Sunday, the Reverend Leroy Nixon preached his last sermons as interim pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church.
Wednesday night, Nixon led his final Bible study and prayer meeting.
Afterwards, Nixon received a monetary gift from John Havens, a deacon, on behalf of the congregation.
He also accepted an apple pie from member Lola Mae Turner.
He seemed more excited about the apple pie.
Pastor Nixon has been the rural congregation's interim pastor since October, when the Reverend David Scudder and his wife, Gini, retired again and moved to their retirement home in the Branson area.
The Scudders, who had ministered at the church in the 1980s, came out of retirement in October 2008 to move to the Macedonia neighborhood and begin again.
Health concerns led them to their second retirement, and pastor Nixon, also retired, accepted a call to minister at Macedonia while the pulpit committee sought a permanent pastor.
"A lot of times attendance falls off when a church has an interim pastor," Havens said after Wednesday night's meeting as he presented the churches gift to Nixon. "That hasn't happened with Leroy."
Attendance has grown as all the regular services and ministries continued to meet.
Nixon began teaching a Sunday School class that started with the basics of what Baptists believe and why -and has continued to build beyond the basics.
With Nixon's encouragement - and participation - a Sunday morning worship service choir began.
The congregation has called the Reverend Greg Ells, of Colorado Springs, Colo., to be the new pastor. He and his wife are scheduled to begin their ministry in Phelps County this coming Sunday at the 11 a.m. worship service. Sunday School begins at 10 a.m.
There will be no evening worship service Sunday; church will be dismissed for members to attend the Phelps County Baptist Association's annual meeting.
Nixon, though he won't the pastor any longer, will attend and serve in Macedonia Baptist Church as he continues to teach the Sunday School class he started.
This is Nixon's 40th year in the pastoral ministry. He began at Gladden Baptist Church, Salem, then moved to the pastorate at New Home Baptist Church in that community.
He was also the pastor at Farmington and Montauk, as well as Spring Creek Baptist Church outside Rolla, Spring Crest Mission in Rolla and Second Baptist Church of Rolla.
He has often expressed his fondness for apple pie, and Wednesday night was looking forward to having a slice of the sugar-free pie backed especially for him. There was a coffee and dessert fellowship following the Wednesday meeting.
The Reverend Ells will be a bi-vocational preacher at Macedonia, and this will be his first permanent pastorate. After graduating from seminary, he has been serving voluntarily in a non-pastoral position at a Colorado Springs church. He is looking forward to serving as a congregation's pastor.