Welcome to the FMBC Senior Pastor Search Information page. Thank you all for your support and interest in this important process. Selecting our next Senior Pastor is one of the most important decisions our Church will make. This process will take a little over six months from the time we created our Pastoral Search Ministry to the time we expect to have our new Senior Pastor in the pulpit. Please periodically review this page to get updates on the search process.  We’d like to keep you as informed as possible.  This is a process that we will go through together. 

We ask that you stay in prayer with the Pastoral Search Ministry and our entire FMBC family as we navigate this process with discernment, selflessness, love, and prayer.

Pastoral Search Ministry Timeline

Pastoral Search Ministry Timeline!
20% Complete (info)20%

- July 29 and 30 – Meetings with FMBC Leadership Ministries

- August 9th (week of) – Congregation Survey distributed to congregation

- October 18 (week of) – Vanderbloemen will submit packet of candidates’ resumes to Pastoral Search Ministry

- November – January – Pastoral Search Ministry conducting interviews and making recommendation to congregation

- January 2022- Congregation’s blessing of final candidate

- March 2022 – New Senior Pastor in the Pulpit (to allow 2 months move time, if necessary, for the selected candidate)

Latest Update | August 29, 2021

Pastoral Calling Ministry (PCM) First Meeting

The PCM held its first meeting on Thursday, July 8. The meeting opened with the reading and lengthy discernment by the ministry members, of the following scripture. This scripture highlights the difference between “calling” a pastor and “searching for” a pastor:

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:6-7


Meeting Highlights:

- The calling of David was the most consequential leader since Moses, coming out of history

- We cannot be afraid of our work here; we need to sanctify ourselves before we engage in the identification of our potential new leader

- In verse 4, the town was wrecked with FEAR, similar to FMBC as we come out of a pandemic, grieve the loss of loved ones and face having to replace our Senior Pastor  after 11 years

- Fear of God is the beginning of our knowledge

- We should see the cross on our shoulders with this work as a privilege and not a burden

- In alignment with this scripture, we will strive to not make the mistake of picking a pastor who we think “looks” like a pastor, but do our best to look inside the person like God does

As a ministry group, as we work through this important process, we have committed to:


- Come together to eat

- Meet to discuss and decide our final recommendation

The Role of Our Search Consultant

The consultant we have engaged to assist us with the calling process is Jay Mitchell of Vanderbloemen Search Group, Inc. The role of the consultant is to survey our congregation and meet with our leadership members to determine what we want and need in our next pastor. They will help us to draft the job description (based on our congregation and leaders’ feedback), circulate our job posting nationally, collect resumes, conduct the first pass of a rigorous review of resumes and matching candidates to our requirements and priorities; and then submitting a group of best-match resume packets to the FMBC Pastoral Calling Ministry for review and consideration. They will also provide various tools and resources to FMBC as needed as we work through this process.

The job announcement and link to apply will also be on a special webpage on the FMBC website.

Ministry/Leadership Meetings with The Consultant

Jay Mitchell met in-person with the following ministries/groups on July 29 and July 3: Food Pantry, FMBC Staff, Finance, Ministers, Health, Deacons and Deaconesses, Pastoral Calling, Ushers, Mothers, Trustees, Youth Leaders, and Council of Jethro.

Jay also planned to attend the August 1 Anniversary and Farewell service; however, he was hospitalized on Saturday, July 31. He is now recovering and doing well. Let us all keep him in our prayers.

At these ministry meetings, there were discussions about our priorities for the skills, knowledge, characteristics, spirituality, etc., we seek in a pastor. At a high-level, the priorities discussed were (these are NOT in rank order):  Teacher/Preacher/Educator, Shepherder/Counselor/Caregiver, Leader/Visionary, Discipler/Trainer, Administrator, Voice of the Community




Click each question to see the corresponding answer

The “Pastor in the Interim” is Pastor Jeffrey Benford

Who serves on this ministry:

- Deacon Larry Barnes - Co-servant leader

- Yolanda Jackson-Thomas – Co-servant Leader

- Mother Carolyn Burrell

- Sis. Courtney Green

- Sis. Jameelah Hanif

- Rev. Dr. Barbara Jim-George

- Deaconess Henrietta Knighten

- Deacon Lisa Kelly

- Deacon Steven Smedley


- Minister Lindsay Morrell

- Sis. Renee Sykes

The role of the Pastoral Search Ministry is to meet regularly as needed; discernment and prayer; hire the consultant; finalize and approve position description; vet candidates; interview candidates; protect confidences of candidates; make recommendation of final candidate to Council of Jethro

- Appointed the Pastor in the Interim, Pastor Jeffrey Benford

- Prayer and discernment over the search process; appointed the Pastoral Search Ministry; meeting weekly to get updates from Pastoral Search Ministry co-servant leaders; aligning the search process with the FMBC By-Laws; approve the search budget and all finances related to hiring/onboarding a new Senior Pastor

Blessing of the search process; receive and bless updates from the Pastoral Search Ministry; pray for the work of the Pastoral Search Ministry, seek clarity as needed from the Council of Jethro, bless the Council of Jethro’s recommendation for the final Senior Pastor candidate.

- Vanderbloemen Search Group, Inc.

- Outline the search process; interview leadership of FMBC to develop job/position description; post the job description and “About FMBC” information nationwide; recruit candidates; initial vetting of applicants; recommend a group of semi-finalists to Pastoral Search Ministry