What a joy it has been to serve as your pastor! I have invested nearly 17 years of ministry at Oakland Baptist Church. You will always hold a special place in my heart. The following letter is the resignation letter I read at church on August 23. Through my tears (and snot!) you may not have heard every word. Oakland, you are loved. Thank you so much for loving and supporting my family for so many years. May God richly bless each of you. I challenge everyone to get more engaged in the ministry at Oakland and begin praying now for the next Pastor. He will hit the jackpot in coming to Oakland!
Pastor Tim Colovos
OBC has blessed my life more than probably anyone will ever know. My relationship with Oakland began more than 26 years ago. When I was still a teenager I was the Warren Association of Baptists Youth leader. Oakland’s Pastor at the time, Greg Wallace, asked me at an associational meeting to come speak at a youth hayride for the church. One night in October of 1989, I had directions to go to a residence located at 611 Otter Gap Road. I think it was the first time that a Bowling Green High School alumni had ever traveled on that road. The Lord did something supernatural for me on that night. I instantly fell in love with each of those kids. We bonded immediately. I remember riding on that wagon with kids that were only 4 or 5 years younger than me but laughing and connecting like we had known each other for years. I can still see the millions of stars that were in the sky that night. I went home that evening and told my parents that God had really given me a special night. The excitement that I had when Pastor Greg called me back after the Holidays, asking me if I would be interested in coming to be the part-time youth minister at Oakland Baptist Church. In March of 1990 I began my ministry relationship with Oakland as youth minister. I have often said that there has never been nor will their ever be a better group of young people that the Lord assembled together during those precious 5 years in my life. It was in those 5 years that I developed a deep love for this body of believers. Jared Madison may not recall this but he was the first person I told that I was leaving the church. We were on an overnight youth trip somewhere and everyone else was asleep. I remember in that conversation that I shared of my confidence and desire for the Lord to allow me to come back one day and serve as Pastor. In 1995 I leave Oakland and in 1996 I meet Ginger. God has always been so good to me. Although I was still in ministry and seeing the Lord do great things, God always kept a burning desire in my heart for Oakland. I know that flame will never be put out. Ginger can tell you that every time we would pass on I 65 she would see me staring at the top of the steeple that you can see from the interstate. Within months of our marriage she also knew that God would call us back to Oakland.
Fast-forward a few years and in 2004 Ginger and I arrived for my trial sermon to serve as Pastor of Oakland Baptist Church. It was the Sunday after Rachel Blevins was killed in an automobile accident. I loved that little girl. God had proved Himself faithful again. How could God be so good to me? What did I do to deserve to be connected to each of you? My prayer since leaving the church in 1995 was about to be answered in 2004. The past 11 and a half years has been such a sweet moment in my family’s life. Rather than me trying to recall how the Lord has blessed our church, I choose to selfishly mention how the Lord has blessed me. You have loved me since day 1. You have blessed my family with so many words of encouragement, gifts, vacations, prayers & hugs. Once again Oakland, you have done more for me than I have for you. I will forever be indebted to each of you.
If any of you know me, you know my love for this body of believers and my love for Bowling Green, KY. Being born and raised in this city and being able to serve the Lord for the past 27 in Warren County has been nothing less than phenomenal for me. A few of you know that for about a year now the Lord has given me something that I didn’t want and was surprised to receive. A Spirit of Release. For more than two decades I always felt in my heart that Oakland Baptist could be a career church for me to serve. In the past 11 years I can recall turning down at least 6 offers from other churches, some smaller and some bigger. Turning down offers has been easy for me to do. What has not been easy is turning down Gods desire for me on this upcoming journey. I know that each of you want me to do what I believe is Gods leading and desire for my life.
With that said, it is with a grateful heart, filled with love for the Lord and for each of you that I submit my resignation as Pastor of Oakland Baptist Church. I pray that as you always have, that you will support this new journey that the Lord has called my family to travel. I have been called to serve as Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Portland, TN. With your permission, I am requesting to stay on board at Oakland with my last Sunday being September 20. It will be my intention to do everything I can to finish strong in this life changing church that Christ has allowed me to be a part of. I will soon tell each of you how the Lord has been at work and the story of how He has connected me to this body of believers in Portland. I know that Oakland is not about Tim Colovos. It never has been nor will it ever be. Oakland is about a collection of people that love the Lord that happens to truly love one another. It would be my ultimate desire to be able to speak to the next Pastor that the Lord has assigned to this ministry bragging about each of you and warning him about Walt Harrell and begging him to take care of Jerene Alexander. Oakland, if you are half as good to the next pastor as you have been to my family you will bless him in ways that he could have never imagined. I am more than confident that God has continued greatness in store for this ministry. I challenge each of you to get more involved in the life of the church, more than you ever have been before. I pray that you get the next Billy Graham; you deserve it Oakland. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude for each of you. I plan on working with every committee in the church that has a desire to create a strategic exit plan so that Oakland will continue being the church that the Lord desires it to be. Please know that it is only the Lord that has called me to this church. God is a God of order. If He has called me to Portland, I can assure you that He already has the next man lined up to serve at Oakland. You will never know how I love each household in this room. May God bless each of you.