The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is excited to report it has recommended a candidate for Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Marietta. This candidate has been examined by the Cherokee Presbytery Committee on Ministry, and has been recommended for membership in the Cherokee Presbytery.
The Session has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, August 26th at 10:45 a.m. for the purposes of a PNC report to the congregation and a congregation vote to call this candidate. Following the vote by FPC, the candidate will be presented to Cherokee Presbytery for membership at the August 28th Stated Meeting.
In order to maintain confidentiality and to prevent awareness by the candidate's current congregation until after the FPC vote, names and specific details will be withheld until the meeting on August 26th. At that time, a biographical statement and photo of the candidate and family will be available. Until that time, the brief statement below is offered, so you may share in our excitement.
Senior Pastor Candidate
Our candidate comes to FPC with much anticipation of and alignment to the ministries of our congregation. A strong preacher with proven leadership skills, our candidate comes from a family with a tradition of ministry (over 10 pastors), and is seasoned with 20 years of experience as Senior Pastor (Head of Staff), preceded by additional service as Youth Director and Associate Pastor. All of these are large PC(USA) churches with 900+ members..
Our candidate brings strength in education, having earned a Doctor of Ministry degree and previously having served as Adjunct Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at a theological institution aligned with PC(USA). The candidate’s leadership style is modeled after the servant leadership of Jesus Christ, encouraging the God-given talents of congregants and staff to flourish, as opposed to the authority-driven leadership of the secular world.
A spouse who is a great partner in ministry comes with our candidate, and is excited to join our community of faith. Their two daughters have graduated from college. The oldest has already entered into her own ministry to the Church, and the youngest will relocate with her parents while considering internships and graduate studies. Our candidate and spouse already have been active in househunting in Marietta, and expect to join our community of faith in mid-October, allowing an orderly transition from the current call.
Note to Parents of Young Children:
On Sunday, August 26th, please pick up children from the Nursery by 10:40 a.m. All Sunday School classes will dismiss at 10:35 a.m. This will enable the Nursery workers who are members of our congregation to attend the Congregational Meeting.
The PNC continues its diligent and prayerful work in search of the next Senior Pastor for FPC Marietta. While we are not yet complete with this journey, we continue to make progress and are encouraged by the candidates God has allowed us to encounter. We ask for the continued prayers and patience of the congregation in this work, and ask for your understanding that it must be done without disclosing specific details.
The PNC uses a process of stages that looks for proven ability of candidates against key skills, in particular, preaching and leadership. It begins with a review of their Personal Information Forms (PIF's - essentially PCUSA's format for a resume), next an evaluation of sermons from church websites, then to a series of telephone interviews and reference checks. Candidates that meet these qualifications begin the face-to-face stages, where we visit their church to observe them 'in action' with their congregation. We also host candidates as they visit FPC and Marietta. The PNC and the candidate must jointly discern a sense of call to move to the final stages, which involves qualification interviews by the Presbytery's Committee on Ministry and working out the terms of call. When those elements are complete, it will be time to for a Congregational Meeting to introduce the candidate Pastor and allow the congregation to vote on their call.
We have entered the face-to-face stages with multiple candidates, and continue to develop other potential candidates through the preliminary stages. We hope and pray that God will soon mature the sense of call with our next Pastor and we will be able to announce the Congregational Meeting. Until that time, please pray for our church, its staff and members, the PNC, and the pastors with whom we are in conversation.
A great big "thank you" goes to all who forwarded names to the committee. We are giving every recommendation careful consideration. We have also received recommendations from several people outside of our church who are aware of our search for a senior pastor. In addition, we have sent an inquiry to the 200 largest Presbyterian churches in the country, asking them for recommendations. We have spoken to other senior pastors seeking their input and expertise in this search and we have sought match-ups with our national registry in Louisville. At last count, we have reviewed close to 170 Pastor Information Forms (PIF's).
In evaluating a candidate's PIF, we review his/her educational background, work history, leadership style, and statement of faith. We also read about the candidate's hopes and aspirations for future ministry and his/her interpretations of key theological issues. We are currently in the process of listening to sermons from qualified candidates.
We will begin to make personal contacts with several pastors that we believe best meet the needs of FPC Marietta. We ask that you continue to pray for the work of this committee so that we may be led to the right individual. Please pray also for the candidates, that God will lead the right one to us. Finally, pray for John, Denise, and Keith as they continue to lead this community of faith through these challenging times.
The Pastor Nominating Committee recently completed the Church Information Form (CIF) for submission to the national PC/USA database. Please view it at the Church Leadership Connection website, or you may download it here. Creating the CIF involved a lengthy review of our church's programs, history, and vision for the future.
Any candidate seeking consideration for FPC's Senior Pastor position may send an
to the PNC or on the PC/USA website.
The PNC encourages congregants to pass along the names of individuals whom they believe warrant consideration. Please include as much information as possible to assist the PNC in its evaluation process. Suggestions included how the congergant knows the candidate, the candidate's current place of employment, and his or her position there. Please use the PNC suggestion box located in the Gathering Space or send an
to submit any candidate considerations.
Please continue to pray for the work of this committee, that it may be led to God's candidate for Senior Pastor, and that God's candidate may find his or her way to FPC.
The Pastor Nominating Committee extends our sincere appreciation to all who returned a congregational survey form. Each response reflects prayerful consideration, and each is read aloud, contemplated, and recorded. Over 170 forms were returned, allowing us to gain a more full appreciation of the gifts and quality of our congregation, perspectives on our rich history as God has worked within our community of faith, and your eager anticipation for the future.
Your Pastor Nominating Committee continues to work diligently on your behalf toward the goal of securing the next senior pastor for First Presbyterian Church. We have undertaken an intense study of the history of this church to more fully understand who we have been as a community of faith. We have reviewed in depth all of our current ministries to better define who we are. We will prayerfully attempt to discern the will of God to express where He is leading us in the future, and you have helped us greatly in that respect with your answers to the survey.
We all have reason to be excited about where God is leading us in this great journey, and we continue to invite your comments as we travel together. The PNC box will remain in the gathering space, so please feel free to leave messages for us there. Most of all, please pray for us diligently and daily.