North Carolina State Overseer for the Church of God of Prophecy, Bishop Steve Gilmer, has announced that he will return to pastoral ministry. Bishop Gilmer is the son-in-law of former General Overseer Fred Fisher. The following email was released today by Bishop Gilmer:
"I gave the North American Presbyter and General Overseer the following information on Friday, July 23, 2010. They both received it with regret, yet understanding and respect. I received permission to give you: fellow Pastors, State Staff, friends and family this information."
Rockingham (NC local church) Deacons gave scripture, admonition and announced that after two weeks of prayer, fasting and meetings, the Rockingham Committee unanimously agreed that they felt it to be the will of the Lord for Steven Gilmer to become the pastor of Rockingham. "Vonnie and I were installed at Rockingham by the Church Committee and accepted by the church. We are excited about the future."
[July 22, 2010 Letter]
Fellow North Carolina Pastors:
May 17, 2010, the North American Presbyter, Bishop Sam Clements informed me by phone that there would be a leadership change in North Carolina. That was confirmed by letter on June, 2010 and again by email on July 16, 2010. Since the phone call in May, my wife and I have been in constant prayer, fasting and consultation with spiritual mentors and prayer partners. Our time spent in prayer and consultation have been honest before the Lord concerning where the Lord would have us to continue ministering for Him.
On May 17, 2010, Bishop Clements stated that he wanted me to remain with his team of North American Overseers and stated that he wanted to appoint me as State Overseer of Virginia. While we would be honored to serve the beautiful state of Virginia and her wonderful people, we feel it is the Lord's will to decline the appointment as State Overseer of Virginia. We will fulfill our current responsibilities in North Carolina until August 31, 2010.
I was appointed as your State Bishop by Bishop Billy Murray at the International Assembly in 2000. The past ten years as your State Bishop has been fruitful and rewarding. I have given all of myself to this administrative work. Vonnie and I have given you our hearts as we tried to shepherd pastors. We feel that our state is more united than any of the 20 years we have served in North Carolina. We have successfully developed lay leadership and ministerial leadership. Many of the young leaders we have invested in are serving in the local churches and in the pulpits across our state. We have tried to model relational leadership instead of positional leadership. But most of all we have simply loved you with all of our hearts and you have loved us in return.
We regret that major projects, potential leadership development and independent churches desiring to unite with our organization are unfinished. However, our prayer is that our successor will be able to complete the work that has been started and soar to even greater successes. I pray that you receive our new State Bishop and his family with open arms and open hearts. They deserve the best efforts that North Carolina has to offer.
Since May 17, 2010, my wife and I have been earnestly and open heartily seeking God's will for our continued ministries. July 6, 2010 God opened a door to fulfill our heart's desire. After several meetings with the local church committee and suggesting other individuals, the church committee unanimously asked us to accept the pastorate at our Rockingham church. Vonnie and I are honored to return to the Pastoral ministry.
We look forward to challenges that are ahead, as we fulfill a new vision and mission at the local church level. We have the peace of the Lord and desire to continue to work for Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Serving God - Reaching People,
Bishop Steven L. Gilmer