New Pastor Announcement – March 19, 2023
Brian Eggenberger


We have finally come to a resolution to our pastoral search process. As established by the by-laws, the search was conducted and ratified by the Senior Pastor’s Council. At the beginning, the board confirmed that we would follow this process: do an open search, narrow candidates, perform interviews, and then make a decision. While the process lasted a little longer than we anticipated, its nature proceeded exactly as we initially communicated. We especially relied upon the Spirit through prayer, consultation, and conversation as we walked through this process. In particular, we enlisted specific feedback and comment from the congregation through email input and from input by the staff.


The process we followed included these elements: Last summer we began by establishing that we would do a national search so that we could see whom God might bring to us for the lead pastor. Simultaneous with posting the open position, we held a listening session with the church community to hear the desires of the body regarding the current strengths of the church that we wanted to maintain and directions to pursue further. This listening session re-affirmed our church’s core values to these four areas—evangelical, charismatic, sacramental, and missional/justice. Thus, as the board received applications and narrowed those applicants to a shorter list, we measured them according to these values. For those in the shorter list who showed evidence of experience with these values, we sent out a questionnaire that allowed candidates to clarify their experience with and commitment to these values. From these responses, the board then narrowed down its search, with the result being direct interviews of four candidates. These candidates reflected the national nature of the search—with one from California and one from Illinois—and our concern for giving strong consideration to those that are historically underrepresented—two persons of color and a woman.


What we experienced in the interviews corresponded directly with the consistent input from the congregation (esp through email) and the staff. That is, our current associate pastor Kelly Edmiston who was an internal candidate demonstrated the strongest candidacy for taking the role of lead pastor. Kelly brings years of ministry experience in Texas and Egypt before God brought her to us. During her time here, she has modeled excellent leadership over youth and most recently as associate pastor. Likewise, she articulated a clear vision how we can continue to pursue our four core values—evangelical, charismatic, sacramental, and missional/justice—as we take the next steps as a community. On the basis of the strength of her candidacy and according to the authority invested by the by-laws, the Senior Pastor’s Council offered the role of lead pastor to Kelly and she accepted. Thus, on Sunday March 19 we publicly celebrated her new role as lead pastor. We will publicly celebrate the ministry of our outgoing lead pastor Reagan Waggoner on April 16. Please join us in hailing Kelly’s new role and Reagan as he takes his next steps.