Dr. Bill Owens, pastor of Ridgedale Baptist Church for over 25 years, has told his congregation he will retire at the end of December to spend more time with his wife.
"Darlene and I have been married 40 years and I have been a pastor 41 years. The time has now come for me to reverse the focus of my ministry and give my wife the attention, love, and time that she deserves and to be with her during her good days and bad days. With that being the only factor involved, I submit my resignation as your senior pastor."
During the final two months, Dr. Owens said, he would be in the office on Mondays and spend the remainder of the time visiting all the homebound members and bring closure to relationships that span the past almost three decades.
"I know that the future holds many changes for our church and all of these can be good. These changes will come only with God's permission and what He ordains. He will bless. I encourage you to be open, receptive, supportive, and prayerful for the various team members and ministers who will be involved in working through the details of these changes."
One of the changes he mentioned will be meeting times. Recently the congregation voted to return to one Sunday morning worship service in the Sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. with the ENCOUNTER worship service in the Christian Life Center at the same time. All Sunday School/Bible study groups will meet at 9 a.m.