A New Song: Cliff Duren’s Send-Off

Brandon Abbott

Powerful Praise

The moment was powerful. The final stanza of Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?” filled the room as worshipers sang, hands raised and hearts full. With a final swell of joy and praise, the choir sang together, “He is!”

Worship Pastor Cliff Duren, extended his hands, sustaining the voices and offering an exclamation point to this everlasting truth. When the time was right, he closed his hands, and the music stopped. Arms suspended and still, he looked at the choir and offered a single, resonant whisper: “I love you guys.”

Taking the Next Step

Last Sunday, Cliff and his family served The Church at Station Hill one final time before beginning the next chapter of their ministry. This week, they will make the journey back home to First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA, where Cliff began his career as an assistant worship leader. As he returns, this time as Worship Pastor, he takes with him years of experience and memories, many of them from the Church at Station Hill, where he has served faithfully for the past three and a half years.

Some worship programs measure success by an army of volunteers, a show-stopping Christmas musical, or multiple studio recordings. Yet, while Station Hill has realized each of these during Cliff’s ministry, the news of his family’s departure displayed a very different kind of success.

With Gratitude and Appreciation

Everyone wanted a chance to sing. Children in Elijah and Emma Kate’s KidLife Choir, students from Sidney and Mac’s LIFE Groups, adults from the Worship Choir and band—all wanted to show their gratitude and appreciation for this uniquely gifted and faithful family. They sang Scriptures of blessing and encouragement and of the everlasting truth that is the point of any successful worship ministry: “He is.”

Now, as one song ends, another begins. For Station Hill, this is a song of prayer and of hope for God’s direction and His continued ministry. While this is a new song, it is underscored by the indelible impact the Durens have made on this congregation over the past three-and-a-half years.

Cliff, we love you guys, too.