“Nothing about this move makes any sense,” said Pastor David Whitten to the FishHawk Fellowship Church (FFC) congregation during the Sunday worship services on May 5.
Pastor Whitten was referring to a potential move to Hattiesburg, MS, where he would serve as senior pastor at Temple Baptist Church, a well-known but plateaued church near the University of Southern Mississippi.
According to Pastor Whitten, “It all started with a phone call back in November 2018. We weren’t looking to leave nor seeking out other opportunities,” explained Pastor Whitten. “After all, FishHawk Fellowship Church is an amazing place where we’ve been honored to serve at for the last 15 years. We just wanted to be open to what God might have in store for us because every time we’ve taken a huge step of faith for Jesus, God has blessed.”
According to Pastor Whitten’s May 5 sermon, those steps of faith included, among others things, moving from Alabama to Florida in 2001 to serve at Bell Shoals Baptist Church; transitioning to lead FFC in 2004; adopting their youngest daughter, Madison, from China in 2012; as well as, giving about six months of living expenses to the church’s building campaign in February 2016.
“Every time and with every big step, God just seems to bless, and so in light of all that Jesus has done for my family, how could we not say ‘YES’?” he said.
On May 12, Pastor Whitten preached at Temple Baptist Church. At the end of the service, a congregational vote was taken and voted Pastor Whitten to serve as its next senior pastor with an approval rate of 99.4 percent (1287-7).
Pastor Whitten concluded his ministry at FFC on May 31. He and his family will take a few weeks to rest and say goodbye and then move mid-summer to Mississippi.
As far as the future of FFC, he remarked that the church’s future is exceptionally bright as it is debt-free and has a new facility to offer many exciting ministry opportunities.
“Leaving is bittersweet for sure, but even though it doesn’t make sense, we leave here with life-long friends, peace and with much appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of the story of FishHawk Fellowship Church…a story that is far from complete,” said Pastor Whitten.
Regular weekday and weekend ministries will continue as planned with the other pastors and staff leading the way. For more information, visit www.fishhawkfc.org or contact 655-7431.