I have some news that is both exciting and sad at the same time.
A few weeks ago now, our dear brother and ruling elder, Mr. Brian Phillips, accepted a call to be the next Assistant Pastor at our mother church, Parish Presbyterian Church (PCA). On the one hand, this is great news for the Kingdom of God and the witness of the gospel in Franklin. On the other hand, it’s really sad news for us. For in the few short years that Brian has been with us, we have all grown to deeply love and respect him.
What you might not know is that Brian has long wrestled with whether God has called him to be a pastor. Brian completed a Master of Divinity degree at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, in 2012. Soon thereafter, he moved to New Hampshire and served as an intern and was licensed to preach by the New England Presbytery serving a variety of churches as stated supply.
Through a series of providential indicators, Brian was led to return home to Nashville in 2014 and began attending Cornerstone almost immediately. Brian has served our congregation faithfully first as a member and then for the last two years as a ruling elder. His teaching, praying, and shepherding of the congregation has made a significant spiritual impact on the life and health of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church.
Pretty much anyone who knows Brian knows that the Lord has gifted and called him to be a pastor. The elders all suspected that some church would one day call Brian to be their pastor and snatch him away from us! What we didn’t expect was that church would be our mother church, Parish Pres., just down the road! But, that just makes this story all the sweeter, doesn’t it? For who better to be blessed by Brian’s ministry than the precious saints of Parish Pres. who we love so much already. God is so good. Though we’re saying goodbye to Brian in a formal sense, we’re still going to see him quite often, enjoy fellowship with him, and no doubt partner in ministry with him in a variety of ways. For that, we’re grateful.
In his resignation letter to the elders, Brian wrote, “I am eternally grateful for the time the Lord has given me to walk alongside each of you. Thank you for the way that you spur me on to pursue God’s calling with a desire to bring Him glory and edify His church… It has been an honor and privilege to serve with you in this congregation. And my hope and prayer is that God will grant more grace to this church, in order to glorify the name of Jesus Christ and see His kingdom advance throughout the whole earth.”
Brian will begin official duties at Parish Pres. on Monday, September 3rd. That’s just around the corner! Between now and next Sunday, please take a moment to reach out to our brother and let him know what he’s meant to you and to Cornerstone.
As a fitting close to his ministry among us, Brian will share a personal word of testimony as a part of our worship service next Sunday, September 2nd. It will be a sad and joyous week as we say goodbye and simultaneously commission Brian to the new call God has extended to him. We love you, Brian, and we can’t wait to see what God does in you and through you in the days to come.