing was on the wall: It was time for me to move.

This is either me preaching the trial sermon which preceded the vote, or me singing “Stop! In the Name of Love!”

South Soddy Baptist Church, along with many other people in the Soddy Daisy area, made a huge impact on our lives. Had it not been for South Soddy, I have no idea where we would be right now. God opened that door at a time when we desperately needed it, and through our last two years there He proved His faithfulness.

So, for the rest of this month and the month of July we will be attempting to wrap things up, get everything packed, and then moved to Georgia (nearly 5 hours away). My first official day in the office (yes, I will have office hours) will be August 1st.

As you have prayed for our family in the past, I would ask for your continued prayers – this will not be an easy transition.

Pray, also, that God will prepare the soil in the field to where I am going, along with sharpen my plow and fill the seed bag. Even before I get there to go to work, there is work to be done.

Being welcomed as the new pastor of Bethlehem Baptist.

This is going to be an adventure, one that will surely affect not only our lives, but the way in which I write this blog. Big changes affect little changes, like how the ripples from a big splash create smaller ripples that reflect off other things.

Thank you for being my friends and reader all these years (10th anniversary for the blog this September!). I’m just thankful that no matter where God leads, the technology He has allowed will keep us linked.

God bless you!



Filed under baptist, Church, ministry, Preaching

13 responses to “Going to Bethlehem

  1. Happy for you and Valerie (and your mom)! We will also be praying for you guys.

  2. P. Anthony
    God’s Blessings, Pastor Anthony, and family as you transition to another area, serving the same God, same family, but new relatives to meet in the enlarged family.
    From listening to, and reading a few of your sermons on your blog, I know the new family you are joining will be blessed also.

    Even when the call of God is on you, and directing your every step, as His Word says He does, changes can still have some problems because we are still human.

    I will be praying for you, Pastor, and your family, during this upcoming busy time. This time of finalizing living arrangements where you are, organizing all of life in Soddy-Daisy, and then organizing all necessary parts of life in Warren.

    Praying for Holy Spirit to continue His Guidance, and for you to continue walking sensitively to His every Word. Praying Protection over Y’all, Spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, as we all know the enemy attempts to challenge, disrupt, destroy, God’s plans and God’s people as they follow Jesus Christ as Lord. Praying the Blood of Jesus over each of you, and a Hedge Of Protection around you, as well as the Armour Of God upon you, with the Sword ⚔️ always ready and both edges sharpened in your mind.

    Again Anthony, God Bless. Looking forward to future posts as Jesus Leads.

  3. Anthony,
    Is this a full-time pastorate or will you still be bi-vocational? As always, you and Valarie are in my prayers.


  4. hawk2017

    In prayer. Love in our Christ.:))

  5. I looked up the Bethlehem facebook page. Looks like there are some real caring people that love the Lord there. you won’t have time to drive a bus on the side…May God grant wisdom in your pastoral leadership (even in Georgia).

  6. Congratulations! This is wonderfully exciting news! Praying for all of God’s blessings for you and yours in this new adventure!

  7. As an “itinerant Methodist”, I know a bit of what you and your family are going through. Prayers for a great transition….and no rain on moving day!

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