LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After over 3 decades of preaching, a Lufkin pastor is stepping down from the pulpit. Charles Roberts has been in the ministry for over 48 years, 34 of those years at Denman Avenue Baptist Church in Lufkin.
"Most of my memories relate to the relationships that I've been able to establish. These are great people, and I've loved being here," said Pastor Charles Roberts.
Roberts' granddaughter says she's looking forward to spending more time with him at home.
"Definitely at the camp house and fishing and just hanging out at his house, he has more free time to go to our games and all that stuff," said Roberts' granddaughter, Reese Roberts.
The church honored the pastor with a retirement service, thanking him for being a positive cornerstone in the community.
"We love him. We've been on staff here. I've been here for 25 years, and he's been our leader," said Associate Pastor Kevin Roy.
Attendees also included Mayor Jack Gordon, who also spoke a few words.
"It's kind of mixed emotions, I guess. You know it's sad, really, because of all those years of good that he has done in our community, but I don't think he's going anywhere. We're going to keep him busy doing something around our town," said Gordon.
The flock says they'll miss their shepherd, but they're ready to accept change.
"When you lose your leader, there's always a real sense of loss, but we're excited about what God has in store. We believe God's in this. He's following the Lord's leadership. As a church, we're going to follow the Lord's leadership, and that's always exciting for us," said Roy.
Next Sunday, September, 25th, Matthew McKeller will be stepping in as the church's interim pastor.