Letting Go and Welcoming In

Hey, my darling Siestas! I hope your weekend was full of Jesus and that you found refreshment with family and friends. I also hope you were blessed by a lively, Christ-loving body of believers in your local church and that you freely worshiped with them and sought God together with them through the Scriptures. You guys know how strongly we feel about the local church around here. These are days on the Kingdom calendar when we need one another more than ever. (Hebrews 10:24-25) We can’t afford to rationalize that we can link up with other believers on line as a replacement for investing our lives and our spiritual gifts in the local church of God’s leading. I love what we get to do here and believe that it’s real and that it has an important place but it’s not a replacement for a local body of believers. I’m so happy to say that I don’t see many people in this community confused about that. I often hear you refer to your churches with much love and commitment. You bless me so.

That said, God has brought about a huge transition in our lives over the last months. Let me say that in all caps: HUGE. I think the best way I can explain it to you is to post the letter that was inserted in the church bulletin at my home church yesterday and is up on their website. I will pick back up with you briefly at the end of the letter.

Dear HFBC, my beloved church family of so many years,

It is with indescribable gratitude and deep emotion that I say farewell to this body of believers as a fellow member. I asked Pastor Gregg if I could write you a letter rather than speak to you from the platform, not because I mind shedding tears in public but because I wish to spare you my lapse into an ugly cry.

These are exciting days in my family. Nine years ago, Keith walked our oldest daughter, Amanda, down an aisle of this very sanctuary and gave her in marriage to Curtis Jones, a young man with only one life plan: to serve Jesus anywhere, any time. We knew from the start that anything was game. Over the last several years, we’ve watched God prepare Curtis and Amanda to plant a church in another part of Houston. Keith and I will unwaveringly go with them with joy, approval, and glad anticipation.

Not one of us goes without cost, however. For once, I’ll let the others speak for themselves and I’ll stick to what I place on this altar today. I met my life-long mentor here and came to my first realization that human flesh and blood could fall madly in love with Jesus. At her insistence, I taught my first Sunday School class here and didn’t sit down for 23 years. I signed up for a Bible doctrine class taught on the second floor of this church on Sunday nights 26 years ago and was ruined for life for anything other than the pursuit of Christ through Scripture. You dared to take a Christian aerobics teacher with a side ponytail seriously when she pitched her leg warmers for commentaries. You gave me a safe place to keep learning amid a thousand mistakes.

Meanwhile, our marriage has endured for 32 years and, in such large part, over the support we received among godly couples here in this church. Our daughters, Amanda and Melissa, each walked one of these aisles, gave their lives to Jesus and were baptized in those very same waters above the choir loft.

As ministry life took us places – both good and hard – that we could not possibly have foreseen, you were my safe harbor. As far as I can recall, Dr. Jimmy Draper is the only one who has ever called me “normal” but the context was something I’ll treasure forever: “Beth, you know the only reason you’ve stayed normal?” No, Sir. I don’t. “You stayed in church.”

And now the tears well up in my eyes and spill over from my heart. How do you thank people for nearly 30 years of love and acceptance and patience and forgiveness and guidance? My best shot at it is this: I may be absent from you on Sunday mornings but you will never be absent from me. You are woven into my soul. I take you with me everywhere I go.

I have the glorious privilege of placing my membership here at HFBC on the altar at the best possible time: when I have never loved this church more. There is not one hint of conflict. Not one iota of friction between my beloved Pastor and me. We have pledged our support and friendship to one another and to one another’s families. He has also graciously invited us to continue to hold our Tuesday night women’s Bible studies here. I’m Pastor Gregg’s fan forever and a staunch supporter of this fine church. Please hear these words, all of you, from the truest and most tender place in my heart:

Thank you for all that you’ve been to me. The gift of you is inestimable. I love you deeply and will press you close to my heart all my days. Pray for us as we pray for you “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.” (Ephesians 4:13)


Pastor Gregg and me:

I didn’t know until today that Melissa had snapped this picture of Keith and me up on the platform with Pastor Gregg yesterday during the service. When she walked into my office a few minutes ago and caught me inserting pictures into this article, she said, “Mom! I took one you’ve got to post!” I wish so much that this picture also had Kelly, Pastor Gregg’s wife, in it. I love her dearly and respect her to no end.

These next two pictures represent some of my very biggest losses at HFBC. Make no mistake. We will always be friends because our hearts are tied together forever but I won’t worship right in among them on a myriad of Sundays like I have for years. The first one is the Tate girls. A few of you may remember that I dedicated Get Out of That Pit to Kendall Tate and her family and told their story in the book. I, then, dedicated the GOOTP journal to all four of these wonderful girls.

This is Abigail Davis. I’ve known her (as well as each of the Tate girls) all her life. I told a story about Abigail and her golf lessons toward the very end of the Esther Bible study. I’m nuts about her. The best pictures I have of Abigail and me are in frames on shelves at home but I do have this one in my office. You can see that she is a well-rounded woman-child. A golfer and a dancer. Grin.

Well, you can see that these are days of change around here. I cried many tears yesterday as I said goodbye to a body of believers I have cherished with my whole heart and so much of my life. But, as I met with our church plant core-group of 50 on our knees last night, seeking God desperately to come and do His will in this infant church, I felt His power and pleasure. It is the Lord’s will. I welcome it and embrace it. Bayou City Fellowship will swing open its doors to the public in the Fall but you will not waste a prayer on us now. We have much work to do in the spiritual realm before that day comes.

I praise God that this fellowship of believers will be right here in Houston. When your kids are in ministry, you well know that God could “plant” them anywhere in the world. We are ecstatic that God led Curtis to plant this church right here in this big, fat, wonderful, hot city. Our whole family will be engaged in this crazy adventure, including Colin and Melissa. If you’re wondering about the name, Houston’s nickname is “Bayou City.” We couldn’t believe it hadn’t been snagged as a name for a church in this city yet. Over the coming years we want Houston to be so glad we are here as we stretch out our arms to its aid. Our first outside action as a church has been to gather various articles to give to families that lost all they had in a local apartment fire. As I folded up clothes this morning and put them in a bag and made a plan to run by Walmart, I thought to myself, “Well, old girl, there’s not a lot of time to sit around and mourn. Hop up and get on this love train. There’s a city to serve.”

And it felt right.

One last thing. Last night I looked at all the children of our core group couples and thought, “You are going to get to watch some of these children grow up. Open your heart wide and receive with joy!” I knelt down by about 7 children, one by one, last night and said, “Hi there! I’m Miss Beth and I’m new to this church, too. Would you be my friend?” Most of them said yes. A few of them stared at my big hair.

Jesus, be exalted in this city. Bless HFBC. Bless Bayou City Fellowship. Bless every body of believers with knees to the floor and faces to the sky in Your holy Name. We are wholly dependent upon Your presence.

PS. Amanda is my pastor’s wife. I have to throw my head back and laugh with joy. HOW ABOUT THAT????


454 Responses to “Letting Go and Welcoming In”

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  1. 301
    Paula Risius says:

    The hardest thing but the RIGHT thing to do is to be obedient when God shows you to leave. He has done that to my husband and me (in a church that was planted right in our living room!) I guess we were part of the foundation builders. After all, it is only a temporary separation—-we will all be together FOREVER someday!

  2. 302
    Lauren says:

    So excited about the new chapter in your life!!!

  3. 303
    Roberta Hiam says:

    What an amazing adventure to start on with your son-in-law, daughter and a host of other….and most importantly, GOD! I loved your letter to your church family, you love spilled out all over it. May this new journey be more than you can even imagine in Jesus name. Thank you for speaking God’s word to women all over the world….we are truly blessed! Prayers for the journey!

  4. 304
    jody baker says:

    Dear Siesta…change is not often a welcome thing, but sometimes it is such an awesome opportunity. You would not be you if you did not support Amanda and her wonderful man by doing this…”closing one door to open another”. You are such an inspiration to so many. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you to minister to us. Blessings!

  5. 305
    PaulaJo says:

    Thank you for sharing that. (We are feeling lead to seek a new church home and it is not easy.) My prayers are with your family, I know it means the world to your son-in-law to have you and Keith in his congregation.

  6. 306
    Selina says:

    Bless the Lord!!! I know how hard it is to leave your home church to go out into another place to serve. Being a pastor’s wife myself, I can say that the Lord has led us through some good times and also some very tough times but all was well worth it.You all are in my prayers. Chin up- shoulders back and move on!!

  7. 307
    Sarah Stinnett says:

    AMAZING!!! To step out in the great unknown – living expectantly, intentionally and totally aware of His presence – knowing that you are walking in obediance – even though it hurts to leave your support- but knowing all the new you are going to get to have- makes my heart quicken just thinking about it – I will be praying for ya’ll!

  8. 308
    Cindy Love Childers says:

    I read this yesterday morning for the first time while cooking my sweet 4 and 6 year old breakfast and tried to not let them see me bawling my eyes out. (I’m not ashamed, it was just too early to explain myself 🙂 Anyway, I couldn’t write just then because we were in a dash to make it to school on time but my oh my how you’ve been on my heart the last 24 hours. First of all, I am just so darn proud of you. You make me grin, you make me laugh, you make me want to be a follower of Jesus in my own unique way using my own unique talents (praise God!). You challenge us and you bless us. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul out to your church families and to this not-so-little group of Siestas. As I read the words of yesterdays blog, the truth and enormity of what is getting ready to unfold in BCF was just overwhelming for words. I just knew in my spirit that immeasurable, magnificent things are unfolding. I am thrilled to pieces for all of you guys and will continue to pray for you here from England. We are headed back to the States to Virginia (another military move) in late December and it is my dream that I’ll be there in Houston to celebrate with my beloved SSMT. Memorizing scripture this year has brought more blessings than I could have ever imagined. Thank you for using your gifts to glorify God and encourage this body of believers. You are so dearly loved. Love, Cindy

    • 308.1
      Jennifer Tricarico says:

      Cindy- where in Virginia? I’ve got littles, love Siestaville (and our courageous Siesta Momma) and live just outside of Washington DC.

      • Cindy Love Childers says:

        Hi Jennifer! We are moving back to Virginia Beach. My husband will be working out of Norfolk for several months, then several in Mississippi then off to Afghanistan for 9 months. The LORD is so faithful though. On Valentine’s Day before we even knew it was a possibility for him to deploy there I (not coincidentally) came across Deut. 32:10-12…
        “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.” I just stand in awe at a God that would be so gracious to encourage me with such a Word for such a season. Isn’t He faithful!!

  9. 309
    Vickie says:


    Thank you for sharing this with us here in Siestaville. Your transparency as always, is refreshing. We all seek the same. I thank God that I get to pray for you and your family. These are exciting times and God is so faithful. Please keep us updated on the miracles that God has in store for this new church. Blessing to you and every soul involved. 🙂

  10. 310

    Sweet Beth, you are truly the real deal. I love you.

  11. 311
    Lisa says:


    I will be your friend. I think your big hair is awesome! 🙂

    Love you, sister!

  12. 312
    Rose D says:

    What an exciting and scary time for all of you! Praying God’s blessing on y’all as you follow His leading.

  13. 313
    Tanya says:

    I cried as I read this blog and found myself praying for your churches and my church and just blessed all around. I live in Paducah, Ky. Beth, and I remember the first conference I ever went to with you as a speaker. Although you were not the main speaker. It was Marge Caldwell. But I have to mention that I went to your seminar that conference. You spoke to us about health, both spiritual and physical. One thing I remember very very clearly is you spoke about how we wear our clothes and what we wear underneath them. I went out and bought underwire bras the next day!!! But you also spoke in the larger group about Moses and it opened my eyes to a whole new world in scripture. I praise God for your ministry. God’s blessings to you.

  14. 314

    Sweet Beth … I have a question. Is Nathanael the same as Bartholomew? (in Bible) My NIV commentary says so … and he is listed among the disciples in John 21:2. I had never heard that … but discovered it this morning in my quiet time! I kept wondering how Nathanael could have such a sweet encounter with Jesus, and not follow him like Philip. But … looks like he may have!! I love where Philip says to Nathanael, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)

  15. 315
    Becky, Fort Collins, CO says:

    Beth, Thank you for sharing such a HUGE transition in your life!! Prayers will indeed be lifted up for you–the changes of leaving your home church, the calling to start another church, and all the emotions to deal with both! May God not only guide you in this new stage of your life, but meet you in the areas of your heart that need His touch. You are such an example for those of us who are the same age as you are that ministry is ALWAYS there for us to do!! Thank you for that encouragement!! =)
    In His Love,

  16. 316
    tica says:

    Will cover your church plant in prayer and ask that you do the same for us. We are planting a church in Peru, IN–also known as the middle of nowhere. It is a hurting community, but one that can be transformed by the love of Jesus. We only have 10 core team members and maybe 8-10 strong supporters, but we press on knowing we are following our call. My husband always wanted to go to Africa as missionaries; now we joke that since we live in the upstairs office of the church (with our 2 kids and 2 dogs) without air conditioning in the hotter summer ever–God answered our prayer–HIS perfect way.

    Blessings and thanks for your insights in your Bible studies and at Passion!

    In Him,

  17. 317
    Christi says:

    how amazing to watch the family you raised enter such an exciting chapter in your lives, leading and serving together.

    My sister, a native Texan now living in South Dakota, is often called on to explain your hair. “why is it so big?” She just shakes her head.

    My daughter, a soccer player and a dancer, wore that exact same ballet costume in recital last night!!! Made my heart smile 🙂

  18. 318
    Ketura says:

    Wow! I know exactly how you feel, sad but thrilled at the same time. Our family is walking a very similar road. Scary to be sure but when God sayd “go” there is nothing as beautiful as leaning into Him and letting Him do His thing. I pray that you will be blessed and ministered to in a mighty way at Bayou City Fellowship as well as continue to share the love of Jesus with all who will listen. What a blessing to serve Jesus with your family! I see good things in store. Be blessed Beth!

  19. 319
    Kathy B says:

    Beth, you were the one who taught me, that a “good bye” of any kind is a death of sorts. And that it causes our hearts to grieve, even when it speaks of moving on to something wonderful. Thank you for modeling for us once again that “…we face death all day long.” And that God acknowledges and values the price and pain involved in every one of these seperations or deaths. So sorry for your heavy heart and so excited to watch God continue to divide and multiply. And then someday we get heaven’s “new math”: No More Death!

  20. 320
    Kathy W. says:

    I LOVE it when God shakes up our life, it means he has great plans down the road!! So happy you get to share this season with you family. God does know a momma’s heart! I will be praying for you guys faithfully….Yea, a new adventure!!

  21. 321
    Kim says:

    What an amazing new adventure. I hope you are thoroughly blessed through it all.

  22. 322
    Siesta OC says:

    I loved how you made the point that this came when you have never loved your church more. I loved it for two reasons.

    1. There have been times you have struggled with your church. This was freeing and relatable.
    2. That GOD never acts in dissention. HE would never separate you in a season of fleshly division within the church. Because our fight is NOT with flesh and blood. So many awesome principles shown here. Once again!


  23. 323

    Popping on here quickly to say that I’m thrilled for the adventure you are all about to embark on together and what a sweet Mama you are to go with your daughter’s family! I just love that. Such a precious letter, though I bet no one would have minded an ugly cry after such a lengthy stint amongst those friends in church. LOL

    Okay now I’ve got to get down to business. Painting all my kitchen cabinets today.


  24. 324
    Rhonda says:

    So very awesome!!!
    The fact that your daughter will now be your pastor’s wife…priceless!! Isn’t God awesome!!??!!!
    Love & prayers to and for all of you!

  25. 325
    Sharon Meekins says:

    God is so good! Much love and prayers to you all!

  26. 326
    Kristie says:

    Thank you for sharing about your new adventure! It was such a confirmation for me. I have not been on your blog before and today to read your story was cool. My family is supporting our father in a church plant he started. We were told by another church plant that we should not have such an active role in helping, since we are his family. We have really been struggling with this. To hear that you are going to help your family is confirmation that yes, we can do this as a family!! Thank you, we needed that!!! x

  27. 327
    Vickie C in Houston says:

    I am so excited for y’all & our great city, Houston! Wow! Looking forward to visiting BCFC one day in the not too distant future! Please keep us posted.

    With much love & prayers,

    p.s. Thought you might get a kick out of my last memory verse = But thanks be to God, Who always leads un in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of gthe knowledge of Him. 2 Cor 2:14 NIV. It made me think of y’all when I read this blog. Keep spreading His fragrance!

  28. 328
    Lisa says:

    Loved this post. Will definitely be praying for you all and BCF. Please pray for my friend and his team who are planting a church in Birmingham starting this summer/fall. I don’t get to the blog every day, and have been feeling bummed about not sticking out the scripture memory team this time, but every time I come by, I am blessed. Love to you Beth and LPM.

  29. 329
    Lynda says:

    I know of the excitement of which you speak. My daughter was (and still is) involved in a church start in Santa Rosa, CA. You are so blessed to be closeby, I didn’t have that privilege. God has blessed her faithfulness along with her husband of almost two years as they serve tirelessly as the volunteer music leaders of Soma Church Community. God bless Bayou City Fellowship!

  30. 330
    Lauren says:

    Thanks for the reminder that change is good when it is God-directed. Many blessings to you and your new adventure! Siesta love,

  31. 331

    I’m lying here on my bed at Hotel Petr in Prague reading your blog entry. With joy, tears, laughter, excitement, and great anticipation, I give you a shout out of “Yeeeehawww!!! (that’s Texan for Praise the Lord!)
    How great is our God! I stood around a blazing fire two nights ago in a village in Eastern Czech Republic and sang “How Great Thou Art” with Believers singing in four different languages. I almost wanted to explode with His goodness and mercy poured out all over us. You, too, will be experiencing a similar joy as you sing unto the Lord standing shoulder to shoulder in ministry to many who will speak “nmany languages” from life’s experiences. Don’t you just love God’s perfect time as one season transitions into another? To coin a very old and over used saying, “You go, girl!!!”
    Much love from Prague,

  32. 332
    sweet anonymous says:

    Dear Beth,
    I just love it when you feel like God is smiling because he got to bestow something on us that would totally bless our socks off and I know He did that for you in this even as bittersweet as this is having to leave your home church after so many years. Thanks for posting the picture of Kendall. How beautiful she is! I am praying for her that God would tend to her so sweetly where she hurts, that Jesus would send special things her way this week that make her giggle and give her belly laughs all the way down to her toes. I love down’s kids, can you tell? Praying for you too my dear sister.
    Love, Sweet Anonymous

  33. 333
    LaRee says:

    Wow…what a hard yet obvious decision. I will be praying for your new church plant, how exciting!! 🙂

  34. 334
    Jennifer Tricarico says:

    Momma Beth-
    So touched by your testimony of God’s love poured out on your family through your church AND excited to see how He blesses this new congregation! Too much sweetness to even take in… just PTL’s galore.

  35. 335
    Kirsten says:

    I pray much blessing on you and your family as you start this wonderful adventure! 🙂

  36. 336
    Mikki says:

    I cannot thank you enough for your and your family’s living example of the courage to follow where He leads. May BCF be a blessing to all who enter its “doors”. May thousands be wooed to Christ by the love and teaching that they will find at BCF. And may those precious children that you befriended be the first of many many young ones to be blessed to learn and see and hear the Word of God and feel his Holy presence at BCF. What a time of magnificent joy at the hope and anticipation of what is yet to come!!

    Loving You!

  37. 337
    oceanmommy says:

    WOW!! I have tears. I can’t wait to see and hear what God does with this new body of believers. 🙂

    Prayers and love over this new adventure!

  38. 338
    Kathy Cooper says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart and the news of what God is doing in your life and that of your sweet family. The first thing that came to my mind when I read the name of your new church home, “Bayou City” was this funny flashback of the Disney movie “The Rescuers” with Bernard and Bianca and their adventures to rescue Penny in the Bayou. Really silly flashback, but I love the name – Bayou City Fellowship Church! I also love that you said, “It is the Lord’s will”. So excited for you all and I will be praying.

  39. 339
    Judy says:

    Wow. That’s all I can say after reading your letter. God’s timing is so amazing! It’s never easy to change churches. A decade ago, I changed not only churches but denominations. The first thing I noticed in my new church was that gender references had been removed from many of my favorite hymns!

    I wish you and your family many blessings as you begin this new venture.

  40. 340
    Sherrie says:

    Thank you for sharing. I will be praying for all of you. Something you said struck me and I needed to hear it, “…I felt His power and pleasure. It is the Lord’s will. I welcome it and embrace it.” You see my family is in a season of change. Although we do not know yet where the Lord is taking us, we do know that He is preparing us and we are seeking His will. So like you, I look forward to feeling, “His power and pleasure” when we obey His call. You are such a blessing.

  41. 341
    Dayna says:

    Best wishes and prayers for you and family Beth! A new work ahead~awesome. : )
    Love, Dayna

  42. 342
    Kaylee says:

    I love it that Amanda is your pastor’s wife. God has a keen sense of pleasure.

    Today we realized we would be switching churches. We too love our church so this post really ministered to my heart.

    People are people so serving new ones will be just as much a joy as serving the ones were use to. I am just so glad God calls us to bear fruit that will last. Though we leave a work we have labored over, our labor will continue to make a difference for His Kingdom purpose.

    You inspire me with your love. May He continue to pour out His love abroad into your heart b/c it is such a blessing and testimony.

  43. 343
    Laurie says:

    Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

    You taught me to let God “mess up my hair.” Thanks for living what you teach.

    Let’s stay women who let God move us anywhere He wants…even as the years pass by.



  44. 344
    Qtipper says:

    Sniffle, sniffle – God is gonna do BIG things at Bayou City Fellowship!! (In AR, that would be pronounced By-a-city!) So thankful to be a new Siesta. Praying for you right now!

  45. 345
    Stephanie Mann says:

    What a bitter sweet time this must be. I know everyone involved in the church plant have to scared and excited, but how pleased God is that His people are being obedient to the calling He has placed on their lives. I only wish as a little girls I could have been one of those 7 you introduced yourself to. They don’t know how lucky they are, but with time they will catch on.
    You have been a part of my life for 10 plus years and with any luck I will finally get to meet you at the SSMT celebration. My eyes well up with tears as I type this knowing what you have meant to me and my spiritual growth. Thanks you for following God and mentoring women. This gal from East Tennessee loves you to pieces.

  46. 346
    ashlee says:

    oh how blessed amanda is to have her mom in her congregation! nothing better than a mother and father’s love & support! especially when its a reflection of God’s love & support!
    my husband may just be the youth pastor (my dad is our pastor) but its so wonderful to serve with and beside my parents! we will miss them so much when God calls us to our next place of ministry …
    praying for you all!

  47. 347
    Heather says:

    The only thing I know to say to you about this post is I love you Beth Moore and I love your family and I’m so excited to see what God is up to & going to do through all of you next. I will be praying for you all.

  48. 348
    Liz Lyons says:

    How absolutely beautiful!! Will begin praying for BCF!! I know it will be a huge blessing to the people of Houston! Love y’all!

  49. 349
    Teresa Brady says:

    Wow! What a blessing! Nothing could be greater in the kingdom than to watch your daughter be the pastor’s wife. I will pray for you in this new work. To God be the glory!!!Amen and Amen.
    A PK and Pastor’s wife who has followed you for years!
    Teresa Brady

  50. 350
    Deirdre says:

    my heart is overflowing with love for you and your family and pride in your courage.

    You are always in my prayers, but I will be sure to pray for this new venture too.

    trivia – one time I was at home on a saturday morning. I knew you were doing a LPL event nd for some reason I just felt led to pray for your feet. That they wouldn’t hurt, or distract you or even feel tired.

    sometimes prayer can be so strange.

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