ACT III: Rebekah and Derek Maul set to open new chapter in North Carolina

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I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)

OK, folks, pretty much everyone we needed to tell personally has received the news by now, so Rebekah and I have agreed  it’s time for me to “spill the beans” via my blog. Besides, we’re already being “scooped” by half the population on Facebook!

THE FACTS: First, the short version; after almost 17 years in Brandon, Florida, Rebekah and I are moving to North Carolina.

Sunday morning (June 16), following an enthusiastic report from their “Pastor Nominating Committee,” the congregation of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church voted, unanimously, to extend a call to Rebekah to be their new senior pastor/head of staff; she will begin her ministry there in mid-August.


THE STORY: The whole story – of course – turns out to involve much more. It starts in Pensacola, back in 1982, where “ACT I” comprised a rich and exciting 14-year ministry with Trinity Presbyterian Church. The story has grown and continued (“ACT II”) here in Brandon, where we have enjoyed almost 17-years of a shared faith-journey that has been startling in the scope of its blessings, but quite impossible to summarize in a few words (so I’ll save that for another post).

ACT II has been such a positive affirmation that – a few months ago – it became clear to both of us that we should be open to talking about the possibility of pairing Rebekah’s passion for discipleship with one more community of faith.

But it had to be a church that both needs to take a fresh look at those “R” words we’ve been talking about, and is ready to take a fresh look at those “R” words (reconciliation, redemption, restoration, reaffirmation, rekindling, renewal, rebirth, resurrection, reawakening, reanimation…). These “R” words can be – and will be – remarkable.

So, in due course, and according to the mysteries of providence, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church and Rebekah Maul found one-another, and fell into an increasingly deep conversation about the possibilities. There were telephone conversations, emails, a Skype interview, more conversation, the trip we both took to visit the community, and then one more Skype conversation where the seven-member team asked, beautifully, “Rebekah, would you come to Wake Forest and be our pastor?”

IMG_3088ACT III: This has been a journey that could only have been orchestrated by God. Both of us feel excited, motivated, and specifically called to move to North Carolina and to begin “ACT III” in the context of the hope and promise-laden challenge that is the faith community known as WFPC.

I promise to write more about this wonder and joy in posts to come, but for today I want all of you to pray for the following:

  • Wake Forest Presbyterian Church; that they will be open to the moving of the Spirit as they renew their commitment as Followers of the Way of Jesus.
  • First Presbyterian Church of Brandon; that they will enthusiastically embrace the possibilities and the promise of a new direction in the near future.
  • Rebekah and Derek Maul; that we will continue to be sensitive to God’s leading as we negotiate the myriad details involved in relocating after 17 amazing years here in Brandon with this faithful church family we love so deeply.

IMG_3084I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)


  1. We still can hardly believe you will be up here and we can hang out with you and Rebekah from time-to-time. Even Sergei is excited to be able to see the happiest person he knows. Rebekah’s leadership will be fabulous for WFPC, though I know how much the folks at FPCB will miss her. And Wake Forest is a nice town with much to do close by in Raleigh. Time to get packing! Much love and moving mercies!


  2. You will have to let us know when your first Sunday preaching is. We live in Durham which is only about 30-45 min away; we will be more than happy to come over and say “Hi”. Prayers are with you on your move, and I know that you will both be missed by your First Pres family in Brandon.



    Just kidding!! you are the luckiest person i know…. or maybe that should be you are the most blessed person i know. anyway, you get to move up to the most beautiful area in the world and you guys are starting a new church. not that i think starting a church is lucky but you guys have it from the gitgo, shaping it and doing what you want. small churches are awesome. lots of pot lucks and stuff. only thing wrong with em is that they can tend to be exclusive if you aren’t careful. but knowing how you operate, i imagine you’ll draw in people who will be open and flexible. and hey if they aren’t, you can always slap them with some Maul charm.

    Good luck, Derek! hey, now that Rebekah slammed down her resignation and stormed out of the building, does that make Tim the new Pope of Carver Street?


  4. As you know, wherever you go, that’s where you’ll be…and people there will be all the better for it. Good Luck and God Bless to both of you.


  5. I can only rejoice because I know God’s hand is in it for you two and Wake Forest and for us at First Pres in Brandon. God is directing all our paths because we endeavor not to leave our ‘first love” and His love is unfailing!


  6. This is just what i would expect from Rebekah. She was talking about Wake Forest in one of her sermons and I thought to myself Wake Forest needs a pastor like Rebekah. She has lead FPCB to be a great community of faith. She will do the same up there. Plus they get Derek as a bonus.


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