Hello Assurance! 
 
Words cannot express how excited and humbled I am to be appointed the new Lead Pastor of this wonderful church. However, I will try my best.
 
A little over a couple months ago I was told by my District Superintendent that I was to be appointed to Assurance. My reaction at that moment and since has been one of euphoria. I knew through relationships and conversations over the years how special a place Assurance is in our Annual Conference. To be appointed the new pastor of such a wonderful church brought a special sense of joy in my soul that has not diminished an ounce since that moment.
 
One of the reasons I knew Assurance was so special was because I knew how special of a lead pastor the church had in Chris Westmoreland. Chris is truly one of the greatest persons and pastors I have ever known. Long before I knew I was being appointed to Assurance, Chris and I had become close friends. We got to know each other in a pastor group called the Reynolds LEAD Academy. Together, we "suffered for Jesus" in places like Hawaii, London and the Holy Land  ;-).
 
Throughout our travels, he and I had many conversations about theology, church, life, family, etc. We discovered that we had a ton in common, and that we both had the same passions for the good news of Jesus Christ and the importance of the local church. As we begin this pastoral transition together, I wanted all of you to know that I firmly believe in my heart that God will continue the great work that has already been done at Assurance for the sake of the Kingdom. I cannot wait to begin the process of growing and going together.
 
I look forward to getting to know all of you over the next several weeks. I hope to see you this Sunday as I deliver my first message at Assurance. It is titled "Identity,” and it will discuss my thoughts on both the identity of God and all of us as God's wonderfully redeemed creation. 
 
Once again, I am both excited and humbled to be your new pastor. The old hymn "Blessed Assurance" keeps popping into my head as I look to my first weeks with all of you. The obvious reason is because of the word assurance. Yet, I do not think that is the only reason it continues to pop into my head weeks and months after finding out that I was coming to all of you. I think the main reason is actually the first word of the title and the lyrics: Blessed. 
 
I am blessed beyond words to be joining all of you soon...to be in ministry alongside you. I am blessed beyond words with an amazing wife and son...both who demonstrate God's abundant love and grace to me in all that they do. And most importantly, I am blessed beyond words to have a Lord and Savior in Jesus Christ...who is the very reason we all do this thing called church. Blessed Assurance indeed! 
 
Below you will find some fun “favorites” about me. I look forward to getting to know all about your favorites as well! See you Sunday!!!
 
In Christ,
Pastor Lonnie
 

FAVORITES ABOUT PASTOR LONNIE

Favorite Book of the Bible: Philippians
Favorite Band(s): Led Zeppelin and David Crowder
Favorite Sports Team(s): Florida Gators (College…diehard Gators fan!) and Carolina Panthers (Pro)
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Biblical Character (outside Jesus of course): Apostle Paul
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Drink: Half and Half Tea
Favorite Book: To Kill A Mockingbird
Favorite Experience: Day my son was born
Favorite Bubble Gum: Bubblicious Watermelon Wave
 
Other info: I am married to the wonderful Susannah Baskervill Pittman. She is the new Lead Pastor at FUMC Mount Holly. We have an adorable and vibrant four-year old named Preston (turns 5 in August). Our other family member is our 7-year old dachshund named Emory (after the school where Susannah and I met). I am originally from Pensacola, Florida, but have lived all over the south the last decade. I am now home.