Here are reports of two recent pastor transitions—one in the United States and one in Australia.
Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA
Congratulations and thanks to Pastor Earl Jones (pictured below) who recently retired after serving for 11 years as Lead Pastor at The Carpenter’s House, GCI’s congregation in Fayetteville, NC. Members and friends gathered recently to give Earl a surprise retirement party.
On June 24, Mooloolbark Christian Fellowship (GCI’s congregation in Melbourne, Australia) hosted a special service to mark the (partial) retirement of the congregation’s Lead Pastor Randall Bourchier and the installation of his successor, Matthew Gudze. The service was conducted by Mission Developer John McLean. According to John, there was “a wonderful, positive ‘vibe’ in the room,” as the group honored the contributions of Pastor Randall and his wife Mary and rejoiced in the installation of Pastor Matt. The hall was packed with members from congregations around the state, including many youth and representatives of the local and state governments.
As seen below, as part of the installation service, outgoing Pastor Randall “passed the baton” to incoming Pastor Matt. Instead of a relay baton, Randall passed a conductor’s baton—an appropriate symbol considering the musical talents of both families.
According to John McLean, Pastor Randall and his leaders were creatively and innovatively involved in locally pioneering many aspects of church life through GCI’s transitions—from worship, to team ministry, to community involvement by the congregation as a whole. During the celebration, John gave a brief history of Randall’s ministry, highlighting his service to the Mooroolbark community. Pastor Randall took the opportunity to reflect on his and Mary’s many years in ministry and gave thanks for the people they had gotten to know and serve with over the years.
Both Randall and John mentioned how the transition had been in God’s perfect timing, with both pastors ready for new challenges. Matt and Sandra thanked Pastor Randall and Mary for their service and wisdom in preparing for the hand over, and expressed their joy that Randall would be continuing with part-time ministry in teh congregation.