Good Evening Central,
On behalf of the Staff Parish Relations Team, we regret to inform the church that Dr. Trevor Smith, Director of Music and Worship, will be leaving Central United Methodist Church. Trevor's contributions to the ministries of our church are immeasurable. Through his dedication to music and worship, we each walk closer to God. Trevor wanted to share with each of you directly through a letter that you can find below.
Please join us in congratulating Trevor on his accomplishments here, and wish him great success as he continues his career to bring God's love to all through music and worship. We will host a reception for Trevor and his family on Sunday, June 17th during the Sunday school hour at 10:00am in the Pavilion. I invite you to pray for the Staff Parish team as we begin the search process. Thank You!
Staff Parish Chair
Dear Central Family,
For nearly seven years you have been my family. You have loved on me, prayed for me, and blessed my heart. You have been through the good and the bad – the beautiful and the difficult seasons. You have cared deeply for my wife. You have helped raise our beautiful Ella. You are a part of us, and you always will be. And yet we know that to everything there is a season, and those of us who are called into ministry must be willing to listen and respond when God calls us into a new season elsewhere.
God has made the call into the next season of ministry for my family and me.
Quite a bit ago, a position that was open in the Tri-Cities was brought to my attention. It is a large church with a rich history that is poised for a special future. First Broad Street United Methodist Church (fbsumc.org) is one of several churches on Church Circle, right in the heart of downtown Kingsport, TN. It is only minutes away from Crystal’s family in Afton, TN, and my brother in Abingdon, VA.
Over the course of several weeks, I have had the opportunity to get to know the leadership, staff, and musicians at First Broad Street, and after a time of deep prayer and discernment by my family and by the church, First Broad Street let me know they believed I was the right person to walk with them into their own next season of ministry. Crystal and I agreed that this was a call that God has made, and accepted the call.
Saying good-bye to Central is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. I believe this is a testament to how much I love you and how much you love the Smiths. I have had an amazing opportunity to serve here alongside some of the most talented, joyful, and faithful servants I have ever known – especially those in the Sanctuary Choir, the Central Carillon, and the Praise Band. Many of you are like brothers and sisters to me… It has been nothing short of a life-changing privilege and honor to be in ministry with you since September, 2011, and you will always have such a special place in my heart and in the hearts of Crystal and Ella.
And yet in saying good-bye, I am confident that Central has a bright, bright future ahead. I am reassured of this knowing that Scott and Audrey lead a talented, energetic, Christ-seeking staff and laity. God is on the move here, and will continue to do great things through Central in Lenoir City and Loudon County to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Know that there is nothing I would want more than to share this news with you face to face on Sunday morning. You deserve nothing less. But because my family has a planned vacation coming up, and because time is of the essence, we believe that sharing this news with you in writing is the next best option. My deepest apologies for not addressing you directly from the pulpit…
After Friday morning, I will be out of town through May 27. I’ll be back in the church office on Tuesday, May 29, and I will return to worship on Sundaymorning, June 3. Sunday, June 17 will be my last time to worship with you before I begin at First Broad Street.
Years ago I heard a quote that spoke to me in a powerful way: “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts.” It is painful to say goodbye. But everything we have shared “in the middle” these past seven years has been such a gift. I will treasure them – and treasure you – always.
Please pray for us as we embark on this new adventure. I will pray for you…