Wednesday, October 13, 2010
June 8 is a good bit in the past now, but still remembered. On that day I did something folks only do once in a lifetime. I gave a retirement speech to the Annual Conference.
"Bishop King, members of the Annual Conference, I stand before you today with a grateful heart. I am grateful for my wife Lynn who has been my spiritual partner for over 40 years. I am grateful for two adult daughters, Jennifer and Leslie, who grew up in parsonages and are both young women of deep faith. I am grateful for my grandsons, Will and Josh, and Fletcher who will be born in about a month. I am grateful for my Mother, a strong woman of faith, whose marriage to Ray Wilder, Jr. when I was twelve, enabled me to become a third generation clergy member of this Annual Conference. And, I am grateful for the good people of the churches I have served during these 39 years: the people of Stapleton, Bethel, and Zoar, churches on the Stapleton Charge, the people of the Tennille Church, the Talbotton Church, the St. John Church in Columbus, the people of First Church, Vidalia, the Perry Church, and the Richmond Hill Church. I am grateful for the set apart members of this community who have provided me a spiritual home, a place where I have always sensed belonging. Most of all I am grateful to God for calling me, a young boy not yet 18 years old, to preach the gospel and for giving me a place to preach for what has been a lifetime of Sundays. He surely must have been scrapping the bottom of the barrel on the day He called me to preach His Word. Father God, thank You. Father God, thank You.