J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

The Times They Are A Changing

At this point, one of the worst kept secrets out there is that October 28th will be my last Sunday preaching at Sovereign King.  As of November 1st, I will be the church planter for a new work in Spotsylvania, VA.  How did all of this happen?  Well, let me tell you.

Six months ago, on the day before my Father died, I received a phone call from Doug Kittredge, the pastor of New Life in Christ Church in Fredericksburg, VA.  I’ve known him for over five years as New Life planted Hope of Christ Church in Stafford, VA with my good friend, Leonard Bailey.

Unaware of my father’s impending passing, Doug very optimistically called and said, “Gordon, I would like for you to pray about planting a church in Spotsylvania, VA.”  At that time, I updated Doug on my father’s condition, but I also told him that I had never considered Garner, and that starting a new church at this time was not really on my radar.

After my father passed, my beautiful wife, Amy, asked me to consider taking Father’s Day weekend off as it I needed a break emotionally and physically.  We spent that weekend with Leonard and Amy Bailey, and as it goes, Doug invited me to preach at New Life’s Sunday evening, Father’s day service.

It felt like one of the worst sermons I had ever preached.  I struggled to connect with folks, and I never really was comfortable.   We traveled home thinking that things didn’t go well, and that I didn’t have to worry about the option of planting a church any time soon.

Surprisingly, everyone loved it, and the next week, Doug requested a church plant proposal from us at the request of the two churches.  At this point, Amy and I felt that God was moving enough that we need to pursue His will about either staying at SK or planting this new church.

Over the next few weeks, we jumped into researching the area, examining our own values, honestly assessing our weaknesses, and putting together a potential mission/vision for this new church.  As we did those things, we sought God’s guidance and wisdom about what His will was, not only for us, but for SK, and for these great, interested families in VA.

We took a day, traveled to VA, and offered this picture of what a potential church might look like:

Mission/Vision:  We exist to incite a revolution of Jesus’ radical grace that will manifest itself in the people of God’s fellowship, worship, and service. 

To boil it down in simpler words:  God’s grace enables us to demonstrate Jesus through Fellowship, Worship, and Service

This mission was received with incredible enthusiasm in VA, so the question for our hearts became, “What does God want for us at SK?”

I’ll be honest; I arrived in Garner with every intention of dying there.  I expected to die preaching behind that pulpit (or music stand in our case).  So, Amy and I began praying about God’s will, but the question quickly transformed from, “What do you want for us?” to “What do you want for Sovereign King?” We want what’s best for SK, not what’s best for us.

As we offered this prayer over and over again, providence, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and whatever wisdom we could muster seemed to say, “The best thing for SK would be for you, Gordon, to step aside and let another voice lead them into their next stage of maturity.”

As I felt more and more like this was what God was doing, I’ll be honest, I wept.  I arrived in Garner thinking I would happily serve there until I died.  I wanted SK to be a packed room for of worshipers and a revival to take place in this town I love.  And I have seen SK grow and I’ve seen great things happen here, but growing SK into maturity of mission and impact is going to be some other man’s blessed calling.

So, this Sunday, October 28th, will be my last sermon as pastor at SK.  I am writing it with joy and tears knowing that SK will be just fine with Godly elders and Godly members.  Amy and I have great hope for what God might do with us up in VA, and the little crowd there already gathering is incredibly excited as well.

Now, as always, we wait on God, asking Him to use us now as we sing, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

As for the Duncan family, our journey as we await that day is only beginning.  In the next few weeks, we’ll tell you more about our plans, the  new church, and lots of ways you can participate.  We appreciate any and all prayers towards those ends.



October 22, 2012 - Posted by | church, gospel, mission, missional


  1. peACE OUT GORDON! 😉

    Comment by Dena! | October 22, 2012 | Reply

  2. As I’ve said before, God has gifted you as one of the rare men who balance pastor/shepherd and preacher/teacher well. I’m confident He will use you in mighty ways in your new post.

    Comment by blballet | October 22, 2012 | Reply

  3. You are a rare jewel in this world. I have thought that from the first moment I was brought into SK church. My only regret is that my own family troubles prevented us from hearing more of your sermons. You have a wonderful way of reaching those who don’t even know they need guidance. Please keep us all posted on your new adventure!

    Comment by Tracy Trippiedi | October 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you, Tracy. I tried to friend you on Facebook but it wouldn’t let me. That would be a great way to keep in touch.

      Comment by jgordonduncan | October 29, 2012 | Reply

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