ANKENY, Iowa—Ankeny Baptist Church said farewell Feb. 6 to its pastor and his wife, David and Debbie Strope, in a service marking a celebration and transition of David’s ministry.
David has been pastor of Ankeny Baptist Church since 1999. In December he became interim national representative of the GARBC while still serving his church family. He will now devote himself full-time to the role with the GARBC.
“It is a privilege and an honor for our church to be able to send our senior pastor into this special ministry,” the church says.
David has been in ministry for 45 years. Before serving at Ankeny Baptist Church, he was pastor of four churches in New York: Bethel Baptist Church in Jamestown, Calvary Baptist Church in Lockport, Maple Avenue Baptist Church in Elmira, and Calvary Baptist Church in Norwich.
For David and Debbie, departing ministry as a pastor and wife after four decades is both bittersweet and surreal. But David says, “God has made plain to us that this is His will for us for the immediate future, and we exclaim, ‘There is no improvement on the will of God.’”
During the service marking the Stropes’ next stop along their ministry journey, church members presented tributes to the couple. And the deacons and their wives, along with the staff and their spouses, gathered at the front of the room to send the couple to their next ministry.
A catered lunch, with a gift presented to the Stropes on behalf of the church body, ended the day.