Letter from Pastor Ray Noah
Dear Portland Christian Center Family,
There are two things that have been my consuming passion as a pastor. The first is simply to know and do the will of God. The second is to devote my best energies to leading and loving His people in the local church. I trust that when I stand before God one day to give account for my life, I will hear Him say that I have done well in fulfilling these two passions.
After a lengthy, thoughtful, and prayerful process, Linda and I have determined that God’s will for our lives is to release our ministry as Lead Pastors of Portland Christian Center back to Him, effective May 23, 2021. We will now take a step of faith to devote our energies in this next season of life as missionaries taking Christ to the unreached world. For the first time in over four decades, we will no longer be pastors in a local church; we will become missionaries planting local churches through the Petros Network.
We do this with a degree of sadness, knowing that we will no longer have the privilege to shepherd a flock that we have known and loved for twenty-five years, thirteen of which have been as your lead pastors. Yet at the same time, we are excited for the next season for PCC under a new leader with a new vision that will take the congregation to greater experiences of knowing God and making Him known.
This resignation, as with all resignations, will cause some to ask if I am resigning because of a challenge, or over a criticism, or due to a conflict. I can assure you that this resignation is 100% because of a calling. Over the past few years, God has planted in my heart a prophetic ambition, as the Apostle Paul said of himself in Romans 15:20, “to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” That ambition is now a consuming vision, and this is the time to pursue it. I believe the time before Christ’s return is short, and the harvest of souls for His eternal kingdom is ripe, so with God’s help, Linda and I will give our best efforts to launch church planting movements where there is no access to a gospel witness that will evangelize and disciple millions of new believers in the next decade.
Others might ask, given this strange and difficult year of Covid-19, if this is a good time to resign. As I have processed that very question, I have come to believe that this is the perfect time as PCC comes out from pandemic restrictions under which it has lived these past twelve months, to reset under a new leader with new leadership vision.
We believe our years at Portland Christian Center have profoundly shaped and prepared us as we launch into this new kingdom calling. Your trust, generosity and graciousness have been a true gift to us that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. Likewise, our friendship and spiritual partnership with both the current and previous Board of Deacons have deeply impacted us. These have been the best of times among the best of God’s people. The relationships we have enjoyed with the people, the deacons, and the staff of PCC will be a spiritual and emotional anchor that will sustain us in the journey ahead. Furthermore, since we are not pursuing another church ministry, it is our hope to remain in the pews of PCC to contribute where we can and cheer on this incredible church and its new leader.
Finally, thank you for the opportunity to serve, grow and see God’s kingdom advance through PCC. We will leave this role with overwhelming love for you, with deep gratitude that words cannot express, and a compelling sense that the best days are still ahead for you, and for us.
May the God of grace be with you all!
Pastor Ray Noah
Portland Christian Center
Statement from the Board of Deacons
On behalf of the Deacon Board, we want you to know that we understand that there is a lot of emotion at this moment because of our love and appreciation for Ray and Linda. We also want you to know that the board had recently been made aware of Pastor Ray’s decision, so we know what you are feeling.
We have consulted our Church Constitutional By-laws that address this type of event in the life of our church. It directs us to form a Pulpit Search Committee and that is in process. Also, we have the support and council of the Oregon Ministry Network that oversees 200 Assembly of God Churches in Oregon. They have significant experience with Lead Pastor transitions, and they have already provided the Board with information regarding processes we can use.
On a very positive note, you will be pleased to know that Pastor Bill Wilson has agreed to be our interim Pastor during this transition period. Most of us know Pastor Wilson since he was the lead pastor here at PCC for 22 years before Pastor Ray came. He is serving as the Lead Pastor for the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God here in Oregon. Having his experience and leadership will be a tremendous blessing.
Over the weeks to come we will communicate with you and inform you of our progress as we search to discover whom God will provide to lead us into the future.
We are so very thankful for the time the Pastor Ray has led us and we are very excited for what God has for Linda and him as they continue to spread the Gospel near and far.