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The Next Step on Our Faith Journey

Right now I’m sitting on a plane, head spinning, brushing back tears over the events of the past four weeks. I still can’t believe that God is doing this.

Shortly after fully surrendering to God’s call to pastor, He began to direct our paths in amazingly providential ways. He quickly and quietly directed us to investigate a church ministry in New England. He had previously been impressing on my heart that we might be heading to New England somewhere.

Since then, God has rapidly moved—opening doors, pulling us forward, and requiring us to continually act in faith, trusting Him. It’s been a journey in which His hand has been beyond obvious. He has confirmed, reconfirmed, and orchestrated events as only He could. It’s been so obviously God, that it’s almost not faith!

For the past eight days, God has allowed our family to officially candidate for the Sr. Pastorate of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Newington, Connecticut. Having never been familiar with this church, I did not know what we would find when we arrived last weekend. What we found was a sweet-spirited church family that has been through some difficult years. They are eager and ready to move forward with fresh vision and biblical leadership. We found a small body of united believers who desire to love Jesus, love each other, and love the lost—nearly 1 million people within ten minutes!

We found that God finally placed a location and faces of people to bring sight to our faith. He filled in the gaps—and it all matched up perfectly to the ways He had been burdening and preparing us—in more ways than I have time to describe. (Maybe later…) The week was a whirlwind of preaching, meeting with staff, meeting with church family, meeting with deacons, meeting with school students and families. We were overwhelmed with the spirit, the need, as well as the opportunity.

Emmanuel is a church with nearly 100 years of history—mostly good, some difficult. It is a church with a large campus, a 1,300 seat auditorium, a 50,000 square foot building on approx. 13 acres. And the present church family represents a faithful core of believers who have weathered some amazing storms with steadfast commitment. In every meeting I was amazed at the hunger in this church family for new vision and servant leadership. God quickly knit our hearts together with new vision to grow forward.

The church also has a school ministry on a separate campus—about 1/4th of a mile away—in another 50,000 square foot facility on several acres. The school also has a great history, but has struggled in recent years. The staff of the ministry are a wonderful team of tremendous people—all eager to follow new leadership. God also knit our hearts together as well. I’m looking forward to serving Jesus with these people that He has prepared for the journey ahead.

Here’s the best part of the story—the spiritual developments of the week. Wednesday evening, nearly every church member came forward recommitting themselves together, to obey God, exalt Christ, and move forward. It was a night we will never forget. Then today, to God’s glory, we had two souls saved in the morning service, and several visiting families who we met in the community during the week. I pray it was a first fruit of much more to come, by God’s grace.

People have told me that New Englanders are hard, cold, unresponsive, and closed. I have found quite the opposite to be true. Of the several dozen souls I witnessed to and invited to church this week, every single one of them were tenderhearted, kind, responsive, and interested in visiting Emmanuel. Some of them came this morning. I am convinced beyond measure that God has gone before us and that His Holy Spirit is preparing a harvest for this church family in the coming months and years.

After the morning service, we enjoyed a lunch and then a two-hour question and answer session—ending finally in the church vote. A few moments later, the church nearly unanimously voted for our family to come to minister with them. We gathered together, prayed, wept, and covenanted to follow God together. As of this writing, we are in full transition mode into the Senior Pastorate of Emmanuel Baptist Church and Emmanuel Christian Academy in Newington, Connecticut. (Some of today’s videos are posted on Facebook by the church members.)

I can hardly believe I’m typing these words. The work ahead is overwhelming. The need is massive. The church family eager. We are in dismay that God would select us to take the leadership of this special work. We are amazed at the potential of seeing Him revitalize a church and fill one of the largest church buildings in New England for His glory in the coming years. That’s not presumptuous—just faith. I can’t—but I believe He can!


Pray for our family as we enter the difficult season of saying goodbye to friends and family that we love very, very much. Pray that God will meet our needs. Pray that He will give us wisdom in helping this wonderful ministry move forward to love Jesus, love each other, and love the lost! Honored, humbled, scared, speechless, and dizzy from the rapid way God has unfolded these events—I am grateful for your prayers.

If you minister in New England, I look forward to joining the team and striving together with you for the gospel in this needy region of America! Let me know where you are and how I can encourage you!

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  • Praying for you and your family as you make this transition.

  • Congratulations and welcome to the funnest, most rewarding and scariest job in the local church…. Often experiencing most of these emotions mutually! I am so happy for the cause of Christ in New England!:)

  • Awesome Bro. (err…Pastor) Schmidt!! That’s so great!! Give it a few years and we may come to y’all on deputation 😉 Excited to see what the Lord is going to do!!

  • Bro Schmidt,
    Welcome to New England. I’m excited to hear what God is doing at EB Church. I will pray for you and your family as you make the transition from CA. I’ve been in New England since 1998. Currently the pastor of First Baptist Church in Groton, MA.
    It will be a joy to serve with you in New England,
    Pastor Tom Faulk

  • Welcome to Connecticut! Praising the Lord for His clear leading & direction and sssooooo excited to see what’s on the horizon for your family as you continue to serve Him.

  • “Prouder” than a Mom should be allowed to be. Praising God with you and excited with anticipation to see the His mighty hand continue to lead you, Dana and the kids each step of the way. Words can’t describe the happiness in my heart for all of you.
    I love you son … Mom

  • Thank you Pastor Cary for your willing heart to follow GOD’s leading to our church here in Connecticut. I am still amazed how the Lord opened doors for you and for us to allow this to happen. We are all so excited to see what the Lord has for us in the future.

  • We can’t stop thanking the Lord!!! Our entire family is overwhelmed with gratitude to God for His gracious answers to our prayers. We are excited and ready to serve with your family! Come back soon!

  • I’m excited to see how God will use you now as a pastor. We love and appreciate your family. The people of Emmanuel will be blessed to have the opportunity to labor together with you.

  • I am so thrilled to hear the news – for you and for EBC!! You are an answer to prayer for them and for me in my prayers for them!! My parents attended there (2004-2008) when they lived up that way – before moving back to Columbia, SC!! We are thrilled to hear the news!! Praise be to the Lord!! 🙂

  • Thanks for your faithful encouragement. I believe you and the ministry will help the furtherance of the Gospek there in New England. Praying for you.

  • Congratulations! Ever since I was in college your walk has been an example to me. The wisdom you share, the transparency of your life, and your love for the Lord will be no doubt a blessing to Emmanuel Baptist and the New England region. I can’t wait to see the adventures God has in store for you and your family! Praying…

  • Congrats Bro Schmidt to you and your family. The Cronin family will keep you in our prayers. We are going to miss your leader during the music ministry during Sunday morning service. You ahve been an inspiration to our family and that your a product of how powerful prayer is and that God here’s the prayers of His people. I rejoice with you in your new call to be a pastor. We love you and will always pray for you.

  • I am so excited to see what the Lord is going to do through you as you and your family begin this new journey. The Lord has already used you in an incredible way at LBC! You were hands down the best youth pastor ever! Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord. I will be praying for safety as you move cross-country and for a smooth transition into your new church family. They are getting a gold mine! Keep us all updated! 🙂

    Breeanna Talsma

  • Bro. Schmidt, that is awesome! I’m so glad for you and excited that you are going to Emmanuel. My sister-in-law teaches in the school there. Praying for you as you make this big transition!

  • Bro. Schmidt,

    Praise the Lord for His direction in your life. New beginnings are a thrill when they are directed of the Lord. May this change be as great for EBC as it is for you and your family. Looking forward to what the Lord accomplishes in ministry there. Blessings to you all!

  • Welcome to the Northeast! We are thrilled to have you here laboring with us, and will be praying for your family as you make the transition.

  • Congratulations! Will be praying for you. Let me know if there is any way I can be a blessing to you or your family.

  • How exciting to sees God’s plan for your lives unfolding in such obvious and amazing ways. No doubt the people of this sweet church will be blessed, encouraged, equipped, and more ready than ever to carry out the cause of Christ. I know this new ministry your family is diving into will have a far-reaching affect….way beyond the New England states! Thank you for all the years you have humbly served the Lancaster Baptist Church members and community. Of course, we are sad to see you go at this time. We trust that as the Lord is redirected your lives, He also has been preparing someone for the role of leadership that you will leave empty. His ways are not our ways, we know, but we also know that we can fully trust Him to care for His church and for His children.
    Thank you for answering God’s call upon your life….again and again! ~ the Newman family

  • Praise God that he has sent a leader to Emmanuel. As much as Pastor Pitts will be missed, I know my Air Force needs him as much as Emmanuel needs a man to stand in the gap. I was thrilled to hear you accepted the position at my parents (and my former) church in CT, and can’t wait to hear you preach the word!

  • Our family has all been praying for you during this time of the Lord changing your direction. I have tears in my eyes reading this; I confess to being selfish about you moving as well as joyous over God’s amazing Hand in putting all of this together.
    We are so very grateful to have met you & Dana and had your influence in our lives as well as our teens lives. Your touch will never be forgotten.
    I can’t wait to see what He does with Emmanuel church & school! So much more for us to pray for now. Sure that they will appreciate & benefit from your servant leadership, grace, and love.

  • Bro. Schmidt,
    I’m excited for you and your family, as well as for Emmanuel Baptist Church and the surrounding areas of CT. I pray that God will mightily use you and that church for His glory. You are one of my heroes of the faith, I’m looking forward to one day meeting you in person. Thank you for all that you do! You are a blessing and inspiration to me.

    Jeremy P. Wakefield (Greenville, SC)

  • I have tears of joy and sadness, PASTOR Schmidt! How wonderful for you, your family, and mostly, for the people who will come to know and love you as we in the desert have. You will be missed more than you know.
    Congratulations Emmanuel Baptist Church! You have been blessed in your choosing your new Senior Pastor.

  • The selfish part of me is so sad that we’ll be losing you at LBC, but the overwhelming majority of me is THRILLED for this church in New England. You will be a tremendous blessing to this church and I know God will use you to bring lost souls into the kingdom. I will be downloading your sermons for years to come! May God bless you and your family during this transitional time and may God use you mightily!

  • this is Gods work and it is marvelous in our eyes.

  • Pastor Cary,
    Me and my family are so grateful for your and your family’s willingness to fully surrender to God’s calling in your life to pastor our church. We are excited as we look forward go what God has in store for us. At the same time, I know Lancaster will miss a loving, faithful family. To the church at Lancaster, our family will pray for you as you say goodbye to a trusted partner in the work there. It is obvious from reading the posts and how Pastor Cary talks about you that you had wonderful years together serving the Lord. I promise we will treat them like family and take care of them! We already love them!
    Glenn Mason

  • Dear Pastor Cary and Schmidt Family,
    Thank you so much for spending time with us on your first visit to CT. We enjoyed the time together so much and we look forward to spending much more time in the future as we serve together at Emmanuel. We praise God for sending a family with an amazing heart and testimony of service. We will be praying for you and Lancaster Baptist Church as we know leaving will be difficult. We love you and are so excited to see what God has for the future of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
    The Riendeaus

  • Pastor Cary . Thanks for answering GOD’s call to lead our church family ,FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!!. we are very excited to have you and your family here with us and we are also looking forward to a great school year for our kids at the academy, We will miss Pastor Rob and his family tremendously,but God always takes care and right on time! .!!
    Dale Martin family.

  • Welvome to New England. We are excited that another great preacher has come to win Connecticut for Christ. My wife and both graduates of west coast and I serve as the youth pastor in at central baptist church in southington, ct. We would love to be any help as you get settled. God bless.
    Cory Stickles

  • Brother Cary, Congratulations! I have read this blog and listened to one of your messages and I am just excited and thrilled for you and the good people of Emmanuel on the Lord’s leading you to become the Sr. Pastor there! I was the Youth Pastor / Assistant at Emmanuel from 1989-1993 and I can tell you that the folks at this church were some of the best people we’ve ever had the privilege of ministering to. There was some rough sledding in those years as well but we have so many wonderful memories that we still cherish to this day. Our prayers will be with you and we wish God’s richest blessing upon you and your family and your ministry at Emmanuel!

  • Welcome Brother Schmidt! I have had the chance to get to know New Englanders for the past 11 years… they are a uniuqe and precious lot. Let me know if there is anything we can do to help. Is the Seminary going to be up and running?

  • Dear Pastor Cary and family,
    I praise God for you and look forward with great anticipation to serving our Lord together with you. It was my privilege to serve as point man on the search committee. The Lord guided in an awesome manner as only He can; as I recall the events which we just experienced, I find myself thinking, “Wow! What just happened?” As I left the church property Sunday evening, I was praying about the future and found myself saying to the Lord, “You are going to answer my prayer for another revival aren’t you.” My wife and I are praying for you for God’s blessing in transition from LBC to EBC. We love you. I’m looking forward to our first soul winning opportunity. See you soon.

  • I was just checking out a school friends FB post and read this blog. It was great to read all the excitement about their new pastor. I am an alumni pf ECA from the late 70’s~ early 80’s. I will pray for your transition to NE. I miss my home, but when we get to come home for visits. maybe we will have time to drop bye for a service. God bless you and your family!

  • Dear Pastor Cary,

    The Lord has used Emmanuel Baptist Church in many blessed ways throughout the years to mold, make, and mend people in the image of Christ. I am a witness to and a product of that. Praying for you!
    Take Care and God Bless,
    Rev. Christopher P. Adams

  • We have some strong connections with Emmanuel and look forward to how the Lord will use you at Emmanuel. You will be missed on the West Coast but the East Coast has gained a great servant of the Lord. Our prayers are with you.

  • Dear Pastor Cary,
    Today was a bittersweet day here at Emmanuel in having to say goodbye to Pastor Pitts and his family. I can’t imagine what the people of West Coast Baptist Church are going through – my heart goes out to them. We all know that this is the Lord’s doing so we can all rejoice. Thank you for your willingness to follow God’s leading. What more could we ask for in a pastor but one who loves the Lord and is willing to do His will! It is amazing how God has worked all things out for His glory. Can’t wait to have you here with us at Emmanuel. Looking forward to serving under your leadership!

  • Dear Brother Schmidt, Dana, Lance, Larry and Haylee

    I will pray for you as you enter your next chapter of life. You have encouraged me for many years and I am thankful for your prayers and being part of your lives.

  • Pastor Schmidt,

    I am pleased to finally welcome you to New England from the West Coast. Wow!!! Amazing how this is. All of God. I can’t believe it. I now have a key pawn from LBC laboring with me in this needy region. Pray for me as I in a few years plan to start a church in the Boston area. Keep in touch if you need anything. Also, I hope you will consider attending the Northeast Vision Summit at Solid Rock Baptist Church in Berlin, NJ on the 24 – 26. If you want to pre-register, go to Pastor Chappell will be preaching on the second night. I hope to see you there.

  • Cary, praying God will use you in a great way to bring this ministry back to God’s glory in CT. I know you’ll put the “GO” in the “GOSPEL”!

  • Brother Schmidt,
    My husband was wondering why we had not seen you, since returning to Lancaster from San Diego. I searched FB to check your status (praying that you are still in good health) and found that you are now Senior Pastor at E.B. CONGRATULATIONS and God’s many blessings.

    Dr. and Mrs. Royal Gardner

    PS. You are one of the few men my husband believed in, as a true man of God. Thank you.

  • Bro. Schmidt,

    My wife and I will continue to be in prayer for your transition. We had the privilege of visiting this wonderful church the Spring of 2011! Praying for you, your family, and the people of EBC! Grateful for what God is doing in the NE area.

    In Christ,

    Bounna Has


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