First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Thursday, July 31, 2014
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH TRANSITION PLAN
Our pastor, Dr. David Hull is retiring as pastor of First Baptist Church Huntsville to follow his wife, Jane, in her calling as Pastor to Union Christian Church, Watkinsville, Georgia. His last Sunday to serve in the pulpit will be August 10, 2014.
Accordingly, the church needs to plan, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, for the orderly transition of leadership from now until a new pastor is in place including provision for interim leadership responsibilities, interim pulpit ministry, and a search for a new pastor.
The church has no standing process for seeking a new pastor. The process approved for the last search in 2001 has been reviewed and modified for this time in our history. While this plan is intended to serve only for this situation, it may provide a guide for future needs.
That the church approve a leadership transition plan that provides for the following:
(1) Interim Leadership Responsibilities
(2) Interim Pulpit Ministry
(3) Pastoral Search Committee
INTERIM LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES:
Jud Reasons, Executive Pastor, will handle interim leadership responsibilities until a new pastor is in place. He will continue to report to Personnel Committee.
Billy Orton, in his role of Minister of Music and Worship will coordinate worship planning with the interim pulpit ministry.
The Deacons will assist in pastoral care needs by increasing their awareness of needs, increasing participation in their personal ministries, and providing assistance to Jud when appropriate.
Jud will involve other staff ministers in administrative interaction with various church committees as appropriate.
Staff supervision will remain unchanged. The Chairman of Deacons and Chairman, Personnel Committee will serve as advisors in situations determined by Jud to require special counsel during the transition period.
INTERIM PULPIT MINISTRY:
It is recommended that the following process be used for calling Interim Pulpit Ministers:
(1) That a committee of deacons recommended by the Deacons be elected by the church to have responsibility to fill the pulpit during the transition period. That the committee consist of five (5) active deacons and include the Executive Pastor, Jud Reasons and the Minister of Music and Worship, Billy Orton as ex-officio members. If any one of the deacons serving on this Interim Pulpit Minister Committee should be appointed or elected to the Pastor Search Committee, he/she would be replaced on this committee by another deacon.
(2) That a procedure be set up by the committee to receive from the membership nominees for the interim pulpit ministers. From these and other names available to the Committee, that interim pulpit ministers be called to serve until a new pastor is called.
(3) That Interim pulpit ministers not be considered by the Pastor Search Committee.
(4) That the Personnel Committee will provide guidelines for salaries and benefits, in accordance with church budget and finance manual.
(5) That the interim pulpit minister will be supervised by the Interim Pulpit Committee.
(6) That this committee assignment remain in effect until a new pastor is in place.
(7) The church shall pay all expenses incurred in the committee’s work.
PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE:
That the following process be set in place for the establishment of a Pastoral Search Committee and the selection of First Baptist Church members to staff the committee:
(1) To select a committee of nine (9) members and three (3) alternates who will strive to be open and sensitive to the diversity and variety of persons in the congregation.
(2) That six (6) of the members be selected by majority vote from the congregation at large.
(3) Jud Reasons and Billy Orton will serve as advisors to the Pastor Search Committee.
(4) The church shall pay all expenses incurred in the committee’s work.
The Selection Process:
(1) The nomination and election will be conducted by the Deacons.
(2) Open nomination at large of up to five (5) members of FBC by each church member. Prior consent of this nomination by the nominee is preferable. Members of the church staff should not be nominated.
(3) The eighteen (18) persons, who receive the largest number of nominations and who give their consent, will be presented to the church for election. The six (6) people receiving the largest number of votes will serve on the committee.
(4) The remaining three (3) members will be recommended to the church by the Deacons for approval.
(5) Following the election of the nine (9) members, the three (3) people receiving the next highest vote in the election will be named alternate members to the committee.
(6) The highest ranking deacon officer not elected to the Search Committee shall convene the first meeting of the Pastoral Search Committee as soon as possible and facilitate the election, by the committee, of its officers.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The Pastoral Search Committee is charged with the following:
(1) To recommend to the congregation a prospective pastor, and to report regularly (at least monthly) to the church on its progress.
(2) To involve input from the congregation to obtain an indication of the qualities and characteristics desired in the next pastor.
(3) To invite consultation and advice from the FBC staff advisors, Jud Reasons and Billy Orton, and to keep the staff informed of the progress of the search.
(4) To invite consultation and advice from the Personnel Committee and the Finance Committee concerning guidelines for salary and benefits.
(5) To invite consultation and advice from appropriate resources in Baptist life.
(6) To assist the new pastor in the transition to First Baptist Huntsville and continue to serve for six months after the new pastor arrives.
Modified 2001 Jim Whisenant document by Pam Jones, Chairman
Approved by Deacons on May 5, 2014