Greetings in Christ Fellow Ministers,
The last 17 years have been an amazing time for me and my family. Being even just a small part of what God is doing in and through the Body of UNTCI has been a breathtaking adventure for us. The adventure started at a small desk in the corner of our living room when a chubby counselor living across the street from a cotton field in rural Alabama said “Yes” to an outrageous request from God to follow Him into the great unknown. This journey has brought us farther out into the deep waters of our faith than we could have ever imagined, and we are all spiritually richer for it. It is my prayer that we have left you spiritually richer for our time together as well.
This past August at Conference, I called a meeting of the Board of Directors before the conference began. I explained to them that God is calling my husband and I into a new season of our lives. We have given our very best to the UNTCI Ministry Association for the last 17 years, and it is now time for us to retire from active administrative leadership and pass the baton on to the members. It was suggested and unanimously agreed that Paul and I would remain on the Board as Founders, but that a new President and Vice President should be appointed according to our ByLaws. I nominated Dr. C Joseph Fifer to replace me as President of the Association and Mrs. Lynette Fifer to replace Paul as Vice President of the Association. All agreed.
Dr. & Mrs. Fifer have given selflessly of their time, treasure and talent over the last several years as they have traveled to headquarters in Alabama quarterly to assist with administration and anything else they could help with. The Lord eventually called them to make that move permanent, and for the last year they have been on site at headquarters full-time, assisting in every aspect of this Association. I have seen first hand their love for our ministers and for the freedom to preach the Gospel of Christ in all the world. I could not have imagined a better pair of leaders for this Body. As He always does, the Lord has provided above and beyond anything we could have asked or imagined. It is my prayer that you will welcome them both with the same love and friendship you have so generously given to Paul and me over the years. They truly do have the heart of Christ beating within them, and seek to serve and lead “with a bowl and a towel”. I see the face of each minister we have had the incredible honor of standing with in ordination over these many years, and I know this couple will love, honor and serve you even better than we could.
I especially want to thank all the members of the Board for making this transition so peaceful and positive: The Fifers, Rev. Glenn & Dr. Abby Burke and Pastors Sam & Kathy Jo Kahn – your support has been life-changing for Paul and me, and for the UNTCI Body at large. I know the Fifers will need your heart and your friendship as they move forward. It is my prayer that you treasure this beautiful unity of Spirit we share above all else. UNTCI has the very real potential to deeply impact the world’s intimacy with Christ. I pray you pursue that with passion and togetherness.
The end of March marks the end of the first quarter of 2016. The Weyants and the Fifers have spent the last quarter of 2015 following our meeting at Conference and the first quarter of 2016 working together to make this administrative transition smooth and joyful for the Body of UNTCI. I will be remaining as Prelate of the church itself for as long as the Lord leads, and until such time as He reveals a replacement. I see my role as primarily a rudder to ensure the ship stays on course within the original vision entrusted to us so many years ago. Paul and I will still be active participants in the Body – “Ministry” is simply who we are at our deepest being. In fact, you may end up spending more time with us on a personal level, since the responsibilities of Administration have now been lifted.
For 17 years, my husband has given himself fully to my heart, and God’s vision manifested there. He has – in so many ways – given himself up for me, as Christ gave Himself up for the church. He has honored what we know for a fact to be God’s calling on my life, and in doing so, has helped me empower the Gospel of Jesus Christ on every continent on Earth. His was no small accomplishment and came at the high cost of social persecution and loss of dear friendships over daring to imagine that God could use a woman to accomplish His purpose in this way. This spiritual leadership and brave example lived out in front of our four daughters – and this global Body – will go on to empower deeper relationships with the Living God for generations to come.
Our next steps include fully embracing our family business and using it to change lives. The Lord has given Paul a vision to teach others the technical skills to thrive in our field; to give them a hope and a future… so very much an echo of the heart of God. My husband gave his life for me in support of God’s vision to establish this Ministry Association. Now that our season of leadership has passed, it is the great joy of my life to now give my life in support of his vision. What an honor and a privilege to experience the beauty, ebb and flow dance of a “One Flesh” life together with our Lord, learning together every day. We promise to share this with you as we go.
Whether you read this love letter the day of its’ posting or a hundred years from now, I pray you will remember these, my parting words: Please love those the Lord has and will be bringing into leadership positions behind us. Trust that Jesus is the Head of this Church, not any man or woman. Edify and empower one another so that it stays that way. Do not settle for anything less than Jesus’ own leadership in and amongst you. It is His Spirit we minister alongside, and it is His Spirit Who empowers us to love one another along the journey.
And now, I pass the torch to you, the mighty, precious, empowered, blessed Members of this Body. You are unique. You are needed. You have an irreplacable part to play. If you are called upon to be more involved in any way, I hope and pray you will answer that call with passion and abandon.
We did, and it was truly the adventure of our lives.
By His Grace Alone,
Dr. Nicole Weyant
The United New Testament Church International Ministry Association, Inc.