Archive for May, 2021

Next Tuesday, June 1, I will officially complete my brief, 2-year stint as a science teacher at Fontainebleau Junior High School. My original goal when I enrolled at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, was to become a high school speech or civics teacher. However, the Lord took me on a path that did eventually land me in a classroom. I never expected to teach so far away from my hometown, nor did I anticipate that my first teaching position would come 37 years after I had graduated from college! In the meantime, I have served as the pastor of four churches, including more than 23 years at my last pastorate.

My science classroom at Fontainebleau Junior High

I began substitute teaching at eight different schools not long after I left Mandeville’s First Baptist. It made sense, having a teaching degree and having been associated with one of the high schools in town as the sports announcer. In addition, I had formed good relationships with each of the high school principals in town.

Before long, I found myself getting calls to substitute regularly. I accepted a long-term sub position in the final quarter of the 2018-2019 school year, filling in for a junior high teacher who had taken an early retirement. This assignment included teaching seventh and eighth grade science (hardly my preference). By this time, I had begun taking steps to prepare for a teaching position at a junior high or high school, hoping to land a job in either my first or second teaching fields.

However after the job fair interviews, the only offer I received came from the principal at the junior high where I had taken the long-term sub position. Although I had not realized it, the Lord had already placed me where He wanted me to be. So I accepted the position to continue teaching junior high science. At least I knew what to expect the next fall!

I have enjoyed the challenge of teaching junior high students. It’s an interesting time of life. I’ve also enjoyed teaching science, and I hope that my students have increased their understanding and appreciation for science. I know that I have! And I’m going to miss being with them and having the opportunity to influence them.

The transition from teaching junior high science comes at a time when God has made it clear that Gayla and I should plant a new congregation in Abita Springs called SweetWater Church. This became clearer to us as we served at Ebenezer Baptist Church of Hammond for about 2 1/2 years. We learned additional lessons that have shaped us for this ministry.

We began meeting with a core group in our home in January and sensed that the timing for starting this new church was nearing. Grand Opening for the new church has been set for September 12, 2021. This would mean that I would step away from teaching at Fontainebleau Junior High so that I could dedicate more time to the new church.

I’m grateful to the Lord for the time I have had with the administration, faculty, and students at the junior high, because I know that this was all a part of the journey God planned for me. Hopefully, the interactions we have had the past couple of years will pay dividends and result in a harvest for the Kingdom.