Four men have agreed to form a Pastoral Advisory Team (PAT) to interview our elder candidate nominees:
- Dr. Brent Allen, District Executive Minister, Converge NE
- Dr. Jeff Arthurs, Professor of Preaching and Communication and Chair of the Division of Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- Dr. Bruce Hanlon, Pastor, Forestdale Church, Forestdale MA
- Dr. Gene Heacock, Leadership Coach and Intentional Interim Pastor
Currently we are preparing to interview 13 elder candidates. Others have opted out of the process — at least for this season. The reasons are varied but primarily revolve around it not being the optimum time in their current season. We may have the opportunity to invite a few more men into a more intentional training environment.
The interviews will take place on Nov 3 and 4. Please be praying for this time! If you have any questions about the process email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some more complete bios of the PAT:
Dr. Brent Allen grew up in Western PA before attending college at Moody Bible Institute and seminary at Dallas Theological Seminary. In 1980, he and Lori married and now have three grown children and nine grandchildren. The Allen’s served in the Danbury, Connecticut area before ministering at the Old North Church, Canfield, Ohio, for 25 years. They led Old North to impact their community for Christ and saw hundreds of people come to faith. Brent’s desire is that each of the churches in the Converge Northeast have a vision and strategy to fulfill the Great Commission in their communities and together we are trusting God to transform thousands of lives through the Gospel.
Dr. Jeff Arthurs was raised in Western PA in a nominally Christian home and came to saving faith in Christ when he was 14 years old. His life was turned upside down as he soon became deeply involved in the life of the church, receiving a call to preach at age 16. To this day his passion is preaching, and he uses his wide-ranging communication experience as a teacher, missionary, director, announcer, and consultant to equip others for more effective proclamation of the Word. Jeff has taught on all levels from grade school to grad school, having taught preaching and communication in a dozen colleges and seminaries in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently professor of preaching and communication and chair of the Division of Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In the past he served as teaching pastor in Portland, OR. Currently, Jeff is an elder at his home church, North Shore Community Baptist, Beverly Farms, MA. He also leads the Alpha ministry there. He carries on an active ministry of pulpit supply and conference speaking. Dr. Arthurs is a past-president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and an active scholar, regularly presenting papers at conferences and writing articles for periodicals such as the Journal of Communication and Religion, Preaching, Leadership, and Preaching Today on-line. He has written Preaching With Variety, Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture, and Preaching as Reminding. Jeff has been married to Liz for more than 35 years and they are the parents of one son, Daniel. Jeff enjoys traveling, and playing tennis and disc golf with his wife. His education is summarized below:
- D., 1992, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN—Communication.
- A., 1987, Western Seminary, Portland, OR—Theology.
- A., 1981, Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC—Speech.
- A., 1979, Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC—Bible.
Dr. Bruce Hanlon received his MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2000 with a concentration in teaching, which was followed a few years later with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a dissertation on “Pastoral Co-Dependency.” Bruce (and Sarah) served for 11 years at Crossroads Community Church in Framingham, MA where he saw God bless and multiply the work into a multi-service church with a multiple staff and the launching of a full time Christian pre-school. After which they served with Africa Inland Mission teaching in Kenya. Eventually they headed back onto the mission field working to establish a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership program at a Bible college in Malawi, Africa. Following that experience they accepted a short-term assignment to work with the International Chapel of Vienna in Austria where they served the church for two years working to re-build healthy ministry structures and establish a clearer vision for the future. Currently Bruce is serving as the Lead Pastor Forestdale Church in Forestdale MA. Because of the passion God has given him for “church re-boots,” he and Sarah excitedly accepted this new position where they knew the remaining core members of the church had a strong desire for a fresh vision, a willingness to adopt new paradigms for selecting and training both existing and emerging church leaders, and most importantly, the clear message of the gospel. By God’s grace, they are seeing these elements work together to breathe new life and a passion for the gospel into this community.
Dr. Gene Heacock has served as a pastor for fifteen years, as new church specialist with Mission To The America’s in planting ten churches in the North East. Gene has a doctor of Ministry in Church History/Reformation/Revival Studies and is an adjunct professor at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and he is beginning his twelfth Intentional Interim. Gene and Sandy have been married for 38 years and live in Gloucester.