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1. Pastoral Transition kickoff. On Sunday February 12th, pastor Joe announced his retirement in July 2024 and the Succession Planning Task Force (SPTF) was also announced, with members Jennifer Colquitt, Annie Ferguson, Bill Kuh, Jack Lindsey, Shawn Mitchell, and Bob Steele. So, what’s a “SPTF” and what can we expect in the next 19 months? In short, planning for Joe’s retirement and replacement began over a year ago with the formation of an initial Transition Team. That team completed their work of planning and educating the session on the steps for pastoral transition as outlined in our Book of Church Order and with the help of a consultant who specializes in this area. The SPTF has already begun to study and research our church’s ministries, look at our vision for the future, and build the “job description” for the next pastor. Once this work is complete, perhaps in late fall 2023, a Pastoral Search Committee will begin the work of finding and calling a new pastor. If the Presbytery and our congregation agrees, this man will be Joe’s replacement in July 2024.
2. Pastoral Transition Update. The SPTF (Pastoral Transition) team began its work last month by laying out the detailed timeline of their work for the next 18 months. Included in this phase are interviews with the church membership. This is your chance to talk about the ministries of FPC, gain insight into the vision for the future of the church, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement. The SPTF will be reaching out to you, perhaps through your shepherding elder or directly from a SPTF team member. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful and prayerful support of our transition process
3. The SPTF has completed interviews and met to determine common themes, concerns, and way ahead. Based on this, they have completed a profile of FPC, which has been approved by the session and is now posted here. They have also completed a position description to be posted on the PCA’s administrative committee’s job site and distributed to other venues where prospective candidates will see it. Once the pulpit committee/search committee is selected, the position posting will go “live” and candidates will be able to apply. The team hopes to have a candidate selected by spring in order to meet Gulf Coast presbytery examination and congregational vote before pastor Joe retires in July 2024.
4. The pulpit committee has posted a call for candidates on the PCA Administrative Committee’s website. The call package is attached below. With this step, we expect to begin receiving resumes of candidates who are interested in the position. Please continue to pray that this process goes smoothly and is led by the Holy Spirit. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the pulpit committee: Jennifer Colquitt, Annie Ferguson, Bill Kuh, Jack Lindsey, Shawn Mitchell, or Bob Steele.
Interview Guide Name:_____________________ Date:__________
- How do FPC’s mission ( A Community of Faith, Hope, and Love; Committed to Knowing Christ and Making Him Known) and vision (Be a vibrant and caring multi-generational Christian community affecting a global impact for Christ through our local, regional, and international outreach) statements resonate with you?
- Strongly resonates
- Mildly resonates
- Slightly resonates
- Does not resonate
- In 10-15 years, what do you think/hope FPC’s greatest strength will be?
- Biblically reformed preaching, teaching, and training
- Community building (within the church and community)
- Missional minded (local and abroad)
- In 10-15 years do you see the congregation of FPC… (can pick more than one answer)
- Looking a lot like it does now
- Being bigger
- Being smaller
- Being more diverse (multigenerational/multicultural)
- I don’t know
- On a scale of 1-5 (1 being the least and 5 being the greatest) how would you rate the culture and core values of the church in terms of it being:
- Eager to change
- Eager to stay the same
- Community focused
- Concerned for children/youth ministries
- Biblically sound
- Caring for the hurting (“spiritual hospital”)
- Easy to feel “plugged in” (small groups, Bible studies…)
- Provides opportunities to serve
5. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being not at all 5 being completely), how strongly do you believe the church’s core values and
culture are tied to Joe’s ministry?
6. In terms of the future pastor, what do you think are the top three strengths to have as a:
c. Leader (equipping and training)
7. What degree of influence should the senior pastor have over the direction of the church?
High but balanced by the Session
See Prayer section below
Our team is reading books to help us guide the church during this transition. Here are some recent titles:
- Next: Pastoral Succession That Works by William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird;
- Search by William Vanderbloemen;
- When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search by Chris Brauns.
- Finding a Pastor by Dr. Joel Hathaway
- Addressing Abuse: A Theological and Practical Guide PCA Paper on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault
Click the person's name below to see the bio.
Bob was raised in an Episcopal church-going home in Miami, FL, but didn’t come to a saving faith until he was in college at Georgia Tech through Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in the late 1970s. Bob then began a 27-year Air Force career where he met his wife Lynn, and together with their family traveled to multiple assignments stateside and in Germany. Bob also had remote assignments to the middle east. During these years Bob and Lynn worshiped at base chapels and mostly Baptist churches. In their last assignment, they attended a reformed Baptist church in Swansea Illinois, and began learning about the Doctrines of Grace. Following his 27-year career in the Air Force, Bob and Lynn moved back to Niceville and joined FPC. Bob worked in industry for 13 years before retiring a second time to complete publishing his first book and help with family care. Bob and Lynn have been married 33 years and have three adult children (Kimberly, Matthew and Emily (twins!)). Bob is an elder at FPC, where he’s served as a deacon and on several committees and ministries including the choir.