In passing the lead pastoral baton to Kevin Kringel Sunday, Ed Garvin likened Calvary Orlando's journey into the future with Joshua leading the Israelites to cross the Jordan River into the land God had promised them for 40 years.
As God did with Joshua, Garvin implored Kringel and Calvary to move into their next season of ministry with courage and to trust God to fulfill the promises He has given them. The Assemblies of God of church where Charisma magazine first started has persevered through many challenges, trials and tribulations in its 57 years of existence.
"You must choose to be strong and courageous," Garvin told Kringel and the congregation Sunday. "God says in his Word that I will be with you wherever you go, and evidence of that was the miracles that followed. If you want to know where God is, follow the miracles.
"But, as Joshua knew, there will still be giants in the land. The blessings are there; the promised land is there, but giants are still there. But God says, 'Make a conscious decision to lean into Me and trust in Me. Position yourself from a place of courage and faith.'"
Kringel, who has served as executive pastor of ministries at Calvary Orlando for the past seven months, was confirmed as the new lead pastor after a vote of its members Sunday. Garvin recently accepted a position as vice president of church relations at Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri, after serving as Calvary's lead pastor since January 2014.
Kringel and his wife, Maria, were the lead pastors at Life Church in Roscoe, Illinois, before coming to Calvary in late 2019. They began that church with a congregation of 18, and it grew to a multi-campus campus congregation of over 1,300 with a TV ministry and a university-level pastoral leadership college.
Kringel was chosen among two candidates for the position. The other was Manny Rosario, who continues to serve faithfully as the church's executive pastor of operations and has been at Calvary for the past 3 ½ years.
Kringel says he believes God will indeed fulfill the promises of blessing it has given to Calvary, but that he realizes, as Garvin said, that giants must be overcome.
"Harvest time takes a lot of work, and we're going to have to sweat and work," Kringel said. "Just because we are crossing over doesn't mean that it's this big shekinah glory moment. Someone has to do the work.
"When Joshua and the Israelites crossed over the Jordan, they went to work. Moves of God take a lot of work, and God is calling us now to a higher level. The word I've been hearing a lot of is 'courage,' but there will be action and work involved.
"Right now, we have to have courage as a body to stand up for what is right when the world doesn't agree with us," Kringel said. "We need to move forward into this new season on our faces in prayer, and we're going to talk a lot about prayer in the next few weeks. It is imperative that we listen to God closely for what He has for us."
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