lead pastor announcement

This Sunday, February 18, it will be my pleasure—on behalf of the Antioch elders—to introduce Antioch’s new Lead Pastor. He is quite familiar to most of you. He is himself a church planter, having founded the church community Doxology in Corvallis in the very same month (more than 11 years ago) that Antioch publicly launched in Bend. He served as the Lead Pastor at Doxology for eight years until the Lord called him, his wife Jenn, and their three children to move to Bend, where he became the co-Lead Pastor at Antioch.

In his time with us, he has leaned into his passion for seeing formation and discipleship within the church, and we are thrilled with the tight-knit communities growing up among us. He has led us into a deeper connection with believers through the ages, attuning us to the church calendar and bringing to life for us the gifts of the sacraments and of church liturgy. And he has spearheaded our growing involvement in the unchurched communities around us.

In his sermons and teaching, Pete brings a thoughtful, insightful, and fresh perspective to the timeless truths of the Scriptures he loves, as he applies them to the mission to which Christ calls His followers in Central Oregon and the 21st century—the reconciliation of all things.

In the past few weeks of transition, we have avoided emphasizing the Lord’s plans for Antioch’s future leadership. For a couple of those weeks, we waited until Ken’s calling (to Village Baptist Church in Beaverton) became official. Then we spent a couple of Sundays in honoring and sending off Ken and Tamara and the girls. But from the first moment that Ken shared—with me and the elders, and then the staff, and eventually the congregation—the possibility of his being called elsewhere, we have all recognized the Lord’s goodness in having already prepared Pete for assuming the role of leading Antioch forward. Ken himself knew that he would be leaving us in capable hands. The two guest speakers we had during these weeks—Jarrod from Australia and Andrew from Hong Kong—were both effusive in their celebration of Pete’s character and qualifications and their excitement at seeing him step into the role of sole Lead Pastor of Antioch. And neither the elders nor the staff had any doubts about Pete’s having been brought here for this purpose.

We continue to seek the Lord’s will regarding a new full-time worship leader, and we appreciate your prayers in that regard. Other small changes may be in the offing as Pete and his team consider how best to meet the needs of Antioch and its many ministries going forward. But at long last, I can officially introduce Pete Kelley as Antioch’s new Lead Pastor. I and my family are excited to continue to learn under his teaching and to submit to his leadership, and the elders and staff hope you will join us in welcoming Pete as the Lord’s choice for leading this, His local church, forward in 2018 and beyond.

Rick Gerhardt
Antioch Elder Chair

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