Christ Presbyterian Church has a strong legacy of leadership, with only two senior pastors serving in our 60+ years of ministry. Our community is now in a new season, where we are discerning who will lead our congregation into the future. We are praying and trusting God for wisdom, unity, and grace as we seek our next senior pastor:
What's Happening Now
Update from the Senior Pastor Search Team
The Senior Pastor Search Team is excited to continue our work in search of CPC's next Senior Pastor. Thank you to those in our community who took time to complete our Congregational Survey and shared what qualities YOU feel are most important for our next Senior Pastor. Our search partner, Vanderbloemen, is currently analyzing the results of this survey, and our Senior Pastor Search Team is evaluating the responses and data collected during their Focus Group sessions.
To learn more about the search process and see who is on the Senior Pastor Search Team, click on the Senior Pastor Search tab below.
Rev. Dr. Ron Hawkins joined us in April as our Transition Pastor, and we have already seen many ways in which he is a great fit for CPC. Pastor Ron has been getting acquainted with the CPC community, working closely with our Lead Team of Petey Crowder and Mara Amiot, and stepping into the role of shepherd for our congregation and mentor to our staff. We are grateful to have Pastor Ron and his wife, Linette, with us for this time of transition. Please continue to give them a warm welcome! You can learn more about Ron and Linette by clicking on the FAQ tab below.
Pray with Us!
The entire congregation is invited to join our prayer team as we ask for God’s wisdom, grace, unity, and abounding peace during this season of transition. Text “transition” to 555888 to receive two prayer texts a month.
What is our transition plan and who is responsible for carrying it out?
We are being guided by a transition plan approved by Session in January 2018 following a year of study, discernment, and prayer by a Succession Planning Task Force appointed by Session. The plan was activated last summer when John Crosby announced his retirement. Read John Crosby’s letter to the congregation. The first step outlined by the succession plan was to form a Lead Transition Team, and Becky Walker (current elder) was chosen by Session as chair. As recommended by the plan, Becky organized the following seven sub-committees that have been guiding CPC through this transition period: Transition Pastor Search, Prayer, Finance, Staff Care, Communication, Farewell/Celebration and Assimilation. Read about the sub-committees purpose and chairs, in the Transition Teams tab.
In addition to the Lead Transition Team, we are blessed with an active and engaged Session charged with responsibility for overseeing the mission and affairs of the church at all times, including during this time of transition. Session includes 16 Elders elected by the congregation and our ECO-ordained pastors who have been called by the congregation. Session receives regular updates from the Lead Transition Team regarding the status of the transition and provides oversight. In this way, the Lead Transition Team can carry out the day-to-day work with regard to transition matters, while freeing up Session to focus on the other important business of CPC so that we can continue to flourish during this time of transition.
What is our timeline for hiring a new Senior Pastor?
We expect that the transition period between senior pastors will be approximately 18 to 24 months, and during that period we will be led by a Transition Pastor. We were strongly advised that “short periods between pastors often lead to short-term pastors.” We want to allow for a healthy space following John and Laura Crosby’s departure to process and move forward, and a Transition Pastor offers a neutral period to adjust to the reality of change. We also want to create opportunities for existing staff and members to step up.
How was our Transition Pastor selected and what is his background?
Following a very thoughtful and prayerful six-month search process, the Transition Pastor Search Committee unanimously recommended Rev. Dr. Ron Hawkins for the position of Transition Pastor from a number of qualified candidates. Pastor Ron comes to us from Windwood Presbyterian Church (ECO) in Houston, Texas where he served as Executive Pastor. In his twenty-eight years of full-time ministry, Ron has served as a church planter, associate pastor, and senior pastor in churches located in Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, and Arizona. Ron and his wife, Linette, have five children and eight grandchildren.
Ron has a deep love for Jesus, a prayerful, daily reliance on God, and a set of experiences that points to a strong but humble leader. He has acted as head of staff, overseeing many direct and indirect reports, moderated Session meetings, and demonstrated a collaborative and relational leadership style. Ron is also an ECO-ordained pastor and has completed the ECO Transition Pastor training. Ron’s experience as a pastor and in coaching, encouraging, and leading staff uniquely gift him to serve our congregation in this season of transition and to prepare us to receive our next Senior Pastor.
What is the role of the Transition Pastor?
Pastor Ron is head of staff and moderates Session meetings. He works closely with our Lead Team of Petey Crowder and Mara Amiot to make the operational and administrative decisions needed in a church of our size, ranging from staff management to strategic leadership. Ron is regularly involved in worship and preaches monthly. He will be mentoring our staff, shepherding our congregation, and helping all of us prepare to receive our next Senior Pastor.
How will the next Senior Pastor be selected?
The Senior Pastor Search Team is in the process of conducting an extensive national search for the new Senior Pastor. There is no one on staff who has been implicitly or explicitly led to believe they are our next Senior Pastor. Existing CPC staff are welcome to apply and be considered, based on their own interest. When the Senior Pastor Search Team has come to a consensus, there will be a vote of the congregation at a congregational meeting to officially “call” the new Senior Pastor. We will also keep the local ECO presbytery informed.
How was the Senior Pastor Search Team selected?
We 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. The team recommended by Session was approved by the congregation at a meeting in April. To view the team members, click on the Senior Pastor Search Team tab.
What role will the congregation have during the selection process for the Senior Pastor?
The Senior Pastor Search Team was carefully selected to represent a cross-section of our congregation and is diverse in age, worship styles, life stages, and involvement in the life of this church. It is our expectation that the team will represent us all very well. We will also solicit feedback from the congregation throughout the search process. The next phase will be to finalize the job profile, which will include input from our CPC community—both staff and congregation—received in October. This is an incredibly important and exciting time for us as a church family. We want and need your input.
Will the new Senior Pastor be a part of our ECO denomination?
One of our reasons for joining ECO was to give CPC the best possible search process for a new Senior Pastor. In ECO, we are allowed to nominate and approve our own search committee. Additionally, we can seek national candidates from any denomination or background so long as there is theological congruence. A non-ECO candidate would be asked to transfer ordination to ECO and affirm ECO’s Essential Tenets.
Will the Crosbys be part of our CPC community going forward?
John and Laura have told us they don’t expect to make CPC their home church until after a new Senior Pastor is solidly in place, and then only in deference to the new leader’s comfort level. They are committed to extending the same kind of space and support Roger and Dottie Anderson extended to them.
What will happen with our missions connections during the transition?
CPC’s missions team, which includes both staff and lay leaders, has developed deep relationships over the years with a number of our key missions partners both locally and internationally. We expect those relationships will remain strong. Of course, we are always reviewing those partnerships—it’s an ongoing process—and our relationships will no doubt change over time regardless of who is our Senior Pastor.
Are we filling open staff positions during the transition?
Yes, we have already filled several open positions on our staff and are currently looking to fill additional open positions. View current job descriptions, further details and application instructions on our employment page. These open positions are not the positions that were eliminated in 2018; those eliminated positions no longer exist. For clarity of roles and organizational structure, all staff titles were also reviewed, updated, and approved by the Personnel Committee earlier this year.
How is the staff being cared for?
We have a Staff Care Team in place, led by Barb Harmon and Steve Mader, to ensure that staff is informed, supported, and cared for during this transition period. Staff is receiving regular email and in-person updates from the Lead Transition Team. It’s important for staff to be informed and included in the conversation, and that is our goal. In addition, the staff care team is committed to praying for staff and walking with them through this season as needed. We hope to see staff flourish through these changes.
In connection with the budget adjustments made last spring, our staff was asked to take a week of unpaid leave during our fiscal year. However, through the generous donations we’ve received from our congregation, the unpaid leave days for staff pay are being restored. This is just one of the ways that we have seen our congregation step forward in their commitment, faith, and support for staff during this transition period.
Who will be preaching?
We have been blessed by strong preaching and teaching from our team of pastors who have stepped up in amazing ways, and it’s been exciting see our staff working together and supporting and encouraging one another during this time of transition. You can expect to continue hearing from the many gifted voices on our pastoral staff, including Pastor Ron.
Do we expect there to be a downturn in giving during this period?
We know that giving during a time of transition can go down. However, research by the Succession Planning Taskforce also found that giving and involvement can actually increase in times of transition instead of decreasing, and that is certainly our hope for CPC. We need your involvement and commitment to make that happen. Thanks to your generosity, giving during the fiscal year that ended in May exceeded our giving for the prior fiscal year.
How will this affect the budget?
The Finance Team, led by Cooper Butler and Leif Syverson, have created a budget for anticipated costs of the transition. These costs are obviously separate from what was in the church budget. The Transition Team is pursuing options to cover transition costs and will continue to provide updates to the congregation.
How will I get updates?
You can expect to receive important updates from the pulpit as well as in CPC Life. Please also check this transition page where we will continue to post regular updates and past communication pieces for your reference. Additional communication will be sent via email or mail as needed. We also plan to host additional transition conversations where we can gather as a congregation to cover recent updates, ask questions, and pray together.
How can I be praying for CPC during the transition?
One of the most important things you can do, if not the most important thing, is to join our prayer team as we ask for God’s wisdom, grace, unity, and abounding peace during this season of transition. Our Transition Prayer Team will be sending out two prayer texts a month that you can choose to receive and pray over. To subscribe, text “transition” to 555888.
How can I ask more questions or express a concern?
Please email email@example.com and Becky Walker will follow up with you.
Senior Pastor Search
Our Senior Pastor Search Team (listed below), which was nominated by Session and approved at a congregational meeting in April, is meeting regularly and has selected Steve Mader to serve as chair. The team set apart some prayerful space at the outset to get to know one another and build a common foundation by studying background materials on the history of CPC and how to discern God’s will for the future of our church. They have discussed how to work together through the decision-making process and what values should drive the process. They have organized their team and have assigned tasks and set timelines.
After thoughtful and prayerful deliberation, the team decided to hire a search firm, Vanderbloemen to assist in this process. The team will work closely with Jay Mitchell, an Executive Search Consultant with Vanderbloemen and believe this will add value in many ways. The cost was already built into the transition budget.
Jay brings the following strengths to CPC’s search process:
- extensive experience with senior pastor searches for churches our size
- understands the unique position ECO has within the larger Presbyterian world
- former Presbyterian pastor in a large church; views pastoral search as his ministry
- expertise in the process of matching the needs of a church with candidates
- access to extensive resources and support through Vanderbloemen
We are developing the Opportunity Profile (job profile). This will involve the Vanderbloemen team as well as input from our CPC community—both staff and congregation. If you know of someone, or if you have questions, ideas, or candidates, please contact Steve Mader at firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not expect this to be a quick process—it could take up to 18 to 24 months. We take this work very seriously and we want to do it right. We are filled with hope as to what God is doing. We believe that God is and has been preparing CPC for our next senior pastor. We also believe God is and has been preparing our next senior pastor for CPC. We are so grateful for your prayers.
STEVE MADER (Chair) was part of our 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 leads 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, as a middle school mentor, and with lay care.
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.
Becky Walker, transition teams chair
Gary Tygesson, co-chair • Alyssa Warren, co-chair
Karena Casey • Greg Fast • Rachel Schwandt
Staff Liaison: Sarah Long
Ensures open and consistent communication with our congregation.
Kitty Yancey, chair
Martha Adolph • Suzanne Burnett • Karen Hartwig • Steve Hartwig • Katie McElroy • Monica Spiegler • Evie Teegen • Brian Wood
Staff Liaison: Melissa Schaser
Encourages and engages our congregation to cover the process with prayer.
Kim Thompson, co-chair • Mark Thompson, co-chair
Staff Liaisons: Jody Phenow • Rich Phenow
Mentors and supports the transition pastor and the new senior pastor.
Cooper Butler, co-chair • Leif Syverson, co-chair • Jay Carroll
Staff Liaison: Mara Amiot
Handles budget and resourcing.
Staff Care Team
Barb Harmon, co-chair • Steve Mader, co-chair • Kathie Froemming
Aligns, informs, and supports our staff.
Transition Pastor Search Team
Dennis Hykes, co-chair • Leslie Turner, co-chair
Karen Beadie • Mark Harmon • Bruce Locklear • Andy Matysik • Brett Peterson
Staff Liaisons: Mara Amiot • Petey Crowder • Carrie Gleeson • James Madsen
Oversaw the hiring of a transition pastor.
Becky Danielson, chair
Meg Boehne • Kari Carroll • Scott Danielson • Annie Michel • Beth Montgomery • Bob Tinsley • Liz Vardaman
Planned an honoring farewell celebration.
How can I ask questions or express a concern?
Please email email@example.com and an elder will follow up with you.