This is our 4th year in Wilmington and we’ve been so humbled to see RUF at UNCW thrive here. Our students are doing the work of ministry - this RUF has been established and the Lord is at work. The Lord will continue to build on the foundation he so graciously let us be a part of building. So…Starting June 1, I will be the new campus minister at Boise State University and be partnering with a new church plant in Downtown Boise, ID - Boise Presbyterian (PCA). Our family plans to move this summer and we will still have much work to do here at UNCW! This wasn’t something we were looking for - but the Lord knew our plans. I’m looking forward to connecting with you all in the coming months as we visit Charlotte and the Triangle to talk more about this frontier work in a place that desperately needs more churches and more of the gospel being taught. Here are a few of my thoughts about this announcement.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
For so many years my goal was to be a pastor that was seen as being “for the city” - a pastor who would be in a place for a long time loving the people, culture and life in whatever city God would call us to be in.
When Bet and I moved to Charlotte, it was at perhaps the height of the “back to the city” church planting movement. I remember going to a conference in NYC with Tim Keller as the main speaker. I was filled with a desire to make Charlotte “my” city. We made deep friendships, we bought a home, we began planning the rest of our life there. After 4 years in seminary, deep friendships and some heartache we left Charlotte to help continue planting Midtown Community Church in Raleigh. We did this because of the financial support and prayers of our friends in Charlotte.
What a wonderful place of healing and ministry Raleigh was for us! We had our first two kiddos there (Laine and Remy). We bought a home there. We settled in between North Hills and Crabtree and I was excited to see that Raleigh was becoming “my” city. I was excited about an amazing job and partner in ministry at Midtown, Lindsey Williams. After 5 years in Raleigh, and because of God’s call, again it was clear that this wasn’t the city we would stay in - so we left to start the RUF at UNCW with hopeful hearts. While we were sad to leave a community we loved, we were sent out by Midtown and our friends in Raleigh and Charlotte as supporters and encouragers!
Hopeful as ever, we settled here in Wilmington - I mean you can’t go any further East! What a wonderful place to live. Deep friendships have been built here, God blessed the starting of RUF at UNCW, students are being saved by God’s grace and equipped to serve the church for the rest of their lives. I dreamed of Wilmington being “my” city. Maybe I would plant a church one day or start a counseling center. Anything to be present in a city and do gospel ministry for the long haul in one place. As I settled more and more, I was hopeful that this was where I could be that pastor “for the city.”
In God’s calling and providence, it seems that Wilmington is not “my” city either. Jesus is showing me that his main goal is not that I would find “my city,” but that my life and calling is to advance “HIS KINGDOM” - that my calling is to be a city on a hill wherever he takes us, that his gift to us is to go where he calls and join in with the kingdom that cannot be shaken. The Lord is calling us away again. This time to the Pacific Northwest.
We have been called to take over the RUF ministry at Boise State and join in with my close friend, Brian Frey, as he plants an RUF University Church Initiative (RUF UCI) church plant in downtown Boise, Id. RUF UCI plants PCA churches in college towns there there isn’t a PCA church close to campus - this video explains what we will be doing really well - https://vimeo.com/231907060
. This has been a 7 month process for Bet and I and while we can’t explain it all here, we want you to know a few things:
- Boise is an incredible city in the PNW. Its one of the fastest growing cities in America and there is an influx of people from California, Washington, and Oregon.
- The same thing is happening at Boise State. Due to tuition agreements between BSU and a number of states, students are flocking to BSU. The church plant will be within walking distance to the university - we are so excited to see students connect to the local church!
- Boise and BSU are considered “pre-christian.” These are places that have never been Christian or had christian influence. The Mormon church is everywhere in Boise and Idaho is the largest Mormon state after Utah. We believe that our calling and gifts are to enter into this beautiful place and continue to be a gospel light.
- Because of my church planting and RUF planting experience, its been really fun to see how God has orchestrated this. While the RUF is already existing, we are excited to bring our gifts to serve both the RUF and the church plant!
- We will be inviting you in the coming months to learn more about this calling and help us to continue the work of building God’s kingdom. Right now we are so grateful for your current support as we minister at UNCW.
There is so much more to tell and so many questions I’m sure you have! RUF is already in the works to finding our replacement here AND WE WILL BE HERE UNTIL THE END OF MAY as the campus minister at UNCW - So I am not done here yet! I am so encouraged by our presbytery who is already interviewing candidates and will have a FANTASTIC new campus minister that will take over this Summer!
Would you pray for us, for the details of this transition? I’ll be making plans soon to come to Raleigh and Charlotte and would love to meet for coffee or have you host a dessert night as we update everyone about what’s happening and how the Lord is working.
We couldn’t do this without you - in fact we don’t want to do this without you. We are less without you.
Thanks so much for your partnership in the gospel from the beginning until now…
Jay, Bet, Laine, Remy and Breck