Senior Pastor Search Committee Updates

Regular updates from the committee will be posted here in addition to our monthly newsletter and monthly updates  announced at Sunday church services. 



We ask for your prayers, support and patience through this process.  We ask you to pray for us and for God to give us unity, spiritual strength, wisdom and endurance.  We also ask you to pray for the applicants, that God gives them spiritual strength, wisdom and guides them to the places he wants them to be.


Our mission is to find the pastor God has called to serve Chester Baptist Church.


August  23, 2020 update

The giving of thanks to God for all His blessings should be one of the most distinctive marks of the believer in Jesus Christ.  A grateful heart sees each day as a gift.  Today as I stand here I want thank God and express my gratitude to Michael King, the Pastor Search Committee, and you – our Chester Baptist Church family.


It was such an honor and privilege for me to previously serve as deacon chairman for three terms.  During that time there were many blessings as well as some challenges.  Knowing first hand the responsibilities that come with that position, I would like to personally thank Michael King for doing such a great job as chairman of the deacons, especially during these extremely challenging times.  I can pretty much say with 100% confidence that he did not expect all the responsibilities he has had to face.  Michael, thank you on behalf of the church for your leadership in guiding Chester Baptist through these uncertain times.

Next I am thankful for the Pastor Search Committee Members who have dedicated themselves with enthusiasm and diligence in pursuing our next pastor.  We have had 26 meetings with our 27th this afternoon.  That is remarkable, especially considering Covid 19 and think also of the time spent by each person individually between each meeting.  Thank you Crystal, Ed, Kimberly, Linda, Victor, and Tim, our vice-chairman.  The committee respects individual opinions, but is unified in taking the time needed to discern God’s leadership in our search to find the right pastor for Chester Baptist Church : one who loves Christ, His Word, and His Church.  The committee has been so dedicated in our task that we are taking the week of Labor Day as a vacation – unpaid of course!



Thirdly, I want to thank each of you – our church family.  You must have accepted the 40 day prayer challenge for our committee, or maybe you are saying lots of extra prayers. Your prayers are working - after the July update, resumes started rolling in again.  Since that day,  we have received and studied approximately 65 - 70 resumes,  listened to many sermons, sent out questions requesting written answers to 6 candidates whose resumes appeared to be a fit for our church, and we are pleased to have a zoom interview scheduled for one candidate this week.


We realize we still may have a long way to go, but we are grateful for the progress we are making.  Please keep praying as we continue our journey of seeking a pastor for our beloved church.


May we all “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:20




August  1, 2020 update

The Senior Pastor Search Committee continues to work towards finding a new Senior Pastor. We are averaging about 2-3 resumes a week and are looking into other opportunities to get the word out about the position, via ministry job search sites, reaching out to seminary school alumni centers and word of mouth.  
We believe prayer is one of the most important things we can do as a body of Christ.  Starting August 1, we ask you to join us in "40 Days of Prayer" for our Senior Pastor Search as we continue the process to find a senior pastor.  You can find the Senior Pastor Search Prayer Guide on the CBC website at Prayer Guide.  There will also be a link on the home page. Please make a commitment to do this and let's watch God answer!


july 1, 2020 update

Looking for the Perfect Pastor “I clicked on the above title and got a “not found/not available” error message. So why is the perfect pastor “not found”? ‘because you’ll not find a perfect pastor anywhere on this internet Or on the face of the earth! There’s NO perfect man, woman, teen, kid, husband, wife . . . Or pastor! And the sooner we, as people sitting in the pews, realize that, the happier we all will be!” (Peggie’s Place)


At least this takes some pressure off the Pastor Search Committee.


The committee knows that all of you are wondering if we have found a senior pastor yet, and the answer is no: however, let me update you on our progress since we promised, to keep you informed. We have had 17 meetings lasting 1 or 2 hours each, spent many hours reading 161 resumes, and listening to sermons. We narrowed our search down to 4 pastors in whom we asked for written responses to our questions. From that we found the candidate that we all thought would be a great fit for our church based on your input from the surveys – a dynamic preacher, leader, visionary, growth oriented for all generations, provides pastoral care, a family man, and a man filled with the love of our Lord and Savior. We scheduled an interview for last Tuesday with much excitement and anticipation at the prospect of determining if he would continue to be the one that would become the senior pastor of our church. Then the candidate decided to withdraw his name from consideration. Each of us on this committee was extremely disappointed, but then we realized that he evidently was not who God had in mind for our church. That person is out there waiting for God to lead him to us and us to him. We have already posted the position again, and Jim Hamacher, our coach, is also guiding us to any prospects that may now decide to apply through BGAV.

Even though we have had a setback we know that all of us on the committee will continue to dedicate ourselves to following the will of God and that we will focus on what matters: a man who loves Christ, His Word, His church and is a man of Christ-like character. Our new pastor may not be perfect, since there is no one that meets that criteria, but he will be the person God has chosen for Chester Baptist Church.


june 1, 2020 update

What a busy time for the Senior Pastor Search Committee!   Reading resumes, listening to sermons, creating four types of questions (theological, philosophy of ministry, practical, and personal) for both written responses and interviews for the prospective candidates are just some of the ways we are trying to accomplish our goal of finding the pastor whom God has chosen to serve Chester Baptist Church.  Having Zoom meetings and listening to streamed services adds another interesting aspect to our search.  The younger members on our committee adjust much better than a couple of us “oldie goldies”!!

As we move forward in this process of interviewing prospective candidates, please pray not only for the prospective candidates, but also pray that our committee is prepared to answer any questions the candidates may ask us.  Each of us feels honored to be representing you and we are committed to our church and to the will of God.   We began this search with a passion and we are continuing to follow what God wants us to do with all of our heart and might.

May 1, 2020 Update

The committee wants to thank everyone who took the congregational pastor search survey!  We had 88 people provide feedback. With the survey feedback, we are putting together a Pastor Profile to help us narrow down our list of applicants.  We have received a large number of resumes and from a variety of states including Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.  Our deadline for receiving resumes is coming up on April 30.  After our resume deadline, our next steps are to develop questions to ask our top 10-20 candidates to answer in a written form.

April 16, 2020 Update

When you selected the seven of us to serve on the Senior Pastor Search Committee of Chester Baptist Church, we realized the dedication, the time, and commitment required to fulfill this daunting task. However, we had no idea life would change so drastically due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We wanted each of you to know the committee is continuing to meet each week made possible by the advancement of technology, and CBC's membership with Zoom. (I thought zoom just meant to go fast as a plane!!!)

As mentioned in both the traditional and contemporary services on February 9th, the committee stated we had a goal of keeping you updated on our progress through the church's monthly Newsletter and through monthly announcements in the services. In keeping this promise, we would like to update you via email, since we are currently not attending worship services in person.

1)   We have had 10 meetings from 1 to 2 hours each.

2)   We posted our job description on various websites such as The Baptist General Association of Virginia and The deadline for receiving resumes is April 30th.

3)   We are presently reading resumes and rating them to determine which candidates to pursue further.

4)   This past Sunday was the extended deadline for the Congregational Survey in which you had the opportunity to complete electronically or by hard copy. Please find attached the results of 88 surveys submitted by you, our church family. This will give you an idea of what our church is looking for in our next senior pastor. The Pastor Search Committee will take all answers including the narrative answers (not included due to more personal responses) under consideration as we pray continuously to seek God's direction in the process. 

Please continue to pray for the unity of our committee, for the committee to stay strong against spiritual attacks, wisdom for the decisions we make, and for the endurance needed to complete the tasked in which we were charged. Pray that Chester Baptist Church focuses on what matters: a pastor who loves Christ, His Word, and His church.

Thank you ~ The Senior Pastor Search Committee


March 29, 2020 Update

The Senior Pastor Search Committee has been working diligently over the past month.  We rolled out the congregational pastor search survey on March 12, via email, providing an online survey link. The email stated hard copies would also be available at the church.  To date we’ve had 77 responses.  We thank everyone who has taken the survey and encourage anyone who hasn’t taken the survey to please do so.  We really want everyone’s input as we work to find our next Senior Pastor. The deadline to complete the survey is April 12. The online survey can be found at
We have also posted the Senior Pastor job description on various job posting sites including Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) and  Our resume submission deadline is April 30.
Our next step is to prepare a Pastor Profile based upon the congregational surveys. This will help us to eventually narrow down the resumes. 

February 23, 2020 Update

The committee was formed and members approved at the church business meeting on January 29, 2020.  The Senior Pastor Search Committee members are Victor Foreman, Linda Gwaltney, Crystal Hill, Kathy Lilley, Tim Meredith, Ed Newman and Kimberly Sasser. Our meetings to date have included getting to know each other, selecting officers, and training with Dr. James Hamacher of the Middle District Baptist Association.
We are currently working on a congregation survey and finalizing the senior pastor job description.  Suggestion boxes have been placed in the sanctuary vestibule, office foyer and youth area.  We welcome anyone to submit suggestions in these boxes.  We ask you provide your name so we can follow up if needed.