3 Dec 2006

The Cloud Has Moved: News from Milwaukee

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Journey, Milwaukee, Personal, Tucson

The Cloud has Moved: News from Milwaukee

Numbers 9.15-23

For the last couple of days we have been digging our way out of a serious dumping of snow on us here in Milwaukee. Currently the temps are about 19 degrees (it was 10 as we went to worship this morning) and some snow flurries are gently falling.

This day in Milwaukee is a day mixed with sadness and joy for my family. Today I informed my family here at Southside that the cloud had moved, that I was resigning from the duties as pulpit minister effective December 31, 2006. I informed my beloved family that my family would be relocating to Tucson, Arizona and will begin working with the Palo Verde Church. This was a most difficult decision but I believe it is one that God has directed. I share below the letter that I read to Southside in both worship services … with only the more personal stuff edited out.

December 3, 2006

Dear Family,

After a long and difficult year, 2002 turned into a magnificent blessing for my family. That year . . . my family was down for the count.

Then five men, Dana McMillion, Rodney Windell, Wayne Alexander, Al Gray and Monroe E. Hawley invited my family to a place called Milwaukee, WI. It was a hopeful sign and on my birthday, August 25, 2002, the Valentines were asked to work with God’s wonderful family on the corner of 20th and Grange. That invitation was a gift from God!

Since then my family has experienced one blessing after another. These blessings were not simply my own but for Pamella, Rachael, and Talya too. We have learned what brats are, fallen in love with custard, we drink Sprecher’s Root Beer, we play Sheepshead, and we can even find the bubbler.

We have been adopted here at this place. There are those in this family who have shared with us in ways that we can never repay or be worthy of receiving. We have learned what love really means through many of you. We are blessed by you and I am a grateful man.

Since 2002 the leadership of this congregation has changed somewhat. Dana and Rodney have been called to other places. Bruce Williams has been an outstanding addition to the eldership. There are no four men that I hold in higher esteem than my Shepherds here at Southside. They have been patient with my foibles. They have helped mature me in ways they cannot know. I consider it a great honor to know them and serve with them.

These facts have made my decision all the more difficult and agonizing for our family . . . In September, I became aware of a congregation, the Palo Verde Church of Christ in Tucson, Arizona . . .

After much prayer, after much discussion with Pamella, Rachael, Talya … I have decided to accept an invitation to work with the Palo Verde church. I have informed the elders of my decision on Thursday night. Thus my family will be making the transition to Tucson in January 2007.

We are saddened by our departure from Milwaukee and Southside. It is our prayer that our friendship with each of you as individuals and with Southside as a congregation will suffer no loss but grow ever deeper. Our home, as it has been here, will be open to you when you want to get away from the 20 below zero winter.

The actual circumstances of being offered the position at Palo Verde has lead Pamella and I to truly believe this is God’s will. We covet your prayers as we make this transition. We will be in prayer for you too. We seek our Abba’s blessings upon you and I know he will be generous in them.

May the LORD bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you.”

In Christian Love,
The Valentine Family

This is a major transition that I never would have dreamed off earlier in the year. But as Numbers says … sometimes the cloud does move and we follow the Lord no matter where he leads. Or when.

Bobby Valentine

31 Responses to “The Cloud Has Moved: News from Milwaukee”

  1. Charles Says:

    Bobby, Pamela, and the girls – CONGRATULATIONS.

    I am certain the congregation there will miss you, but the Lord will certainly bless them with another to step in and serve as they walk on a faith journey toward the Lord.

    May the Lord Bless you in this new work and more importantly, may He be glorified and honored.

  2. MommyHAM Says:


    It’s posts like this that conjure up both congrats and sympathy.

    It’s hard to leave those you love. Yet exciting to venture on to a new family.

    Besides….AZ is now much closer than WI – perchance, someday you’ll be compelled to meet up here with your old friend Doug, and you and I will get to meet! 😉

    Yes, the cloud of God does indeed move….in mysterious ways.


  3. Ancient Wanderer Says:


  4. Steve Puckett Says:

    God bless you and your family. My prayers are with you. I hope I can see you at Pepperdine this year or on another note would you have interest in the National Pastors’ Convention in San Diego in February?


  5. Mark Says:

    Hey Bobby,

    I know that’s a major decision. One that all ministers must make from time to time. I’m sure you’ve done good work in Wisconsin, and I know you’ll do well in Tucson. That will be quite a change for you and your family. It is really hard to pick up, move climates, change locations, make new friends, find new schools, etc., etc. I wish you the very best, wherever you are.

    We’ll keep you, your former congregation, and your new congregation in our prayers. God bless you, brother.


  6. Tim Archer Says:

    I pray God’s blessing on you and you family and on the Southside church.

    Grace and peace,

  7. Vonnie Says:

    Can’t wait for you to get here.

  8. slstoll Says:

    We are excited for you and for your family to come to our Palo Verde family; but we know the sadness your congregation is feeling. Our gain is their loss. May God bless your church family in Milwaukee. We are excited for you and Pamella and the kids to arrive.
    Dave and Sandy

  9. JD Says:

    Bobby, just think … a new church that doesn’t know your faults… it’s a good time to make some improvements. LOL

    You bring God’s blessings wherever you go…and I am confident that He has something special for you in

    God bless you.

  10. Stoogelover Says:

    God’s blessings, Bobby. Those are, indeed, tough decisions.

  11. poet_imp Says:

    A prayer…

    Father, creator, God, I ask that you bless Bobby, Pamela, Rachel and Talya during this change. Bless them with serenity as they trust you. Bless them with a clarity and certainty as they all strive to be your servants. Allow the girls to see, in their father, a faith that not only moves mountains but motivates and is the center of who he is. May that faith live on through them all the days of their life.

    Lord, please wrap your arms of love around the Valentine family as they move away from people that they truly love. Again, I ask you to give them peace; the peace that passes understanding; the peace that you have promised to those who love you.

    God, You can see that not only will they be leaving friends they love but they will also be leaving a whole in the hearts of friends that love them. I pray a special blessing upon those that are being left. Help them to see your hand and to be understanding. May their sadness be replaced with a joy that you will do great things with the Valentine family.

    And Lord, the church at Southside will be starting a search soon for a man to fill the vacancy left behind by Bobby following you to Tucson. God, please bless that search. Grant the elders wisdom as only you can. As they search, God, please lead the right man to them and open their eyes so that they may see him clearly.

    Father, when you cause change like this there is always much sadness and joy all wrapped up together. It can be very confusing. I ask that the Valentine family receive support from all and that your hand be made evident to all. You are the great physician. You are the comforter. Make yourself known and give everyone clarity in this time of confused feelings.

    I ask also God for some practical things for the Valentine family. Things that seem small in the scheme of things but can go a long way in giving your servant peace. Grant them safety as they travel. Grant them a quick sell of their house. May that sale be successful enough that they will easily be able to purchase a new home.

    All of these things and so much more that is on my heart, things that that the spirit knows, I offer up to you. I do this in the name of Jesus, your son, my brother, my friend and Saviour.


  12. Ben Overby Says:


    Life twists and turns in the most unpredictable ways. May this twist be a blessing for everyone touched by it; and I pray that Southside will endure the news with grace as well as the challenge of finding a new minister. God be with you Pamela and the girls.


  13. Alan Says:

    God bless you in your new opportunity for growth. Tuscon will be blessed by your presence.
    Welcome to the West Coast.


  14. brian Says:

    God bless you and your family during this time of transition. you should take some snow with you and leave it in your new freezer…

    in Him

  15. Keith Says:


    Blessings on your new kingdom assignment!

  16. Glenn Ziegler Says:


    I will pray for God’s richest blessings as you move and as you continue to serve Him. Praise the Lord for the leaders and all the brethren where you have been. And praise the ord for the brethren who now anticipate your arrival in January.

    Godspeed, brother.


  17. Velcro Says:

    Good Luck in your journeys.

  18. Guy Says:

    Hi Bobby,
    As a frequent visitor to Southside, and a Christian who has seen preachers come and go more often than I care to think about over the last 35 years… I’m really going to miss your presence in Wisconsin. I have never before been on the threshhold of tears upon hearing of the departure of a preacher. I have grown so much from your lessons, most of which my wife and I listen to from CD’s. I have grown so much from your preaching posture which delivers a beautiful picture of the love and grace of our God and our Sustainer, and His Son Jesus. May He be with you and your family. We will indeed miss you.
    Guy Gustafson
    Manitowoc, WI

  19. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:


    Your words are very moving to me but I am not sure I am do them. Yet I am grateful that our Abba has let our paths cross while I have been in WI. Mark and Lisa are wonderful people (you know that though) and I will miss them and you … and your visits.

    But perhaps this is not the end. I hope to stay in touch with my WI family as much as possible.

    Blessings upon you brother,
    Bobby Valentine

  20. Gary Cleveland Says:

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you, your family, Southside, and your new church family in AZ.

    I treasure your friendship and rejoice that friendships are not defined nor limited by zip codes and such.

    Blessings to you and your family as you transition. I’ll be in touch again soon.

  21. Beverly Says:

    watch out for that Vonnie girl 🙂

  22. cwinwc Says:

    Working as a minister (I’m not one) for a church seems to be a unique vocation, especially in our fellowship. In many ways our ministers are empowered and yet at times can have their wings clipped by well (not always unfortunately) meaning elders and members.

    My hat is certainly off to you Bobby and your fellow members of your persuasion. You operate out of a love for both God and people. I want you to know that I honor yours and your family’s commitment to serving the Body of Christ. We will certainly pray for you, your family, the good folks in Milwaukee, and the church in Arizona that you’re going to as their minister.

    God speed.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Bobby,
    I am certainly going to miss my Yoda! Even though I haven’t had a chance to see you lately,it’s always been a blessing to know your right around the corner.

    I share the things you teach and the resources on a regular basis with many pastors. What I have learned from you has helped me to find my identity as a woman and a servant of God.

    To this day it humbles my heart that so many leader’s in our district, including many pastor’s, not only invite me to the table but allow me to operate within the gifts God has given me.

    You taught me so much about submission, authority, tolerance, and servanthood. The things you have gone through also taught me that if I want my views heard, I must also listen to the views of other’s.

    Bobby, I thank you for all that, for being there for my brother, for your humour, acceptance, wealth of knowledge, and transparency.

    By the way! My mother just had a pacemaker put in yesterday. She’s been clean from drugs and alcohol for 1 year. Attends small groups on a regular basis and reads the scriptures. She had a heart attack in July and if God would not have intervened she’d be dead right now.

    Mom gives her testimony often and I have much hope. You taught me how to accept her and how to use God’s promises in prayer. Something I confessed everyday for a year. Mom is now learning her true value in Jesus.

    May God be with you and your family in all that you do. May the face of Jesus continue to be revealed in your wife and
    daughters. Most of all, may the grace of God be with Bobby, so that he never has to scrub toilets at Walmart again!

    In Christ,
    Penney Winiarski

  24. Ancient Wanderer Says:

    Hey Dude!
    Are you going to continue to blog?

    Do you realize this is the most comments you’ve received in almost 3 months? Are starting to feel a little “eulogized”? 😉


  25. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Well I did get 20 something comments four or five posts back, 🙂

    There have been some kind comments and I appreciate that. I will miss Wisconsin.

    But I will continue to do the Stoned-Campbell blog.

    Bobby Valentine

  26. Blogging by Tina Says:

    I read the announcement on Vonnie’s blog. May God’s blessings be on all of you!

  27. Dee O'Neil Andrews Says:

    Wow, Bobby –

    I don’t come by for a couple of days and all kinds of things are going on! You’re not going to believe this (small world category and even more connections between the two of us besides New Orleans and Mississippi) but my mom and dad were in Tucson for about 20 years where my dad was an elder for years and years of that time at Palo Verde! I know the congregation and several of its older members quite well. (I also know Vonnie from there through blogging and all, but that’s another story.)

    My uncle was also there and an elder for a long time after my mom and dad moved away. They went out to Tucson sight unseen in 1970 from West Texas (Abernathy, near Lubbock) and stayed until 1990 during which time Palo Verde grew and grew and did some amazing work. I LOVE that congregation and you’ll love it, too, I know!

    Plus the weather is so wonderful there. And Mount Lemmon and the saguaros and all the great Mexican food and the balloons you can go up in – on and on. Oh yeah, and the Sonora Desert Museum, which is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

    My dad went out there after going back to get his master’s degree in engineering at Texas Tech and went to work as a civilian for the Air Force out at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson and they loved it out there. Lived out on the east side of town near the Saguaro National Park and with a great view of Mount Lemmon. Beautiful!

    I’m so excited for you and your family. SO excited for you. That will be great.

    And thanks for the comment on my blog about me being happy. I’ve got to now read your latest one and will leave a comment there, too. But thanks, Bobby! Thanks! I needed it. It was a real encouragement from you.

  28. Jim Martin Says:

    I wish you the very best in this move. May God richly bless your move, your family as they make a new home, and you as you continue to follow the Lord in this new place.

  29. Falantedios Says:


    Now, I am even more grief-stricken that I could not attend the retreat this past fall.

    You know Carly and I are always praying for you and the girls. We’ll be praying specifically for Southside, too.

    I can’t imagine the move! I hated moving 20 minutes away from our old apartment out onto my inlaws’ farm.

    God speed, brother. I look forward to hearing about how the kingdom is bursting forth in Tucson next year!

    in HIS love,

  30. Clarke Says:


    Congratulations on your new assignment working for our Lord. I hope that you’re move is a blessing to both you and your family.


  31. Candle (C & L) Says:

    Bobby — I haven’t been by for a while so I had missed this news. I wish you all the best in your new home and work. While we never got a chance to meet, from the time I came to know you it has always seemed “special” that you were (almost) next door. I’ll look forward to your ongoing blog entries as you get re-settled — Keep the faith and keep challenging us to know the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob that is also our Abba Father who loved us so much that he sent his Son ..


    p.s. You’ll MISS the snow — I just know it!!!

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