As I look back over the years that I have ministered at this church there is one dominating theme that comes to my mind: God’s faithfulness. Throughout all the difficulties and trials, triumphs and blessings, times of need and times of abundance, God has been faithful. He has been faithful to his people, faithful to His Word, and faithful to his promise to build his church and bless those who are part of it.
There has been much good that has happened. A lot of ground has been taken for the Kingdom of God. People have been equipped, souls have been saved, new ministries have developed, pastors have been trained, and more recently – a missionary has been sent. There is no room for boasting here – from me or anyone else. One plants and another waters but it is God who causes the growth (1 Cor 3:7). Not one ounce of growth, not one inch of advancement for the Kingdom of God happens unless the Lord initiates it. I’ve seen hard work done for the Kingdom with practically no results and I’ve seen hard word done with wonderful results. The difference lies not with the labourer(s) but with the Spirit of the Lord who empowers and prospers His work.
People of HBC: thank you for your support over all these years. Thank you for your faithful service week in and week out. Thank you for your love for the truth and your eagerness to have it faithfully proclaimed and taught. Thank you worship leaders, for enriching our church with Christ-exalting, soul enriching, Gospel-centered songs week in and week out. Thank you Sunday School teachers, for putting effort into your preparation each week so that our children may grasp the greatness of God, the depth of their sin and their need for a Saviour. There are many more who should be acknowledged and one day will be acknowledged by our Lord and Saviour before the eyes of all.
Elders of HBC: thank you for your faithful service. It’s been a privilege to serve alongside of you these years. Thank you for your tireless service (and the many late nights), your love and commitment to God’s church and your deep care for his people. Thank you for your patience with me and the gentle and caring way you addressed my blind spots and weaknesses (particularly my impulsiveness). Under God, you have helped me to grow. HBC Staff – Ray and Geoffrey: thank you for sacrificing personal time and energy – going beyond the call of duty time and time again, so that the people and work of HBC may prosper. Yours is a labour of love. Your servant hearts shine you through for all to see. You are both a great example to us all.
I will miss you all dear friends. Please pray for me, that I may stay faithful to the preaching of God’s Word and that I would remain humble and teachable so that God can grow me into the pastor He wants me to be. I have such a long way to go and there are many things I still need to learn. I know that the Lord will take care of you. He will supply you with the right Senior Pastor, who will continue to feed and nourish and build you, and even take you where I could not lead you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Peter Somervell, Senior Pastor (2006-2014)