Interim Pastor Update

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Church family,

The first task of the pastor search committee was to pray, research, and bring a recommendation to the church on whether or not to seek an Interim Pastor. Last Sunday evening, the committee unanimously recommended that we hire an Interim Pastor. There was a lot of discussion and a lot of support and concern for Colton and myself. Colton and I are servants of this church and will serve in whatever role is best and needed. We are thankful for the opportunities we have had over the past 3 months to lead and preach. We expressed to the church that we have not felt overwhelmed at this time, but we acknowledge that things could be different in the future. The committee was very appreciative of the way we have led, but also wants to protect our time and families during this time of transition. For these reasons, and many others, the church prayerfully voted with 81% in favor of hiring an Interim Pastor.

The Interim Pastor candidate that will be brought before the church in view of a call is Dr. Rick Hedger. Rick is a DeSoto native and the brother-in-law of a former pastor, the late Rick Ferguson. Rick is well known in our state and has a lot of experience in leading churches in transition.

Rick is on staff with the Missouri Baptist Convention. Here is his bio from their website:

"Dr. Rick Hedger is the Multiplying Churches Director for the Missouri Baptist Convention. He is responsible for church multiplication strategies and Great Commission partnerships here, there, and everywhere. He works to support healthy churches that plant other healthy church-planting churches.

Hedger was born into the family of God and called into Christian service in 1978. Since then, he has served as senior pastor of churches in Missouri and Arkansas and in a church-planting role in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.

As pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Neosho, MO, he developed partnerships with International Mission Board missionaries to engage the people of West Africa. God soon turned the call on his life to “Call Out the Called” through local churches, serving as mission awareness director for the Illinois Baptist State Association and now at the MBC.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Missouri Baptist University, and both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary."

Rick will be preaching at our church this Sunday, March 31st and Sunday, April 7th. We will have a special called business meeting immediately following the April 7th worship service. We will not have our 11 am Sunday School on April 7th. Rick will share his testimony and answer some questions. We will then vote on whether or not to hire him as our Interim Pastor.

Let's continue to pray for FBC DeSoto and our community. Let's continue to pray for our pastor search team as they now begin to seek our next pastor. Let's pray for Rick as he prepares to preach and potentially lead us during this time. FBC DeSoto is a wonderful church. We are a family. I am personally excited about what lies ahead for us and am confident that we will look back at this time and be in awe at what God has done and is doing among us.

To live is Christ!

Pastor Gene

Colton Strother