This is a message I received this week from our episcopal leader, Bishop Mike Lowry, addressed to our entire First Methodist Family.
Dear David and Members & Friends of First United Methodist Church,
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! For the past 20 years, Mike Ramsdell has served with notable distinction as the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church (and for the past year as a pastor). You have been blessed by one of the truly outstanding ministers of our generation. I celebrate his ministry with you and know that Rev. David Alexander will continue the excellence of ministry in its faithfulness and fruitfulness for our Lord Jesus Christ as you together move forward into the future that God is even now preparing for you. “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
It is now time for Rev. Ramsdell to employ his notable gifts and graces for the larger church. Even as he has offered you so much in leadership and faithfulness, he now has much to offer others. We need his leadership to impact the larger Central Texas Conference. After much prayer, it is with joy mixed with sadness that I am appointing him as the Superintendent of the West District of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church beginning July 1, 2016.
A superintendent operates in a significant leadership role with oversight of approximately 60 churches. I can think of few people as qualified or as able as Mike Ramsdell to provide this leadership. I ask that you send him off with your heartfelt prayers and deep gratitude for his service. This is a significant step in his life as well as yours.
I thank God for your faithfulness! May the Lord continue to bless you and hold you in His grace and love.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Mike Lowry