The Great Adventure, Part 7

The Great Adventure, Part 7

We felt the call. We heard the call. We responded to the call. Now, it was up to the Lord to move through the hearts…and votes…of the people.

We went back to Englewood last Sunday, February 14, and I led worship that Sunday. And today, February 21, the members of the church voted on whether or not they feel I am God’s man for the job. I really do love this process, and we fully submitted ourselves to their authority, as they cast their vote. And we were ready for whatever. Truly. After this whole process and experience, I don’t fear much of anything. God is so large and in charge. If they were to vote no, I would be passionately pursuing Him just the same.

Well…I’m happy to say…

And…cue the music, Mr. Cash…

WE’RE GOING TO JACKSON! Tennessee, that is.

Our hearts are full. Our hearts are grateful. Our hearts are overflowing with passion for this new day. Of course we are still just as passionate about all the other facets of our ministry…Living Proof…Jesus Saves Live Tour…writing arranging and teaching. We are on STUN with joy for those things. But this new call completes the picture for God’s will for us for this season. And because we are stepping into the full picture, its makes EVERYTHING feel like it’s teeming with more life. We are sitting on READY for everything to which God has called us.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I know I have used way too many words. And I have told too much, probably. I’m so sick of talking about myself I could punch my own self in the face. Seriously. But I’ve learned so much. And God’s been too faithful for me to stay quiet.

I do have one final Great Adventure post that I will post within the next few days…a few things that God has showed me through all of this. And I think those things just might encourage you.

I have to go now. I have some celebrating to do. And I gotta go restart that Johnny Cash record…


  1. Anonymous on February 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Fabulous. Rejoicing with you and, obviously, EBC.

  2. Chris on February 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Woo hoo! Was there any doubt. So proud for you all. Loved having you at green acres!

  3. Tina on February 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    WOOHOO!!! So excited for you and your family and your new church family in Jackson! Will be praying for you all in during the time of transition. Isn't God awesome!!!

  4. Kelly S. on February 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm


    I was praying all during our services this morning for your family and the family at EBC.

    So happy for you all!! Thanks for sharing your journey 🙂

  5. Dori on February 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm


    Congratulations, friend! I have told countless people that have asked me the same thing:

    "As awesome as Travis is in leading women in worship at LPL events, God works through him to the nth degree in a sanctuary leading men, women and children to the throne."

    I mean that as someone who has experienced you do both.

    And how wonderful that God is going to let you do both.

    I will miss you all dearly — especially your sweet wife. I have also told countless people that Angela Irwin Cottrell is one of the most Godly women I have ever known. I knew that from the first time I met her when we were young and single at TRBC. She will bless so many at Englewood in her own path of ministry.

    I'm so happy and sad all at the same time! 🙂


  6. Yankee Mama on February 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Loved these post! What an amazing journey! Congratulations Cottrell family!

  7. Anonymous on February 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I'm loving it! The whole story, the process of God working is so cool. God can use anything to bring us to the truth of what HE wants. I rejoice with you. And I rejoice with the people of Englewood and the blessing you are probaby in for there. I've lived your story and being on the other side of mine now – let me just say you will be so glad you did what He wanted. My favorite part of the whole story is turning on the TV to watch a movie – God is soooo good. Yeah, your going to Jackson…

  8. rebeccasjones on February 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    trav, i've just read the entire story this morning. i've seen your posts but honestly, have ignored them knowing in the back of my mind that i would eventually read them. so, i finally took the time this morning. there were so many words you wrote that i needed to hear, right now, in this phase of life i'm in.

    my heart is sad to see you go, i feel what you went through, BUT how overjoyed i am for your next phase in life! God NEVER fails us, he comforts us, he proves to use over and over how HE is in control of every tiny grain of sand. and it's when we let him do this, that we fully experience his greatness. i am so excited for you and your family! He has gone before you and prepared this place.

    love you guys so very much.

  9. Traci West on February 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    The West family adores the Cottrell family! We are so happy for you as you celebrate the Lord's continued journey for your life! Thanks for sharing your great adventure! Hugs from us!

  10. Dee Ann on February 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Steve and I are rejoicing with you in this new adventure…God is Good!

  11. Georgia Jan on February 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Travis, Angela and family:
    Congratulations and may the packing begin!

    May God bless you all as you begin your ministry at Englewood Baptist Church…the greatest days are ahead.

    Love & Prayers,

    Georgia Jan

  12. Anonymous on February 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I'm SO excited!!! I enjoyed worshiping with you last Sunday and I am SO looking forward to worshiping with you in the days to come!!!!!! Englewood is very blessed to have you and Ben leading us!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Anonymous on February 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Hey Travis!!! I'm so happy for you and your precious family! How exciting! I've loved reading about it! Can I also say how funny I think you are!! "I'm so sick of talking about myself I could punch my own self in the face." Classic. Funniest line I've read in a while!!!!!
    much love-
    Molly Winkler Northern

  14. Joni on February 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Yea! What an amazing adventure, and what an amazing adventure is yet to come. Blessings to you and your family and your new church family in Jackson!

  15. Tina on February 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Travis! Angela!!! What a journey! I really do stand amazed at how God moves and turns. Looking forward to watching it all unfold. Many Congratulations!

  16. Nancy on February 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I LOVED reading your "Great Adventure"….all of it. How refreshing to know that you totally allowed on God to change your heart and mind about His will! I am excited to see where this road takes you, Angela and your precious children who I feel like I know because I have watched them grow up from a distance following your career for several years now. I am also so glad that you are staying with Living Proof and your own Jesus Saves tour! God Bless you Travis and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do in this next chapter of your life.
    Blessings Abundant,
    Nancy Patrick
    Athens, TN

  17. Amy M. Fry on February 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Travis, Angela, and Gang,

    Praise the Lord! And kudos to you both for listening to Him! A truly "God Wants Us to Join Him in What He's Doing" story for us to heed.
    I know He will bless you all and your new ministry greatly!
    In His Love,

  18. HisTreasuredPossession on February 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    WOW! I have enjoyed reading through this journey, knowing my own will be coming! Thank you for sharing so much of a very personal story. I'm sure this ride is just beginning. We serve such a GREAT GOD!! Be blessed beyond measure in this new adventure.

    Cheering you on from a distance!

  19. Kelli on February 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Love these posts! What a TESTAMENT to GOD!

  20. Leah @ Point Ministries on February 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    CongratulationsTravis and Angela!! Don't you just love sitting back and watching God work?!! It is just the coolest!!

    I know the people of Jackson will be so blessed. Perhaps we could have a Siesta gathering in Jackson!!!!


  21. Tony and Kelley Valentine on February 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    WOOO HOOOOO!!!! We are so excited to join with you and your sweet family in serving and praising God at EBC!!! We have been praying for ya'll and we will continue. We look forward to Easter Sunday! Love You Guys… AND WELCOME TO EBC!!!! Phil. 1:3

  22. Anonymous on February 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I'm ecstatically happy for you guys and all, but I have to say I LOVE ANGELA'S HAIR IN THIS PICTURE!! That's what ministered to me most. He he!!! It looks redder or something. Maybe it's the lighting, I don't know. But she's fabulous as a strawberry blonde!!!!
    Congrats on the new leg of the journey…

    Greensboro, NC

  23. Sharron on February 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Congrats on your new journey with the Lord! I know there are many exciting days ahead for you and the folks at EBC. I may have to drive up one Sunday for worship!


  24. Amy on February 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Happy for you and your family. Just as long as you don't bail out on Living Proof it will be okay.

  25. Rhonda on February 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    WHOOP!( Some Aggie encouragement for you!) That is wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us, tormenting as it was:). Honestly, I have been encouraged by this. To be reminded how a seemingly ordinary event in the hands of God sets us up for His extraordinary will has been a blessing! Praying for easy move and transitions and all that comes with it.

  26. CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD on February 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Congratulations to the Cottrell family what a blessing to watch God work I will continue to pray for your transtition to Jackson the people in Jackson will be blessed. Hope and pray all goes well can't wait for adventure part 8.
    Have A Good Day

  27. Fran on February 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Jackson is thrilled to have you Cottrell family!!!! I sat in Englewood this morning and several things happened….tears streamed down my face during Mercy Seat. Bro Ben was sick but man Dr Jett BROUGHT A WORD I TELL YA! It was a timely word for our family and for the church. And I cried again when Paul Priddy announced the "yes" vote to the congregation. I think I am in love with Jesus all over again as I've read this journey like its brand new to me and hearing people rejoice over what Jesus is doing in the lives of the people in Jackson.

    Can't wait to see your sweet family again! Praying you here.

    Oh wait…my sight word is "blessed!"

    So much love!
    Chip, Fran, Clay, Tyler, and Dylan

  28. Mary Lou on February 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    So excited for you and for the church. God has His hand on that young pastor's ministry. I believe there are great things in store for you and him and that church. Blessings on your ministry.

  29. Holly Solomon Barrett on February 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I so love this story, Travis. Thank you for being open to God's leading. Thank you for sharing your family's story with us. Can't wait for your post to wrap it all up for us! Prayers for you, Angela and the kids as you make this transition!

  30. Debbie on February 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. What an awesome God we serve!

  31. Johnnie on February 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    We are excited for you and this wonderful church. I'm trying to figure out how to get from Houston to Jackson, TN every Sunday!

  32. ksue on February 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    No idea why they had to take a vote! He, he. After hearing you lead worship and then your testimony of how God has been at work through it all, nobody in their right mind (and heart) could have voted no.

    So excited for the Cottrell family AND the Englewood family. I know you and Ben will take the church for a wonderful ride as you listen to God's leading. Wish we were still there to be a part of it all!

  33. Cathy Davis on February 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound!

    The suspense has been "killing" me!

    I feel all cliche'y all of a sudden.

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    Congrats to your family and your new church family!! Thank you for sharing the great adventure with us!

  34. Kelly @ Love Well on February 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    You may feel like you've talked about yourself the last few posts, Travis. But you haven't. Really, you've been talking about God.

    This whole adventure has encouraged me GREATLY. How awesome to see Him lead, even when He has to turn a mighty ship. And how faithful He is to meeting you and Angela when you see His face. We rejoice with you and stand in awe at Our God.

  35. Linda on February 21, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Rejoicing with you and your family :)God is so AMAZING! What a blessing you will be to that church family and vice versa.

  36. Profbaugh on February 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Like others, I have really enjoyed reading your Great Adventure. I'm looking forward to the next installment of insights you've gleaned from the process.

    As for the voting, this non-Baptist doesn't get it. Does the congregation vote on everything?? I'm really curious.

    As always, much love,

  37. Heidi on February 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I just want to stand up and applaud.

  38. KrisPT on February 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    I've been following this entire series and you finally got me crying at "no ram on the thicket!" God is so cool!!

  39. TanIn in Alabama on February 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I have enjoyed all the words… hanging on the ending… intregued by you journey. Loved how open you were with all God is doing in your family. In the end, God used your story in to help with with a family issue totally unrelated to ministry. Thank you for sharing it all.

  40. Wander on February 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Good googly moogly, Travis! This series of events has made me cry, laugh and celebrate all at the same time!

    I'm so happy for you & your beautiful family. You've been such a huge blessing to me for so many years. I really can't tell you… cool it is to see the amazing things God does with his servants.

    I'm psyched! And I'm not even in Jackson. I pray God showers down the blessings on Englewood through your ministry. What an exciting time!

    My friend Marilyn (staff @ Englewood) along with her family are really not stalkers! 🙂
    They're just some of God's sweetest folks that will do anything to help bless your ministry. They are the real deal.

    They called me the night you were there performing and PUT YOU ON THE PHONE with me. As soon as I hung up…..I laughed so hard and told my husband, "Randy & Marilyn are stalking Travis Cottrell!"
    He laughed along with me and I thought….he'll never come back to that church!

    Thank you for the many ways you work. We are so small yet you still let us think we're big. Bless this family as they take on new and exciting things in order to serve you.

  41. missyg on February 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I am a minister's wife and cannot tell you how relateable this blog has been for him and I. Thank you sooo much for sharing your family's journey with us.

  42. connorcolesmom on February 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Praise God for He is GOOD!!
    So thrilled for you and your family 🙂
    God bless

  43. Karen on February 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Travis, you make me laugh! I have so enjoyed reading your posts of "The Great Adventure" Amazing and encouraging!

    God Bless on this new chapter of ministry. Thanks for answering the call and for sharing it with us through your blog.

    Blessing to you and your family!!

  44. 3girlsmom on February 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Yep. Just absolutely loving this. Praising God with you (and the fam). So happy for you all!

  45. Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife on February 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    So sweet Angela is a pastor's wife now! 🙂

    I LOVE pw's..:)

  46. Anonymous on February 22, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Congratulations to all of you! Thank you as always for your service to His Kingdom and mostly for allowing us to see God in your ministries. These posts make me request more of Him and His Spirit in my life, my family, my church etc. Thank you also for your sense of humor. You make us laugh.

    Continued blessings and peace-

  47. Kevin on February 22, 2010 at 7:34 am

    So excited for you all. I so remember the old days at TRBC when you stepped in to lead worship! That was the turning point of my personal worship when I sat under your feet. On Wednesday nights we would secretly go to the youth building to worship as you lead! I know EBC will be as blessed as we were at TRBC!

  48. Susan B. on February 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

    How AWESOME for you all! I love to hear how God works in our lives. It helps keep my mind open to all the possibilites he has for us. I'm excited for you ALL!

  49. Holly on February 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Seriously–this is making me sing!!

    Don't make me sing 🙂

    Praising God for the journey God has begun. Praising God for your beautiful, prayer-warrior, Angela–the way she hears is amazing. May you both continue to be "set up" for wonders…truly God is so good!!

  50. Donna @ Way More Homemade on February 22, 2010 at 9:56 am


    Thank you for taking us along on this journey… no this adventure with you and your family. It's so clear that God has done a work in your life over these last couple of months and I do believe your ministry will be all the more effective because of it.

  51. Linda on February 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Although it's been torture reading through the cliffhangers, thank you for sharing your struggles thru this journey. How patient and faithful God is. What an encouragement your testimony is to me! Your vunerability is what makes your worship so authentic. Many prayers for a smooth & fun transition for you & your family!

    But seriously, I think you owe me a bottle of Clairol for the new grey hairs you gave me! Now that I know you're still leading worship with LPM I can breathe a little easier. And sleep better.

  52. Kristie on February 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    In the words of the great Chapman:

    Saddle up your horses!

  53. Dionna on February 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I'm celebrating in my heart with you. 🙂

  54. Dianne on February 22, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    So thrilled to hear of your new adventure in Jackson, TN. Have enjoyed reading every word and praying HUGE blessings on you, your family and your new EBC family. My husband said he was going to check and see if his company has a Jackson, TN location and put in for a transfer! Thanks for sharing this adventure with us.

  55. Anna on February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Wow!! Praise God!!! I am so jazzed from reading this blogging mini-series! I LOVE when God rocks lives! And a pat on the back to you and Angela being willing to trust God when it can scare the socks off of you. Praying for you, Brother, and wish I lived closer to help you guys pack! =P

  56. Debi on February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Man….if I only could live in Jackson! I got chills as I read every post….because the crazy busy life I have in radio land has stopped me from blogging or even reading blogs. I had to hear it through the grapvine through my sister in Memphis! I know that God is going to take you to places you've never been! I will be praying for you and the family. I love it how God always works Rejoicing for you adn Angela!

  57. Jean M on February 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Travis what an amazing story and adventure. Congratulations!! I am so glad you posted all that you did. How in the world could you come to Siesta SMT and keep it soooo quiet?! 😉 Wow. Can't wait to hear about all of this as you step into the destiny God has called you into. Will be praying for you and your family.

  58. Lindsee on February 23, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Congratulations, Cottrell family! What an exciting adventure. I am sure that the blessing is mutual! It will be fun to read about your new pastoral journey. You rock, my friend!


  59. Nesha on February 23, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Rejoicing! I have loved reading these post and the amazing journey to lead you here and now to see the amazing journey that lies ahead for you and your family.

    I do have to say. We can not wait to see and hear you in May at my home church in VA!

  60. fuzzytop on February 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    The suspense was killing me… How wonderfully cool!!!! God is so awesome. Wishing and praying His richest blessings for y'all in this new adventure.


  61. kathy on February 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    GO God! What an amazing journey you've been on and WOW how God has truly shown His love to you guys. We are so happy for you and so thankful to God for His love to you, His guidance and faithfulness, and His plan for your lives. He has BIG plans for both of you in Jackson and we can't wait to see it all happen! God loves you so much…so do we. Kathy

  62. Marla Taviano on February 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Well, I'm a little late to the party. Just saw one of your tweets about Jackson.

    I've been praying for you guys since we met in Houston, but it never crossed my mind to check your blog. 🙂

    I'll come back soon and read all about it. SO THRILLED for the 5 of you! Praise the Lord!!

  63. Anonymous on February 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    What an encouraging saga!! More than you can ever know, my husband and I needed to read of your experience of hearing from the LORD at a time when things are running smoothly for us. My husband loves working in a church (totally understandable to hear of your disgust for church work ;)) – his ministries are going well.
    But when the leadership is not "unethical", but questionable I guess, you wonder, after YEARS, how long God wants you to endure. Yes, there are worse scenarios people are going through in life, and we LOVE church, but it's VERY SCARY to pray whether God wants you to (or will allow you to??) pursue another place to worship and serve.
    We have EVERY reason to stay where we are, except one. We love our town, home, church, friends.
    We need a word from God, and before I even read your story, my husband and I talked about taking the next 5 months to REALLY seek His answer.
    We know things will be ok no matter His answer, but the journey is wearisome at times.

  64. twinkle on February 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I could tell something huge was going on in your life when we saw you at the OMNI in Houston for the Siesta Scripture Team Celebration. I was praying for you then and JUST read through your Great Adventure tonight.
    You are a minister, Travis. And you are just hitting your stride. May God bless this bold movement of His.

  65. butch on February 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Travis- Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Maribeth and I are so excited for you guys. God's people are always blessed when we follow His call, but there is something even more amazing about the calls that seem to come out of nowhere. Buckle up friend as you,your family and the folks at Englewood are definitely going to be blessed and blown away. We love you brother. Blessings. -bb

  66. Lyndsey on February 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Praise God for His faithfulness and for your bended knee to HIS authority…Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I love to see and hear God working so obviously…I ask for your prayers as we seek to hear God's voice concerning our own unsteadiness of heart in our place of worship. We need God's Spirit to speak LOUD AND CLEAR. We are at a crossroad and don't know which road to take. Pray that we follow HIS direction.

  67. Cindy on February 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Have enjoyed seeing your story unfold before us. Congratulations! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you and your family.

  68. Moose Mama on February 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    You were gone for so long, I had forgotten to check your blog….so I mosied (is that how that's spelled) over here today and found ALL THIS! Well all I can say is YAY GOD! YAY Travis and Angela and this is just the best God story EVER!

    I am just thinking you had a LOT on your plate when you ministered to us SMT ladies in Houston on the 22nd and 23rd.

    Makes me LOVE YOU even more 🙂


  69. The Weeks Family on February 27, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Praying for you and your family as you walk out this new journey! Also, I'm curious about your outfit in the picture… all black??? Tribute to Johnny?? 🙂

  70. Linda on March 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I'm here from Sophie's. Not too many words – wonderful words. I love this adventure; I love hearing the way the Father works in our lives. It is so encouraging!
    Praying His blessing on all of you as you take the next step in this great adventure.
    I'm coming back!!

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