Thabiti Anyabwile begins:
Yesterday my family and I announced the most difficult and emotional decision we’ve ever made in Christian ministry. We shared with the spiritual family and congregation we love our plans to transition from FBC Grand Cayman to return stateside to plant a church East of the River in Washington, D.C.
He then shared his comments to his congregation:
…The apostle Paul once wondered about what would happen to his fellow Jewish community which did not yet believe the gospel. He writes: “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel.” He says: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (Rom. 9:2-3; 10:1).
Over the last two years, something like that has become an increasing burden for me. Great sorrow. Unceasing anguish. A heart’s desire to see my “kinsmen according to the flesh”—the greater African-American community—come into the glory of God’s salvation—especially those in the forgotten and forsaken cities of the country.
About ten months ago, I began to talk with the elders about what was then a feeling…
I have decided to transition from FBC to pursue this exciting and difficult ministry for the glory of Jesus Christ and the salvation of many in African-American communities. Effective June 30th I will transition from my role here as senior pastor. In early July, we hope to move back to Washington, D.C. where we will, Lord willing and pending an official call, land at Capitol Hill Baptist Church as members and as church planters. From there we hope to launch a new church in a part of the city commonly called “East of the River.”