Dear Midtown Family & Friends, It is with a heavy but peaceful heart that I announce to you that I will be transitioning out of my current ministry role in Columbia and moving this March with my family to Atlanta, GA where I will begin serving as a National Church Planting Strategist with the North American Mission Board.
This was by far the hardest decision that Renie and I have ever faced. We did not take this decision lightly as we prayed, fasted, read the Scriptures, and sought wise counsel throughout the process. As I have even taught, we want Columbia to be the default home for people in our church family unless God calls us elsewhere. There have been many tears shed and I am sure there will be more to come, but it seems as though this is the new mission field that God is sending us to. It has been extremely encouraging to have the affirmation of the leaders and pastors of Midtown as Renie and I truly feel that we are being sent into this gospel-centered mission to help plant more churches.
Moving with Renie and a small group of friends to Columbia six and half years ago to start Midtown began an extraordinary journey that has continually been marked by the grace of God. Seeing hundreds of people baptized, homeless people moved off the streets, Homes of Hope started in India, addictions broken, the gospel understood, and overall life transformation take place has been nothing short of amazing. Serving as a Lead Pastor at Midtown over the years has been a blessing from God, as I have personally grown deeper in my understanding of the gospel through my relationships with you, my church family. To see a group of people who center their lives on the work of Jesus, love one another deeply as family, and join God in his mission to the world has been incredible. The great blessing of my new role in Atlanta is that I am essentially being sent out to take the DNA and vision of Midtown and help infuse that into new churches all across North America.
The plan moving forward is that we will be in Columbia into the month of March and then will begin our transition towards Atlanta. In the interim I will teach at the gatherings as well as work closely with staff and volunteers on the upfit and transition to the new Midtown Devine Campus.
This next season for Midtown is going to be incredible as Sunday morning gatherings are added, as well as the move to Midtown’s first permanent facility (Devine St.). I look forward to watching some of the godliest men I know, my best friends, lead Midtown forward as a Jesus-centered family on mission. With some of the facility changes on the horizon along with the great vision to focus more on being missionaries in neighborhoods, I have no doubt that Midtown is getting ready to go through a period of healthy growth. Prepare yourself for the continuation of the incredible mission God has given us in this city. I look forward to visiting soon and seeing the amazing work that God is going to do through you, His church. I will potentially have the privilege of coming back from time to time to help train some of the future church planters that will be sent out in the years to come as we all seek to live out the mission of the gospel.
Thanks to each of you who are a part of this incredible mission in Columbia. Continue pressing forward with the gospel, as there are 100,000 who do not have Christ in our city. Thank you for all of the love, grace, and encouragement that you have given to Renie, Jack, Piper, and me over the years. We love you guys more than you know and we look forward to spending time with you during this season of transition.
By His Grace, Dustin