South Quay Baptist appoints interim pastor
Published 5:24 pm Friday, February 5, 2016
Evidently, God wasn’t finished with Amos Eby when he thought to retire a few years ago. The Chesapeake pastor now finds himself serving as interim leader at South Quay Baptist Church.
And he’s quite glad of it, of course.
For one, Eby comes from a family devoted to the Lord — his parents were missionaries — and he and his own wife and children have long been involved in delivering the Good News whenever and wherever they could.
Secondly, he’d rather be active in some constructive way than idly passing time.
“”I’m not a hobby-type person,” the 68-year-old said. “My wife [Barbara] and I are delighted to be of assistance. I will be on call full time.”
The opening came about when that congregation’s pastor, John Watson, announced his own retirement last year. After which, James Williams, a newly appointed deacon in South Quay, was tasked with finding speakers for worship.
For his part, Eby had told his own congregation of plans to retire, after having served for almost 19 years at South Norfolk Congregational Christian Church. He did agree, though, to stay several more months to ease the transition. The new chosen pastor ultimately could not stay, so Eby agreed to stay a bit longer.
After that new search was completed, he found himself with time to spare at the end of May last year.
Although prayerful about what the Lord would have him do next, Eby was not anxious in any way, and even considered a part-time job, not even necessarily a pastorship. Finding work as a driver for R.K. Chevrolet, he reconnected with Williams. He not only was providentially working at the same place, but had grown up in Eby’s congregation.
Telling the retired pastor of his own situation opened a new door.
“He agreed to help me out, and fell in love with the church,” Williams said.
So Eby stepped and filled in for a few Sundays. After making a favorable impression, the pastoral search committee approached, asking if Eby if he’d “consider being considered.”
“We’re thrilled to have him. He’s one awesome speaker that’s for sure,” added Williams.
As mentioned, he comes from a family of missionaries who served in the Caribbean, such as Cuba in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were there for the revolution and regime change.
“I started very early speaking to teens in youth groups,” Eby said of his calling, and had finished growing up in Puerto Rico. Just before turning 18, though, his father had died, but he was already ministering.
During a furlough stateside is when he met the woman who would become his wife, herself the daughter of a preacher.
“My mom and I continued that work in Puerto Rico. Barbara and I were married in 1967,” he said, adding that they would minister in another nearby town until 1976. By then, they had children of their own.
Referring to himself as a servant, he’s not looking to make any unnecessary changes to how things are done at South Quay Baptist Church.
“I’ll be learning a lot,” Eby said. “I like to learn what is what.”
For himself and whoever eventually follows, they’ll have what he called, “a good foundation to build on.”
“The church has a lot of potential for growth,” said Eby.