Use the tabs below to learn more about Petey's background, his heart for the CPC community, why the Senior Pastor Search Team selected him, and words of support from our CPC family. FAQs can be found at the bottom of this page. CPC members voted to approve Petey’s call on September 13.
Hear From Petey
More from Petey:
“My dream for CPC is that it be a place where people’s lives are transformed because of the Gospel. To be a place where people actually experience a shift from a me-centered, world-centered outlook to a Jesus-centered and others-centered perspective. I want CPC to be a base for missions in our city, our community, and our world. My heart is for us to be a sending community, whether that is being sent into a school or a downtown office building or across the world.
The history of CPC is the history of lay people who have been mobilized and activated because God has given them a heart to invite and share the love of Jesus. And then they’ve been equipped and set free to do what God has called them to do. The beautiful future I envision for CPC is to equip as many people as possible to boldly extend the invitation of Jesus and to share the Gospel in this community with their lives and their words and their actions.”
Petey's Ministry Experience
Reverend Petey Crowder comes to Christ Presbyterian Church with an impressive breadth of ministry and pastoral experience. Raised in Alabama, Petey has worked in churches and ministries that represent a range of geographical, cultural, and economic contexts: a college campus ministry in Oregon; young adult ministry at a large church in suburban Dallas; a pastor of missions in a downtown church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and finally, for the past three years, as Executive Pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church. Throughout his pastoral experience, Pastor Petey’s desire has been to share the saving grace of Jesus to those far from God—as well as to equip and motivate the church community to be “on mission” where God has placed them.
- Demonstrates a vibrant faith and reliance on Jesus
- Authentically preaches the hope and grace of Jesus; is able to cultivate an interest in the Gospel that extends beyond the church walls
- Has effectively shepherded staff and congregation through transitional period and changing nature of the church during the pandemic
- Has served in preaching and leadership roles in multiple churches and is well-versed in all pastoral roles: preaching, assisting, celebrating sacraments, weddings, funerals
- Has initiated and engaged the pastoral staff in a “teaching team” approach to sermon collaboration, writing, and preaching that has led to a creative uptick in sermon execution
- At 1st Presbyterian in North Carolina, oversaw and led all aspects of missions ministries, including multiple committees, a large missions budget, and urban and global missions partnerships
- Responsible for overseeing and leading monthly all-staff meetings of 50+ staff and weekly Coordinating Team meetings of 12 department heads
- Has led the hiring of several key staff and the reorganization of key departments (worship, connections, missions) to better equip the ministry areas for the future
- Responsible for spearheading the creation of staff-wide “lead measure” goals, resulting in increased engagement at all levels of the organization
- As a member of the 1st Presbyterian staff leadership team, helped shape and execute big-picture vision, core values, and 5-year strategic plan for the staff and congregation
- In North Carolina, served on the leadership team of a large, city-wide organization (Love Out Loud) that works across churches and denominations to mobilize Christ-followers to be the Body of Christ
Innovator and Builder:
- Initiated the creation of the CPC Crisis Relief Fund that has raised more than $100K for domestic and international disaster relief
- At Oregon State University, grew an on-campus ministry from scratch to 40 students in 3 years
- In Oregon, launched a creative weekly gathering called “Universitas” where students gathered, shared a meal, prayed, worshipped, and wrestled with the implications of the Scriptures for their lives
- In Dallas, started a non-traditional outreach known as “Pub Night” that engaged with young professionals in the city
- In Dallas, worked with an organization called Back On My Feet to start and lead a running club at a downtown homeless shelter
- At 1st Presbyterian, transitioned a college ministry from an internal, discipleship ministry to an outreach-oriented ministry by strategically partnering with InterVarsity campus ministry on two local campuses
- Started and organized an emergency “overflow” homeless shelter at 1st Presbyterian Church, which houses and feeds 25 homeless guests every night for 3 months every winter; program engaged hundreds of volunteers; managed multiple crises that came from operating such a venture
- Pioneered a grant application process to fund grassroots ministry ideas in downtown Winston-Salem; used budget funds to award micro-loans to ideas chosen that were submitted by church members
Ordained in ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians
- Executive Pastor (July 2017-Present) • Christ Presbyterian Church • Edina, MN (4,000 Members)
- Associate Pastor for Missions (January 2014-June 2017) • 1st Presbyterian Church • Winston-Salem, NC (1,500 Members)
- Director of Young Adults (May 2008-December 2013) • Highland Park Presbyterian Church • Dallas, TX (4,500 Members)
- Pastor of College and Missions/Campus Pastor (June 2005-May 2008) • Grant Ave Baptist Church & Northwest Collegiate Ministry at Oregon State • Corvallis, OR
- Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology; Mississippi State University, 2005
- Masters in Ministry Leadership; George Fox Evangelical Seminary, 2010
- Doctor of Ministry in Contextual Theology; Northern Seminary, 2020 (Dissertation pending)
Search Team Recommendation
Read the Senior Pastor Search Team’s recommendation letter here.
Why the Senior Pastor Search Team Recommends Petey:
Petey is recommended by the Senior Pastor Search Team for the way his character and experience align with the Job Opportunity Profile that was created. Here are the qualities that Petey exemplifies:
Petey demonstrates that Jesus matters and He matters foremost. Petey’s love for Jesus is evident in his own life, in the ways in which he leads, and in the sermons he preaches.
A HEART FOR THE LOST
Petey has a heart for those who have not encountered the life-changing healing and transformation that Jesus brings. His personal stories of engagement with non-believers inspire others to “tell the Good News.”
Commitment to Family
Petey prioritizes his family, and he and Ashley are devoted to their two girls and exemplify good parenting.
Humble and Reliant
In his ministry as a pastor, in his decision-making, and in his dealing with potentially divisive issues, Petey confesses and exemplifies a prayerful reliance on God for wisdom and direction that speaks to his faith and humility.
A LOVE FOR ALL GENERATIONS
When greeting people on Sunday mornings, engaging with our youth, having coffee with our seniors, leading Bible studies, or preaching, Petey is keenly aware that whether a person is eight or eighty, we are all loved by Jesus and invited to serve God.
Petey continually seeks to find a common language to connect and draw people to Scripture and to God. To share the hope of Jesus—from the pulpit and through personal relationships—is the call Petey feels God has placed on his life.
Petey is intentional and invested in this community. He pours into others and shows a willingness to support and empower both staff and the congregation.
SHEPHERD AND VISIONARY
One of the strongest gifts Petey has brought to CPC is as the architect of a culture that fosters spiritual growth, expects respectful openness while seeking truth, and builds collaboration between teams. Petey encourages and elevates the leadership potential on his team; he believes that the role of the CPC staff is to equip and resource the people of CPC to do the work of ministry. To that end, he leads with the goal of seeing CPC grow the kingdom of God in Edina, the Twin Cities, and the world.
Words of Support
Read words of support by clicking a name below:
The CPC Session
“The Session congratulates the Search Team on their months and months of work to reach a decision. We, as Session, support Petey Crowder as our next Senior Pastor. Many of us have had the opportunity to work with and observe Petey closely over the last years in a variety of situations (both inside and outside the church), and we believe the Search Team is recommending an excellent next Senior Pastor for CPC who will lead the church well into the future.”
Jay Mitchell, Vanderbloemen Search Group
“Petey is, in my opinion, in the top 1% of available candidates for a role like this. Having seen Petey in action—especially during this unprecedented season—I can’t think of another candidate who is better suited to lead CPC into the future.”
Ron Hawkins, CPC Transition Pastor
“I have had the privilege to advance the kingdom of God alongside Petey, a pastor who is not only a great preacher and great leader, but someone who cares deeply for people. While CPC has a very strong bench of communicators, I look forward to Petey’s preaching the most. Leadership? Simply ask the staff or the Session Elders, and you’ll hear their support. I’ve also witnessed Petey authentically engage with others in their joys and sorrows. His love for Jesus and the CPC community is so evident. CPC has been blessed already by Petey’s presence as Executive Pastor, and I look forward to seeing the congregation affirm his call as he lovingly leads this faith community into a very vibrant future.”
Mara Amiot, CPC Executive Director
“Petey has led with grace, humility, and authenticity at CPC. There is a strength to his leadership, but there is also a strength to the way he follows and empowers others. Petey loves God’s church, he loves the CPC congregation and staff, and, after working on his team for the past 3 years, it is evident he will put his whole heart into serving Jesus as the Senior Pastor of CPC.”
Becky Walker, Chair of the CPC Personnel Committee
“I think Petey Crowder is an extraordinary leader—a man who I have seen manifest wisdom, steadiness, imagination, and a deep and abiding faith in Jesus as he serves, preaches, and pastors. Petey is a leader with ideas and vision who moves things forward with energy and hope. But he is also humble, teachable, and a collaborator in how he works and leads. He listens, seeks to serve, and is eager to champion and empower others. I believe this comes from Petey’s deep confidence in knowing his identity is in Christ alone, as well as an earnest desire to know and do the will of God. I love how Petey is rooted in the rich history of the faith—with a deep knowledge of theology, scholarship, and Reformed traditions— and also full of passion to connect new generations to these transforming truths for themselves in innovative ways. I am grateful to God for bringing Petey to this church at this time as we move faithfully and boldly into the future.”
Steve Mader, Chair of the Senior Pastor Search Team
“I have watched Petey Crowder lead our staff and our church through an unprecedented time of uncertainty with passion and focus while gracefully and humbly managing his own personal uncertainty in this long interview process. Prayerfully and thoughtfully, Petey has consistently chosen to do the next right thing for CPC. He is a senior pastor I can trust and a leader I will follow.”
Scott Peterson, CPC Lead Elder
“I am joy-filled for this next chapter in the life of CPC. As I have come to know Petey personally and work with him on Session, I’ve discerned he was called to CPC with a purpose. I so appreciate the way his energy is focused on keeping Christ, and His gospel of grace and love, at the core of all that we do at CPC and all the ways that we creatively invite others into relationship with Jesus Christ. As we are poised to take the next exciting steps on our journey as a faith community, carrying forward the good work that was begun sixty years ago, I am delighted to embrace Petey Crowder as CPC’s third senior pastor.”
Why has the selection process taken so long?
The timeline of the search has remained in step with the transition plan created by the Succession Planning Task Force in 2018. That plan recommended a time period of 18-24 months between the departure of the previous Senior Pastor with the calling of a new Senior Pastor—and September 2020 marks 20 months since John and Laura Crosby’s departure in January 2019. The Senior Pastor Search Team (SPST) has been conducting its process for 16 months (since April 2019, when its members were approved).
Who are the members of the Senior Pastor Search Team?
Eleven members of CPC were nominated by Session and approved at a congregational meeting in April 2019. Those members are as follows:
- STEVE MADER (Chair) was part of the Succession Planning Task Force, and he also served as an elder (and former Chair of Personnel). He currently cares for staff on the Transition Staff Care Team. Steve has been a member of CPC since 1996.
- ANDREA RAND is a deacon and upcoming deacon moderator. She became a member in 2017.
- ANDY WYATT is a small group leader and past teaching director for Community Bible Study. He joined CPC in 2003.
- BECKY WALKER currently serves as an elder and the Chair of the Transition Team. She has been a member since 2000.
- CLAY KILBER joined in 2011. He is active in small groups, and he led The Table prayer team when it was at CPC.
- DAN EICHER has been a member of CPC since 2014 and is a deacon and former deacon moderator.
- ERIC ANDERSON has served as a deacon and started the E3 Sunday Community. He has been a member of CPC since 2016.
- GENE HAMAN has a long history at CPC—he became a member in 1968! He is a former elder and deacon, and he currently serves with ARMS and lay care ministry.
- JANE TYGESSON is a marriage mentor and is active in a small group and the A.C.T.S. Sunday Community. She has been a member of CPC since 1995.
- JANICE VELGERSDYK joined CPC in 1993. She has been a deacon and assisted with new members, and she now serves as a memorial volunteer and in the prayer shawl ministry.
- LINDSEY SMALL is a small group leader, a deacon, and part of the First Impressions team. She became a member in 2012.
How was the Senior Pastor Search Team selected?
The Session received more than 150 nominations from the congregation for the Senior Pastor Search Team. The Personnel Committee of Session thoroughly and prayerfully reviewed the nominations and recommended a diverse group consisting of active CPC members who have a committed relationship with Jesus Christ, are engaged at CPC, are dedicated to prayer, and who model humility and integrity.
What is the process the Search Team followed?
Beginning in April 2019, the Senior Pastor Search Team (SPST) set apart prayerful space to study background materials on the history of CPC and to make a plan for how best to work together as a team. In September 2019, the team selected Vanderbloemen, a Houston-based search firm, as a partner. During October and November 2019, the SPST surveyed the congregation and conducted small focus groups to identify and clarify the ideal characteristics for CPC’s next senior pastor. This resulted in the crafting of the Opportunity Profile, which would serve as a measuring stick for evaluating candidates. When this Profile was completed, Vanderbloemen initiated the search, and by early February 2020 they had filtered through approximately 75 candidates to present six candidates to the SPST. The SPST worked through several rounds of online interviews before deciding on two strong, final candidates. The realities of COVID-19 limited the ability to meet face-to-face with the candidates until May, when it became feasible to do so within social distancing guidelines. Throughout this 16-month process, the SPST engaged in ongoing conversation and prayer, earnestly seeking God’s voice to discern His will for CPC.
Who was involved in interviewing candidates?
In addition to the SPST and the search firm Vanderbloemen, elders on the Personnel Committee also joined in the interview process. Since Petey Crowder was an an internal candidate, no staff participated in candidate interviews. However, CPC staff were involved in creating the Job Opportunity Profile.
After narrowing it to two final candidates, how was Petey chosen?
Both final candidates were qualified, with uniquely strong gifts in the areas of leadership, communication, vision-casting, evangelism, pastoral presence, and staff culture development. The Senior Pastor Search Team (SPST) looked at the balance of these gifts. Through prayer, discernment, and much dialogue, the SPST voted to choose Petey Crowder as the recommended candidate.
Can you reveal the name of the other final candidate?
No. This information must remain confidential.
Does the elder board agree with this recommendation?
The CPC elders have endorsed the recommendation of Petey Crowder; their written support can be found at the top of this webpage.
Did you consider women or minority candidates?
While we did not have any women who were presented in the final slate of 6 candidates brought to us by Vanderbloemen, we did have ethnic diversity. The Senior Pastor Search Team unequivocally stated from the beginning that the evaluation of candidates and the resulting recommendation was not impacted one way or another by ethnicity or gender.
When is the congregational vote and how will that be conducted?
The Session has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, September 13 at 11:00AM on Zoom.
Will we get to hear Petey preach prior to the congregational vote?
Yes. Petey Crowder is currently scheduled to preach on the day of the congregational vote. You can watch some of Petey’s previous sermons using the links below.
Will the pulpit continue to be shared by our pastoral staff, or will Petey be the primary preacher going forward?
Petey Crowder, as Senior Pastor, will be the primary preaching voice; however, because he believes CPC will benefit from hearing from multiple preachers, he is committed to sharing the pulpit and rotating teaching duties among the gifted CPC pastors and staff.
What if I have additional questions or comments?
Please email email@example.com and someone from the Senior Pastor Search Team will follow up with you.