Johnny & Roma’s Retirement Letter May 28, 2017

Rev. Johnny and Roma Muller 

Letter of Farewell to Dutch Fork Baptist Church

Sunday, May 28, 2017

If you will allow us a personal privilege, we would like to introduce our precious immediate family to you and would ask them to come forward as I call their names.  Many of you know our daughter, Joni Rabon, and her husband, Tim, and their three children, Annie, Asher and Archer Rabon, and our son, John Muller, and his wife, Ashley.  We would like to thank them publicly for all the years they have prayed for and supported their father and me in the ministry and would like to publicly tell them how very much we love them and appreciate them.  We are so thankful that God blessed our children with wonderful Christian mates and we want Ashley and Tim to know we love them so much and are so blessed to also have them as our children.  You are welcome to say anything you would like.  Thank you, dear children, for your love for us. 


Next, I want to introduce our extended families and would ask them to stand as I introduce them.  I would like to introduce my middle sister, Alice Sales and her husband, Sandy.  She is my sister that you prayed for with breast cancer and, Praise the Lord, she is cancer free now!  Also, we are so happy to have Waylon Priester and his wife, Ashley, and sweet baby girl, and George Priester, Johnny’s first cousin, with us today.  Waylon is the son of Johnny’s first cousin, Henry Priester that you prayed for.  I would like to thank you for being here with us today.  We love you!


We are happy to have a special brother in the Lord, Larry Barnes, chairman of deacons from Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Johnny’s home church with us, if you would please stand.  We love you and thank you for being here today!


I will ask now for all of our dear First Calvary Baptist Church family here today to stand.  It means so much to us to have you with us on such a special occasion in our lives and we love you. 


Last of all, we would like for all of our wonderful Dutch Fork Baptist Church family and friends to stand.  As Johnny has stated many times, we are so grateful for the wonderful staff God has blessed us to work with here and would like to personally thank Dr. Leon Boss, Rev. Jared Kyzer, Mrs. Jeanne French, Mrs. Robin Broad, Miss Naomi Miller, and Mr. Matt Barr for their dedication to God’s work here.  Thank you to the many devoted and committed deacons that have served with Johnny here.  Also, we are so grateful for the many department leaders, committee members, Sunday School teachers, VBS workers, Awana leaders, kitchen team, nursery workers, children’s church and youth workers, and all who have faithfully served the Lord Jesus Christ in any capacity here at Dutch Fork Baptist Church to make this the church that it is today.  We could not have accomplished the ministry God called us to do here at Dutch Fork Baptist Church without all of you in the church body and your love and prayers and support.  We love you and will always treasure your love and friendship. 


On January 17, 2010, you, the Dutch Fork Baptist Church Family, called Johnny and me as your interim senior pastor and wife.  Then on January 16, 2011, we were honored to have you vote to call us as your bi-vocational part time senior pastor and wife.  During these seven plus years we have been blessed to have you all bathe us and our family with your prayers to God for us.  One request we have is that you please keep us forever on your prayer list. We believe in your fervent prayers to God for us. 


This is also the last Sunday for one of our precious young married couples, Mike and Bridget Chinook.  They will be moving back near their home in Michigan.  I know you will want to speak to them today and tell them we love them and will miss them so much.


We have experienced many times of sadness in our families during the years we have been your pastor and wife and you have stood beside us and prayed us through them, including the loss of my mother and brother and my middle sister having breast cancer.  PTL she is now cancer free.  However, there were many happy times as well.  You helped Johnny and me commemorate one of the most special and important events in our married life, our 50th wedding anniversary which was December 27, 2013!  Our children hosted a reception for us right here in the Dutch Fork Baptist Church Family Life Center on December 28, 2013.  So many of you came to celebrate with us and we are still so very grateful for you being here  and for your help in rejoicing with us during such a special time of joy in our lives.


Another word of Praise during our time with you, our son, John, surrendered to the Gospel ministry and he and his wife, Ashley, were called by God to be the Lead Pastor and wife on the staff of the North Raleigh Campus of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC.  Please pray for them in their journey for adoption of a baby for them and another precious grandbaby for us.  And miracle of miracles, our first three grandchildren were born, twins Annie and Asher on October 1, 2015, and Archer on March 6, 2017.  One of the hardest parts of leaving Dutch Fork Baptist Church is leaving our daughter and son-in-law and three grandchildren with you.   Please pray for them and please take good care of them for us. 


Thank you for your prayers for Johnny in February 2015 when he had surgery on his left hand and in March 2016 when he was diagnosed with a mass on his pancreas and had surgery on April 12, 2016.  Praise the Lord, the doctor was able to remove the entire mass which, Praise God, was contained.  The surgeon also had to remove his spleen, but, Glory to God, Johnny did not have to take chemo or radiation.  Johnny’s next surgery to repair his abdominal aorta aneurysm was on August 12, 2016.  Praise the Lord, the surgery was a success and thank God I am still blessed to have him stand beside me.


Because of Johnny’s compromised immune system his doctors have limited him in visiting in the hospitals.  Johnny is evangelistic and believes that while a loved one is critical in the hospital, the hearts of their families who might not be saved are open to God’s message of salvation during that time.  Therefore, after much prayer he became convicted that Dutch Fork Baptist Church now needs a full time pastor.   As many of you know, Johnny is employed halftime with Dutch Fork Baptist Church and halftime as the Director of Missions with the Edisto Baptist Association which includes 19 churches.  After much prayer, he believes that God wants him to continue to serve the pastors there by mentoring them and being a shepherd to them.  Each Sunday night we visit those churches.  When Johnny became your pastor, many of the Edisto Baptist Association  churches still had evening worship services.  However, during the past few years several churches have deleted their evening worship services which has limited our contact with them.  Starting in June we will be visiting in the Edisto Baptist Association churches on Sunday mornings and evenings.  We wanted to share this with you so that you will know how to pray for God to continue using Johnny.  


“Now look up here and don’t miss this!”  I do not want you all to stop praying for Johnny and me and our family!  I believe in your prayers!


We want to tell you how much we have grown to love all of you Dutch Fork Baptist Church Family.  Many of you are like our sons and daughters, and many are like our brothers and sisters!  We have enjoyed all of the ministries we have been involved in with you and I would especially like to thank all of you precious ladies who have supported our Ladies Bible Studies and Sewing Classes.   Just to give you a report on our mission projects this year, on May 17, we took lap blankets to Generations-Irmo and on May 19, we delivered 182 hats to the Seafarer’s Missionary in Charleston to be used to witness to seaman from all over the world.  Please pray that through this ministry 182 seamen will be led to the Lord and will return to their families all over the world and lead them to the Lord.  On May 23, we delivered baby hats and blankets to the Newberry LIFEBRIDGE Crisis Pregnancy Center.   My sincere prayer is that you will continue these three areas of ministry.  I am so proud of all of you who have contributed to these mission endeavors.


Thank you for your love, your prayers and your friendship.   We are so grateful to God for blessing us with the wonderful privilege to serve Him side by side with you. 


We are excited about the future God has in store for you precious saints here at Dutch Fork Baptist Church.  We know that you sit at the launching site for greatness in His Service and we are eager to see what God does for you and through you as He accomplishes His plan to reach the lost world by using you all to go into the highways and hedges to compel the lost to come to Him as you glean the fields that are white with harvest! 


We count it a privilege and joy to have been a part of your wonderful church family for over seven years.  May God bless you and your families and loved ones as you continue to follow God’s plan for you here at Dutch Fork Baptist Church in changing the world for Him. 


PSALM 46:1-3, 7, 10, 11

  1. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  2. Therefore will not we fear…
  3. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with    the swelling thereof…
  1. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge…
  1.  Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
  2. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.


We love you,

Johnny and Roma Muller