To the congregation of Haymarket Baptist Church,

I cannot begin to express my disappointment and sadness that I am not with you in person this morning. As you have probably heard, I ruptured my left patella tendon playing basketball in Tennessee on Wednesday morning during a baptist ministers conference. I had surgery on Wednesday evening and am now recovering at home with my parents in Greenville, SC. I really wanted to make it work to be with you in Haymarket for such a special Sunday in the life of the church and for me personally. In the end, though, it was all that I could do to ride from Knoxville, Tennessee to Greenville, SC where I will be for the initial stage of the rehab process.

I am so grateful for your prayers. What a humbling way to become familiar with the congregation, by receiving your prayer and support. Through this process, I am not only interviewing for the position, but I am also looking forward to joining your church family. It is clear that you are a loving and caring community of faith, as I have felt that warmth both from the search committee as well as Dr. Olson, who has been nothing but supportive, even in several phone calls late this week as I discerned the best course of action for this weekend.

Know that my disappointment not being there today is also coupled with my sincere excitement for the role. I look forward to joining you when that can occur, hopefully sometime in the next several weeks. I will have an appointment with an orthopedist in a couple of weeks to determine how my knee is progressing and how much travel and mobility that I can manage. I look forward to maintaining close contact with Dr. Olson as we look to schedule my meeting you as a congregation as soon as we can. I have been so encouraged by the way Haymarket Baptist Church has designed a role related to community outreach, and the graciousness of each individual that I have met has only affirmed my sense of call to your church. I cannot wait to move forward with you, and consider this delay only a minor setback in our story together.

With Grace and Peace,

Allan Smith