My Resignation from First Baptist Church

My Resignation from First Baptist Church (FBC)
Ruidoso, New Mexico
January 11, 2018

Dear FBC, I have the unfortunate responsibility of informing you of my resignation from FBC Ruidoso. My last Sunday in the pulpit was to be January 21, 2018, per FBC policy for a two week notice. On January 7 after the service a few leaders thought it best for me not to return to the pulpit for the last two Sundays.

While I told them this was not a healthy way for us to depart from the church or the church from us, I also understand the request in light of the nature of the split in our church. So, I apologize for not being with you until January 21 as stated Sunday January 7. Yet for the sake of the Lord, I will move forward.

To dispel rumors I want to be clear on my resignation. Here is a summary of what was stated on January 7 in the service when I resigned.

I thank FBC for 8 wonderful years serving as pastor. This church is a wonderful church. We have had great things happen at FBC, especially in the last 3 years. It’s been the best time I have ever experienced in 25 years of ministry. We truly penetrated the darkness (John 1:5; Matt 28:19-20).

The reason for my resignation is the deacons approached me on November 12 desiring to go in another direction concerning the pastor position. These are men I love; I know they don’t hate me, but I disagree with them, concerning leadership, vision and mission for a local church. Jeana and I believe everyone should be welcome at a church and should be treated with respect.

While there is much to the story, I make clear here I have not resigned for any moral reasons. I was asked to resign over vision differences.

I could have stayed and won a vote, but then would have had to dismantle the church structure and asked some leaders to resign in a couple of areas to accomplish the mission to reach and disciple people in our community. It would have been brutal. I would not do that to the church body as there are too many people I love at FBC.

My next steps are to join the ministry at Calvary Chapel Ruidoso and serve with Pastor John Marshall in a co-pastor relationship. We are thankful for an immediate fresh start. Our commitment to missions and evangelism, proclamation and disciple making are not diminished. We expect they will flourish.

Thank you FBC family and friends for allowing my family to serve. We will always wear our experience with you proudly. We wish you only the best and are praying for your next steps.

We love everyone. We have no animosity. My family loves you FBC. Thank you. You have treated us well in our time together. If you have questions, I’ll answer them at anytime. If you trust my character (1 Tim 3:1-7) and vision for God and people (Matt 28:19-20), “it’s all good.”

The church is not always the most beautiful picture of grace, but Jesus is.

It’s all about the cross!

Alan Stoddard, DMin

  • Bob Cleveland

    It sounds as if some folks in the congregation have yet to realize the nature of God’s call to the pulpit, and similarly the nature and of God’s gifting and the responsibilities that go with it. But, as usual, God is doing this to bring glory to Himself. You are privileged to be part of that.