This Sunday was my final day as the pastor of Heritage Bible Church. These past 5+ years in Panama City are ones that I would not trade for the world! I am grateful that the Lord brought me and my family here to serve as your Associate Pastor and then your Senior Pastor. I am grateful for the the multitude of ways in which the Lord has grown and developed me during this time. I am grateful for the relationships and friendships with you all, and the love many of you have shown me and my family. The lunch and kind, encouraging words you shared on Sunday were much more than we anticipated and deserve. Thank You. Please know that I have been praying and will will continue to pray for Heritage and your next pastor.

As I announced on Sunday, our plans for the future have changed dramatically. On Monday, May 17, the Lord closed the door for us in Connecticut, and we declined the invitation to be a pastor there. Additionally after much prayer, we discerned that the Lord wanted us to keep May 23 as our last day at Heritage Bible Church and to step out in faith, trusting the Lord, that He will provide for us and take us to the next church. “Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6). So now we prepare our home to sell, and our belongings to be moved to God’s next calling in our lives. We are waiting upon the Lord with joy-filled expectation that He is going to do exceedingly more than we can ask, think, or even imagine.

So it would seem that at the end of our time at Heritage Bible Church, the Rices and Heritage continue to have much in common: in this season of unknowns, we are going to trust and wait on the Lord for His perfect will to be executed in His perfect timing. So I counsel you, in this season, and for the rest of your life, abide fully in Christ! “I (Jesus) am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

I encourage you to listen to “Already There” by Casting Crowns. It has brought me great comfort when I face an unknown future. 

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

In Christ,

Pastor Brian Rice