Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

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We say goodbye to a worship leader

Posted by Pastor Mark Toone on

My dear Chapel Hill family,

Sadly I share with you the news that our wonderful modern worship leader, James Roberson, will be concluding his service to us. And you might be surprised to discover why: he is firing himself! Let me explain.

James has a full-time job working as a crane inspector at the Bremerton boatyard. Obviously, this makes it impossible for him to be with us during the day when we are doing our worship planning. Even under those circumstances, he has done a remarkable job of building a team of musicians with wonderful hearts for the Lord who lead us into the presence of God each week. I have particularly loved his sometimes quirky stories (although the dog-trainer one got me nervous a couple weeks ago…but it worked out!)

Under James’ leadership, our 10:45 am service has been growing, not only in quality but also in attendance. That is no small thing in a time when overall worship attendance in most churches in the country is on the decline…a trend we ourselves are battling.

But as James was praying and reflecting on his ministry with us, he became convinced that the way forward for Chapel Hill must include a full-time modern worship leader, a role that he just cannot fulfill. So HE approached US…and suggested that we begin a search for such a person; that he would stay on board as long as we needed him to and when we found such a person, he would happily transition, mentor…even play in the band! Whatever would be most helpful. What a wonderful attitude!

Frankly, we knew that at some point, strategically, this change would be required. Our two modern services are growing and we believe, with the right leadership, that they are critical to our future, even as we continue to honor and continue the blended style of worship that we do so well. But James’ Holy Spirit prompting prompted US to accelerate the process.

Here, in his own words, are James’ thoughts on this matter:

It has been a blessing to serve you all as the modern worship leader. We have really seen tremendous growth since arriving in the summer of 2015. I’m so grateful to have been able to worship with you and yet with a heavy heart both April and I feel that it is time to step away from this position. I hope you all will continue to seek out the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit in your worship! Thank you for listening to my heart and stories through this season as it is my hope that they pointed towards Jesus. I’m so grateful for our blessed team, I love them dearly and Chapel Hill is so blessed to have such a great group of people to move forward with!

From my family to you all, thank you!
James Roberson


So, with that…we are beginning a search for a new, full-time modern worship director. Please pray that God will bring us the exactly right person. And offer up prayers of thanks for the gift that James and his family have been, and will continue to be, to our church.

Pastor Mark

P.S. This weekend, I begin a new sermon series from Romans titled, “Israel: Past, Present and Future.” My opening topic from chapter 9? The perennial crowd favorite, predestination. Actually, by the time I’m finished, you might see this doctrine as the great that it is!

Get your PDF of the fourth volume of our Romans devotional for chapter 9 HERE. 

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