Grace to call Rev. Dr. Julia Leeth as the next Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church

Pastor Nominating Committee

Session Announcement

January 26, 2023

Dear Covenant Partners of Grace Presbyterian Church,

Your Session is excited to announce that we have unanimously approved the Pastor Nominating Committee's (PNC) recommendation to call Rev. Dr. Julia Leeth as the next Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church.

The PNC, composed of Farah Armstrong, Vic Condrey, Bert Crump, Cathy Finck, Andy Frazelle, Tory Gunsolley, Jamie Horton, Paul Mancillas, Amber Mees, Hardie Morgan, Judy Prisk, and Taylor Tritt, began its work in January 2022. The process involved countless hours of prayer, discernment, listening and discussion. A job profile was developed, based on interviews with covenant partners and staff, and the PNC then began evaluating multiple candidates. After completing this rigorous process, the PNC unanimously believes that the Lord is calling Julia to our church.
Julia has also been praying and discerning God's call on her life, and has joyfully accepted this call. Please join us in gratitude to the Lord for His many blessings and the wonderful things happening at Grace.

Soon, Grace will seek approval from the Presbytery and then hold a congregational meeting, on a Sunday following the worship service, to vote on this nomination. Please be on the lookout for the meeting date and further information about the process. We pray you join us for that significant gathering. Thank you for your continued prayers for our church as we move forward together into the next great chapter for Grace Presbyterian.

Grace Presbyterian Church Session

• Our current Transition Senior Pastor contracted for two years beginning February 2021

• The Leadership Development Team and the Session discerns God’s preferred future for the church

• Selection and formation of the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC)

• PNC hires national search firm SIMA to assist with job description and networking

• PNC creates profiles: finalize church profile and pastor position

• PNC searches for and selects a pastor

• Session and congregation affirms the PNC’s selection

• Congregation welcomes new pastor

• PNC and church leadership onboard new pastor

View the Opportunity Profile here.

In January 2022 the session of Grace Presbyterian Church selected the Pastor Nominating Committee to search for a new Senior Pastor.

These Covenant Partners represent a variety of experiences and ages and are in various stages of their personal discipleship journey. They have demonstrated a commitment to and love for Grace and envision a bright future for this church.

The PNC reports to the Session and present progress reports on their search to the Session who will make the final decision on a candidate. Once a final candidate has been identified and approved by the Session, the candidate will be presented to the congregation for approval.

The Pastor Nominating Committee members are:

• Farah Armstrong

• Vic Condrey

• Bert Crump

• Cathy Finck

• Andy Frazelle

• Tory Gunsolley

• Jamie Horton

• Paul Mancillas

• Amber Mees

• Hardie Morgan

• Judy Prisk

• Taylor Tritt

They began their work in January. Please be in prayer for them their work and for the new Senior Pastor. The Lord alone knows what is designed for Grace, but we believe He has blessed this team with hope and confidence to discern the path forward.

How can I help?

Pray! Consider praying for the process, the PNC, our next Pastor and the Grace community during this time of transition.

What is the PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee)?

The PNC has been elected by the congregation and is tasked by Session to find the next Senior Pastor.

What is the charter for the PNC?

The PNC is tasked to work on and oversee the steps of the process including work on a Senior Pastor job description, updated Church Information Profile, review and interview candidates, and present final candidates to Session for approval.

Is there a formal process for the search?

Yes, the ECO Pastoral Search and Transition Guide. Please keep in mind that it is intended as a guideline and that ECO, recognizing that each church/search is unique, affords the latitude to adjust various steps along the way in accordance to the individual situation in order to best serve the needs of the congregation.

Is the PNC using a search firm to help find candidates?

Yes, the PNC is using a search firm called SIMA. SIMA has many years of experience in helping churches find Senior Pastors. SIMA has also been selected by ECO to work with other ECO churches. ECO resources are also being utilized in the search.

Why is the PNC using a search firm?

A search firm is a partner and spends significant time at the beginning of the process learning who Grace is and what characteristics are the best fit for the next pastor. They have an extensive network of contacts which provides a larger pool of candidates. Ultimately the PNC made its decision to use a search firm based on discussions with individuals from other churches who have used or are currently using a search firm. So, due diligence was done to make the decision.

How do I recommend a candidate to the PNC?

You may discuss this with any member of the PNC to ensure that we have not already received the same recommendation. You may formally recommend a candidate by sending an email to the PNC ( Send the pastor’s name, current location/church and contact information. Comment on why you are recommending this pastor and include insights into this person’s particular gifts and reasons why he/she would be good for Grace.

What steps are we taking to be certain that we attract candidates from more diverse backgrounds?

We are confident that by using a search firm we will be able to cast a much wider net and reach more potential candidates.