by Abraham Cremeens
It’s funny what you remember as you close a chapter of life. My mind often goes back to where my Kossuth journey began. I had been working with a campus ministry at Purdue but had sensed the Lord shifting my heart toward pastoral ministry inside the local church. My wife and I started a conversation with the lead elder of Kossuth at the time, Don Whipple, and within a few short months I was invited to begin an internship at Kossuth. We were in the membership process, but it hadn’t been completed yet. The plan was to bring us into membership in April and then announce my internship in May (which would then start in July).
At that time, new members were brought into the church at Family Gathering. It was Easter Sunday, which impacted attendance, and there was no quorum for a vote that evening. We had to delay our membership vote until the following month. That meant I was introduced as a new member and the new intern all in the same church vote. I look back and laugh a bit at that now. I was the pastor who couldn’t even become a church member.
Now, it’s nearly 13 years later, and I’m so grateful for my time at Kossuth. I’m the intern, become staff, become elder, become lead elder, and with each transition you, my church family, took a risk on me. I thank you for that. I know Jesus better because of you, and the Lord has used you to grow me as a disciple-maker and pastor.
I’m also deeply grateful to my fellow leaders. The elder room has had different men in it through the years and I have the deepest respect for them. We have been in the trenches together through a lot. I look back at several of those crucial and difficult moments and thank God for how he brought us through it together. We certainly had our differing perspectives (and rightly so), but we always sought to unify in whatever situation we found ourselves. As I leave, I really do love those men and respect them greatly.
There is a sadness to leaving my church family as well. While I invested considerable time in preaching, leadership, and equipping ministries, the greatest privilege of pastoring has been participating in each of your journeys. Thank you for trusting me with your heart and allowing me to come alongside you. I have countless stories too sacred and confidential to share but that nonetheless inspire me. You are my heroes. You walk through the impossible. It’s God’s grace that sustains you, for sure. But by his grace, you model a long obedience in the same direction.
I’ll be cleaning out my office these next several days. We plan to be fully moved by June 14. It is bittersweet. God has clearly led in this decision. We couldn’t be more excited for this new chapter. But saying goodbye is never easy. Thirteen years of investment in relationships with great people like you makes it even harder. I love you. I’m grateful for you. I’m excited to see what God continues to do in you and through you.
God bless you, Kossuth.