Dear Church Family,

In September of 2020, we hired Eric Townsend as the part-time Associate Pastor of Grace Baptist Church. When we hired him, we knew it was going to be short-term as he told us he did not anticipate working here longer than five years. In January of 2024, he informed the elders he was planning to resign sometime this year. On March 13, 2024, Pastor Eric met with Pastor Daniel and Thomas Holmes, Chairman of the Elder Board, to state his willingness to resign this month. While he was planning to resign in August, he chose to resign early to help the church finances during our next fiscal year. Furthermore, he told us, with our permission, that he would like to continue teaching the youth in AWANA and Sunday School until the end of the current quarter as a volunteer. As hard as resignations sometimes are, this one was done well with good motives. Eric’s willingness to adjust his plans for the sake of the church and to continue serving as a volunteer is very commendable.

Eric has served us well over the past three and half years and has been an asset to Grace Church. The same is true for his wife, Lura. Many of you have become close to them and have benefited greatly from their ministry and friendship. As such, we want to allow you to say “Thank you” to Eric and Lura. On Sunday, April 14, we are going to take a love offering for Pastor Eric & Lura. We encourage you to give above your normal giving and participate in this gift for them. Then, on April 21, we will dedicate our monthly potluck to them as well as give them the gift from all of you. During the meal, you will be able to visit with them and thank them for their ministry.

We asked Eric and Lura if they would like the potluck to have a certain theme, and since both of them enjoy traveling to foreign countries, they asked that we do an international-themed potluck. They would like you to bring your favorite international food or favorite food from your heritage. This should be a fun experience, so bring a dish or two to share and let’s celebrate a ministry well done.

P.S. Eric & Lura want to assure you that at this time they do not have any plans to leave St. Paul. They love being here, they love all of you, and they believe that God’s next steps for them will be in this area. Please pray for them as they continue to listen to God’s leading in their life and as they strive to serve Him.

I love you all,

Pastor Daniel




I want to thank each and every person that has been a part of Grace Baptist Church since our arrival in June 2020. It has been a great pleasure to become a part of the church family and the greater community. Lura and I really enjoyed and have been extremely blessed by the welcoming spirit and nature of everyone here. God brought us here, but it was all of you that made it the pleasant environment we encountered. It was announced during services on Sunday, March 24, that I was resigning my position to help out the church’s financial situation. Pastor Daniel and I had previously discussed that this would be my final year on staff. We were trying to decide when would be the best time for that to happen for the church and all of the ministries. The decision was made that the start of the fiscal year was the best time for this transition. So, I have officially resigned as the Associate Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, effective March 31. I will continue to serve as leader for the youth Sunday School class until approximately the middle of May when we finish our current study. I will also continue to lead the youth group through the currently planned summer activities. The past several years being on staff has not always been easy, but as they say, growth never is. God has definitely used my time here (and many of you), to stretch me and grow my faith and abilities. We have both made great friends and lots of personal connections with many of the people in the church and the community. Lura and I have no plans to leave the church or the area, but are waiting and praying to see clearly where God is leading us. We have many ideas and desires, but it is up to God to direct us where we are to invest our time and energies going forward. We look forward to continuing to worship with you each Sunday and serving alongside you in other ministries within the church and community. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. We are still here to serve and do not want this change to interrupt any part of our lives together.

Pastor Eric