When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” – C.S Lewis
Shortly after I started blogging, I received a call from Wade Burleson who congratulated Deb and me for starting TWW. He invited us out to Enid where we spent a great weekend attending his church, meeting his brilliant (this is actually true) and beautiful wife, Rochelle, and discussing all things to do with abuse, women in the church, etc. He even left one of those a wonderful gift basket for us in the hotel room like we were visiting dignitaries! He knows how to make friends. Through the years, Wade became a friend as well as a role model to me. We have disagreed about a few things along the way, but our friendship grew through the years.
When I spoke with him about the idea that I had for EChurch, he offered up his church to be of help to us. They even offered to provide counseling to those who had been hurt by the church along the way. I loved his sermons because they were loving and full of grace. He has been advocating for years of a sex abuse database in the SBC, making motions regularly on the floor of the annual SBC convention. For years, he was a lone voice trying to make a difference.
He has been a role model for me on how to be gracious, even when being attacked online. He stands up for himself but he makes the other person feel important and heard. I have a long way to go to be like him. The way he addressed Mark Galli’s personal criticism is one that I return to time and again. I even wrote about it here.
When I told him that I had decided to become a Lutheran, he didn’t try to persuade me to stay in the SBC. He actually seemed to find it interesting. In fact, he had a bunch of interesting questions to have me ask my pastors about some things he had read. Sadly, I forgot to do so but just remembered one such question which I shall address in the near future.
I don’t know how to say thank you to him. I’ve called him many times when I experienced online issues. He knows more about my behind-the-scenes problems than just about anyone. It’s my hope that everyone has a Wade Burleson type of friend in their life.
As for EChurch, Wade and I are discussing some options. I have liked the tie to Emmanuel Enid and I’ve loved the safe sermons that Wade has preached. Rochelle and he will be producing podcasts through Istoria Ministries. So, once I get over feeling sad about this change, we’ll work out the details. If any of you would like to make some suggestions at this point, please feel free to do so.
Wade Burleson Announces Plan to Retire as Lead Pastor Effective 2.2.2022
On Sunday, February 2, 1992, Emmanuel Enid called me to be the Lead Pastor. Rachelle and I and our three children (at the time) moved to Enid from Tulsa. One year from now, we will celebrate our 30th anniversary as your Lead Pastor. Today, I announce my intentions to retire as Lead Pastor of Emmanuel Enid on February 2, 2022, the 30th anniversary of our acceptance of your call.
Rachelle and I have made Enid our home, and Emmanuel is our family. We will not be moving from Enid, and we will always be active members and supporters of Emmanuel Enid and of our new Lead Pastor. I will be sixty when I retire as Lead Pastor on 02.02.2022. I wish to spend the last quarter of my years in full-time writing through Istoria Ministries, the 501(c)3 non-profit we founded in 2012.
The Leadership Team has known of my intentions to retire on our 30th anniversary, and per Emmanuel Enid’s church constitution, they have recommended a Lead Pastor Search Committee that will be tasked to find Emmanuel Enid’s next Lead Pastor. The Leadership Team has prepared this Lead Pastor Search Committee pamphlet for you with the names, pictures, and bios of the seven people that they have nominated to serve on the Lead Pastor Search Committee.
Church members will vote to approve the seven people nominated for the Lead Pastor Search Committee next Sunday, January 31, at our quarterly business meeting. Lunch will be provided for that day by our church hostess, Peggy Bowers (from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm), and the important business meeting will start at 12:45 pm to allow our REFUGE worship attenders time to get their lunch and join us in the gym. You will find a timeline for the pastoral search process at Emmanuel Enid on the following page, as provided by the Leadership Team. You can stay updated on the Lead Pastor search process by clicking on the Pastor Search link on Emmanuel Enid’s website at emmanuelenid.org.
I am excited for the future of Emmanuel Enid and for the Burlesons! Rachelle and I have purchased an office building at 801 S. Van Buren that will serve as the headquarters for Istoria Ministries. We will be working during 2021 to construct a writing studio, an office, and a professional audio/television green room for Istoria podcasts and online teaching series. You may stay updated on our progress in remodeling Istoria Ministries headquarters through my blog at istoriaministries.org.
It is my honor to continue serving as your Lead Pastor until my official retirement on February 2, 2022. Rachelle and I love you, and we look forward to an exciting future for our church!
In His Grace,
And just to prove that Lutherans have a sense of humor, welcome to Lutheran satire.