Thank you for reading

Published 10:29 pm Friday, November 28, 2014

By Chris Surber

My family and I have enjoyed living in Suffolk these past few years. Cypress Chapel Christian Church has become a part of our family and we a part of it.

We have made truly amazing friendships and relationships in Suffolk that we will continue to nurture long after we are no longer providing a ministry of pastoral nurture to the folks who frequent the Little White Chapel on the Cypress Swamp.

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I will miss viewing the world’s most spectacular sunsets from my back door on Carolina Road as I look across the farmer’s field. I will fondly reminisce about learning the right way to eat fried chicken — you know, to eat plenty of it! But most of all I will miss writing this column, as this installment will be my last before my family and I move to Haiti to do ministry there.

I’ll miss challenging the biblical and cultural assumptions of Christians. I’ll miss pressing and loving people with the Gospel of Jesus in so widely distributed a local forum as this newspaper. I’ll miss my frequent conversations about writing, culture, faith, and politics with Res Spears, my editor. Through writing for him and the Suffolk News-Herald, he has become one of my dearest friends.

As much as it saddens me to write a farewell column, I’m happy to be able to thank those who have blessed me with the privilege of your readership. Whether you’ve liked everything I’ve written or not isn’t the point. Good writing should challenge readers at least as often as it affirms them. A good religion column should challenge people too steeped in dry religion and press a few unbelievers toward faith.

I’ll miss people going out of their way to let me know how a particular column spoke to them or helped them, but I’m so happy with the man God has lined up to begin writing the next regular religion column in the News-Herald. He’s not taking my place. He’s got his own shoes, and he fills them just fine. I know you’ll enjoy his writing.

I want to leave you with one thought. This world is broken, and the only way toward healing is through faith in Jesus Christ and His work at the Cross. Vague faith in an abstract God isn’t enough. Religious duty won’t cut it. The question is not “Do you believe in God” or “Do you go to Church.” The question is “What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42)

Thank you for reading my humble contributions to the faith life of this community. As my family and I depart Suffolk for Haiti, I’m praying God’s Word over you through the passage of Scripture that is the foundation of our ministry in Haiti. “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (II Corinthians 9:10 ESV)

To learn more about our ongoing ministry sharing Christ in Haiti you may visit

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at