Moving Forward, Together, in Transition

God’s people have navigated periods of transition going back many centuries. Transitions can be a time of uncertainty where anxious feelings can be real. Moses’ words to Joshua remind us that God goes before us and that He will never leave us, even during changing times:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

In May, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee met with Rev. David Walters, our next senior minister. This meeting was both exciting and a confirmation that God is going before us through this time of transition. At this meeting, David suggested some reading for our committee that he found helpful in the senior pastor transition at his current church. In this reading, pastoral leadership is described as a relay race where the success of relay racers depends on a smooth, seamless hand off which takes careful preparation. The writers go on to say “belief that ministry is a journey into God’s future compels us to pass the baton in a way that makes possible even more success under the leadership of the successor.”

We thank God for Dr. Don Martin’s visionary leadership at Alpharetta Methodist, and we want to build upon that success so that even more people can come to know the life-changing love of God.

The SPR Committee and Rev. Walters believe it is best for Rev. Walters to first immerse himself in our church life during July, without also having the responsibility of preaching multiple times.  Therefore, Rev. Walters’ first Sunday preaching will be August 4. You can expect our outstanding associate pastors to preach during July, with a biblical focus on transition.

It’s an amazing responsibility to be appointed as the senior pastor of a church like Alpharetta Methodist. Part of its uniqueness is its ability to offer multiple worship opportunities each Sunday. Rev. Walters is really excited about the opportunity to lead us in worship.

On July 14, 21 and 28, David and his family will experience Alpharetta Methodist’s church life in a variety of ways, and you’ll have opportunities to meet him and his family. He’ll be visiting Sunday School classes, and he will be taking in the experiences of our various worship services. The UMW will host a welcome reception after the 11:00 worship services on July 14. Additionally, on July 17, you can further engage him in conversation over a Wednesday Night Supper meal. (Make reservations here.)

  • July 1-7: Due to prior commitments, Rev. Walters will be on a family vacation.
  • July 8: Rev. Walters 1st day on our campus
  • July 14: Rev. Walters 1st  Sunday with us
  • July 21: Rev. Walters 2nd  Sunday with us
  • July 28: Rev. Walters 3rd Sunday with us
  • August 4: Rev. Walters 1st Sunday preaching in all worship services. At 11:00, he’ll be preaching in the traditional service, which will also be broadcast to the Vinebranch worship service.

Successfully moving through this transition takes preparation for all involved, but is all for naught unless it’s fully supported in prayer. Our Prayer Committee has already prepared Breath Prayers to guide us all in a spirit of unity and love. Please look for these prayers in mid-June as we say so long to Dr. Don and Lisa and welcome David and Liz. But please don’t wait until then to pray! Please continue praying now, asking for God’s Holy Spirit to guide us and for us to be sensitive to His leading during this pivotal time.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Together, with God going before us, the future is bright!

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to SPR Committee Chair Beth Simpson at