We’re Leaving Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle

Six years ago I was sitting in my home in Chesapeake, VA watching the closing date on my house rapidly approach. God had called me to step down from my position at our church without telling me where we were going. After lots of interviews and even turning down some job offers, I was on the house phone with a church in Chicago – the last on my list – when suddenly my cell phone began to ring. Not recognizing the number, and in the middle of a conversation, I let the caller leave a voicemail.

When I hung up my wife asked me how the interview went. “OK,” I replied. “I’m not sure. It could possibly be a fit. They’re talking about flying me out.” She then told me I needed to listen to my voicemail because a church on Long Island had called me. Long Island? I didn’t know anybody on Long Island, and I certainly hadn’t applied to a church there. The message said, “Kevin, this is Roger Erdvig. You don’t know me, but I heard that you are searching for a new ministry position, and I would like to talk to you about an opening we have for a youth pastor.” Within just two weeks or so we had flown to Long Island twice and two days after closing on our house we were en route to work at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle. The rest is history.

For a while now my wife and I have felt God was moving us on from SGT. Back in November I had some conversations with Pastor Zarlengo about the restlessness in my heart, and I decided it was time for me to resign from my position. For the sake of my family and seeing that the senior class (the kids who were in 7th grade when I arrived) had the experience of only having one youth pastor during their youth ministry years (A rarity! The average American youth pastor lasts less than 2 years), I committed to finishing out the school year.

I want to thank my leaders, students, and the SGT church family for the incredible friendships and memories you have provided us with. Some of my most cherished memories are: raising up an incredible team of caring adult youth leaders, getting our students outside the walls of our church and seeing so many of them step up as servant leaders in our own community, beginning youth small groups (today there are 14 different small groups), leading 11 missions trips, winter retreats, connecting the youth of SGT to the Long Island youth network in a deeper way, all of the one-on-one conversations, and the opportunity to grow as a husband, father, and leader through all of the ups and downs.

At the time of this writing I am exploring a few options, but I am still not certain exactly where we will end up. Here we go again! I would appreciate your prayers as we seek to walk the life of faith and enjoy the adventurous life of following Jesus. We look forward to staying in touch.

12 thoughts on “We’re Leaving Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle

  1. i feel so hurt by this.
    you are just leaving us out of no where.
    and im pretty sure youth pastors stay alot longer than 2 years so thats false info!
    i guess do what you think is right but know that alot of us feel betrayed and hurt by you!
    here WE go starting over again..

  2. Sorry you feel that way, but if you're going to say such a thing, be bold enough to sign your name. And yes, that is an actual fact. By the way, I committed for 5 years and surpassed my commitment.

  3. Dude I will really miss you and your family! It was an honor working for you, along side you and learning from you 🙂 One thing is for sure and that is that you poured your heart into whatever project you came up with, your day to day work, your family and those teens!YOU AND Ady!!! I SAW IT FIRST HAND 🙂 Thanks for letting me see that guys 🙂

    Your Mecratary/friend,
    Giovanni Zito :0)

    ps. I'm sorry that you had to read that mean comment on your blog bro. You don't deserve that at all. lol Now i know why all my professors would say that youth pastors only last 2 years at a church hahaha! It sounds like it was left by someone that is hurting and doesn't really know u and that is sad. God bless homie.

  4. I wasn't at YG on Wed., but I heard your news! SGT has been so incredibly spoiled with your family! I'll miss you all so much!
    Thank you,
    Misswillowgreen

    P.S. You lead missions trips like nobody's business 🙂

  5. PK
    You are very special to me and my family and so are your wife and kids.
    You have made a difference in our family and the ministries that you have impacted when you have come to Georgia. You've been on TV here, in the Newspapers and talked about on the radio. You've met The Mayor and received The Key To The city. We have climbed mountains together and been in deep valleys literally.
    We have stood under waterfalls and have prayed for struggling youth in poverty together. We have distributed food to the poor together. We have met people from Toccoa, Georgia to Knoxville, Tennessee together. I have seen you encourage an entire School system using the youth from SGT to do so.
    I was there when your wife sang I Am Free to a crowd of youth at a small African American church that was going through a hard time. By the end of her song The Youth Pastor was so encouraged he was brought to tears. I saw you and heard you use nature when we went hiking to explain the word of God to the youth from SGT and the youth
    from our ministry and my own children. I saw a man in you who treated me and my family with respect and trust. I cannot say I will miss you because I shall be a part of your life and you shall be apart of mine long after this. We have been through too much together to part. Stay in touch…..

  6. PK,
    You have been a blessing to My Family and SGT. My family and I will be lifting you and your family in Prayer as you search for your next assignment from on High. God Bless You Brother.

  7. Pk ive known u for 6 years wow that i can say that i know im a red sock fan but we get along great im very sad bout this i was crying the other day cause im loosing a great friend and a shooting partner but all good things come to a end and its time to move on but u were a blessing to me and this new guy will never replace u in any way i love how im ur righthand man and ill do the same with this new guy.and i know the system and what these kids are about and im gonna live on your saying “playhard prayhard end quote.but lets enjoy our last couple of months together.and im loosing u and adriana yes her also we get along good together for some strange reason and im loosing a nother good friend in july but its all good ill make it one way or another but imagine what ill be like when u leave if im like this now im so heartbroken and idont want u to leave

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