Transition Plan Update
Dear Harvest Family,
Below is a summary of what I presented to the congregation in our business meeting last Sunday night (10/9/16):
In January of 2015 I had to start asking the question “where does Harvest need to be in five years?” That question led to the organization of a Transition Leadership Team that studied four options for a smooth transition to the next senior pastor of Harvest Baptist Church. Their plan was approved by the Deacon Board in July of 2015 and by the congregation of Harvest in August of 2015. We called Drew and Danielle to join our staff in October of 2015. This allowed a re-alignment of responsibilities where Marshall would continue in mentorship and development as a pastor for the next two to six years. I believe the goals are being achieved. The next step of this plan is for us to step aside as of July 31, 2017.
This was a very hard and emotional decision. Gretchen and I love the congregation and ministry at Harvest Baptist Church. No one is asking us to leave or forcing us into this decision. We have spent much time in prayer and in seeking counsel from others who have gone down this road. God has blessed Harvest with strong leadership, strong families, and biblical unity. I am confident the transition will be done in a way that honors our Savior.
So what are the next steps for Harvest?
- October 23: Nominations for the Pulpit Committee by paper ballot. Per our constitution, the Pulpit Committee will consist of five members, three of whom are deacons.
- October 26: Church-wide day of fasting and prayer for unity on future decisions.
- October 30 (PM service): Follow-up question and answer time on property development
- and transition plan.
- November 6: Vote for Pulpit Committee
So what are the next steps for Gretchen and me? When I made the decision to leave at the end of July 2017, I did not know where we would go or what we would do. After I made my decision, GFA Missions contacted me about joining them as the director of church consulting and revitalization. We will ask Harvest to be our sending church as we will transition to this position effective August 1, 2017. GFA is based in Greenville, SC, so we will relocate to be near their home office. I ask you to pray for us as we pray for you. I know that five years from now Harvest will be stronger without us than with us – but that doesn’t make the emotional side of this transition easy!! We love you all – this is not the end of our relationship -- remember that this is a transition of the living and not a funeral for the dead!
Psa. 67:1 God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us, 2 That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Pastor Marsh Fant III