A friend's faith journey: Phillip Slaughter, Part 1
I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine briefly and then invite you into his faith journey. Phillip Slaughter is not only a friend, but he's a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. That's where I met him. He grew up at Lake Village Baptist Church, and I met him when I was serving on the UAM campus as the Baptist Collegiate Ministry director. His gentle spirit, fun-loving nature, and sports fanaticism quickly endeared him to me. He was also one of the chief architects behind many of the best pranks on me during his tenure there.
I had the great privilege of discipling him and then watching God use him to disciple other young men in our campus ministry. And then he just didn't stop discipling. He served with me on staff at Journey Church in Monticello for a while as well. It was with incredible joy that I learned in 2011 that Phillip would step into the role of campus minister at UAM.
For the next five years, he served faithfully, reaching and discipling a new generation of Boll Weevils (yes, that's our mascot!) for Jesus. I was surprised and yet not surprised to learn this past May that Phillip had announced his resignation, effective this August. When I read his Facebook post about the announcement, I began praying for him. You see, Phillip resigned without having a clear "next step."
I contacted him a few weeks ago and asked his permission to share a series of posts that he has written to update family and friends about his faith journey. He graciously agreed to allow me to share it here:
Rosie, Emma, Phillip and John Michael
After much prayer Rosie and I have decided for me to resign from ABSC/BCM (effective 8/31) in order to pursue being a pastor again. The last five years have been amazing! I cannot express our gratitude toward Arkansas Baptists and UAM BCM enough. These are relationships that will continue long into the future.
This decision ultimately stems from the following desires:
We want to follow God wherever he might lead, and we believe this is a step of obedience for us.
Preaching roughly 50 sermons in 25 different churches each of the past five years has been fun and incredible. I have loved helping so many churches and making so many friends, but I desire to be with my family at the same church each week.â€¨
I have loved convention work and campus ministry, but since the day I left Jennie Baptist Church five years ago, I have missed being a pastor. We are beyond excited to pursue a pastorate again. It thrills me every time I think about pouring my focus and energy into a local church.
We do not know where we will go yet. We are open to anywhere in the world, but we hope we get to stay in AR. We plan to continue praying and researching possibilities over the next few days (as we have been for a couple of weeks). Then, we will probably send my rÃ©sumÃ© to several churches and see what happens. If God calls us somewhere outside of SE Ark it will be difficult to leave behind so many great relationships, but we will do it with joy.
We wanted to give this much notice so ABSC could begin finding a replacement for me. I look forward to working hard this summer to prepare the BCM and its students for next year. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for all of us.
If you want to read more by Phillip, check out his guest post back in 2014, Colic and Humility.