Thanks for the memories!

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Yesterday was my last day as senior pastor at Providence! Now I am just a member, but I want to be a good one!

When Cathy and I found ourselves with eleven other couples on the threshold of starting a new church in 1978, we could never have predicted what the next 37 years had in store for us!  After preaching thousands of sermons, writing several books and articles, traveling hundreds of thousands of miles to speak at conferences here and abroad, baptizing hundreds, marrying hundreds more, counseling those in trouble or in need, comforting those who were bereaved or hurting in some way, sharing the gospel with individuals, small groups or entire congregations, my calling to preach the gospel and to equip the saints for the work of ministry has never left me in search of something to do!

For all the mistakes I made, and the failures I endured, there was never a moment in all those years when I felt any lack of support from you. Don’t get me wrong! There were plenty of antagonists to be found along the way and the sailing was not always smooth. But I always knew that Providence consisted primarily of men and women who loved Christ, loved His Word, loved His church, and yes, loved me as their pastor. How can I thank you properly for all of that?  What words of praise can adequately be expressed to a great and glorious Savior, Jesus Christ?  Praise and thanksgiving will always be in my heart and on my lips for you and to Him who alone is worthy to be exalted!

Version 2
David and Cathy; Jeff, Elizabeth, Michael and Brian; Scott, Meredith, Tom and Cate; Jon, Meghan and Graham.

Through all of those years, you the people of Providence have extended much grace to me and my family! Thanks for loving my family and for loving me well!

Looking back, some of you I baptized, then officiated at your weddings, dedicated your babies…only to get to do the same thing for your children!  Scores of you we ordained to the ministry, hundreds we commissioned to be missionaries, and thousands of others we affirmed to be salt and light in whatever circumstances God has placed you.  In this day of short pastoral tenures, who gets to stay in one place long enough to do all of that? Your gracious love and prayers and faithfulness provided a place for us to call home and raise our own family right here.

From a purely practical standpoint, you have also been a generous people. Through four relocations, you stood by the ministry and gave freely so that we have never had debt for more than a few years at any given time. We have met our budget all but a handful of those 37 years. And even then, we managed our spending well and ended the year in the black! That was done without ever compromising our commitment to give sacrificially and gladly to support various missions endeavors around the globe as a gospel centered church should. You have joined me to treasure Christ and make His glory known in your hearts and in all the earth! Thank you for that!!

May the riches of His grace flow freely as Brian Frost excels in his new role.  I now get to join you as a member of Providence, loving, supporting and praying for my new pastor.  So as I step aside and Brian becomes your Senior Pastor today, my heart is filled with joy and gratitude that I have been your pastor and friend all these years. “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4).

As I begin a new phase of ministry as Executive Director of Equipped for Life ministries, continuing to equip the saints for the work of ministry, especially ministry leaders, please pray for me as I will for you! May the grace of Jesus Christ be yours completely!

13 thoughts on “Thanks for the memories!

    susanscoggins said:
    January 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    David. It makes me tear up to think of your impact on our family. You married our girls, dedicated our grand babies, and buried our dear Jerry. You have always been there…your true authentic self. Such a sincere pastor…not arrogant or pretentious….and completely non judgmental. Thank you for all the years.
    We love you….the entire Scoggins family.

    Charlotte Rorech said:
    January 5, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Your letter brought tears to my eyes. We too have been so blessed by the ministry that you and Cathy had at Providence. We were with you for 19 years, thanks to the Mehaffie’s when we first moved to Raleigh. We love and miss you all. I know God has great things in store for your future ministry as well. You and your family have been so faithful to the Lord all of these years. Thank you. Love, Charlotte (and Paul)

    Sam Chontos said:
    January 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm


    You were a great pastor, and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to grow through the church and youth group with you and your family.


    Shay Reyner said:
    January 4, 2016 at 10:46 am

    David, thanks for investing in my life many years ago and giving me the opportunity to be a part of your staff and to be a part of a great church. You set the pace 37 years ago for preaching the Word at a time when there were few if any other churches committed to preaching the Bible. Because of your influence in the city Raleigh is now a hub for gospel preaching and evangelical ministry. I know that PBC will continue to be a lighthouse in the community because you have prepared the church for this transition. Much grace and peace to you and Cathy as you begin this new adventure. You have been and always will be one of my heroes of the faith.

    Christine Brant said:
    January 4, 2016 at 9:07 am

    After moving to Raleigh from Toronto Canada 30 years ago, you have been our Pastor all that time. You married our kids, and now our grandkids are here too. I’m glad that we’re not losing you but that you will be worshiping right alongside with us.
    May God continue to bless you in your new ventures as you move forward.

    sandymun said:
    January 2, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Great family picture of a great family! We are excited for you & Cathy in this next season of life & all that God has planned for you both. We love you!

    Nancy Olson Miller said:
    January 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    New to Raleigh back in 1984, I was exceedingly blessed to be led to Providence and to be led in worship and sit under your teaching. I took pages of notes as I drank in Truth. Thank you for faithfully serving all these years. God has, and I am certain will continue to use you and Cathy mightily.

    Andy Beal said:
    January 2, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Hearing you for the first time in 1998 saved my life. For that, I get to be eternally grateful. Having you as the senior pastor and friend is icing on top of the cake! I pray that God blesses the next chapter for you and Cathy!

    Gayle king said:
    January 2, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Steve and I have always enjoyed hearing your teaching God’s Word when we traveled to Raleigh. Darla Liesegang, my sister, would send us a copies of your messages. I first met you and Cathy when you were meeting in the school cafeteria. May God bless! (Gayle and Steve King, Missionaires in côte d’Ivoire, West Africa)

    Selma Smith said:
    January 2, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Thank you David for years of gospel teaching, love, and friendship. I look forward to more years as we walk together as faithful members. Selma

    Vanessa Robertson said:
    January 1, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    What a kind and loving letter to your congregational family. I’m sure it will be hard for them to adjust after so many years, but I pray it will be a smooth transition for them and you.
    I’m so sorry I never had the opportunity to worship there while you were pastor. I did find out our daughter ( Doug’s, but I claim her too) and her husband were worshiping there when they lived in Raleigh, and would talk about how much they loved the church and people. Lo and behold after I saw you on facebook, I recommended checking out your church, and come to find out that was the one they had been telling us about. So funny.
    Enjoy your new role.
    Continued blessings for a Happy New Year!

      davidhhorner responded:
      January 1, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      That is amazing! So grateful that even without trying we Graham folks find each other! Thank you for your encouragement. We look forward to seeing what all comes next. Hope to see you guys sometime!

    Burt said:
    January 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Brother D – I am so thankful for your faithfulness. I can’t imagine anyone staying the course so faithfully on this side of glory. Your friendship and leadership is a treasure. Can’t wait to see how the king progresses your path.

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