A Letter to Sylvester

In August of 2016, Greenbriar Church of Albany, Georgia launched a new campus in Sylvester. This happened at a time when there seemed to be much interest for a new church in the community of Sylvester. As a native of Sylvester, I was excited about the opportunity to see the city I grew up in impacted by a thriving gospel-centered church. One of our elders, Gordon King and his wife, Traci, along with a team of families stepped out from our Albany campus to lead this church plant. From the beginning, this team has been continually faithful to that call.

We are sad to say that September 3rd was the last service we held in Sylvester. While this may come as a shock to you, understand that it was not a hastily made decision. We can tell you that

we processed many things over the last several months. The initial number of families attending the church plant were good. As time pressed on, however, we saw those numbers dwindle. The often challenging work of week-to- week ministry put a stress on the launch team.

After months of prayer and consideration, a unanimous decision was made between our elders and advisory board to disband the Sylvester campus. Please know that throughout this journey, none of our pastors have led or sinned in a way that would disqualify any of them from eldership or pastoral ministry. Through it all, we believe we have been faithful. One of the greatest evidences of faithfulness has especially been seen in the life of Gordon King.

We recognize that churches pop in and out of cities often without ever giving a reason or making the community aware. We did not want to do that, but instead wanted to inform you that we disbanded Greenbriar Church in Sylvester.

Our hearts have been heavy as we have made this decision. The disbanding of the church in Sylvester has in some ways felt like an infant death to us. We had high hopes of seeing this young church plant grow into full maturity. That did not happen, and we grieve because of it.

While our hearts are heavy over this situation, as we reflect on the last year, we realize we have not lost a lot. We have learned much. Our church is still very much alive, and possibly more alive now than we ever have been.

Thank you, Sylvester, for giving us a chance to plant a church in your midst. Our hope is that our departure would not harm your faith in Christ and His church. Our desire is to see people come to know Christ and faithfully serve him. We will continue to pray that this will happen in Sylvester in mighty ways. We would be grateful for your future prayers for us as we seek to make disciples and plant more churches.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our church at 229-405-1843.

Tim Bice
GB Albany, Teaching Elder