2022 Annual Report
A Message from Pastor Tim
On July 22, 1985, this 29 year old wanna be pastor worked his first day at CAC as Senior Pastor. And on April 23, 2023, this 67 year old pastor will work his last day at CAC. A run of 37 years and 9 months. Thanks be to God.
No one is more amazed by this than me. I became a Christ-follower when I was a young adult. I came to Christ kicking and digging in my heels. The last thing I ever aspired to be was a pastor. But then God began to perform open heart surgery on me. And as they say, the rest is history. Somedays I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming this up.
God used CAC to sanctify me. To shape me to be more Christ-like even though I’ve still got a long way to go. To a large degree, God used CAC to make me who I am today. Thanks be to God.
CAC loved a pastor out of me. Loved a teacher/preacher out of me. Loved a leader out of me. And loved a madly-in-love with people out of me the introvert. Thanks be to God.
This church stood by me as I made my share of mistakes (like firing the first staff person I hired without consulting the leadership) or stepped outside of the box (like that time I shaved my head, got an earring, and smoked a cigarette during my sermon). This church corrected me in love. Gave me time to grow up and learn how to love and lead you. Thanks be to God.
CAC loved and accepted Heather as well as Hannah and Liz – what a special gift you gave them. Thanks be to God.
I’ve dedicated your children, later baptized them, later officiated at their weddings, then visited them in hospitals when they birthed children, and now have been around long enough to watch some of those children grow up. Thanks be to God.
I’ve seen people say Yes to Jesus, had a front row seat to changed lives (sometimes fast but usually slow), watched marriages reconcile, seen people healed and delivered, observed people forgive each other and learn a new way of loving, and watched with wonder and awe at the hardships some of you experienced while keeping alive your love for Jesus and hopeful outlook on life as you suffered with patience and joy. Thanks be to God.
Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work of for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished
(I Chronicles 28:20).
It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to lead our Susu Partnership for almost 23 years. Little did I know that this partnership would take me to Sierra Leone (7 times) and Guinea (4 times). I had the joy of taking a total of 26 people with me on those trips. I love the Sesays and the team they have built in Sierra Leone. The Sesays are family to Heather and I and will always live deep within our hearts. Thanks be to God.
For the past 28 years we have taken up a Miracle Sunday Thanksgiving Offering totaling $1,175,830 (a yearly average of $41,994). We distribute our MSO to kingdom causes locally, regionally, and globally. Each year we funnel some of these dollars to Alliance missions and our International Workers. We are blessed to be a blessing to others. The MSO extends this blessing around the world, is used by God to further his kingdom, and gives witness to Jesus. Thanks be to God.
Our Susu Partnership and Miracle Sunday Offering express the DNA of our CAC mission and generosity. Thanks be to God!
My time here as lead pastor has been a team effort from the start. It was never about me but about the people God called and gifted to serve him and CAC alongside me with their prayer, gifts, vision, service, skills, experience, passions, and abilities. I led them even as they led me in the dance we learned to do together. Thanks be to God for our elders (Marlin Myers, Jeff Reister, Jim Trigg, Mel Yamase), staff (Joshua Stager, Nick Charbonnier, Melinda Beck, Rachel Keen, John VanAcker, Josh Payne, Alan Rudy), and our Administrative Board (Brent Beck, Lynne Brown, Bill Crumley, Rick Ellis, Joe Minson, Ellen Ostbo, Jenny Schuening, Michael Vissers). This is one of the best leadership teams I’ve had the privilege to lead in all my years at CAC. Thanks be to God.
The end of my long run at CAC is the start of a new CAC chapter. Endings are beginnings. I’m excited for what God has planned for your future. I leave you with these last words:
First, pray. This includes everyone. Bathe this transition time in prayer. Pray by yourself and with others. Come together as the church to pray. May God’s kingdom come and will be done for CAC as in heaven. Trust in God from the bottom of your hearts.
Second, lean in. This is your church. Christ is its Head. None of us are indispensable including Pt. Don’t leave. Don’t run. Stay. Trust in what God is doing. The church is the Body of Christ and you are one of its important members. CAC needs you.
Third, be patient. This transition season is going to take longer than a minute. Hang in there. God does things in his time and we can’t predict how long or how short his timeline is. Better to give the needed time to walk this transition to a new pastor than to speed up the process just to get it done and get on with your future.
Fourth, hang together. What an amazing opportunity you have to build community and relationships with one another. We are stronger together than we are alone. Renew or restart old relationships and/or build new ones.
Fifth, be open to change. The future is going to be different than the past. New leadership means new vision for a new season. Our theological beliefs never change but the way we live them out in a rapidly changing culture does. If the church doesn’t change to meet these new realities, it will become less and less relevant and eventually die. Nobody wants that for CAC.
Sixth, love your new pastor. Love him like you loved, accepted, and supported me. He won’t be perfect. He’ll make mistakes. He’s not Jesus. He’s got a hard job. Let him know you’re on his team. You loved a pastor, teacher/preacher, and leader out of me. I hope and pray you do the same with your new pastor. He will bring gifting, passions, and vision different than mine but, trusting God, will be just what you need.
I could not have stayed on my feet for 37 years in this role without the love and support of Heather. She went through everything I did. She shared my joy and sorrows. She offered her input and perspectives. I only wish I had listened to her more than I did. Thanks be to God.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain
(I Corinthians 15:58).
Yours in Christ,
Pt (Pastor Tim Barton)