Why is Pastor Richard leaving?

I’m stepping down as lead pastor because I feel the Lord is telling me it is time for a new lead pastor at PABC.  I’ve been praying about this decision for more than 2 years.  I shared it with the elders approximately 1 ¾ years ago.  Since that time we have been praying, studying and getting advice.  We all believe now is the time to share with the church and get the transition process rolling.

Is there anything wrong with Pastor Richard (physically, relationally, etc.)? 

There are no health issues related to me stepping down.  The hepatitis c is still in complete remission. Although I look like the epitome of health and fitness, I am getting older! I turn 65 this August 4th.  Many of us know the pains of old age.  Seriously, no health issues related to me stepping down.

What will Pastor Richard do next?

I believe, Lord willing, that I have 10-15 good years of ministry left in me.  Debbie and I are not sure exactly, but will be looking for ministry opportunities in and around the area.  We are planning to stay in Titusville.

Why are we using a professional search company for the next Sr. Pastor rather than looking from within or word of mouth from folks like our Apostles, etc.?

Short answer: They are experts in helping churches perform a comprehensive / thorough search for various church positions, specifically for PABC, the next Sr. Pastor; we have come to trust them; they have a much wider pool to draw from; they will be doing it full time; pulpit committees meet once or twice a week; we felt the Lord leading this way after a year of prayer.

Actually we are using every pool of people mentioned above.  The elders have compiled a list of all the people who have spoken at the church in the last 10 years & all past staff members that spoke at Park; we have asked our Apostles to be praying and to share with us any names that they think may be a possibility, and we are encouraging you, our members, to submit names as well.  You can do so by emailing them directly to Jay Mitchell  All these names will be given to the Vanderbloemen search group and they will look over the people and resumes they have.  From their personal visit here, the interaction they had with the staff, leaders, elders & members Vanderbloemen will develop a church profile.  That profile is then submitted to the Elders at PABC.  The Elders will assess, change and give final approval of the assessment.  At that point Vanderbloemen will begin vetting all the names.

How much will it cost to use Vanderbloemen?

The fee is approximately 1/3 the amount of the next Sr. Pastor’s salary (TBD).                                                                          

What will the survey accomplish?

Over the course of preparation for this transition the elders have given much thought and prayer about this vital time in our church life.  The elders have studied our history, where we are as a church right now, and where is the Lord leading us in the future.  We have prayed over the “DNA” of Park Avenue.  We have been a unique expression of the body of Christ.  To move from where you are it is important to know where you’ve come from.  The foundation should not be altered, but the way we express the love of Christ to our world takes on new forms.

The survey serves, first of all, as a reflection of who you are and what you think.  Secondly, it can be a confirmation of what the elders having been hearing from our Leader- Jesus Christ.

Can I see the results of the survey?

Yes, the results are available at Copies are also available in the sanctuary foyers or in the church office. The 812 comments from questions 23-25 are carefully being reviewed by the elders. They are prayerfully seeking insights from the remarks given.

Are there any current staff members going to apply for the Sr. Pastor position? What will happen to the current staff once a new pastor is selected?

We don’t know at this point if any will apply. When any leadership in any organization is changed there is a natural sorting out that happens on both sides.  The staff member must determine if they are in step with the new leader.  On the other side, the new leader must determine from his point of view, if they can work together.

What is the timeline in finding the next Pastor?

Our Senior Pastor position description was posted online in mid-February. To view the job listing, go to We believe the Vanderbloemen search group will submit a list of candidates around mid-April that they have vetted and are recommending for the elders to further consider.  At that point, the elders will continue the process.

Do I have any input in who the next Sr. Pastor will be?

Yes, with your voice and your vote.  We are endeavoring to hear your voice in different ways.  The survey is one way.  The question & answer meetings are another way.  Discussing in your small groups is a great way to get information and to give your input. We encourage you to sit down with any Elder or Ministry Director.  If you don’t feel you are being heard, please set up a personal appointment with Richard Lord.

The church members are the ones who have the final say so in the form of a “Yes/No” vote.