New Pastor Search Update

Pastoral Search (for Lead Pastor) Timeline (May – July, 2022)

Phase One – Selection of Search Committee

– Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region (EFC-ER) recommended 8-10 members
– Given that there were so many great potential members within our congregation, we have 12 committee members (in alphabetical order):  Mark Bankert, Libby Brinkman, Debbie Fostyk, Monty Fox, Mandy Fulton, Dave Geisberger, Justin Greenfelder, Susan Haythorn, Bill Heade, Elizabeth Kozenko,
Tom Miller, Dale Stitz.

Phase Two – Meeting with EFC-ER’s Ed Walsh (Ministry Director of Finance/Admin. and Church Health)

-Committee meets with Ed Walsh so that he can explain the entire process by going over the document “Guide for Securing a Lead Pastor” (document can be found at  This roughly two-hour meeting did occur on Thu., May 5, 2022.


Phase Three – Committee Receives Initial Resumes For Consideration

-EFC-ER has given a deadline of May 24, 2022 for applications 

– resumes may come to EFC-ER directly and will be forwarded to the committee or they may come directly to Mark Bankert (representative of committee)

– committee to review materials from all applicants

Phase Four – Committee To Determine Candidates For Initial Phone/Zoom Interviews

-The committee, after reviewing materials of all applicants, will come to a determination as to who to contact for initial phone interviews (or Zoom call interviews likely).

– A guess as to how many we initially interview in this manner might be around 5 or 6 (but will be determined by the overall number of applicants and strength of the applicant pool)

Phase Five – Committee To Bring In Top Candidates For In-Person Interviews

-The committee will narrow down the initial candidates who were given the initial phone/Zoom interviews

– It is estimated that perhaps two or three top candidates will be given in-person interviews

Phase Six – Committee To Select The Top Candidate To Bring In For A “Candidating Weekend”

-The committee will select its top candidate only (from among the two or three “in-person” interviews)

– This top candidate (and their family as the case may be) will be brought in on a Sunday and will give the sermon for both services.  They will also have the opportunity to meet with members of the congregation after both services in the atrium area.

Phase Seven – Congregation Does a Ballot Vote On The Candidate

-On the following weekend from when the candidate visited, we will do a written “ballot vote” by the congregation 

– A special meeting will be held in the church sanctuary that following Sunday evening (time of meeting TBA) from the candidate’s visit to do this written ballot vote

– EFC-ER recommends that a minimum 80% approval rating be attained in order to extend an offer to a candidate. As a note of reference, in its recent Lead Pastor search, First Friends Church got a 99% approval on its candidate (not that this is common necessarily but just wanted to provide a point of reference)

What if our first candidate is not approved by the congregation ?

If the first candidate does not attain our own JFC pre-determined approval percentage after our ballot vote, and thus is not extended an offer, then the committee will bring in a second candidate from among the top 2-3 candidates for another “candidating weekend”.   EFC-ER strongly recommends not bringing in two or more candidates for “candidating weekends” at the same time (on, say, back to back weekends) and then simply voting on the better of the two (or three).  Rather, it is their experience that it is best for the committee to bring in their top candidate (only) first, vote at that person, and then proceed to the second candidate if necessary. 

How will we know what Phase we are in currently ?

We will simply place a “CURRENTLY IN THIS PHASE” notation at the appropriate phase (the one we are in at the time) and we will move it along as the process unfolds.

NOTE:  The information on this special page of our website will also be made available in our weekly newsletter email. To receive the weekly newsletter, please complete the information at the bottom of a Sunday morning bulletin and leave it at the Welcome Center.  Or, contact the church office at 330-966-0616.

Thank you all so much for your prayers as we seek God’s will in this process of securing a new Lead Pastor for Jackson Friends Church !!  It is our prayerful hope that we have a new Lead Pastor hired by July 31 (Pastor Dave’s retirement date).