Twelve years ago today, I had the great privilege of becoming Pastor of Northwood Baptist Church. It was the first Sunday in May of 1999 when a very young thirty year old began his third pastorate and was installed as the Pastor of a congregation of around 90 very sweet and caring people.
Northwood had been through a lot of ups and downs since it’s start in the 60’s and found itself at a place of looking forward to what could be. We all jumped in, got to work in fulfilling the dream of Northwood becoming a place of “Right Direction”, and saw God bless almost immediately!
We have been through a lot in the past 12 years. I have had some very dear friends that I count as family to come into and walk through my life. I am a better husband, father, friend and pastor because of my time with such a special congregation.
I have probably preached or taught close to two thousand messages to this congregation over the past 12 years. We have walked verse by verse through large portions of God’s Word. We have journeyed through good and bad times and have seen the faithful hand of God come through on our behalf on more occasions than we can number.
We paid off the debt on the Family Life Center. We have renovated and re-renovated more buildings and spaces than I can keep count of. We have built a new Worship Center, which we enjoy each and every week and paid a very large chunk of that debt. We have bought, renovated and paid for a new office complex. We have added staff and given them the opportunity to join us in the influencing of lives of children, youth and families. We have started and maintained a satellite worship service. We have begun a brand new ministry called Grace Place that is helping people from all over and challenging others to get out of their comfort zones. We have impacted the way that ministry is done all around our community. We have seen many people saved and enjoy watching many continue the journey of daily growth, even as the struggles of life increase!
I just want the family of Northwood to know that I love each and every one of you very much. I want you to know that I have a greater passion today, than at any other time during the twelve years that God has allowed me to lead this congregation. I am more excited today about what I believe God is up to, than at any other time than I can remember. I love this community, am priviledged to be a part of it and honored to have the opportunity to serve it in the various ways that I am allowed!
I believe that the message I preached this morning is one of the most important messages that I have ever preached and I really believe that we are on the verge of God wanting to do something amazing in our midst.
Thank you so much for allowing Me, Joy, Grace & Hope to serve you! It fulfills me, grows and strengthens our family and hopefully blesses you! I love you and I am praying that we catch this wave and learn to “Soul Surf” for God’s glory!
God Bless & Press On!
Pastor Michael Joe ><>