Pastor Ricky's Announcement

Read about the next step God has for Pastor Ricky.

A Letter From Pastor Ricky Powell

May 29, 2022

Dear Fort Caroline Baptist Church Family,

One of the greatest joys of my life has been to serve as your pastor. I have sought by God’s grace to preach His Word faithfully, love and shepherd this flock, lead with integrity, and share the Gospel of Jesus with passion. I have always tried to follow God’s will as best I can.

For the last year, God has been working in my heart to refine His will for my life and ministry. After much prayer and thought, Donna and I believe it is God’s will that I step down as the lead pastor of Fort Caroline Baptist Church effective June 30 of this year. My last Sunday will be June 26, 2022. I have accepted the call as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Blairsville, Georgia.

I make this announcement with mixed emotions. It is with sadness that I offer my resignation after serving you for 28 years, 26 of those as your pastor. Very few pastors have the joy of serving one congregation for nearly 3 decades. I have often told my friends that Fort Caroline Baptist Church is a pastor’s dream. You are more than church members – you are our family and friends. Donna and I have loved serving you. You welcomed us, loved us, prayed for us, and supported us as we raised our three children in this church. You have followed my leadership. You have allowed me to walk with you through many ups and downs in your lives. To say “thank you” is inadequate to express our feelings.

While we are sad to say goodbye, we are also confident in the future God has for us and for Fort Caroline Baptist Church. My desire has always been to retire from this church, but my greatest obligation is to be obedient to God’s will. I have peace that this is God’s will, not only for me, but for this church. For me to reject God’s new assignment for me would not be good for anyone.

I want to be clear that there is nothing going on behind the scenes in my life or this church that has precipitated this decision. I have received nothing but love and support from our Board of Trustees, our ministry leadership teams, and our staff. My resignation today is 100% because of God’s call upon my life to a new chapter of ministry. I am excited for what God has in store for me, and I truly believe the greatest days of this church are ahead of her. 

There is never an easy time to leave, but this is an exciting opportunity for the next leader God calls to come with a renewed vision and passion for this church. Our church is spiritually healthy. God has positioned this church for greater days of impact in Jacksonville and around the world.

Our church bylaws have a procedure for securing the next pastor. I can assure you that over the next month I will do everything in my power to be prayerful and supportive in the transition. Your Executive Pastor, Matt Sparling, the staff, and the church elected leaders are godly people. The church is in capable hands.

I want to thank our staff and volunteers for the joy of serving alongside of you. You will always be dear to me and Donna. May God bless each of you and your families.

And, Fort Caroline Baptist Church, let me again thank you for the privilege of being your pastor for so many years. I will always hold you dear in my heart. May God bless you as you serve Him through this wonderful body of believers. Now is the time to renew your commitment to the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ. Come together, serve, give, invite, and share God’s love while trusting Him in this new season.

“May the Lord be with your spirit. And may His grace be with all of you.” (2 Timothy 4:22 NLT)


Ricky Powell,

Lead Pastor 

P.S. – If you no longer consider yourself a member of Fort Caroline Baptist Church, please contact Lori Gray at [email protected] or (904) 642-2288 x 14 so we can update our church records.