Please make plans to join us for Terri and Doug’s final Sunday, February 12. Doug & Terri will lead in worship, where we will also share gifts of love and gratitude. A greeting and fellowship time will follow the service. A drop-in reception will be held from 2:00-4:00 in the afternoon at the Double Oaks across the street from First Baptist (204 N. Mendenhall).
December 28, 2022
Please see below a letter from Doug & Terri Vancil, followed by communication from Pastor Alan Sherouse, Personnel Chair Scott Culclasure and Deacon Chair Seth Hix.
Dear Church Family,
When we began our ministry with you on this very day back in 1998 we could not have imagined how wonderfully God would bless us as our lives intermingled with yours. There is no place we would rather have been and no one with whom we would rather have traveled on this long and joyous journey than First Baptist Church of Greensboro. We have also been profoundly blessed to have shared ministry alongside extraordinarily gifted pastoral colleagues and church staff, both past and present.
Over the last few years we have contemplated the appropriate time to conclude our ministry and, with all things prayerfully considered, we believe that time has come. It is time for us to take another step toward a work/personal life balance. And the time is right for the congregation to experience fresh energy and ideas in music ministry to meet the challenges and opportunities for the church’s future.
The sense of clarity and resolve in this decision does not lessen the inevitable sadness with which we anticipate the separation to come. Over the years our relationship which began as minister to member, even employee to employer, has evolved into abiding friendship. You are our loved ones, a sentiment that neither time nor distance will diminish. Wherever we may go from here this will always be “home” to our family.
Our ministry will conclude on Sunday, February 12, 2023 although it is not retirement for us. We will continue our lifelong calling to music ministry, likely in a less demanding role. You must provide room for your future leaders and we will make space for a new chapter, but the holy memories of these years mixed with joys and sorrows along with the ordinary tasks of shared ministry will sustain us for the rest of our lives.
Alan often says “we have what we need,” which to us means “what we have and what we need are constantly changing, but God is faithful!” And on that promise we will all rely both now and forevermore.
With our love,
Terri and Doug Vancil
Dear Members and Friends of First Baptist,
To Doug and Terri’s loving letter, we add our deep love and gratitude for them, as well as our prayers for all as we approach this transition together.
In 2019, after a sabbatical and amidst the milestone of 20 years at First Baptist, Doug and Terri initiated conversations with us — Personnel Committee and Pastor — about how to most faithfully approach the last season of their ministry with First Baptist. This eventually led to a small reduction of responsibilities and the intention of greater flexibility and work/life balance. As Alan remarked at the time, we have all appreciated how thoughtful, prayerful, healthy and proactive Terri and Doug have been in their reflections and plans.
We feel that same appreciation in this moment. We respect their prayerful process. We admire their proactive consideration. We understand their decision. And yet, we still feel this deeply, just as you do. It was important to Terri and Doug that every member of our congregation find out at the same time, thus this is likely to be sudden news for plenty. Doug and Terri are beloved by our congregation. The excellence with which they lead us in worship and music ministry has been a hallmark of our church and a standard for how we approach our work and ministry. But they are also so much more than their gifts. They are our pastors. They are our friends. They are family to us.
We give thanks that like all good and holy gifts, there will be so much that endures as our relationship changes. And we also give thanks for the legacy they will leave, which will help our church to move forward in worship and music ministry with hope and anticipation. We will surely draw on all these things as we consider the opportunities of the future, and we will communicate with the congregation about processes and plans for the short- and long-term in coming days.
For now, however, we focus on the present and give thanks for the past. A vital part of healthy transition comes in marking the moment and celebrating well. We will be actively working on plans for celebration. We hope you will plan to join us on Sunday, February 12. Terri and Doug will lead us in worship, members of their family will be present, and we will also gather outside of the worship service to celebrate them. As part of this celebration, we invite church members to contribute to a Love Offering. Gifts may be made through our usual channels with “Love Offering” indicated in the memo.
Thank you for your support and prayers for Doug & Terri and all — prayers that include deep thanksgiving for all that has been in our life and ministry together.