Four months ago, Senior Pastor Fred Herron left Kansas City to undergo treatment and counseling for dependency and substance abuse issues. As requested, and at times as required, we’ve had little contact with Fred during this period. However, as Fred nears the end of his counseling, representatives from the Board of Directors and Pastor Serve met with Fred to discuss, among other things, his health and his plans. We would like to share a recap of that discussion with you.
Fred reports he is healthy and sober. That said, Fred would like to continue his counseling when he returns to Kansas City. Further, Fred has chosen not to return to being the senior pastor at Vineyard Church or being a pastor anywhere else. He believes his focus should remain on healing, restoration and recovery. While the specifics of those activities have yet to be defined, Fred will be making those decisions with input from his family and friends. Vineyard Church will support Fred and Janet as they heal and look for God’s direction in their lives.
The following is from the letter that Fred has submitted to the Board of Directors:
“It is with great sorrow that I resign as Senior Pastor and President of the Board of Directors of Vineyard Church, Kansas City, Missouri. I deeply regret that I have failed to live up to the leadership standards of a pastor. I know I can no longer serve as your pastor. My prayer is that God will have the right person who is called and ready to lead this great church. It has been an honor to serve as your pastor and I will always be grateful for God’s work of grace through you. I will be praying for you as you continue to follow Jesus in all you do.”
Later in the year, we as a Board will begin a search for a new senior leader. We’ll continue to be led by the excellent and capable staff, under the direction of the Lead Pastor Team and the Board of Directors. Teaching will be done by both our teaching team and by additional outside guests.
Our church has always been about grace, about bringing the words and transforming power of Jesus to sinners like we all are. While we’ll no longer have Fred’s inspiration, personality, and spirit in the pulpit, we will continue to make Vineyard Church a place where all are welcome, where children and youth meet a loving Jesus and where all can share in God’s grace in community with each other. This is God’s church and we re-dedicate it to Him as He leads us in this time.
Lets close with this prayer from Paul, an early church starter, teacher, and missionary.
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a]15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b] 16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower [us] with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in [our] hearts as [we] trust in Him. [May our] roots . . . grow down into God’s love and keep [us] strong. 18 And may [we] have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May [we] experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then [we] will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.