Today is Monday, March 16, 2015. Yesterday was the first time since 1979 that I did not stand and speak as a Senior Pastor of a local church. Can I just say it was a weird feeling? Last week I resigned as Senior Pastor of The People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee, where I served for nearly 33 years. My Facebook, text, phone, and email blew up after that announcement, so I have been talking to friends (mostly other pastors) non-stop and trying to respond to as many as I possibly could. Right now I am staying a few days with a friend who is one of those rare individuals who sticks “closer than a brother.”

Before I say more, let me say I believe that The People’s Church is one of the greatest churches in the nation today. Just like Paul said regarding the church at Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” That will never change.

I have been asked repeatedly the last few days,”How are you doing, and what’s next?” Well, it feels like we survived a plane crash, and for now we are still in the Intensive Care Unit. Sudden and unexpected stops are traumatizing. Healing will take some time, but I really do believe the gospel message I have proclaimed for decades. We may not ever get over this, but we will get through this because God really is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Romans 8:28 is just as true today as it was before this all took place.

What’s next? We honestly don’t know today. Many have asked and assumed I would start a new church. Others have suggested a new missions enterprise. All I know at this point is we are going to follow the admonition of Psalm 37:3; Trust in the Lord and do good. So for now, we will simply trust the Lord for the next chapter of life and practice our faith by doing good (serving God and people).

I have promised Patti that I will write with some frequency in order to encourage and minister to others and hold myself accountable to fresh encounters with the Lord. So, here is the first installment.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Easier to read than actually do, but that’s our goal as we start a new part of our journey. Your prayers will be appreciated.



  • Jenny Wilson

    Thank you and May God continue to bless you and Patti. As HE has blessed us all with the two of you. Praying nonstop. I will follow this blog so keep writing.

    • RWhite

      Thanks Jenny, hope some of the writings will be helpful.

  • jason pettus

    Thank you for sharing this my friend. I’m on the other side of the world ministering this week, but you are in my thoughts and I am praying for you and Patti.

    • RWhite

      Thanks Jason, pray God gives you a blessed ministry this week.

  • Timbo Fowler

    I look forward to reading all these and sponging the wisdom! All our love from here to you and Patti!

    • RWhite

      Thanks friend! Stay faithful to Jesus.

  • DiAnna Hudson

    Beautiful. I love you and your family. You all helped rescue my heart through so many losses and hurtful moments. Situation with no real answers but I had to take the journey. You all laughed and celebrated with us in the good times. God bless all of you and prayers for wisdom, healing, favor & direction. Thank you for your openness, kindness, mercy & forgiveness. It helps all of us to press on in adversity.

    • RWhite

      Thanks so much. It was a joy to share the journey.

  • Helen

    Pastor Rick,
    You are such a valuable servant of God with your steadfast hope in the Lord. The fresh hope that you offered me when I went through some tougher seasons helped me to believe that God was for me and not against me! I felt a transparency and honesty from you that I had not experienced in church very often. I am so grateful for your ministry and what you have done for my family by preaching God’s word so relevantly. May He bless you abundantly as you journey on to your next chapter. We are praying for you.

    • RWhite

      Thank you and God’s blessings on you.

  • Lea Hobaica

    I look forward to all of your writings .
    Prayers for you and your family !

    • RWhite

      Thanks so much.

  • Nancy

    We love and miss you Padtor Rick! Please keep posting your writings to facebook as some of us don’t have a Twitter account. ☺️

    • RWhite

      Thanks, will do.

  • Sharon Bowater

    Thank you and your Sunday morning (life lessons )will truly me missed! Thank you for your support of celebrate recovery and your transparency always! Thanks for showing us your heart♡ you will not be forgotten along with Matt and Derek. …you have created a legacy that will not be forgotten! I can see a new church for your family for sure!

    • RWhite

      Thanks Sharon and go CR, some of my favorite people.

  • Melissa Fisher

    Mark 6:41-44 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave [them] to His disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

    Elizabeth Elliot said something to the effect that if your life is broken when you give it to Jesus it may be because the pieces will feed a multitude and a loaf will only satisfy a little boy. May Jesus take your brokenness and do great and mighty things for His honor and His glory!

    • RWhite

      Thanks Melissa, Jesus really does specialize in brokenness.

  • Susan Bonds

    You and your family are truly living so very close to Christ. I am always encouraged by your words. I know His plan is perfect and His will is of the only order. Troubles, yes. I remember the first time I prayed, They will be done. I was terrified. I learned to let the Old Susan go and let the Holy Spirit guide me. I struggle daily, hourly, but I know that his hands are always pulling me back up. So much of this is because I heard words from your pulpit, and saw evidence in your life. I pray for you all.

    • RWhite

      Thank you Susan for your very gracious and encouraging words.

  • Bob Vassar

    Congratulations, Rick. I retired from Pleasant Heights in Columbia, TN on 12-31-14. Trusting God for the future when it is unknown is a thrilling experience. Thanks for faithful leadership to FBC for 33 plus years.

    • RWhite

      Thanks Bob and congratulations and blessings.

  • Dan Merrell

    Excellent post Rick. When you come up for air, I would like to talk about capturing aspects of your journey (you rocked my socks off during your cancer ordeal) for a new 501C3 I’ve created called CLEANSLATE.TV. Ask MIKE FLYNT about it. We just shot his story several weeks ago down in Texas. Blessings on you and your family Rick, you remain my pastor of the heart. Don’t need a building for that role. Just you and your love for people.

    • RWhite

      Thanks Dan, I would be honored to do so. Blessings friend.

  • Troy Madge

    Rick, as I said before, I believe this is your greatest time to be a light in this present darkness. What an opportunity for you to show us how a true Christ follower can lead. So honored to know you and call you my friend.

    • RWhite

      Thanks Troy

  • Toby Mary Jones

    Oh Pastor Rick. I have not been in Franklin for a couple of years now but I always tried to attend when I was there visiting. It will just not be the same experience without your voice. Your service, regardless of the topic, always struck a cord in me that needed tuned up. You have that very rare knack of always “hitting home” and reminding us, that it all starts and ends with putting our trust and faith in our lord and savior.

    I have no clue what led to your resignation and it is of no importance. What is important is that you find a way to continue doing what you do best – lead people to God. Selfishly, I would love it if that entailed having a live online broadcast but as I said, that is my own selfish desire and it may or may not be what God has in store for you.

    I know this is getting lengthy but I remember being in church when you were, according to scripture, putting the “governing” body of the church in place. That same body has now seen the need to implement change in lieu of working through the issues that existed. I do not understand, nor do I need to, but I am saddened. I have been through many very difficult changes and I have not hard changes Regardless, I want to say that I am so very proud of you, your attitude,

    • Toby Mary Jones

      PS. Don’t stay in Intensive Care too long! There’s much work to be done!