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The Transfer of a Treasure

Practical advice for transitioning a beloved congregation.

Orval Butcher founded and pastored Skyline Wesleyan Church in Lemon Grove, California, for twenty-seven years before retiring last year. He had previously served small churches in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

At Lemon Grove he struggled through lean years, building programs, and tests of faith as God established his ministry there. Eventually the church ministered to 2,300 people annually.

In the following paragraphs Orval tells of his retirement and preparation for a new minister.

It was a hilarious evening. My associate pastor of thirteen years was on the platform with me. We were surrounded with charter members who had shared in the beginning of the church twenty-seven years ago. The 1,000-seat sanctuary overflowed with people who had been promised a happy celebration rather than a tearful farewell ceremony. They weren't disappointed.

The emcee probed for stories from the past, and one set the tone of hilarity. At the beginning of the church, when the luxury of a custodian was beyond our financial ...

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