Henderson—The Green Valley Baptist Association recently commended the work of Director of Missions Bill Patterson by providing him with a three-month sabbatical beginning in March.
Patterson, having completed five years of service to Green Valley Baptists, received a unanimous vote to begin his sabbatical at last October’s Executive Board meeting.
“When the door opened and we felt the call to be their DOM, we were delighted about it,” Patterson said. The first church he pastored in the 1970s was in the association. He was also the pastor at First Baptist Church of Henderson in the association before accepting the call.
“I’m at the age now (63) that I am thinking about not just doing things myself, but passing the baton to others who are going to be doing for years to come,” Patterson commented.
He continued, “It’s been a good opportunity to connect pastors and ministerial students with churches and help them and help pass the baton so we can do church in a better way.”
Patterson’s main goal for his sabbatical is to spend time writing. “I’ve just had on my heart for a long time to do a series of Bible studies for Sunday School classes or small groups on the life of Christ,” he said.
“I had in mind several things that I wanted to do with that Bible study to stir small groups on the One who’s more important than anyone else, the Lord Jesus,” he continued.
He is the author of “Big Bottom Church,” a humorous fiction about life in a Baptist church. Additionally, Patterson has published a devotional calendar, “Building a House of Prayer,” with Broadman & Holman and has written over 150 articles for such publications as Biblical Illustrator, Deacon, Homelife and Mature Living.
The association wanted “to recognize the outstanding leadership that Dr. Patterson brings to his service with us each and every day, to be a model for churches to consider being creative in crafting appropriate appreciation measures” and “to function both as a mark of retention and as a means to assist future growth,” said Steve Custer, GVBA advisory (personnel) team coordinator.
“This sabbatical shows our tremendous love and level of support for his ministry with us. Saying thank you need not be reserved for the time at which an incumbent exits the field. It needs to be communicated at regular intervals all along the way,” Custer said. (WR)