by Sue Detweiler
New Beginnings in Dallas Texas
At the beginning of 2014 as Wayne and I sought God for our New Year, we heard God say that it was a year of Open Doors and New Beginnings. We had no idea that part of God’s BIG idea was that He was calling us to relocate in the BIG state of Texas.
New Seasons bring New Beginnings
We began the year with 2 of my daughters getting married. If that is not enough to cause any mother of the brides head to spin, they planned their weddings for April 12 and May 31. Just in case my emotions were not frazzled enough, my youngest daughter graduated from high school on May 24.
Every Mother’s Dream is to Live Near Her Adult Children
No mother in her right mind would want to live hours away from her adult children. Usually it is adult children who move away to explore new lands and the parents who hold down the homestead for when they chose to come home from their journeys. So why would any parent willingly choose to move away…?
God stirred up the Nest
In March of 2014, after 28 years of life and ministry in Nashville Tennessee, we began to sense that God may be leading us to relocate. We began to pray, fast, seek counsel and explore. One wise woman said that God was leading us to step out on the stones in the stream the discover His will. We explored opportunities in Virginia and then in North Carolina and God began to expand our hearts as we strengthened friendships.
We said in our prayers… “God, we will go anywhere You want us to go… Show us the people You want us to reach. We will do anything You want us to do. Help us to be the most effective in your kingdom.”
God is like a mother eagle. He takes feathers out of our nest and makes us restless. He begins to take us on His wings. We feel safe and protected and then like the mother eagle who swoops downward and forces her eaglets into flight, God launches us into flight.
Awakened with a Vision of Texas
In June I was awakened with a calm sense of peace. It was like a blanket of God’s presence. I knew deep in my heart that He was calling us to serve as senior pastors/ church planters. I saw a vision of the state of Texas outlined in flames and had a sense that God was revealing our new territory.
We had already been in touch with the national leaders of The Foursquare Church who affirmed our willingness to be senior pastors/ church planters again. They also affirmed our leading to explore Dallas. We got in touch with leaders of the MidSouth District of The Foursquare Church and made plans to visit.
We sat around the table with some of our children talking and praying about what God was doing. When we mentioned the state of Texas, we were surprised by their positive response. One of the pastors we had sought counsel with used these words to describe me. He said, “Sue you have a Big Personality.” He mean’t it in a positive way, but the phrase stayed with me. The family joke became: “In the BIG state of Texas, they can handle your BIG personality!”
New Friends in Texas
Things began to move rapidly. In faith we listed our family home, and before we got to Texas we already had a contract on the house to close August 15th.
When we met with David Coffey the district supervisor and Kim Pitner the missional director of the MidSouth District we were greeted with open arms. They have a strategy in place of how to equip church planters. They are a very relational team. They pointed us to a northern suburb of the Dallas Metroplex called Frisco.
As we explored the city together, we became more convinced that God was calling us here. We were humbled, but willing to plant a church knowing that it would take a long time to build a team from scratch. We sensed that our willingness to serve was not so much about us, but about the people God was calling us to reach and the leaders that we would help equip and raise up.
We want to ignite God’s fire in the heart of Texans.
I hope that our story encourages you to be willing to follow God’s leading in your life. One of my favorite verses in Scripture is from Ephesians 2:10 which says,
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
You are a unique design. God is your master-designer. He has created you for good works. He planned these for you long ago. You have the incredible privilege in this life to follow His leading in your life.
When Wayne and I moved to Nashville in 1986 to plant a church, we had no idea that we would be in this city for 28 years. We just obeyed God, loaded our moving van and moved here knowing only a few people. Now we know hundreds of people and we are finding it very difficult to personally call or have coffee with everyone we know.
The Tennessee – Texas Connection
It has been our privilege to love and serve to wonderful city of Nashville. Tears are streaming down my face as I struggle to put into words my THANKFUL HEART TO YOU.
Yesterday 75 pastors and leaders from Nashville gathered for our monthly connection and they prayed over us. They gave us a beautiful plaque to recognize our 28 years of pastoral service in “Worship City.” At the end of the prayer time, we were reminded that it was the volunteers of Tennessee led by Davy Crockett who gave their lives fighting for Texas at the Alamo. I pray that there will continue to be a heart connection between Tennessee and Texas.
Prayer for New Beginnings
I’m putting on my new Texas boots, full of faith that God is leading us. By the prompting of God’s spirit an old friend took off her vest and gave it to me for Texas and yesterday a new friend felt led by God to give me her cowboy hat. I loved receiving these symbolic gifts because they have come from people who love us deeply and will pray for us and the people of Texas that we will reach.
We are raising up a team of 200 people to pray for our journey. Planting a church from scratch is no easy assignment. We anticipate that it will be over a year before we hold our first public worship service. If you would like to be a part of our prayer team and receive regular updates of what God is doing in the lives of Texans, you can put in your name and email here.
I welcome your comments and encouragements below. I am praying for those of you that read this message, that you will be BOLD and step out in faith to follow God’s leading in your life. You can hear God’s voice. He will lead you down His path for your life. He has good works that He planned long ago that you should do. So put on your new boots for your new beginnings and kick up your feet and dance even as the tears glisten on your cheeks. Change is hard – but GOD IS GOOD.
Wayne and Sue Detweiler have been married and in ministry for 30 years. They have raised 6 children in the Nashville area. Sue’s first book 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom will be in bookstores in October.
I remember those first days when you went down to Nashville. I and 2 other ladies came down to help. I remember staying on. Such good memories. I know that you and Wayne will be such a blessing in texas. It’s been wonderful to find you both through Facebook. There were so many times that you or wayne would post something and God knew that I needed to see and read it. Thank you for sharing nuggets of truth. After, I walked away from God and disowned him. And walked a very difficult path. Thank you for touching my soul.. love you both so much.
Email address is:
Gina! Thanks for bring back early memories of church planting…
Sue, it is with a blessing and prayers that I write this to you. I truly feel with all my being that God put us together for this season. Our lives are different, but so alike in so many ways. It was trusting God that we moved away from our children and have began a new walk with Him 7 years ago. He has blessed us tremendously in so many ways. If you ever have a prayer need, please consider me a prayer partner. If you ever need a friend to chat, you have my email, if you ever need a ladies speaker give me a call. Hang on for the ride, God has more than you have ever imagined!
Ginger, thanks for the encouragement!
We are committed to building the Kingdom of God together with our friends. . It is good to know we are serving as workers in the harvest, whether in Tenessee, Texas or other lands.
WOW!!!! This is AMAZING NEWS, GUYS! I love Texas and believe you guys will be awesome as Foursquare pastors there! Praise the Lord! Can’t wait to see what great things God has in store! We have friends in the Propser, Texas, area, which is just outside of Frisco, so if we are ever down that way we’ll have to look you up! God bless you both in your journey!
Pastor Tim, this is great. Yes, we felt like we were to locate where we did – partly because of what we believe God is going to do in Prosper Texas and how Frisco is right next door! Please check with your friends and email us some contact information. We look forward to building friendships. Also pray about whether you are called to lead a small group of people down to visit us. We will be spending time the next year praying over the area and doing outreaches to the community. Much love to your whole church family!
Sue and Wayne – I thank you for all that you have invested in my family over the past 10 years. I bless you as you move onto your next assignment. I have prayed and would love to join your prayer team. Please count me in.
Karen – you are on the Prayer Team! Thanks for your support in this God-ordained, God-timed transition.
I found your blog because you followed me on Twitter. My husband and I are about to move from Franklin to Fort Worth … I’m struggling with the change but trusting God to do great things. God bless you on your new adventure!
Jess, I would love to connect with you and your husband in TEXAS! Private message me on twitter – and we can connect on details.
I got so excited for you and Wayne when I read this. I will definitely be praying for you and your family.
Amy, I will add you to the Prayer Team to keep you in touch with our journey… God is good.
Travis and I fast and pray on Tuesdays currently and you will be on our list for that. New adventures are exciting but transitions are difficult. I have one adult daughter in another state and I can’t imagine four daughters living away. What I’m trying to say is that I sense that this is a great thing that God is doing but it’s not going to be easy.You’re on my heart and in my prayers.
Thanks Amy. Yes, we shed some tears yesterday when we said goodbye at the airport.
Please add me to your prayer team. I’m super excited about your new adventure in TX. Dallas is a great place, as is the Foursquare Church. I’d love to come and visit sometime… I’ll bring Clayton 🙂
Hurray! We would love to have you visit!
Wow Sue! Texas is the right place for your Big personality. I will be praying for you and Wayne as I know The Lord has great plans for the both of you. God is good and His faithfulness ensues forever to those who walk upright before Him. You and Wayne have walked upright before The Lord so now sit back and watch Him build His ministry of the Gospel through the two of you in record timing. God bless you and I will miss serving with you at the YMCA
I will miss you too! Please give my best to the YMCA team and keep holding up the “C”!
Will gladly pray for the journey God has you on! He’s always up to something amazing! There is a chance my husband’s company may transfer him to the Dallas area. Trusting Him with the plan!!! Blessings to you. Look forward to following your journey!
Jennifer, Keep in touch with us. It would be exciting if we ended up in the same area. I will add you to the prayer team.
Blessings on your Journey in Texas Wayne and Sue!!! Sue you were a part of my “School of the Spirit” and growing as a woman in Christ and in ministry. Thank you for all you poured in to me! Blessings from the Swayn’s!
Love you Merari! You have grown to be a beautiful and wise woman. Would love to have you guys come to the October 19th event. Blessings!
What an exciting adventure ahead, Wayne & Sue! Just within this past year, I thought of you two and wondered if you would ever become senior pastors and church planters. Wow! It’s wonderful to see this happening, as well as seeing your book being published, Sue. I treasure all the teachings, classes, and prayers that you led as I sat under your leadership. Jaymey and I will be praying for you both as you walk through the open doors of new beginnings!
Lindsay and Jaymey, Thanks for your encouraging words! I will add you guys to our prayer team! Blessings.