September 9th Announcement

Sep 9, 2021    Don Davidson
Watch an important video announcement from Pastor Don Davidson.
And then read a Letter from Pastor Don to First Baptist Church of Alexandria.

Dear Church Family,

Sixteen years ago this weekend, you called us to come live among you and shepherd this great church. We knew it was God's will at that time and have never regretted the decision in all the years since. We have loved serving here with you.

But we know just as surely that the time has come for a change. I am today announcing my retirement from First Baptist Church of Alexandria. If you will allow me, I would like to continue until Christmas Eve, four months from now.

The last pastor to retire from here was Ernest Campbell, back in 1957. All the others following him would serve several years and then move on to different churches or ministries. Retirement is different. I am concluding a ministry that I have had for 48 years.

I have had a great time of it, pastoring rural churches, small town churches, and big city ones, too. Five in all. Each has been unique, but all have been a blessing to my life. None more than this one. There have been opportunities here to touch the world that I always dreamed of, but never thought I would actually have. The wonderful privilege to meet and hopefully influence national leaders. A ministry of real consequence. To serve, quite literally, at the center of the world. And If I make it a few more days, I will have had the longest tenure of any of our thirty-one senior pastors since 1803—beating out Dr. Campbell by 4 months!

You have supported us from the very first day until now. Remember when Audrey asked you tearfully, on the day you called us, to simply love us. And you have. You have encouraged me and followed my leadership. You have forgiven my failings and overlooked my shortcomings. I could not have asked for more. I have nothing in my heart for you but love, and gratitude to God for the opportunity He has given me to be your pastor. For any lasting good that has been accomplished—to God alone be the glory!

The future is unclear for us. We know that we will continue to serve the LORD, only in new ways. We are excited about the many possibilities.

We will be dividing our time between Daytona Beach, Florida, and Richmond, Virginia, where we can remain close to family and friends, and not so very far from Alexandria. Because of the unique make-up of FBCA and the transient nature of our membership, we now have good friends scattered around the world. We look forward to traveling and visiting them all.

A new day is dawning for our dear church. We now have the facilities we need, and a great staff remains in place to join with incredible lay leaders. A new pastor, with energy, passion, and fresh vision will come and guide you into the fantastic future that God has planned.

I once asked the aged Dorothy Allport, who is now in Heaven, what were the greatest days of our church? She had lived through so many of them as an adult member and leader since the mid-1930's. I thought she might mention the war years and ministry to soldiers coming through the city. Or, the courageous move up the hill from Washington Street in 1954. A favorite pastor or two from years past.

Instead, she wrinkled her face and smiled. She said: "Why, the very best days of First Baptist are right now, and in the future!"
She really believed it— and I do, too.

Your Pastor loves you.

Don Davidson