On Sunday, January 15, Pastor Bill announced that he would be transitioning from his role as Senior Pastor at First Free to a missionary role.
Bill and Carol will serve with the mission ministry of the Evangelical Free Church, called ReachGlobal. They will be staying in St. Louis, and First Free will continue to be their home church when they are not traveling.
Bill will transition his responsibilities in stages. This will allow him to transition smoothly into his new role as a First Free missionary by gradually adding the ReachGlobal training, networking, and support raising duties that will be required in his new role as a First Free missionary. This staged transition will allow First Free to find the right people to assume his Senior Pastor responsibilities in a timely way while maintaining all its other ministries.
The first stage of the transition will occur on February 13, 2017, when Don Erehart and John Richardson assume new roles as an Interim Staff Leadership Team. In this role, Don and John will report directly to the Elder Board and will be responsible for leading all staff members and activities. They will continue their current responsibilities as Senior High and Care Ministries leaders, but will rely even more heavily on their staff and volunteer teams to help them in those roles.
The second stage of the transition will occur after Easter when Don Erehart and John Richardson also assume responsibility for the preaching plan. This will include identifying and recommending to the Elder Board the sermon series that they believe will best meet the needs of First Free. It will also include recommending to the Elder Board a plan for who should preach each sermon.
The final stage will occur at the end of July when Bill’s responsibilities for leading the Small Group ministry will end and he will move fully into his new role as a First Free missionary.
Subject to congregational approval at the February 12, 2017 Annual Congregational Meeting, the elders have appointed Bob Richter to lead a Senior Pastor Search Team. Bob and the elders are now prayerfully identifying the remainder of the Search Team members with the expectation of having them ready for congregational consideration at the February 12 meeting.
Additional information regarding Bill’s transition, our interim plans, and important dates will be added to this page as information becomes available. All entries will be dated.
If you have any questions about the transition, call or text Chuck Hembree (314.591.4792) or Rich Keffer (314.753.7606), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.