By Gary Rohrmayer
In May of 2013, Bethel Baptist Church in Galesburg, IL partnered with Converge MidAmerica to find their next senior pastor. Bethel was seeking to fill this large leadership void in light of Pastor Lee Johnson’s pending retirement after 26 years of faithful service. Converge assisted the search team in developing a clear candidate profile and writing a placement ad. We then initiated a national search submitting ads to about 17 evangelical seminaries; posting it on high trafficked websites; and recruiting potential leaders to consider the opportunity. In all we gathered over 200 resumes. Converge narrowed down this list to a pool of six well qualified men after listening to sermons, analyzing questionnaires, conducting personal interviews, gleaning references, and conducting background checks (financial, criminal and educational). When all this was complete, Converge presented these six candidates to the Bethel Pastoral Search committee. They reviewed all the materials submitted and listened to sermon samples of each candidate and narrowed the list to three. Upon interviewing these candidates, they chose to invite Pastor Scott Wilson and his wife Heather from Renton, Washington to visit Galesburg for a number of meetings with church leadership and staff as well as an extensive tour of the city of Galesburg in March of 2014.
After that visit and a season of prayer, the search committee extended an invitation for Pastor Scott to become a formal candidate for the Senior Pastor role May 17-18. The congregation voted overwhelming to call Pastor Scott and his family to come to Bethel and serve as their next Senior Pastor. After a few days for reflection and prayer Pastor Scott and his wife Heather accepted the position and are slated to move their family across the country this summer to begin leading the church in the mission of Jesus.
Search committee chairman, Rick Welty had this to say about the process, “When in need of a search for a senior pastor, we contacted Converge MidAmerica and asked for their input/insight. We really had no idea as to the initial process of a search of this magnitude and the Converge MidAmerica team sorted through approximately 200 resumes and then referred a very workable amount to us, for further consideration. And the process worked well as we hired one of the candidates from the pool of six that were submitted by Converge. What a time-saving effort they provided along with their expertise and we feel we ended up with the perfect fit to lead our church forward for Christ for many years to come. We could have probably completed the task of a pastoral job search, but we would still be swimming with 200 resumes.”
Scott Wilson graduated from Denver Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in 2009. He has been in church ministry for more than 17 years. Prior to accepting the position at Bethel, Scott was the Lead Pastor of the Kent Campus of Highlands Community Church in Kent, Washington. Highlands Community Church has about 1,200 people in worship attendance between seven services and two campuses. Scott married his high school sweetheart, Heather, in 1997. They have three children, Caden, Amanda & Max. Click here for more information on Scott Wilson.