Pastor Nominating Committee


January 26, 2023

Dear Covenant Partners of Grace Presbyterian Church,

Your Session is excited to announce that we have unanimously approved the Pastor Nominating Committee's (PNC) recommendation to call Rev. Dr. Julia Leeth as the next Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church.

The PNC, composed of Farah Armstrong, Vic Condrey, Bert Crump, Cathy Finck, Andy Frazelle, Tory Gunsolley, Jamie Horton, Paul Mancillas, Amber Mees, Hardie Morgan, Judy Prisk, and Taylor Tritt, began its work in January 2022. The process involved countless hours of prayer, discernment, listening and discussion. A job profile was developed, based on interviews with covenant partners and staff, and the PNC then began evaluating multiple candidates. After completing this rigorous process, the PNC unanimously believes that the Lord is calling Julia to our church.

Julia has also been praying and discerning God's call on her life, and has joyfully accepted this call. Please join us in gratitude to the Lord for His many blessings and the wonderful things happening at Grace.

Soon, Grace will seek approval from the Presbytery and then hold a congregational meeting, on a Sunday following the worship service, to vote on this nomination. Please be on the lookout for the meeting date and further information about the process. We pray you join us for that significant gathering. Thank you for your continued prayers for our church as we move forward together into the next great chapter for Grace Presbyterian.

Grace Presbyterian Church Session

January 29 Worship Announcement

You may find the complete announcement clip HERE.

How many candidates did the PNC consider?

Our consultant, SIMA, started with a pool of 130 (10 of which were recommended by the PNC). SIMA narrowed to 18 and then sent 9 to PNC for review. We reviewed all 9 (listening to sermons and doing our own investigation) and narrowed that to 3, who went through the interview process. Julia being the candidate that most matched all the criteria that we had painstakingly developed.

Why did it take so long?

We believe that Julia is the candidate God has called to this church. We did not arrive at this decision easily. In fact, it was more difficult since we knew her so well. We know her strengths and her weaknesses. It was important to us to be sure that we were discerning the candidate God had called to this position and not just choose the great candidate that we knew. So we went through the entire process with open minds and hearts, waiting for God to reveal to us who He wanted to be our next Senior Pastor. He was so faithful to open doors and close windows, clearly revealing to all of us that Julia was His choice for Grace.

What made Julia stand out?

We saw in Julia a love for the Lord and a desire to please Him that is pure and unquestionable. She is aligned with our church’s mission and vision to equip people to make Jesus visible in our daily lives. Our church’s new focus on making disciples who make disciples is a passion that Julia had before she came to Grace. Her pursuit of Biblical Integrity and her ability to love and welcome all people are evident in all she does. She also takes God’s call on her life seriously and humbly. She is ready to join with our church and will continue to lead us in the path we have undertaken in this new season of ministry to our world.

What are the next steps for Grace and Julia?

We will hold a congregational meeting on February 26th to allow our congregation to vote on her call. If she is confirmed at the congregational meeting, she will be installed on March 26th.

What if I have further questions?

You may talk to one of the Pastor Nominating Committee members.

How can I pray?

Please join us in thanking God for the way He is revealing His will and pray for our new season of ministry. Pray that this transition would be easy for all of us and that we can continue to serve Him!

How can I help?

Pray! Consider praying for the process, the PNC, our next Pastor and the Grace community during this time of transition.

What is the PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee)?

The PNC has been elected by the congregation and is tasked by Session to find the next Senior Pastor.

What is the charter for the PNC?

The PNC is tasked to work on and oversee the steps of the process including work on a Senior Pastor job description, updated Church Information Profile, review and interview candidates, and present final candidates to Session for approval.

Is there a formal process for the search?

Yes, the ECO Pastoral Search and Transition Guide. Please keep in mind that it is intended as a guideline and that ECO, recognizing that each church/search is unique, affords the latitude to adjust various steps along the way in accordance to the individual situation in order to best serve the needs of the congregation.

Is the PNC using a search firm to help find candidates?

Yes, the PNC is using a search firm called SIMA. SIMA has many years of experience in helping churches find Senior Pastors. SIMA has also been selected by ECO to work with other ECO churches. ECO resources are also being utilized in the search.

Why is the PNC using a search firm?

A search firm is a partner and spends significant time at the beginning of the process learning who Grace is and what characteristics are the best fit for the next pastor. They have an extensive network of contacts which provides a larger pool of candidates. Ultimately the PNC made its decision to use a search firm based on discussions with individuals from other churches who have used or are currently using a search firm. So, due diligence was done to make the decision.

How do I recommend a candidate to the PNC?

You may discuss this with any member of the PNC to ensure that we have not already received the same recommendation. You may formally recommend a candidate by sending an email to the PNC ( Send the pastor’s name, current location/church and contact information. Comment on why you are recommending this pastor and include insights into this person’s particular gifts and reasons why he/she would be good for Grace.

What steps are we taking to be certain that we attract candidates from more diverse backgrounds?

We are confident that by using a search firm we will be able to cast a much wider net and reach more potential candidates.

In January 2022 the session of Grace Presbyterian Church selected the Pastor Nominating Committee to search for a new Senior Pastor.

These Covenant Partners represent a variety of experiences and ages and are in various stages of their personal discipleship journey. They have demonstrated a commitment to and love for Grace and envision a bright future for this church.

The PNC reports to the Session and present progress reports on their search to the Session who will make the final decision on a candidate. Once a final candidate has been identified and approved by the Session, the candidate will be presented to the congregation for approval.

The Pastor Nominating Committee members are:

• Farah Armstrong

• Vic Condrey

• Bert Crump

• Cathy Finck

• Andy Frazelle

• Tory Gunsolley

• Jamie Horton

• Paul Mancillas

• Amber Mees

• Hardie Morgan

• Judy Prisk

• Taylor Tritt

They began their work in January. Please be in prayer for them their work and for the new Senior Pastor. The Lord alone knows what is designed for Grace, but we believe He has blessed this team with hope and confidence to discern the path forward.

• Our current Transition Senior Pastor contracted for two years beginning February 2021

• The Leadership Development Team and the Session discerns God’s preferred future for the church

• Selection and formation of the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC)

• PNC hires national search firm SIMA to assist with job description and networking

• PNC creates profiles: finalize church profile and pastor position

• PNC searches for and selects a pastor

• Session and congregation affirms the PNC’s selection

• Congregation welcomes new pastor

• PNC and church leadership onboard new pastor

View the Opportunity Profile here.