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A Message From Debby Long, Children's Director

I would like to share with you something new that God is doing in my husband, Mike and my life. To begin, I want to tell you a little about Mike.

He has been with his company for nearly 20 years. Seven years ago he became part owner and president of the company. During his tenure as president, the company has grown significantly. Then last fall, Mike received a call from a friend who is a pastor at a church in Knoxville. His friend told him that the church’s Business Administrator was going to be retiring and he wanted Mike to join their staff. This phone call caught Mike completely by surprise.

The next nine months were filled with conversations, interviews and prayer. Mike was not looking to leave his company. By the world’s standard, leaving his company as part owner and president made no sense financially. In fact, he looked for every reason to say “no” to the position. But, every time he would come up with a reason, God would intervene and refute the “no”.

A few months ago, Mike received a final offer for the position and after much prayer, we both knew it was a calling from the Holy Spirit. Mike has accepted this position and will begin September 1st.

During our time of praying God’s will for Mike, God also made it clear that He was calling me to leave my position. He was calling me to leave Central and be with Mike in support of his new role. I have given this decision a lot of thought and prayer over the last few months. I know the timing of my departure may not be ideal for Central. God continues to teach me through various situations that His timing is not my timing. He wants me to trust Him in all things.

I will continue to pray for the person God is calling to be the next Children’s Ministry Director. He or she will have the privilege to work with Scott and learn under his leadership as well as share in his vision for Children’s Ministry and Central.

In addition, this person will have an opportunity to work with a great team of Children’s Ministry volunteers. This group that is standing in front of you serve with excellence and love your children well! They make Children’s Ministry strong.

Great things are ahead for Central and all the children and their families. As God promises in the Bible, His plans are good.

My heart overflows with gratefulness for the opportunity I was given the last 4 years to share Jesus with the children. Each Sunday, I have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit as He provided for me in Children’s Ministry.

Thank you for your love. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your support. And I especially thank you for your prayers. When I leave on August 6th, I will leave with a deeper and richer faith and I will leave with a bigger family. I love you all!

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