Saturday, January 24, 2009

An Open Letter to CVCC

To the Church gathered at Central Valley Community Church, Hartford, South Dakota,

First, I deeply regret not being able to come to the ordination service of my long time and good friend Cory Kitch. Although lions and tigers and grizzly bears could not keep me away from being able to worship with you, the threat of snow has.

I pray for God's continued grace that is at work in your lives. Over the years, your Pastor, Chris Gorman, has been a blessing and encouragement to me. I have heard of the many trials and difficulties your church has had to endure to reach this point. Again, I pray for your continued growth and maturity in Christ.

This Sunday morning your church will be practicing a command given to the elders of the church nearly two thousand years ago. According to Titus 1:5, the Apostle Paul commanded Timothy to appoint elders to oversee the church. This duty of appointing elders is no small thing. For elders have a burden that no man endures in our secular vocations. He is to oversee the church of God. He is to be of sound doctrine. He is to be a man above reproach and of conduct that men may imitate. The men that your church are ordaining, in my opinion, more than qualify.

We live in a day when sound doctrine has given way to pragmatic teaching. Doctrines that were taken for granted only a generation ago, are now unknown in many churches. My friends, sound doctrine is a blessing to the church. For godliness is the fruit of it. After this Sunday, these pastors will have been solemnly charged before God and His people to be faithful in preaching and teaching as Paul solemnly charged Timothy to the same.

Please allow me to offer my own testimony to the life of Cory Kitch. When I first moved to Scott City First Baptist Church, I became the Jr. High School Sunday school teacher. On occasion I would also assist the Youth Pastor in teaching the Youth Group on Sunday afternoons. It was there that I met Cory. Cory was part of an exceptional group. It was very clear to me that Cory was a man with great ability. His level of understanding and willingness to learn was unparalleled in my experience as a Christian and remains the case to this day.

Over the years, I have watched Cory grow in the faith. I have watched him grow in his ability to teach and preach. I have had the pleasure of having theological conversations going into the late hours of the night. I watched him struggle at times after college as he waited upon the Lord for direction. It was at this point of his life I knew the Lord would use him greatly. For only through patience and endurance would a mature man in the faith be produced. This you now possess.

Cory Kitch has become a man who loves Christ, and therefore loves Christ's church. The Apostle Paul tells us,
"if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do."
Over the years I have seen young men use the text of 1 Timothy 4:12 to defend themselves from any criticism of their appointment as elders. Often this text is abused. For those of you that might think Cory is too young, please consider all of Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus.
1Ti 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
Pastor Gorman will be presenting to you a man worthy to be called an Elder. I pray that the congregation will recognize this calling. For the years to come, you will be working with your Elders to further the Gospel proclamation to all the world. I also pray that you would allow them to fulfill their calling with joy that they may present you before our Lord when He appears on the Last and Great Day with grateful hearts.

May God Bless your congregation for years to come.


Howard Fisher
Member of FBC
St. Francis, KS

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