Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Weekend with Stetson Baptist Church

We arrived in Orlando on Thursday afternoon, August 13. We were met at the airport by a member of the search committee, Mr. Ken Herndon. Jonah met Mr. Ken first when the committee was here in July. They had dinner in our home and he became big buds with them. As we went down the escalator, Jonah spotted Mr. Ken and took off running. He jumped in his arms and basically stole Mr. Ken's heart. Being a grandfather, he "gets" little kids and Jonah obviously connected with him.

Mr. Ken got us settled in our room at the Holiday Inn then picked us up for dinner with his wife, Mrs Garie. We went to fabulous local favorite, Main Street Grill. We were not sure how Jonah would do at dinner since he had been traveling all day and not napped. He did great! Not only that, in the midst of the meal, he started singing. Yeah, he straight up sang "We're Marching to Zion!" We laughed and told the Herndon's that he had already learned to work the crowd as a preacher's kid. Not only did he sing something spiritual, he chose a hymn!!!

Our day Friday was pretty open. We had an appointment with our Realtor, "Misser Bob" to see the house again and to get some measurements. Jonah made fast friends with the homeowners and entertained us all. At the last minute of our visit, his sippy cup opened and he spilled cranberry juice all over their carpet! I was mortified but less bothered since it is going to be OUR carpet in a few weeks. They were so sweet to him and got it cleaned up but it totally stressed us out. Sometimes we forget he is just 3!!

Dinner that night was with the Deacons, Personnel Committee and Stewardship Committee and ALL of their spouses. There were probably 80 people there and more names than we can remember. It was great to meet that group of leaders and have some time to share with them. Dan & I both shared our hearts with them, attempted to learn some names and had a fabulous meal!

Jonah spent the evening with Anna and Katee Gmitro. Their mom is on the Search Committee that called Dan to SBC. The volunteered to be Jonah's buddies for the weekend. He fell in love with them. We have been home almost a week and he still asks where Katee and Anna are. Sweet boy. I'm thinking he was crushing on them just a little bit! :-)

Saturday was a fun day for our family. I still have lots of pictures to post from that day but we went to Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach and to see the skydivers at the Skydive Deland. It was a fun day that ended with a great night of meeting the SBC family. There was a meal followed by a Q&A time with Dan. We both spoke and shared what God was doing in our life, family and ministry. Jonah even had his turn at the microphone. As soon as I can figure out how to post audio clips, I will. You have to hear how precious he was when he introduced himself and said "Hey, everybody!"

Our time together Saturday night was simply wonderful. We felt "at home" and very confirmed in the leading of God in this decision. The people obviously love their church, are passionate about the ministries they are involved in and want nothing but the best for Stetson Baptist Church. The joy of that night was filled with spurts of thoughts of Vidalia. I teared up one time when a lady came to the microphone and said "It is obvious that the people in Vidalia love you and you love them. We want to know if you will let us do the same?" It made my heart happy to hear that and know the desire of those people to invest in our lives but at the same time, I was sad to think of all the people here who have done just that. Tough stuff!

Dan preached in both services Sunday morning. His sermons followed an incredible time of worship. Reggie, the choir, the praise team and instrumentalists BROUGHT IT! They led us to the throne of God and set such a tone for what God wanted to say through Dan. Dan preached a sermon that he had never preached before. He said he was tempted to pull out one of his best from the past but felt like he needed to speak from John 3. There were decisions made in both services. The spirit of God was very real and the excitement was electric!! After each service, we were ushered out to the Gathering Area to meet and greet. We met so many people and were continually reminded of the sweet spirit in that church.

After the second service, we noticed the Pastor Search Committee chairman hanging around. I could tell he was waiting to tell us something. After we hugged the last neck, shook the last hand and introduced ourselves to the last person, he ushered us into the Bride's Room off of the sanctuary to tell us the result of the vote. With 4 NO votes, Dan was called to Stetson Baptist Church as pastor with a 99.4% vote. The entire committee, some of the staff, and some of the deacons were with us as we held hands, thanked God for His calling, prayed for FBCV and rejoiced over the future.

We came back that night to share the result of vote with the church. Dan and I accidentally matched. This stressed him out. He even mentioned it from the pulpit.
The committee was called on stage and the church (and us!) had an opportunity to thank them. This group met two times a week for three hours each time for almost two years. WHOA! Talk about commitment. They did their homework like nothing I have ever seen. I was blown away by the commitment of this group. Not just to their church, but to their God. We fell in love with them and count it a privilege to be their friends. They are a Godly group of people who sought the Lord's will rather than their own. (That isn't always easy!!) They trusted Him in the hard times and knew he was faithful. It was a joy to stand with the congregation and thank them for their service.
Dr. Bennett (Interim Pastor) and Mr. Benny (Chairman of the Deacons) called us to the front to pray for us and for our dear friends at FBC, Vidalia. That was such a special time. Then, he called all Deacons to join us and Mr. Benny voiced a prayer on their behalf. Then, Reggie, our Worship Pastor, voiced a prayer on behalf of the incredible staff we are about to join.

Jonah made friends with lots of people and even got a t-shirt out of the deal. The chairman of the Personnel committee had this made for him. He was thrilled. He was equally as thrilled to hang out with some of the big kids over at the Herndon's house for the after party with the search committee and their families.

Notice that chocolate cake Jonah is eating? (By the way, that is Katee who I mentioned earlier!) When we were leaving church, Jonah asked if we were going to our hotel. We told him that we were not because we were going to a party. He asked if it was a birthday party for him? He is obviously still in birthday mode!!! Those sweet people rushed to find candles and put them in the cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him. It was so very sweet. He never knew the difference!


Avery's Mommy said...

Wow it seems like a great church with lots of nice people. Jonah is sure to be the most loved little boy in all of America!

winstead family said...

nicki, what a fabulous post! so exciting and it seems as if yall are moving to a wonderful place and church. i LOVED the banner(s) and tshirt! how thoughtful! i will be praying for you and your family during the transition! love you!

Denise Darnell Davis said...

I'm so glad we will be able to keep up with you through the blog! We plan for Disney in a few years when Anna is old enough to remember and enjoy it so hopefully we can all visit then! We will keep you in our prayers during this time!!

Anonymous said...

ha - y'all did match!

Anonymous said...

I just need to say that i do not at all agree with Dan preaching on commitment for all these months and the whole time the both of you knew that you were leaving.

The Glenn Gang said...

To Anonymous,

Dan never preached anything that was deceptive. He DID preach on commitment but commitment isn't to a Pastor, it is to your God.

Katie (and Tony) said...


Anonymous said...

I completely understand that but he also preached about commitment to a church family. And what I meant was that both of you have known about this change that was coming and you kept it from the church. It was like you both lied about your ''vacation''.

The Glenn Gang said...

To Anonymous,

We never lied about vacation. We did go on vacation. Our entire trip was not paid for by the church. We went earlier than they asked and stayed longer than requested for the sheer purpose of vacation. Dan has 3 weeks and has not used a single week since May of 2008. Our goal was family time and vacation and we accomplished that. It was not a lie.

What exactly did he preach about "commitment to a church family?" Give me details to work with here.

And, while you are at it, your name would be nice so we can talk rather than type back and forth! :-)

Greg said...

My commitment is to God , I think that I heard every sermon Dan preached on commitment and I don't think I heard him once say that my commitment was to be to him ! While it pains me to see him go , I know that it is his commitment to Gods will for his life that sends him to Stetson Baptist Church , such along way from family and friends. HE IS PRACTICING WHAT HE PREACHES.
Commitment to follow God's calling for his life

BroJoey said...

Dan and Nicki,
We are praying for you and hope that your last days in the Miss-Lou will be filled with much joy! We know all too well what you guys are going through. Reading your blog has certainly painted a vivid picture of God's work in your lives. We pray the best for you in the days ahead.

Joey and Jennifer

Ken Strong said...

This is a belated (obviously) welcome to Stetson. As the architect of record for the new Worship Center long ago, I'd needed some pictures of it for a friend who was working on a resume for me. Your pictures from your blog here showed up on a Google search. God turned my world upside down through Wycliffe, where I now plan and design mission facilities worldwide, but need financial support. I've left messages before there and have been disappointed to get nothing back. Any interest? Thanks! Ken Strong, Architect.
Wycliffe Associates. Orlando. 407-852-5345


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