As he prepares for the move to the Kentucky/Red Bird Conferences, newly-elected bishop, Leonard Fairley offers these words of thanks to the people of the North Carolina Conference.
I write these words with a full and grateful heart as I await the movers coming at 8:30 am to pack. I am Kentucky-bound with the love of an awesome family, both clergy and laity. I have experienced the amazing generosity of God that lives in the hearts of brothers and sisters who have and continue to keep me in prayer as I begin this new journey in ministry.
Surprisingly I am not anxious because, in my spirit, I know God is able to keep me. However, I am not so naive to think that there will not be challenges ahead, but again I know God is able. God’s grace in Jesus Christ has been, is, and will always be sufficient.
My real purpose in writing this is to attempt to say thank you for the many ways each of have nurtured me in my spiritual life. I will forever remember the beautiful send-offs from BMCR at Beauty Spot UMC in Rowland, and the wonderful send-off at Saint Francis in Cary. I give thanks to pastor Donna [Banks] and pastor Cameron [Merrill] for the gift Saint Francis offered in allowing me to not only baptize my granddaughter, Ava Priscilla, but also the opportunity to preach.
I give thanks to the North Carolina Conference delegation for their deep prayers, not only for me during the entire process, but for the whole church. North Carolina Conference, you are simply the best! I will surely miss walking through the Methodist Building, speaking to all the staff who always found a way to make even me look good. They were always able to answer any questions I had or guide me to the right place. While I am excited about working with the great people of Kentucky, I promise you – my heart will always be in North Carolina, and “that’s all I got to say about that.”
Blessings and peace to each of you, my beloved brothers and sisters. You pray for me and I’ll pray for you.