It is with much sadness and regret that we announce the retirement of our beloved Pastor Adrian Atkins.
His last sermon with us will be preached on May 27th.
We would love to have you join us in wishing him
and his lovely wife Linda a long and joyous retirement.
When I was 21 God called me out of darkness into His marvelous light and i became a Christian. Seven years
later He placed on me the call to enter professional Ministry. I responded and went to Union College at Lincoln, NE, and studied and got my B.A. in Religion, and then went on to Andrews University Seminary in Berrien Springs Mi and completed my Masters of Theology.
Upon completion of my Seminary training I accepted a call to Pastor the Neligh, Lynch, Albion, and Norfolk Seventh-day Adventist Churches. I pastored there for three years. At the end of that period of time there was a crisis in our family, my Dad was terminal, and I took a leave of absence from the professional ministry and went home to help my mother tend to Dad. I took a true Sabbatical and did not come back into professional ministry for seven years.
At the end of my Sabbatical I reentered professional ministry by accepting a call to Pastor the Crawford, Chadron, Hay Springs, and Gordon, NE Churches. I pastored there for 3 years and then accepted a call to Pastor the Columbus, Fremont, and Tekamah Churches. Later Norfolk and Neligh were added to the District. I have been Pastoring these Churches for the past 24 years. During those years I received a good number of calls to change my
location of ministry but never felt that is was God's leading to do so. I do not regret that and have been blessed to
see many come to the Lord and grow up in the Lord.
Now at age 73, God in His soverignity, has seen fit to call me out of the professional ministry and at the end of May, 2017, I will be retiring from professional ministry.
God has been very good to me, I have told my people a thousand times: "I may have failed Him down through the years but He has never failed me once." And I expect that He will continue to be faithful and keep me and mine as we return back to being faithful laypersons again.
I will miss the many, many, wonderful people that I have had the opportunity to minister too but they will never be
out of my prayers. My wife has put up with my many absences and now she says she is looking forward to spending some quality time with me and i with her.
My prayer is that God will keep all those that I have had the privilege to minister to in His safe keeping. That He will bless and prosper them, keep them in health, even as their soul prospers.
I look forward to being reunited with each of them when Jesus comes to take us all home. May they and all their loved ones, along with me and all my loved ones, on that day when Jesus comes back, be able to look up and say, "Lo this is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us." I challenge any and every one I have ministered to, to remain faithful, as I know His coming will be soon. Even so come Lord Jesus.
In Christian love,
REFLECTIONS FROM THE CONGREGATION:
Pastor Atkins used the same style of leadership that Jesus used. Jesus was a servant leader. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Yet His leadership was strong. Strong because He cared for His people and they knew it. It was strong because He depended upon God. It was strong because He was able to train by example, and He was willing to identify with His people. This is exactly the type of leadership style that Pastor Atkins emulated.
Pastor Atkins has seen it as essential that the local Church set its’ own goals and long range priorities. He saw himself simply as a facilitator to help motivate and train every member to reach his or her full potential to meet those goals and priorities. He endeavored to make every church self-sufficient to the point where one day they will ask themselves, “Why do we need a Pastor? Oh, it is because he is one of us and we love Him.” He succeeded in doing this.
Pastor strived to develop a climate of love and trust in his churches that has made us the talk of our community, in a good way. He taught us that Gospel centered preaching, coupled with programs, that promotes sharing and interaction among our members make a strong foundation of leadership that can easily handle the souls that the Holy Spirit brings into the fold. This could have never worked if Pastor kept moving on to “greener pastures” every three or four years. He vowed not to move unless God clearly and definitely was calling him somewhere else. He showed that moves should not be made “for advancement” but only in following the direct call of God.
Pastor Atkins never trusted the wisdom of men over God’s clear design of leadership. He has put God’s design of leadership before all else and has shown a deep and intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you Pastor Atkins for leading us to the leader and showing us the way to do it for others! Enjoy your newest direction!
We will miss you!