FAQs for Pastor Search Process
Updated Fri, November 3, 2023
Q: What is the process for selecting a new Senior Pastor?
A: The congregation will call a Search Committee, who will be tasked with selecting the candidate they believe God is calling to be the next Senior Pastor of Chapel Hill. That candidate will then be presented to the congregation, who will vote to determine whether to call the candidate as the next Senior Pastor. This is the process stipulated by the Book of Order of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (our denomination).
Q: Who is on the Search Committee?
A: At the congregational meeting on November 5, the Session (Elder Board) will nominate a Search Committee, based upon a prayerful process that began several months ago. Each person nominated will have served Chapel Hill as an Elder or would be eligible to serve Chapel Hill as an Elder. The congregation will be asked, at the meeting on November 5, to confirm these nominations for the Search Committee.
Q: How long might this process take?
A: The length of the process will be determined by the Search Committee. The Search Committee will make sure to take the right length of time to select the candidate they believe God is calling to serve Chapel Hill as its next Senior Pastor. There is no stipulated minimum or maximum length of time for this process. Once the Search Committee is formed, they will provide ongoing updates to the congregation about their process and progress, including anticipated timelines.
Q: When can we expect an initial communication from the Search Committee?
A: The Search Committee will need to agree on a search process and build a timeline. We should expect them to call an initial Town Hall meeting in the first part of December.
Q: Will the new Senior Pastor be someone who is already on staff at Chapel Hill, or an external candidate?
A: The new Senior Pastor will be the person the congregation elects to serve this role, based upon the nomination of the Search Committee, who will seek to present the candidate they believe God is calling to this role. In the process of determining who that candidate is, it is possible for the Search Committee to consider an Associate Pastor of Chapel Hill; to do so, they must receive approval from both the Session of Chapel Hill, and the Ministerial Committee of the Presbytery to proceed with that consideration.
Q: Will Pastor Mark remain as the Senior Pastor until a successor is chosen or will there be an Interim Senior Pastor?
A: Pastor Mark will remain as Senior Pastor of Chapel Hill until August 31, 2024. The intent of the Session is that the new Senior Pastor will begin their role on September 1, 2024. There are no current plans for an Interim Senior Pastor.
Q: Will Pastor Mark remain active at Chapel Hill after his retirement?
A: Pastor Mark will take an extended Sabbatical period of six months, following his retirement, where he will be away from Chapel Hill. This will allow the congregation to adapt to a new Senior Pastor. Following that period, his future role with respect to Chapel Hill will be determined by the Session. Pastor Mark and the Session want to make sure that any future relationship he has with Chapel Hill contributes to the success of the church and the new Senior Pastor.