Cat Out of Bag…

Posted: May 28, 2009 in Church Leadership, Random

It’s really overwhelming when you think about how much work it is to keep a secret.  It’s not the part of not saying anything, but rather not acting like you have a secret that makes it hard work.  Well, I had one in regards to what God was doing in the life of my family and with my daily attempt to follow wherever He leads.

The Story:

When I met Michael in the summer of 2006 I was a bored teacher wanting to make a Kingdom impact and a former church planting staff member expecting God to get me involved in church planting.  So, when things went well in our first conversation, and the subsequent ones, I felt compelled to throw everything I had, and then some, into what God was doing at Oak Leaf Church.

Carrie claims I was trying to get on staff, but I honestly just needed to do something in the summer.  After awhile it seemed apparent that I fit well at the Leaf and a staff position was a natural result.  So, after being a volunteer staff person for about a year, I quit my job and started getting a paycheck to be the Executive Pastor.  It’s been a great learning experience and I feel like I have been able to help Oak Leaf go forward during all of moves, meetings, and strategies.

However, last summer God started something inside me that I haven’t been able to shake.  It wasn’t a brand new idea, just something that I thought I fulfilled in working at Oak Leaf.  It was the idea of starting a church with me as the Lead Pastor.  At the time, the where and when wasn’t clear.  But, during this winter and spring through lots of prayer, fasting, and hard conversations I’ve realized that God is calling me to leave the job, staff, and church I’ve grown to love and start a church in my hometown of Gainesville, Florida.

It probably one of the worst timed things I’ve ever attempted, but it’s God timing!!  Two little boys, a brand new building, and a terrible economy, but there are plenty of people who need Jesus in Gainesville, so God is sending me and my family to take the Gospel to those who don’t know Him.  We are excited, nervous and sad, but we know its the right thing to do.

So, sometime in August I will head to Gainesville to begin the journey.  These next two months will be a great time to see how God will provide and what direction our lives and ministry will go.  We just ask that you pray for us and help us go forward in faith that God’s timing and plan is all we need. I believe God used my time at Oak Leaf to prepare us and hope that the church will get behind us, while being a catalyst for Him to do something equally significant in Gainesville.

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Comments
  1. amandafrisbee says:

    i’m sad that you’re leaving, but totally stoked at what God’s got in store for you, carrie, micah man and jude the dude 🙂 this is going to be one crazy adventure, and i can’t wait to see/hear/read all about it! you guys rock!

    asf

  2. James says:

    Well, dude, congrats to you. I hope and pray everything works out for you and the fam. It’s very exciting and maybe a little scary too, I’m sure. Just from what I’ve been able to observe over the past several months, I think you will do an awesome job! And based on what you talked about last night at Fuel, it’s clear you have a vision and purpose to stay committed to what God has in store. I’m happy for you, but sad to see you go.

  3. […] In fact, if you want to up and move to Florida, you should go be a part of their launch team.  Check out Anthony’s story on his blog, and I’ll let you know about some ways that you can pray for and support Anthony and Axiom […]

  4. Todd says:

    Anthony,

    Let’s get together sometime. I’d love to hear a little about this new journey for your family.

    Pumped for you guys. Sad to hear that you are leaving though!

    Todd

  5. Kyle Troop says:

    Dude. I’m totally praying for you and your family on this. It’s going to be rad for you. No doubt.

  6. DeeDee says:

    ohh i am really sad to see you all go..i just really got to know kerri and what a great little family you all are. i am excited for all of you though. didnt get to work with you much after mitch left cause you dumped me after 1 week…:) jk. i wish you all the best!!

  7. Samantha says:

    God bless you and your family, Anthony. We will miss you terribly, but understand that the calling to go home and start a church is stronger than us. When God leads us, we must follow. I am proud for you and look forward to hearing about the great things you will be doing in Gainesville. You will, of course, always be a huge part of our Oak Leaf family. God Bless!

  8. Carol Cole says:

    Anthony ,
    This has come as a shock to me, I will definately miss you and Kerri. You have become my church friend that I talk to about Texas. I know that God has a plan for you, I know Michael will miss you .
    I am happy for you all. the kids need to be around family and so do the both of you. Please send me reports on how your church is growing I came to Oak Leaf when the church was 6 months old and have seen how hard you worked at it to make it grow I have no doubt God will put you where he needs you to be. God blessings go with my friend and family.

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