Dear friends and family of Christ Presbyterian Church,
As they say, "All's well that ends well."
As many of you already know, things ended well today when Buzz Carter, a long time and faithful member of Christ Presbyterian with his wife, Jicki, was found alive and well after going missing since Saturday afternoon in Beaman Park.
After nearly two days of a police-led search involving over three hundred volunteers, it turns out that Buzz went deep into the woods on his hike and got lost. He survived on wild berries until he was finally found late this morning. Thanks be to God that the very best possible scenario has emerged to be the true one!
I also want to express my praise and gratitude for the Christ Presbyterian Church family. Patti and I arrived on the scene Sunday evening while driving home from a weekend in Saint Louis, and there were already 145 volunteers, mostly from our church, searching the woods for Buzz, guided by the amazing law enforcement officers who oversaw the search. When I arrived again this morning, there were already 175 volunteers present, most of whom were also from Christ Presbyterian, as well as a few others who came to help after hearing the story on the news. We were also grateful to see Carter Crenshaw from West End Community Church, as well as Ken Leggett from Christ Community Church, who were present with some of their congregants to join us for the search. Additionally, the Nashville Fellows kindly took the morning off to support and participate in the search.
As I look back on the past two days, I am once again struck by how beautifully Christ Presbyterian becomes "the church" if ever and whenever a need or struggle arises. As a family in Christ, you are remarkable not only in the way that you bless and serve our great city, but also in the way that you carry one another's burdens. When you do so, you become the beautiful and life-giving witness to Jesus Christ, whose entire mission was to seek and rescue that which has been lost.
Executive Director, Bob Bradshaw, canceled all staff meetings and other plans today to ensure that our church staff could be available for the search. Hundreds of church members rearranged your schedules, took time off from work, and showed up. You searched the woods, brought water and other refreshments to those doing the searching, provided meals for the family, offered professional counseling free of charge to those in distress, and of course, as you always do, you prayed.
And so, for these and so many other reasons, I write simply to thank you on behalf of the entire team at Christ Presbyterian. I speak for our entire team when I say it is such an honor to get to serve with and among you.
Lastly, please pray for the Carter family as they recover from a whirlwind of a weekend.