The senior minister at University Christian Church is stepping down to spend more time with his family.
The Rev. Larry Thomas said his decision did not stem from any conflict, but rather from a desire to allow his children to have more time to spend with family. Thomas is from Madison, Missouri.
Thomas said his mother died in December without his children getting a chance to know her well.
“I have two children and they don’t know their family the way I knew my family growing up and that’s always bothered us,” Thomas said.
Thomas announced his decision Tuesday. He told The UCC Chair of Stewards of his plans last week.
Thomas, who was named senior minister in 2011, said he will stay on until an interim minister is found.
“I think the congregation probably needs someone who has a little bit more energy than I do right now,” he said. “This is essentially a 24-hour a day job, seven days a week.”
The church’s board hasn’t discussed how they will search for a new interim minister, but church officials said they plan to meet in the near future.
A members of Thomas’ congregation, Josh Jackson, said he had mixed emotions about Thomas stepping down.
“I feel pretty disappointed that he’s resigning,” said Josh Jackson. “But I’m also happy for him because now he gets to move back home.”
Thomas added he plans to pursue various entrepreneurial opportunities once he leaves the church.
“I’ve told some that I’m going to work in the church part time and chase dreams full-time,” he said.
Beyond his hopes and dreams, he said it all came down to one simple reason.
“I just want to go home,” he said.