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David Tarkington
Orange Park, FL
Lead Pastor at firstFAMILY Church
Recent Activity
I came to serve on pastoral staff at First Baptist Church of Orange Park in 1994. Our senior pastor, Allen Harrod saw something in me that led the church to say "yes" when the time came to call a new... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at
Well, I know the title of this post may draw some attention (and that's the intention) but to be honest, this was the very naive question that I had almost thirty years ago when I was interning at a Fortune... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2018 at
I have the honor of serving with and leading numerous young pastors and church planters. These men have a passion for God and a heart for the gospel. Yet, there are those moments when pastoral expectations and responsibilities are thrust... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2018 at
A few weeks ago a gentleman came to our Sunday service and afterward shared his desire to know Jesus, follow in believer's baptism and become a member of our fellowship. These moments are always exciting and remind us that God... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2017 at
Any long-time church attender in our nation, who has been part of a Sunday School class (or small group, or life group, or home group, or fellowship group, etc.) has likely, at one point, experienced "prayer request time." Now, I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at
I have served in pastoral ministry for almost thirty years. When I surrendered to God's calling as a pastor, I began counting down the months until graduation at the university I was attending. I knew, immediately, that seminary was my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where there just wasn't anything to talk about? For some, the answer is a resounding NO, because there always seems to be something to talk about, right? The weather, your fantasy team,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2017 at
Last Sunday as we continued our sermon series through the Gospel of Matthew, we focused on Matthew 19:1-12. The issue of divorce is something that is often tip-toed around in the church, for fear of offending someone or eliminating leadership... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at
As a pastor, I have the privilege and honor of standing before couples and presiding over services that unite them as husband and wife in holy matrimony. Over the years, I have learned some things about weddings and marriage. Many... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2017 at
I have been preaching through Matthew's gospel account and recently I shared of Jesus' instructions regarding the lost sheep and how the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in the flock who are safe to go find the one that is lost.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at
I received this email from a member of our church yesterday. I asked permission to share the information in this blog post, believing it may be helpful to others who have felt alone, empty, and forgotten, not to mention those... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2017 at
For the past week, it seems that every news report, trending topic, and entertainment update has been about the fall of Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, along with his brother Bob, founded Miramax and the Weinstein Company. The multi-millionaire entertainment mogul has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2017 at
A few days ago, I posted an article intended for other pastors and church leaders. The article was titled "People Will Leave Your Church - And It Hurts Every Time." It drew a few more clicks than other articles I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2017 at
Pastor, regardless the size of your church, eventually people will leave. There are many reasons people leave the local church and you need to be ready. After over twenty years serving in the same local church, I likely know more... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2017 at
I have to make a confession. Years ago, I pushed against what I perceived as difficulty for people to join the local church. It wasn't that I was opposed to membership classes or clarifying belief, it was just that I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at
Hugh Hefner is trending because Hugh Hefner has died. News reported this morning that the founder of Playboy Enterprises died last night at the age of 91. Hefner has been an iconic individual in western culture since the 1950s when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2017 at
There's really nothing new in the Nashville Statement, but there is need for it. On Tuesday morning, August 29, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released a statement, signed initially by over 150 evangelical Christian leaders. Once the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at
Annette Teague served with the North American Mission Board for the past two summers as part of GenSend Toronto. While serving in this summer program, it became clear that God had called her to engage more long-term in the Greater... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at
I addressed this reality a bit during last Sunday's sermon. We all know people who just love to debate. If you're a Christian who attends church regularly and are part of a small group or Sunday school class, you probably... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at
As a pastor, I have the great privilege of bringing words of comfort and hope to many at times of grief. I have preached funeral and memorial services for dozens and dozens of dear friends and family members of friends... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at
Comic books and modern mythology are big business. After an era where the magazines were losing money, the creation of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes has propelled super-heroes to the forefront of the entertainment industry. Many of these stories... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2017 at
There is no doubt that our culture is sports-hungry. The money spent and made in the professional and college sports world is astounding. It was only a couple of generations that long ago that professional sports leagues were relegated to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at
Once again social media reacts (maybe with some responses) regarding statements made by a Christian leader. Yesterday, the buzz centered on Eugene Peterson's interview with Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Services and his stated affirmation regarding same-sex marriage. Today, Peterson... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at
In the Christian corner of the Twitterverse and blogosphere, there's a bit of a disruption today. Author and pastor Eugene Peterson, in an interview with Jonathan Merritt for Religion News Service shared his current views affirming homosexuality and same-sex marriage... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at
There comes a point in pastoral ministry when people stop referring to you as the new, young pastor. Youthfulness is fleeting and along with the greying of hair, stiffening of joints, and a few more "smile lines" comes, hopefully, some... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at