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Farewell, Dear Friends

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 In my study, I ran across a publicity picture of me from the first year I was in Columbia.  It was taken in a tall building downtown with 1978 Columbia in the background.

The city has changed a lot and so have I.

The skyline has grown. The size of the city has grown. I’ve gotten gray hair. My chin isn’t as firm. But what a phenomenal joy it has been to be your pastor—to have raised my children in this city and in this church, to have known you the way I have, to have been blessed and helped by you—some of you in profound ways over long periods of time, some of you in occasional ways that were equally profound and affected me in more ways than you could know. 

There’s a song addressed to the Lord that says, “How can I say thanks for the things that You have done for me?”  I feel the same way toward you. 

I’ve been wrestling with this letter for the past week. My problem is not having too little to say; it’s having too much to say.  My family has loved being part of this church. My children have grown up in a church where they didn’t have to watch their dad get beat up in business meetings or argued with about silly things.  You’ve allowed us to be ourselves.  You’ve never required of my family more than we could give. You’ve been kind to me in every way, supportive, and helpful. When I needed to be told I should take another path, you were kind in how you told me, and I needed to hear it.  I baptized both Stephen and Elizabeth and now my grandchildren in this church—it can’t get better than that! 

I just wish I could go on and on for page after page.

I’ll especially remember the night we voted to relocate from Woodrow Street. The church was packed.  People were standing in the aisles, down the side walls, and along the back wall of the balcony. When it came time to vote, I said, “It appears to me that the vote is unanimous.”  You began to clap, then you began to cheer, then you got on your feet to clap and cheer. 

I stood at the front and wept.  I still weep.  I could not believe it.  I was so afraid that this would hurt some people who had been in the old location all their lives, and I didn’t want to do that.  It was such a joy to see this church be united in this great cause, even though I know there were differences of opinion.

I also remember when we all gathered out on the front lawn of our current location to outline the new worship center that would be built.  The builders had put chalk on the ground so we’d know where to stand.  Coates Crew took the picture from the roof of the old worship center.  To see all of you out there lined up as the church getting ready to build the building that would house the church was thrilling to me and a great moment in my life.  For the rest of my life when I return to Columbia, I will ride down Forest Drive and think about what God did through us together. 

 I will love you for the rest of my life.  You have no idea how much. (I’m choking up now as I write it. ) Thank you for being brothers and sisters to me.  Thank you for loving me in ways that I’m not sure any other church could have.  You accepted me as I was.  You helped me be better than I was. 

I know you will love George in the same way you loved me.  What a great find he was by the grace of God.  I look forward to seeing what the Lord is going to do through him in you for the years he has here.

 Thank you for being a great church.  Thank you for loving me and my family and loving one another.  God bless you all.


Your Eternally Grateful Pastor, 





  1. Join us for a reception.
    This Sunday, March 26
    3-6pm in the Gathering Place
  2. Write a note. Please use the  paper provided in Sunday School classes and the Gathering Place. Return your note to the designated spot in the Gathering Place by the end of Sunday's reception. The notes will be bound into a book for the Lincolns.
  3. Give to the love offering. We are taking up a love offering for the Lincolns. Bring your gift to the reception, give online, or bring your gift to the church office before April 30.  Checks can be made payable to "Shandon Baptist Church." Please designate Lincoln Love Offering in the memo or when you give online.


Posted by Dick Lincoln with

Why Easter Buckets?

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Starting this Sunday, you will notice blue Easter buckets in your Sunday School classes and in the Gathering Place.  

Why are we asking every church member to bless their neighbors with blue buckets? 


I’m a guy.  I get it.  But I did this last year, and it worked, so I’m glad to answer: 


Unified efforts like this make an impact.


  Last year, we gave out almost 1,000 buckets to area neighbors and businesses.  I personally took some Gatorade to a neighbor working in the yard.  I thought it might be  awkward, but it wasn't. In fact, it was easy!  I ended up having a great conversation and inviting my neighbor to church for Easter Sunday.  I have every intention of repeating and expanding the invites this year.  The blue bucket helped me break the ice and open a door!


Shandon member Hilary Dickerson made this "bubble bath" bucket last year to invite a friend to Easter services at Shandon.
(via Instagram)


I wasn’t the only one who had success last year, and I want you to know what others experienced.  Starting this Sunday, you will see various examples of how others used the Easter buckets to bless their neighbors.  Feel free to copy them  or use them as  inspiration to try something else.  



Step 1:  Pick up a Bucket and an Easter Invite card from the Gathering Place.

Step 2:  Choose someone to bless and fill your bucket with treats.

Step 3:  Give your bucket to your neighbor, and invite them to celebrate Easter at Shandon.


About a month ago, we finished Tell Someone, a 3-week series on how to love our neighbors. Let’s circle back to the 3-2-1 Challenge we issued to our church: In the weeks leading up to Easter, pray for three neighbors, invite two neighbors, and tell one person about Jesus. 

Those three challenges remain, and the Easter Bucket Outreach is a fun tool for accomplishing part two. 

We have an action-packed and exciting month ahead as we welcome George Wright on Palm Sunday and celebrate  Easter with a community Egg Hunt, The Eucharist, and 4 Easter weekend worship services! (Get the scoop here.)

Let's get the word out to those who need to hear about Jesus and be encouraged by the truth of the Gospel! 

Posted by David Taylor with

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