Paul Rees and Charlotte ChapelApril 1, 2009
Charlotte Baptist Chapel have called a new Senior Pastor, Paul Rees. Very exciting. Below is Paul’s letter to his congregation in Spokane, Washington, found at his blog gospelgrowth.
Dear Gospel-Partners at Christ The Redeemer Church,
I am writing to you today to let you know that I have accepted the invitation to become senior pastor of Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, Scotland (www.charlottechapel.org).
As you will imagine this decision has been reached after much prayer and discussion with many people including the elders at Christ The Redeemer. When I planned my sabbatical to the UK, I had no idea that the elders at Charlotte Chapel had been talking and praying about who would be their next senior pastor. Only after preaching there at the start of January I discovered that since last summer they had created a short-list of five men that they hoped over the coming years to have invited to come and preach in order to assess whether to pursue them. Both they and we are stunned at the speed of the process that led them to a congregational vote last week, which resulted in their invitation (prior to the current pastor there had been a 5 year gap). On return to Spokane I shared with the elders about this possibility and last week the elders graciously agreed that they could release me from my responsibility here to take up the pastorate in Edinburgh.
The Lord has been so gracious to this congregation over its history and has always provided people, funds, buildings and pastors to continue as a gospel-centered, Christ proclaiming congregation here in Spokane. That the elders feel able to release me to this new role speaks of the health, strength, unity, giftedness and remaining pastoral leadership of this congregation. What amazing answers to prayer we have seen over the past seven years! It truly has been more than we ever dreamed and imagined.
The thought of leaving is truly painful, as this congregation has become very dear to our whole family. There is nothing here that causes us to want to leave, indeed we count it a great privilege to have served alongside you. We have received more than we have ever given and have been treated with such kindness, faithfulness and generosity. So please accept our profound thanks for the part that you have played in this support. With Carey, Brian and Robin, this church has an incredible staff team in whom I have unreserved confidence.
I also have great confidence in the wisdom of the eldership. They labor hard in ways that few get to see and I gladly honor such men. My confidence for this congregation is, of course, ultimately in God that ‘he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.’(Phil 1v6)
We plan to return to the UK on July 13th, in time for my brothers wedding and so we hope that in the coming 3 months we can thank you personally. I intend to make a public announcement at the end of the 11am meeting this coming Sunday, March 29th.
The reason for this more impersonal letter is to give people time to adjust to this before we gather for corporate worship this coming Sunday. The elders understand that this announcement means that there will be a transition period and there will be more prayer and discussion amongst the elders before more details are proposed to the congregation.
Paul L. Rees