Longtime Montgomery pastor speaks after announcing retirement

First Baptist Church pastor set to retire

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A longtime Montgomery pastor announced his plans to retire last week, and Sunday he spoke more about the decision that came as a shock to many.

Jay Wolf has been the pastor of First Baptist Church in Montgomery for 31 years, but on his 65th birthday, he decided it was time to retire.

"I came to this decision because time does not flow backwards,” Wolf said. “It only goes forwards. So, on Sept. 11, this last Wednesday, the calendar yelled at me and said, 'You're 65.'"

Wolf said he’s been anticipating his retirement for quite some time.

"I have been anticipating deeply prayerful in thinking about this decision for several years," he said.

Wolf said what he will remember most about his time as a pastor is what the church has done for his children.

"Our children have been immensely blessed by this church because the focus of this church is not entertaining people, it's equipping people," he said.

Wolf won't be going far though, as he and his family plan to retire here in Montgomery.

"Our church is highly engaged in sharing Jesus with our world so I foresee all of that will continue under new leadership and then I will be highly engaged in kingdom enterprises so that's my goal,” he said. “My schedule will change but my purpose will not."

Wolf’s last day as pastor will be on June 30, 2020. The search for his replacement began Sunday.

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