The Rev. Bruce Poss describes his departure from Marshall Baptist Church after more than two decades as merely following God's plan.
This past Sunday marked the last day at the church for the 46-year-old Rev. Poss, who has gone on to assume a new position with the Georgia Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Team near Atlanta. His new role, which officially began Monday, will have him leading a large team of Christian volunteers in their efforts to help thousands of people at any given time from natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados, etc.
The Rev. Poss is now serving as disaster relief coordinator of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in Alpharetta, Ga.
"This is a new position and I'm looking forward to the challenges that this new job will bring me," said Rev. Poss, who has worked such disasters as Katrina and others since 1994.
He had served as minister of music and youth at Marshall Baptist Church for the past 22 years. The Rev. Poss, a 1980 graduate of Thomson High School, said his goodbyes to longtime friends during a special reception held in his honor at the church last Sunday afternoon.
The Rev. Poss' family won't be joining him until the summer. His wife, Sandra, is a ninth grade biology teacher at the new Thomson McDuffie Junior High School. The couple's oldest child, Carol, 18, is a senior at Thomson High, while their son, Cameron, 14, is a freshman.
During morning worship services, the Rev. John Prater extended to his friend a special opportunity to baptize eight people at the church.
"That was truly special for me to be part of that wonderful time in the lives of those new Christians," the Rev. Poss told The McDuffie Mirror. "I'll never forget that experience."
As for moving on to a new job, the Rev. Poss said he could have easily turned down the offer to serve as the disaster relief coordinator.
"I was very comfortable here at Marshall Baptist Church," admitted the Rev. Poss. "I could have just stayed on here, because I was happy. But if I had done that, I might not have heard God's voice wanting me to do something else to further serve Him. This was God's plan."
During the years he served as minister of music and youth, the Rev. Poss encountered hundreds of teenagers along the way - many of whom are now grown with children of their own.
"I've even married some of them," laughed the Rev. Poss, a graduate of Truett-McConnell College and who also attended Shorter College in Rome for awhile. "I've even preached several funerals."
The Rev. Poss added that it had been a pleasure serving God and the people of Marshall Baptist Church through the years. Now, it's time to move on.
"My purpose now is to meet the purpose that God has given us," the Rev. Poss said.