April 1st. I began a half-time "Temporary Supply Pastor" arrangement at Old First Presbyterian Church for 6 months, while they seek a permanent pastor. This arrangement may be extended, depending on how long their search takes. See a fascinating history of this church at: http://www.njchurchscape.com/index-Apr05.html.
It has been my privilege to be pastor at Second Presbyterian for 30 months, beginning in 1989. And then in 1994 I founded The Red Ribbon Fellowship ("for those infected, affected, or concerned about HIV/AIDS") at Old First Presbyterian and served as the pastor for the first three years.
Although The Red Ribbon Fellowship is non-denominational, in fact the members have gradually joined First Presbyterian Church. More recently the church has become the beneficiary of a major grant from the Snyder Foundation which is providing much needed funding for a complete restoration of all the church buildings, including the cemetery, and the addition of a steeple, absent since the church burned over 60 years ago. Though given for historical preservation, the grant was also contingent upon the mission programs in place and continuing at Old First.
I will add some pictures of the church as the year progresses. This week they will have a reception as I begin my ministry, and Tom will leave his Springfield congregation to be with me for that.