The Shepherd’s Nook,


After all these many years together, I’m sure it goes without saying that I did not make the decision to step down from my role as senior pastor lightly or hastily.  I’ve been praying about the timing of this for some time.  At my

age, people outside of the church just naturally start asking you about retirement.  I’ve jokingly been telling folks for years that I wanted to leave right before you wanted me to go.  Hopefully, I got it right.


I wanted to make my retirement announcement some months before my departure so that the process of choosing your next shepherd could get underway.  That decision needs to come from the Lord, through a team, and then ultimately to the church.  


While I will not be leading you through that process, I want to use my final days here to lead you to it.  The groundwork for this process is clearly stated in our DeSoto Hills Constitution and By-laws.



Section 4. Call and Termination of Pastor

A. A Pastor Search Team shall be elected to seek out a suitable pastor, and its recommendation will constitute a nomination for the position of pastor. The Search Team shall be comprised of five members and two alternates.

The team should consist of 3 men and two women, with the alternates being one man and one woman. Of these, no more than two should be currently serving as deacons. There should also be no more than one member of any family represented. The team should be comprised of active church members and be representative of the various age divisions. The deacons will nominate  said team members and present them for church approval during a special called church conference following a Sunday evening worship service,

provided notice of such election is announced at the previous regular Sunday morning service. After the team is selected, they will elect a chairman and secretary. The Search Team shall bring to the church only one man at a

time for consideration. Prior to his nomination, a background check and credit check will be completed on the candidate. A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose on the Sunday evening following a sermon given by a candidate that same Sunday morning in view of a call.

B. Election shall be by written ballot. An affirmative vote of three-fourths of the church members present. and voting is necessary for a call. The pastor, thus called, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by the pastor, or by the church, or by mutual consent.



I believe the prayer that should be on our lips concerning this decision is one uttered by Jesus Himself:


  “Not my will, but thine be done.”  Luke 22:42

James Lewis