Rev. V. Lamar Helms
296 Switchgrass Loop
Little River, SC 29566
To the dear members of Big Canoe Chapel:
It has been my joy to serve on staff at Big Canoe Chapel since August 1996. I have had the privilege of directing a marvelous Chapel Choir and Men’s Chorus since that time, both of which have performed in Carnegie Hall recently; I have had the privilege of serving full time as Associate Chaplain since August 2004, focusing on pastoral care and experiencing the joys and sorrows of chapel members in times of celebration, wellness, sickness, and death, and working with the finest Stephen Ministers that any congregation could need. I have been privileged to serve alongside five fine Senior Chaplains and wonderful support staffs.
As I began to reflect on my time at the Chapel, I am reminded of so many great blessings that Big Canoe Chapel has afforded me. I have led pilgrimages to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Ireland, and Reformation countries, celebrating and remembering the lives of Jesus and Christian saints; I have served on sixteen Broyles Mission Conference committees, leading the conference with Sylvia in 2018 and with Frank and Nancy Schwartzmiller in 2019; I have been on Mission Trips to Nicaragua, Ukraine, and Russia multiple times; I have taught and enjoyed a series of Bible studies watching the spiritual growth of participants. And of course, I have appreciated and enjoyed my honorary membership in the Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Guild—the only male to have been given an official name tag! I have grieved as persons have moved on from the Chapel and have rejoiced as new ones came to join our community of faith. All of these opportunities have filled my life with untold and immeasurable blessings.
But the time has come for me to shift focus from church to family. None of us knows how much time we have left on earth, but we do know that the number of days is shortening. And I want to spend those days with family—with Sylvia, my wife of 50+ years who has been the greatest support that any minister or husband could ever desire, and with my three children and three grandchildren, all of whom are precious in my sight! As my tenure at the Chapel comes to an end, we will be relocating to our home in Little River, SC.
Therefore, my plan is to retire from Big Canoe Chapel after 24 years of service there, and after a total of 48 years in ministry. My tenure at Big Canoe Chapel as Associate Pastor and Director of Music Ministries will end October 31, 2020.
Lastly, I thank you for all the love, friendship, prayer, and support that all of you have offered me over these wonderful years. I will continue to love and pray for all of you and for Big Canoe Chapel as you continue to be Christ’s hands and feet to our Big Canoe community, our counties, our state, our nation, and our world,
God bless you all.