18 Apr

Important Announcement from Pastor Hannah Coe


April 18, 2021

Dear First Baptist Family,

I write today, with equal parts sadness and joy, to share the news that I have been called to serve as Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas and will be resigning from my role as Pastor of Families and Faith Formation at First Baptist Jefferson City. My last Sunday of preaching will be Sunday, May 16. My final day in the FBC office will be May 17, 2021.

Several years ago, God called me into a distinct period of discernment. During that season of discovery, wrestling, and growing in faith I came to trust God with my future in a new way. I fully and completely accepted God’s call to serve as a senior pastor. After several months of discerning conversation and prayer, I have total peace and know that I am undeniably called to serve as Calvary’s next pastor.

I have been aware of God’s call to serve in ministry since I was a child, probably about eight or nine years old. As a child, teenager, and young adult, I envisioned serving as a medical missionary because it was the way I saw other women lead in ministry. I had never seen a woman lead from the pulpit or in full time ministry and, therefore, never imagined such a future for myself.

God often works through the people in our lives, and my life is no exception. I experienced God’s love for me and a desire to make Christ the Lord of my life because people taught me about God and what it means to follow Christ. I discovered a call to ministry because people invited me to use my gifts to serve from a young age. The church is my forever vocational home because people in my life continue to equip and encourage me with their words, prayers, and gestures of love. I am who I am because of the people in my life, including you.

Today, I am able to stand with confidence and joy because I stand on the shoulders of the women and men who loved me and nurtured me in Christ. From my cloud of witnesses, I learned that women have a place in congregational leadership, in pastoral leadership, and in the pulpit. Among those on whose shoulders I stand are the people of First Baptist Church, Jefferson City.

The idea of leaving my First Baptist family brings me sadness. I have come to love you deeply and have struggled mightily with the idea of departing at this time in FBC’s life. I will truly miss being in this place with each of you. It is difficult for our family to imagine the future outside of Jefferson City because you are our surrogate family. Thank you for that. The last six years hold rich memories. Babies born, worship services, camps, laughter, study, discussion, hugs, dreams, prayer, tears, and really, really good food. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for so generously sharing your lives with us. Thank you especially for loving Katherine, Annalina, and Ella well. Your positive impact will be felt in their lives forever. I have personally seen what love can do through you.

I want you to know that Doyle Sager was for me a companion on my call journey, as he was a companion for so many of you. Doyle believed in me and encouraged me, as he did so many of you. He provided me opportunities to learn more about preaching, pastoral care, and leadership. I deeply grieve Doyle’s absence in this phase of my journey. I did not imagine walking this leg without him; I know you did not envision walking this leg without him either. I want you to know how deeply caring and empowering Doyle was in all the spaces you did not get to see, and how much he loved you and spent his life’s energy trying to pastor in a way that would connect you with Christ.

I also want you to hear directly from me that my decision to transition at this time comes from a sense of call and nothing else. I am not leaving because of Doyle’s death or anything else going on at First Baptist. I am leaving for no other reason than God’s undeniable call to serve in the role of senior pastor at Calvary.

While leaving First Baptist Jefferson City brings me sadness, I also feel joy. I am joyously surprised by God’s timing, faithfulness, and power in connecting me with Calvary in this moment, a rare and beautiful gift. I know many of you, while this news brings you sadness, will also feel joy about this opportunity for me.

I have the same joy and hope for the congregation of First Baptist Jefferson City. As I have prayed for you and about this transition, I have felt an overwhelming peace. I trust God for your hopeful and abundant future. You will continue to be who you are and will flourish in the work of connecting your community with Christ.

These last six years, I have walked daily by the “cornerstone” at our church’s front doors. I am always reminded that Christ is the cornerstone of this faith community, a reality I have experienced with you in powerful ways. In these days of seismic shift at First Baptist, I am reminded that not even the gates of hell can prevail against Christ’s church. I have in my soul no worries or ad or the flow of God’s love through you. My prayer for you everyday is that you can allow yourselves to dream big and that Christ will continue to be your source of energy and love. May you move into the future together with soaring hope and deep trust.

In the months and years ahead, may we each continue to see what love can do, even across the miles. I am forever in your corner.

With love and gratitude,


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