Pastoral Transition Updates

The Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC) is committed to keeping you up to date on the status of the pastoral transition.

Pastoral Nominating Committee

Cindy Cook

Chris Derden

Dade Dowdle

Sabrina Espinoza

Houghton Hutcheson

Janet Lionberger

James Melcher

Sam Murray

Fred Robertson

Claudia Stewart

Pastoral Transition Milestones

Pastoral Transition Milestones
For those who have been at First Pres for more than a few years, you may have witnessed prior pastor searches. Our transition to ECO, A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, in 2016 included a change in how we approach many things. The process of searching, screening, and selecting a new pastor is one of those changes.

While there are similarities in the process to call a new pastor, things that will look different this time include:
  • ECO allows for the direct handoff (succession) of the next installed pastor without the requirement of an interim pastor. In our prior denomination, the search process could not begin until the current pastor resigned and an interim was installed, lengthening the process and creating an extended time of uncertainty.
  • ECO allows for the consideration of internal candidates who follow the same process as an external candidate. This was previously not allowed.
  • ECO allows a PNC established by the congregation to partner with Session. 
In preparation for the search, the Pastoral Transition Team has selected The Dingman Company to manage the recruiting process in partnership with the soon-to-be-formed Pastor Nominating Committee.
The Dingman Company was selected from several possible search firms, four of which formed the final shortlist. Representatives from each were interviewed, and all were clearly qualified and experienced professionals with long tenure in their field. The choice of Dingman was ultimately made because of their track record finding and placing Christian leaders into complex and challenging roles, including senior pastors, seminary presidents, and non-profit CEOs.  The Pastoral Transition Team is looking forward to completing the opportunity description with Dingman and beginning the initial candidate search.
Did you know that in ECO churches, Called Pastors are not employees of the church they serve? They are actually called by the congregation and installed by the presbytery. Once installed, Called Pastors become employees of the denomination, voting members of the presbytery, and moderators and voting members of the Session. The Senior Pastor participates in an annual review of goals and accomplishments with the Senior Clerks of Session.