‘Cause God Wouldn’t Bring You This Far to Leave You Now!

Steve Cothran was ordained to the gospel ministry by the First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC, in 1991. Steve and Kyle Matthews had been childhood friends and roommates at Furman University. For Steve’s ordination service, Kyle wrote is song, I Want to Go—

Brought up in the church against his will,
Squirming through the sermon, he can’t be still,
Making trouble for the Sunday School teacher,
Running through the pews,
How will this child understand anything we do?

Screaming on the bus with all the youth,
More concerned with dating than with truth,
Did he get that driver’s license
To speed through our new parking lot?
When will that boy learn that at church we worship God?

But all through the years, his open eyes and ears,
Found just enough of Christ among the people here,
To know what he could trust, to know that he was loved,
Until there came the day, his heart could finally pray:

I want to go where you are going, Lord,
I want to be among your people where you are,
I cannot live my life alone, I don’t know how,
But you would not bring me this far, to leave me now.

College, seminary, and a wife,
And now he’s found the calling of his life,
So we will be the treasurers, of the memories we keep,
As we release him, to where the call of Christ may lead.

We cannot go, where you are going,
But we will be among God’s people where you are,
And you will never be alone without God’s power,
‘Cause God would not bring you this far to leave you now,
God would not bring you this far to leave you now.

Sometimes words spoken at the beginning of a journey of faith become defining words for the entire journey of faith. On Sunday, 30 July 2017, Steve resigned as Associate Minister at First Baptist Church Greensboro, NC. Steve and Nancy do not know where God is leading them, but they are convinced in their hearts that they must be ready to go where their Lord is going. There was no pressure from the church or anyone for Steve to resign. The Spirit has been gently nudging Nancy and Steve to this decision. On Sunday, they took that first step of faith into the unknown—knowing enough about God that he would not bring them this far to leave them now.

This decision by Steve and Nancy does not surprise me. While they served here at Immanuel alongside us, their passion for the kingdom was evident. They are committed followers of Jesus. Ministry, for them, was never a career or a profession—it is a calling to follow Christ wherever he might lead them. They have given all of themselves in service to the Great Church, and I have no doubts that they will give the very same to whatever awaits them in service to Christ and the kingdom.

We can’t go with Steve and Nancy, but we are able to pray for them. We are able to share the conviction of this song sung at Steve’s ordination—“And you will never be alone without God’s power, ‘cause God would not bring you this far to leave you now.”

Godspeed, pilgrims, as the Spirit carries you away!


Jamie Broome

Jamie Broome began serving Immanuel in 1993. He previously served First Baptist Church in Midway, Kentucky for ten years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Carson Newman University, where he met his wife, Rita, and his Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, where he also did a Th.M. and doctoral work in church history. He is a native of South Carolina, and the Broomes have two sons, Chip and Rusty.