I was asked if I wanted to write a “goodbye” note to SRBC, and I initially said I would. However, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write a “thank you” note. I want to thank you for the best 26 years of my life. I want to thank you for sharing with me and my family the best and worst of times. I thank you that you were just as faithful (maybe more so) in the bad as you were when everything was good. You have been a constant source of encouragement and support. You have continually gone out of your way to make sure that you weren’t just my church, you were my family. I don’t even have the words to express my appreciation for the wonderful opportunity of working with the finest group of students I have ever met, the amazing teachers, workers, chaperones, bus drivers and youth staff. And when God began to lead me toward something more you allowed me the awesome privilege of serving as your Associate Pastor. I cherish the time and the relationships which have taken place here. There were so many times when I wondered how much longer you could carry me, but you never complained only encouraged me and we moved on together.
You have been especially gracious with the news of my recent calling to Haven Fellowship Church, a response I am so proud of. It is a smaller church (about 200 people), a young church (19 years) and a church with much potential. While it is non-denominational, it formed from a Baptist Church and is full of people who remind me so much of my SRBC family. So since I cannot say goodbye, I will say what my family says to each other when we depart, “I’ll see you later” – because I will!
Quotes from the Congregation
There is no way to say thanks for all you mean to SRBC! You have touched our youth who are now some of our members and those who have moved to other places. Your kind smile and caring ways have touched our seniors. You are wished the very best. We know you have a great mission with your new church and God will lead you.
Thank you for loving us even when we weren’t always lovable.
Even though I mourn the loss of my Associate Pastor, I am happy for you in this new phase of your life.
I can’t thank you enough for all you have meant to 3 generations of my family.
I am always impressed with your personality and the “feeling good” feeling that comes from you; a comfortable feeling.
Spread your wonderful love to another group of people. I know you will be great at it.
Thank you for being you! There will never be another Ernie! We will miss your smile and joyful spirit around here.
Pastor Ernie was the first person to welcome us to Smoke Rise! We enjoyed his teaching in Sunday School.
Years are used to store up memories to last a lifetime. You will be part of the fabric of Smoke Rise forever.
Dear, dear Ernie, please know – truly know – how much you are loved, appreciated, admired, and cherished by your Smoke Rise Family!
You light up our lives! Since our first meeting we felt a spiritual connection and have since been continually blessed with your radiant presence. Your face glows with the love of the Lord!