Pastor's Sabbatical

Message from the Personnel Committee
Having completed seven years of service at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, Pastor Josh will take a one-month sabbatical from October 4th through November 1st. The sabbatical is in line with the guidelines spelled out in the Columbus Avenue Baptist Church Personnel Manual, and more importantly, in line with examples we see in Scripture. In Leviticus 25:4, we see that God’s command to his people was that “during the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the Lord” and in Genesis 2:2 we see that after God completed creation, “He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”
The Personnel Committee is excited to unanimously extend this opportunity to Pastor Josh. While away on sabbatical, Pastor Josh will continue to pursue further education, which will benefit both his spiritual growth and Columbus Avenue Baptist Church as a whole. During Pastor Josh’s time away, Dr. David Garland will teach in each Sunday morning service and Executive Pastor Danny Walker will manage Pastor Josh’s day-to-day responsibilities. Dr. Paul Etter and Pastor David Villarreal will respond to pastoral care needs, including funerals. Our Minister of Pastoral Care, Ken James, and Pastoral Intern, Mac Stinson, will respond to hospital visitation and to the sick. Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Danny Walker at or 254-752-1655.


Frequently Asked Questions

What will Pastor Josh be doing during the sabbatical?

Pastor Josh will spend about 2 weeks completing his final seminar in pursuit of the Doctor of Ministry from Baylor University’s Truett Seminary. After that, he will spend some time with his family and then begin writing his final project to complete the degree. 

Who will preach in Pastor Josh’s absence?

Dr. David Garland, former interim president at Baylor University and professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett Seminary will preach in the morning services that Pastor Josh will miss. See more about Dr. Garland below.

Who will handle pastoral care duties for Pastor Josh during his absence? 

The ministry staff, including Dr. Paul Etter, David Villarreal, and Ken James, will be available to respond to crisis situations, including counseling, hospital visitation, and family deaths. They will be assisted by Pastoral Intern, Mac Stinson. 

Who will handle administrative duties for Pastor Josh during his absence?

Executive Pastor, Danny Walker, will handle administrative duties including staff leadership.

How can we pray for Pastor Josh during his sabbatical?

Pray for the Lord’s wisdom to make the most of the opportunity to focus on the academic tasks as well as wisdom to rest and experience renewal with the Lord and with his family. 


More About Dr. David Garland...


Dr. David E. Garland is a Professor of Christians Scriptures and began teaching at Truett in 1997. He received his M. Div. and Ph.D. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served on the Southern faculty for 21 years, was Chairman of the Biblical Division from 1992-1997, and was the first holder of the Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of New Testament Interpretation from 1993 to 1997. Dr. Garland did post-graduate study at Eberhard-Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany in 1984-85 and at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia in 1992-93. He was the first holder of the William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures Chair at Truett (2005–2012) and the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Chair of the Dean (2012-2014). He became Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Truett in 2000 and was named Truett Seminary's fourth dean on June 1, 2007. He stepped down as Dean to become interim Provost of Baylor University from 2014 to 2015. He also has served twice as interim President of Baylor University, from August 2008 to May 2010 and from June 2016 to June 2017.

Dr. Garland is an elected member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and has authored, co-authored, and edited twenty-four books. He also has published more than fifty articles. He served as the New Testament editor for the revision of the Expositor's Bible Commentary for which he wrote the commentary on Philippians. He co-authored Flawed Families of the Bible: How God's Grace Works Through Imperfect Relationships (Brazos Press) with his late wife Diana who was Dean of what is now the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor. A commentary on 2 Corinthians and a commentary on Romas have been published this year.

His books have been translated into Spanish, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, and Arabic, and four have received special recognition. The commentary on Mark received a Silver Medallion from the Christian Booksellers Association in 1996. The "Gospel of Mark" commentary received the Gold Medallion in 2003. The commentary on 1 Corinthians received a Silver Medallion from the CBA and an Award of Merit from Christianity Today in 2004. The Theology of Mark received the Silver Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association in 2016.

Dr. Garland remains connected to local church ministry and has served as Interim Pastor of sixteen churches in Kentucky, Indiana, and Texas, and has preached in numerous churches throughout the U.S. and in Australia and Africa. He also contributed to the acclaimed DVD series "Deeper Connections" produced by Zondervan.

Baptist Standard article:  David Garland: Pastor, teacher, scholar