A Note from John Roach
Dr. John Roach

A Season of Gratitude

As we turn the page from a season of gratitude to a season of great expectation, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the last two years. This is our second Thanksgiving in Tyler, and we are approaching our second Christmas. It was around this time in 2021 that the Lord revealed to our family that we were indeed called to serve in East Texas, specifically at Green Acres Baptist Church. The Lord had revealed to us the great opportunities for incredible impact across the world by serving at a church with such a deep legacy of mission-mindedness.

Our family has been so blessed by Green Acres, and in two short years we have fallen more and more in love with our church and our community. I should be transparent here and tell you that the transition was very difficult for our family.  We moved our daughter in her sophomore year, and our sons were in their freshman, seventh, and sixth-grade years. While we knew God was moving us, sadness quickly set in as our family had forged incredible relationships while replanting a church during COVID.  As many know, serving together as a church with other brothers and sisters quickly strengthens, molds, and fortifies relationships in a unique way. Our family had experienced this.

At the same time, God had been moving and forming a deep burden and conviction on my hear to plant churches in Texas, North America, and around the world. My wife Emily and I had multiple conversations about the desire to be part of a church-planting movement. I remember so vividly the conversation in our kitchen where we discussed our future. We quickly arrived at what we believed was God’s new call on our lives. We knew that God had placed a weight on our hearts to impact the world through strengthening and starting churches. As we discussed this calling with our family, we again felt great sadness, for we knew we would have to say goodbye to an incredible church family, but we also knew the best was yet to come.

The early months of 2022 felt like years as we transitioned. Our GABC family and staff proved to be a huge blessing as we trusted the Lord in the move. There were special blessings and interactions with families in our church, our Executive Staff, the Missions team, and so many others as we began to assimilate into our new post. While it has not all been puppy dogs and sunshine (as one friend says), it has been incredible. GABC was and is a constant reminder of what Paul challenged the church in Galatia with in Galatians 6:2, “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Paul adds later in Galatians 6:10, “As we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.”

GABC family, you have taken the opportunity to work for the good of the Roach family. You continue to love us well. From our family to yours, thank you. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the Lord and His provision for our family in every way. We are especially grateful for you. So many of you continue to pray for us, encourage us, care for us, and so much more.

Your love and care for us has only emboldened our desire to plant churches around the world like Green Acres. Can you imagine the impact of a church that loves Jesus and its community the way our church does in every city around the world? This is our motivation. The truth of Jesus is the only thing that can transform lives, and the Lord Jesus has graciously set apart the church to be the beacon of hope and life so the world may know Him. This truth, His gospel, is “The power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Roman 1:16).  Luke reminds us, “There is salvation is no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And it is us, the church, whom Jesus has “sent into the world” (John 17:18) to be “sanctified by the truth” (John 17:17) so the world may know that God sent Jesus to show the world God loves them the way He loves His son (John 17:23).

I am grateful to be part of a church that seeks to be a beacon of hope both here in our own community and around the world. It is a blessing to call Green Acres our church home and an honor to serve alongside you.