I fondly recall the week I visited Vermont in July 1993. I spoke at a youth rally in Woodstock, led some training for Sunday School teachers, and taught at a Kid’s Bible Club in a mobile home park. It was a great week.
During that week I also visited the Washington Baptist Church, which, at the time, was down to a handful of people and was considering closing their doors. After much prayer, Kay and I felt a call from God to leave the large established churches of the Bible Belt in the South and move to New England to be missionaries. On the first Sunday of November, 1993, I became the pastor of the Washington Baptist Church. They were so small they could only pay us $60 a week. But we felt the call of God and we accepted their offer and served nearly 8 years as their pastor.
The Lord blessed that effort and we saw many people in the village of Washington come to Christ. Fifty four teens and adults were baptized during our time in Washington and the church grew to 90 in worship. The church is still doing well, for which we give God the praise.
In 2001, the Lord made it clear to me that I was to leave the Washington Church to become the Director of the Green Mountain Baptist Association. That organization serves the needs of both existing Baptist churches and helps start new Baptist churches across Vermont. Though it was hard to leave the little church in the village because Kay and I had invested so much of our lives in that little band of believers, the call was so strong; we had no choice but to obey.
In 2004, God expanded our calling and led us to start Faith Community Church in Barre with three other families at our kitchen table. Though it has been challenging to hold two different ministry roles, God has always helped us multiply our time and ministry effectiveness so that both the Green Mountain Baptist Association and Faith Community Church have grown and matured.
In late 2011, I began to feel the stirrings in my Spirit that God may want Kay and I to serve Him in some other way. At first, I pushed the calling away, after all, I love what I do, so why even consider anything else. But when God has a plan for our lives, He keeps calling us until we listen.
Through a unique combination of events, God has revealed to us that it is time for us to answer His calling to step outside our comfort zone and engage in a different kind of ministry. After 19 years of following God’s call to share the Gospel in Vermont, on November 1, 2012, I have agreed to answer the call of God to become the church planting strategist for Baptist work in the state of Connecticut. This will require us to relocate to Connecticut so that we can be closer to the villages, towns and cities where we will help start multiple churches each year.
I shared this with the Faith Community Church elders several weeks ago and with the board of the Green Mountain Baptist Association last week. I have informed them that on October 31, 2012, I will be resigning as pastor of Faith Community Church and as Director for the Green Mountain Baptist Association.
Please know that Kay and I love Faith Community Church and the Green Mountain Baptist Association very much. If God had not made it very clear to us that we were to move to Connecticut, we would remain in Vermont. But we have learned in our lives that once God calls, we have no choice but to respond in obedience. We ask for your prayers for our family as we embark on this new phase of our ministry. We ask that our friends in Vermont remain faithful to their church and association, as it is about far more than just the pastor or director. It is about each person serving the Lord together as a team. If everyone remains faithful in that, the church and association will continue to be a strong voice for the Lord in across Vermont.
Dr. and Mrs. Terry W. Dorsett