I read the following at the Sunday morning service of Cincinnati Church, May 23, 2021.
I have had the privilege of serving as senior pastor of Cincinnati Primitive Baptist Church for 62 years, since its founding in October 1958. I am thankful for the many blessings enjoyed over the years. We’ve experienced periods of abundant joy and growth, and others of sorrow and setback. I think of so many dear old saints who have served here with us over these many years, many who have gone on to be with the Lord. Through it all God has been abundantly gracious, sustaining us and preserving us along the way despite whatever trials we have faced.
When we set out on this journey, at the founding of this church, our goals were simple, our faith was strong and our vision was set on serving our Savior, Jesus Christ, glorifying him and growing in the knowledge of him through pure faith and practice. Most of you have heard the story over the years of how we came among the Old Baptists and the amazing display of the Lord’s guidance in the founding of this church with the first 55 members. Since that time, we have tried earnestly to hold to the old paths upholding and exalting Jesus Christ as our Savior and the sovereign ruler of our day-to-day lives. This has not always been done with perfect consistency, because of course we are imperfect people in constant need of self-evaluation, repentance and change. Last Sunday I reviewed some of the areas of focus of our ministry over the years with an overarching emphasis on God’s sovereign grace while also affirming our responsibilities in Godly living and the regular need for change when conforming ourselves to the teachings of the word of God. This truth is as vital and real today as it has ever been and praise be to God that this church still stands today on these fundamental Biblical principles, on which it was founded.
Today we come to a time of transition. I am 86 years old and do not have the ability to keep up the pace I have maintained through the years. I have several physical challenges, not the least of which is the one with my eyes which puts some limitation on my activities. My heart’s desire is to see this church prosper for many years to come and therefore I have had a burden to see the Lord guide us with respect to the future leadership of the church.
As you are aware, the Church appointed a search committee to look for a man to become the next senior pastor. After much labor and prayer, the committee recommended Jeremiah Bass and the Church called him to fill that position. He accepted the call and today he officially becomes the Senior Pastor of Cincinnati Primitive Baptist. I am thankful for my interactions with Elder Bass and I am impressed with his dedication to God’s word and for his heart to commit himself full time to the ministry. He has left a tenured university teaching position and moved his family from Texas to Ohio to come and serve and labor with us. Today, I am excited to pass the baton to him as Senior Pastor and am equally excited for the future of our church. I pray for God’s rich blessing on our church family as we unite behind Elder Bass as he leads us forward, following Christ, the head of the church.
This transition comes at a good time as I am focusing on the caregiving of my wife Emily, still recovering from her severe bout with COVID-19. I plan to continue as a member of Cincinnati Church. I am not retiring from the ministry and plan to be of any help I can to Elder Bass, assisting him through transition to the best of my ability. I hope to renew some of my efforts that were sidelined during COVID, such as serving in the community with those in drug recovery, and potentially others, as my time and health permit. I also plan to continue the work of the Baptist Bible Hour as long as I am able and as long as the funds come in to support it.
As a Church we want to do everything we can to support our new pastor and to be praying for him on a daily basis, and respectfully following his leadership. Let us lay to heart the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:27, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”