I remember coming to Calvary almost 7 years ago. I was fresh out of college and totally green. I had no full-time ministry experience and I had two responsibilities: lead worship and hang out with teenagers. Over the years, the responsibilities have grown and the experience has been priceless. This has been so much more than a place to learn, it has been my spiritual home.

I will be forever marked by my time at Calvary. Today closes out a chapter of life that has impacted and shaped my life in so many ways. The greatest years of my life have come during my time at Calvary. I have realized so many dreams and seen so much happen in my life. Dara and I were married during my first year at Calvary. Max, Mary and Jack were all born during our years here. The ministry God had for me here took on many different responsibilities, each new season bringing more opportunities and challenges to grow and mature. We have scaled more mountains than I could have ever imagined during our time here. Calvary has afforded us the opportunity to be exposed to so many great ministries and to find our voice.

Our seven years at this great church have also seen us walk through the most challenging times that I could have ever imagined. There have been times that we wanted to throw in the towel and walk away. There were times where it felt like life had taken the gloves off and was swinging at us bare knuckles. We have felt discouragement, disappointment and frustration. I can look back now and see that those moments in the valley of life were just as important as the mountaintop experiences. Those moments forged our faith. We found that there is nothing that life can throw at us that will shake us from the foundation of faith that we hold so dearly. I am so grateful for the ups and the downs. Mountains and valleys. Everywhere in between.

Beyond the ministry experiences, we have found our true calling in life. Acts 2 talks about true community. It talks about living life with others celebrating, grieving, laughing and crying together. We have made friends that will last a lifetime. We have seen the power of Acts 2 community up close and personal.

Today we close this chapter of life. Just as one chapter closes, another one opens with the story yet to be written. The challenges of church planting are well documented (raising our salary, establishing a brand new ministry, selling our home, etc.). I am fully confident that God has led us to this point and has given us a story to look back upon his faithfulness. I am so grateful for our time here. I am so grateful for our friends. I am so blessed to have been called to serve the body of Christ at Calvary and the Kingdom that is advancing in Orlando.

May God’s blessing and favor be upon Calvary. May his Kingdom advance rapidly in the greater Orlando area.

God bless Calvary.