Linda Nichols-McCarty Installation

GCI Ripley Honors Former Pastor, Celebrates New Leadership

Linda Nichols-McCarty Prayer
Linda Nichols-McCarty is welcomed into leadership with a prayer of blessing.

On December 9, Linda Nichols-McCarty was installed as lead pastor of the Ripley, WV congregation. Randy Bloom, East Regional Director, officiated. Don Hussel was honored as he retires from pastoral ministry.

Devotional – Choose God’s Choice

Choose God's Choice image of woman standing in front of two doors.Choose God’s Choice

“You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16 NIV).

If God has a will for us, does it threaten our human rights? Surely, we have free will. Theologians and philosophers have discussed these subjects endlessly.

God, of course, also has free will. He cuts to the chase in dealing with our dilemma about whether to choose him. He first chose us, before any of us were born! No one forced God to supply “his glorious grace, which he has given us freely in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:6). It was entirely God’s own choice.

God expressed his free will by sending his Son to die for us.

A “no brainer” is a phrase used to indicate an obvious choice – so obvious that we need not think about it for long. Our response to Christ’s sacrifice may seem like a “no brainer”, but it becomes a stumbling block for many. The desire to hold on to our own free will is so strong. We see accepting God’s will for us as an assault on our freedom. But it isn’t. God’s choice is about making us free. It is about fulfilling our own unique human potential that he chose for us from the foundation of the world.

Choose God’s choice for you.

Accept Jesus.

Prayer
Great God, thank you that you chose me in Christ Jesus. Help me through the Holy Spirit to live every day in acceptance of your will.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

James Henderson PortraitBy James Henderson

GCI President Greg Williams

Here is a biography with an overview of the life of newly-commissioned GCI President Dr. Greg Williams.

Greg entered pastoral ministry in 1986 with his wife Susan at his side. The couple served various congregations while raising three sons: Glenn, Garrett and Gatlin. Glenn then married Crystal and Garrett married Marlo, and today Greg and Susan are the proud grandparents of Emory, and twin brother and sister Braxton and Ellison. Here is a picture of Greg (in the gray suit) with Susan and other members of the family to Greg’s left:

Concerning family and ministry, Greg said this:

I’ve always taken seriously the scriptural teaching of Paul for an elder to manage well his home if he or she is going to manage one of the churches of God. My marriage is not perfect and neither are my children, but by the grace of God we have been deeply blessed and experience incredible love within our family circle. My most memorable moments were the privileged times when I baptized my three sons and experienced the pride and sense of release as I handed each of them over to the eternal care of their heavenly Father.

Greg notes that his preparation for GCI’s presidency has been a learning process involving various leadership roles. Within GCI, Greg has been a pastor, festival coordinator, GenMins national coordinator, Intern Program coordinator, regional pastor, director of Church Administration and Development, and GCI vice president. Greg also worked for ten years with Youth for Christ, an international para-church youth ministry organization where, according to Greg,

I was exposed to cross-denominational ministry, and actively engaged in youth evangelism. I remained connected to and active in GCI during those years, while gaining rich experience that helped shape me for the role I now fill as GCI’s fourth president.

Greg’s academic preparation included a earning a B.A. from Ambassador College, an M.A. from Liberty University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University (where his thesis centered on cultivating interns for Christian ministry).

One of Greg’s strengths as a GCI pastor was in mentoring young leaders. Many current GCI elders, ministry leaders and lead pastors have been personally mentored by Greg. The formalizing GCI’s internship program and the development of Journey with the Master (a curriculum for helping young adults identify their gifts and discern their calling) are additional evidence of Greg’s passion for incarnational ministry. His commitment to raising up leaders ties in with what Greg enjoys most about ministry leadership:

I enjoy seeing people coming alive in Jesus and then seeing how they blossom in that growing relationship. There is nothing more enjoyable than being in community with people who know Jesus and are growing in his amazing grace and knowledge.

When asked what he enjoys most about being part of GCI, Greg said:

I enjoy the national and international relationships of some of the most interesting, loving and diverse people across God’s green earth. As Joseph Tkach Sr. often said, “We are family!” And I love the GCI family.

According to Greg, commitments to relationship and community shape his leadership style:

I refuse to engage in the mission Jesus has given us apart from the company of others, and I am pleased with the amazing people that God has placed on our team.

In keeping with his team-based leadership style, Greg is committed to aligning GCI leaders around the globe with structures and systems that position GCI for becoming the best expression of the church of Jesus Christ it can be—a vision for GCI he sums up with the phrase Healthy Church.