Specialized Interm Senior Minister

Teays Valley Presbyterian Church,
Scott Depot, WV;

  • Quickly established friendly relationships with all the key leaders on all sides of the various conflicts, letting them fully discuss with me their fears, hurts and grievances and becoming close enough to even correct their misconceptions about what motivated others in this conflict and about the actual behavior of others, including the pastor.

  • Within 3 months, assessed the needs of the congregation and established a detailed plan for overcoming weakness leading to this conflict (a lack of empowering leadership and a hurried/inadequate pastoral search process) and for completing a detailed mission study to reunite the congregation, redesign the church’s mission and develop a profile in order to call a pastor.

  • Established a collegial relationship with a former pastor whose well-intentioned activities sometimes undermined the pastor who followed him (increasing the conflict), and thereby helped the former pastor to understand and establish better boundaries for life after ministry.

  • Informed the Elders and congregation of the need to change how they dealt with offerings and pastoral compensation so as not to run afoul of IRS charitable giving guidelines, correcting an ongoing problem in the church’s financial life.

  • Established a Church Health Team to lead the church in responding to the results of the Natural Church Development Survey. This team lead the congregation through a process of discussion and planning leading to a plan to improve the reconciliation and effective structures.

  • Reformed the Worship Committee to represent the concerns of all three worship services.

  • Led the congregation in processes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Entrenched emotions originating out of verbal abuse, bursts of rage and sexual innuendo by a previous pastor and reactive abuse from members remain to be addressed over the next several years.

  • I have advised the Presbytery to seek either an “After Pastor” as a Called Pastor or to seek an “amicable divorce” in the congregation by daughtering off a church plant, relieving the conflict and giving both parts chances to prosper.