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Guest Editorial: Gulf Cove UMC pastor moving on, will be missed

Wil Fisackerly, Phil Stricker, Ally Fisackerly Stricker, the Rev. Bill Fisackerly, Kim Fisackerly, Bethany Fisackerly, in December 2015

Wil Fisack­erly, Phil Stricker, Ally Fisack­erly Stricker, the Rev. Bill Fisack­erly, Kim Fisack­erly, Bethany Fisack­erly, in Decem­ber 2015

By Joan Priest

GCUMC Found­ing Member

GULF COVE, Fla. – Gulf Cove United Methodist Church says farewell to Rev. Dr. Bill Fisack­erly after 10 years of ser­vice.  Rev. Bill’s last ser­mon at Gulf Cove Church will be on Sun­day, June 26, after which he will be trans­fer­ring to St. James UMC in Tampa.

Rev. Bill and Kim Fisackerly on Nov. 11, 2010

Rev. Bill and Kim Fisack­erly on Nov. 11, 2010

He and his wife, Kim, have been an inte­gral part of this com­mu­nity and will be missed by many.  They have reached out in ways that may be unique or con­sid­ered uncon­ven­tional, yet have touched many lives.

Rev. Bill is not only a gifted pas­tor, but enjoys the the­ater.  He and Kim have been in, or starred in, many local pro­duc­tions.  Fel­low actors have seen their Chris­t­ian spirit through actions and words, both on and off stage.  Kim has been a leader and men­tor for many Weight Watcher mem­bers locally and will be missed.  She has a nat­ural gift in being authen­tic and shar­ing with oth­ers.  She has even helped our hear­ing impaired by sign­ing Rev. Bill’s ser­mon dur­ing our con­tem­po­rary service.

Kim, as the Con­tem­po­rary Wor­ship Leader, and Rev. Bill as lead gui­tar, sang and “rocked out” from time to time with the Praise Team. But their songs and wor­ship ser­vices have led many to Christ and to heal­ing.  What a spe­cial team they make in ser­vice to the Lord.  We can’t for­get Sun­day evening bowl­ing when the staff at the lanes actu­ally look for­ward to being included in the prayer round-up.  Servers at restau­rants are made to feel spe­cial when asked if they’d like their con­cerns to be lifted up when we say grace.  Uncon­ven­tional, yes! Inclu­sive, by all means!

Rev. Bill Fisackerly and Virginia Bathurst during the Crafty Ladies Fall Sale on Nov. 8, 2013.

Rev. Bill Fisack­erly and Vir­ginia Bathurst dur­ing the Crafty Ladies Fall Sale on Nov. 8, 2013.

What has Rev. Bill’s min­istry to Gulf Cove Church insti­tuted dur­ing the past 10 years in “Help­ing Every­one Meet, Know and Serve Jesus”?  Gulf Cove is reach­ing beyond our walls by adopt­ing a sis­ter church in Nicaro, Cuba.  We are help­ing them in their min­istry with prayer and sup­ply­ing some basic needs for liv­ing; they are bless­ing us with prayers and show­ing us their incred­i­ble faith.  We are enjoy­ing the fel­low­ship, account­abil­ity, and con­tin­ued learn­ing that small groups offer.  We are blessed when we are able to help clothe chil­dren and adults from our com­mu­nity who are in need.  We love work­ing with the Scouts, the local schools, the Sal­va­tion Army, and the Rotonda West Amer­i­can Legion, among other mis­sions, as well as con­tin­u­ing to offer our facil­i­ties as meet­ing places for other groups.

Gulf Cove Church will miss the Fisack­erlys, but we send them on to their next appoint­ment with love.  We know God has a plan for them and for us.  Is there more for Gulf Cove Church to do here in our com­mu­nity?  You bet!  Who will do it?  God will work through our new pas­tor, his fam­ily, and all of us.  More to come on that later.  For now, we say THANK YOU Rev. Dr. Bill and Kim for all your faith­ful, fun, and ded­i­cated ser­vice to God, Gulf Cove Church, and this com­mu­nity.  We will miss you!

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