Dear treasured brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is with sadness that I tell you that my and Cindy’s season here with you in Washington is coming to an end. We all knew that our time here would be limited, and it’s become clear to both Cindy and me that God is calling us back to the Southwest. Since moving here in late 2016, another grandchild has arrived. In addition, both of our daughters and their families now live in the Dallas suburb of Plano. It’s time for us to move nearer to them and give them what support we can.
Julie and I and our church leaders have determined that I will remain your Executive Pastor until July 1, the end of our budget year. This will give time for church leadership to make decisions and arrangements about what will come next.
Please know that I continue to love the privilege of being one of your pastors. I love the work I do. I love those with whom I get to do it. I love living in this wonderful city. It has all been, and continues to be, a holy privilege and I will always consider my time here to be one of God’s most precious gifts. While I wish that our tenure here could be longer, the time has come for us to live nearer to our family. We hope you will understand and continue to love and support us as you always have. Know that we will do the same for you, you dear people who call yourselves The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C.
In love and gratitude,
Charlie Fuller, Executive Pastor
Dear FBC family:
I join you in feelings of sadness at Charlie and Cindy’s news. Charlie shared their discernment with me some weeks ago, so I’ve had longer to let the news fully arrive in my mind and heart. While I would have loved serving alongside Charlie for years to come, I recognize that he and Cindy are following God’s call in this season of their lives, and of course I fully support them in their desire to be closer to their family.
In the fall of 2016, God gave a significant gift to First Baptist Church when we invited Charlie to become FBC’s very first Executive Pastor. Given the complex nature of FBC’s operational systems and structures, the church determined that we needed a staff leader to guide these areas in order to allow more of our congregation and pastors to focus on our Christ-centered mission as a church.
During the past two-plus years, Charlie has exceeded every one of my highest hopes for this position. His wise, patient, keen leadership, coupled with his caring pastor’s heart, have helped First Baptist to turn a number of crucial corners operationally. Many of our systems are healthier today as a direct result of Charlie’s leadership, and more people feel connected to God and this church family because of his love and care. For all of this I say, thanks be to God.
Be assured that our gifted lay leaders in each of the operational areas for which Charlie is responsible—finance, personnel and facilities—are already discussing next steps. They and I will keep the congregation informed all along the way as we walk together into God’s good future.
In the meantime, please join me in blessing our dear brother and sister in Christ. Charlie and Cindy, we love and appreciate you!
Peace and Grace,
Dear brothers and sisters,
It has been said one characteristic of a true leader is to prepare the organization for their departure. On that basis alone, Pastor Charlie will be reckoned among the great leaders of the First Baptist of the City of Washington D.C. for he has surely prepared us well for the coming days when we must move forward without him. At this point I want to assure the congregation about several things:
The leadership of First Baptist Church is committed to following through on the upgrades and improvements Pastor Charlie has been supporting since he joined us.
The leadership is assembling a search committee to call a new Executive Pastor; we will soon ask the congregation to affirm and bless the committee.
We will hire an interim Executive Pastor/Chief of Staff to carry on with the work Pastor Charlie has been doing for us until the search committee completes its work.
Pastor Charlie will be with us through the end of June to help facilitate a smooth transition.
I encourage everyone in the congregation to pray for Charlie and Cindy as they respond to this new call for their lives. We praise God for their time with us and the gifts they have shared.