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  • Writer's pictureBarry Peters

Holy Cow

Okay, I know there's no such thing as a "holy cow" however, Chick-fil-A may be the closest thing to those two words. :-) But when we are caught off guard or totally surprised by something, we will use words to describe how we feel at that moment. You may have chosen "wow", "oh my goodness", or just plain ole' "holy cow."

We've had an interesting twelve months around the Peters home to say the least. Let me explain...

As we launched into 2018 at Sycamore Creek Church, we were gearing up for a fall launch of a capital campaign (spiritual journey and building expansion). The staff began making preparations even all the way down to what we should name the campaign. Well, after a few meetings, a lot of conversations, and an office vote, we decided to call it "Greater." It just made sense as we were praying for God to do something greater as we continued on our mission of changing the world by changing lives. We began by praying for God to lead us not just as a church but on a personal level as well. I continued to pray for God to show me how that would play out at Sycamore Creek. Little did I know, He had "greater" plans for us.

While in the midst of a prayer season, I was contacted out-of-the-blue in March 2018 by a church about 60 miles away who wanted to know if I'd consider being their lead pastor. Needless to say, I was so surprised; matter of fact, I thought it was a spam email at first. However, after praying about it for 10 days, I decided to reach out to this church. Within a few short days, there I was sitting in a room with their leadership team talking through this possibility. After weeks of prayer, I knew that was not where God wanted me. I was honored at the opportunity, but knew it wasn't there.

Over the next six months, Laura and I just continued to pray and the more we prayed, the more God confirmed in my heart that He did have something "greater" for us, but not at Sycamore Creek. God began to open a few doors and phone calls, emails and interviews continued. However, I realized God had me in a season of waiting patiently. His timing was perfect. I was elbow deep into launching the capital campaign so I was able to focus on that.

On Sunday, August 26, we launched GREATER. Wow, what a day! Our church was so excited to see our vision and plans for the future. However, in my heart, I was asking myself if I'd see it come to a reality in the years to come. He had other plans.

On August 29, I was contacted by a church asking me if I'd consider being their senior pastor. A process began, and to fast-forward, on Sunday, January 13, Main Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Kentucky (a Cincinnati suburb) called me to be their pastor. HOLY COW! I am now going to be a senior pastor! We are so excited about the opportunity that lies ahead. I'd be lying though if I said there hasn't been mixed emotions. I love Sycamore Creek (the job and the church), our incredible friends and living in Ohio; but we know He has called us to do something "greater" so we are ready. I've been privileged to be a second man for 19 years and He has prepared me to enter this new role. I can't wait!

Here's another "Holy Cow" along the way - our current home and our future home. Main Street extended the call on Sunday evening, January 13 and we listed our home for sale within 18 hours. We were very nervous about it - what if it doesn't sell, etc. Well, He had greater plans. We listed our home under a broker to save us some cash and sell it on our own (nervous about that too). Here's the "Holy Cow" moment(s). We had 11 showing within the first 36 hours and 7 of those showing made an offer. The phones and emails were going crazy. People were walking swiftly up the sidewalk when they saw someone else walking out of the house. It became a bidding war. In the end, we settled on an offer that was far above our asking price. It was wild! But it gets better!

Over the past few months, we had been in Alexandria a few times to house shop. The market is kind of quiet there right now as winter always plays into it (as it does in most places but not Pataskala:-). We had our eye on a beautiful home but we weren't sure if it was possible for various reasons.

Here's how it has all played out - you ready for this? A young couple landed the highest bid on our current home who was relocating back to Pataskala as they pray about being part of a church plant launch team. Yep, God's perfect timing for them as well as us!

It only gets better (or maybe "greater"). We decided to make an offer on that beautiful home in Alexandria. An hour after beginning that process, we are told they are in ministry and are looking to relocate. That was ironic because while touring their home we remembered seeing a prayer request pinned on their wall where they were asking for pray to move to Ohio. I then find out that they have been commuting about an hour for months to their new ministry position in Ohio. I would imagine they are now thrilled to be able to relocate!

Did you put all those pieces of the puzzle together? Here it is in a nutshell - a pastor and his family sell their home in Ohio to a family who looks to be on a church plant team. The Ohio pastor buys a home in Kentucky from another pastor and his family who are relocating to Ohio for a ministry job as well. Holy Cow! God's timing in all this has been overwhelming!

I'm sure there will be many more "Holy Cow" moments in the near future. I'll be sure to keep you informed along the way.

God is so good!

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