The search for a new minster at Abilene Baptist Church is underway after the church’s senior pastor announced his retirement during Sunday’s service.
The Rev. Bill Harrell, who has been at the Martinez church for more than 30 years, acknowledged his retirement Monday but declined to immediately discuss his plans in detail.
Harrell celebrated his 30th anniversary at Abilene on Jan. 18, 2011.
The Tifton, Ga., native has been witness to much growth at the church in the past three decades. Membership has risen from 940 when Harrell came to Abilene to about 3,000 members in 2011.
The church’s main sanctuary was renovated in 1993, and a Christian life center was constructed on Roberts Road in 2008.
Most recently, work on the church’s grand foyer, lounge and coffee shop was completed. A 55,000-square-foot building that houses the children’s ministry and administrative offices also opened in 2010.