25 Oct

Rod Maples Announces Retirement

October 22, 2021

Dear Friends:

In 1975, during my freshman year of college, it seemed to me that God had plans for my life and the direction it should take. The only thing I knew to do was to make a commitment to serve Him. As a young Christian with very little church experience, I had absolutely no idea what that would look like. I had never heard the terms Minister of Music or Pastor of Worship. A couple of years later, it seemed that God was leading me to go to seminary. So, in February of 1979, off I went to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

During seminary I heard this job description: “Love God. Love people. Serve accordingly.” Many of you have a life verse. Mine is Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life”. Those two things have been my heart’s desire for all these years. For all the times I have fallen short, I am so very thankful for God’s wonderful mercy and the grace shown to me by Him and so many folks in the churches where I’ve been blessed to serve — including this one.

But now the time seems right for me to begin a new phase of life – retirement. I will remain as your Pastor of Worship through December 31, 2021. My last worship service will be our Christmas Eve service.

There have been many worship services and precious moments for me. A few months after arriving at seminary, I accepted a part-time position as Minister of Music & Youth at Calvary Baptist Church in Silver Creek, Mississippi. After seminary graduation, in April of 1981, I accepted a call to be the Minister of Music & Youth at First Baptist Church, Joplin, Missouri. It was there that God brought Sherry, the love of my life, into my world, and a few years later, along came our wonderful son, Blake! After ten years in Joplin, God opened the door for us to move to First Baptist Church, Sedalia, as the Minister of Music. The rest of this story most of you know. In January of 1998, we began our journey as your Minister of Music or as we refer to it now, Pastor of Worship. For the last forty-two years I have poured my heart into sharing life and ministry into the lives of the folks in these churches. Lou Gehrig was wrong. He wasn’t the “luckiest man on the face of the earth”. That would be me.

Because of the love I have for all of you, there would never be an easy time to make this decision. I count it an honor to have served alongside each of you for the last twenty-four years. Thank you for loving me and my family.

Rod Maples
Pastor of Worship

(This letter was mailed to our church membership on Wednesday, October 20. Plans to celebrate Rod’s wonderful ministry at FBC JC will be announced soon.)

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