Pastor Transition 2020

Dr. Steve Davis announced his retirment August 23, 2020. We celebrate this announcement with him after 25 years as our pastor and friend. His last Sunday as our pastor will be November 1st, 2020.

First Baptist has a retirement transition plan that was approved by the church a few years ago. We have great leaders in place to help carry out this transition.

Please check this page frequently to see the latest information about the transition process.

Administrative Council

Curt Giebeig, Deacon Chair
Dr. Mark Albertus, Deacon Vice Chair
Stacy Lawler, Personnel Chair

Aug. 30 Admin. Council Q&A

What do the Guest Preachers / Intentional Interim Pastor do?

They fill the pulpit for their week and then they go home. The Intentional Interim Pastor will take some of what Steve does. They will pastor, not just preach on Sunday morning. They are specifically trained to do the job and give us the time to find the right person. We are looking for someone, man or woman, to help us through this process and serve as a consultant and do weddings or funerals or whatever is needed.

Between now and the interim pastor, when it comes to the management of the church, those issues that are larger than the staff...will one of you or all three of you be involved in that decision making process? Basically filling in the role of Steve as executive decision maker.

We are a council. So what Jennifer is going to do is direct these bigger issue problems to us and we will help work through those with her and the rest of the staff.

Steve was involved in giving guidance on lots of comittees and teams. How does that look moving forward? Between the Interim and Steve's retirement, who is in charge of bringing committee issues to?

The Admin Council will field these questions. The queries will go to the Church Office, which will then give them to Jennifer, who will forward to us if necessary.

Who is Jody Long?

He’s the Executive Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He is over all of CBF in the state of Georgia. Before he had that position he was a Youth Pastor for several years and his wife is currently a Children’s Pastor.

The quote below is copied from https://www.cbfga.org/leadership/

Jody Long is from Lizella (outside of Macon) and has lived his entire life in Georgia. He has worked in rural, urban, and suburban churches through a ministerial career of more than two decades. A “Triple Bear,” he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christianity from the College of Liberal Arts, a Master of Divinity from the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the Tift College of Education, all of Mercer University. He is most proud, however, of being married to Rev. Julie Whidden Long, Associate Director of Baptist Women in Ministry, and being the father of two amazing children.

We are sitting here at August 30 and we have to have an Interim Pastor by January 1. Should we be anxious?

“You are in a great place. If it was December 1, different story. We will find a great fit for First Baptist Church.” — Jody Long

Who will help with counseling until January 1 / until we get an Interim Pastor?

The Staff is great. They all do pastoral care really well.

Will we accept resumes?

Yes, technically. But really the process is going through the pastor search committee and accepting people one at a time for consideration.

Jody and other resources will set up a pastor search in their respective areas. Finding a pastor in 2020 is very different than it was 25 years ago. Nowadays they simply send videos of prospective pastors preaching.

Candidates will send multiple sermons and be evaluated on that before we go in person to their previous church.

Why are we still shutdown and not have normal programming?

We are all working toward getting back to normalcy. We are trying to be safe and the staff are considering every option.

Will the Interim Pastor be eligible to be the full-time Senior Pastor?

No.

Will Steve be involved in finding his own Interim or replacement?

No. He will be willing to give us recommendations on resources but he will be stepping back completely in respect for the church and the next pastor.

During the Interim Pastor time period will we still have the two service times on Sunday morning?
We don’t know but at this point we see no reason to change from our current two services.

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