Succession Update

November 15th announcement

Congregational letter from the elders about David Lyle.
 

November 23, 2020


 

Dear Four Mile Church,

In the spring of 2019, we announced that we would begin the process of searching for a senior pastor to replace Martin.  Martin has faithfully led and served Four Mile for more than 28 years.  He is someone who wholeheartedly follows the Lord, which is why Martin initiated the transition and search process with the elders.  He believed it was the right time to pass the torch to another leader.  Martin’s and the elders’ focus was and will remain what is best for Four Mile Church.

The elders established a search team in February 2019 with the mission to identify appropriate candidates who would then be recommended to the elders for further consideration.  The search team worked for several months creating a job profile and interview process.  Upon completion, the job profile was posted to various church job platforms.  The search team received and reviewed a significant number of resumes throughout the process which were then passed along for a pre-interview questionnaire and then interviews, if warranted.  The search team would then conduct two interviews, with candidates who moved on to this phase; one with a focus on leadership skills and one with a focus on theological beliefs.  Next, the search team reviewed audio and video examples of preaching.  Finally, the search team conducted reference interviews of individuals submitted by the candidates, as well as individuals referred by the original references.  After this process, qualified candidates that fit within the vision and job profile were recommended to the elders for further review.  Most importantly, we were prayerful throughout the process.  We have laid out the details to hopefully encourage you that this entire process was handled with care and intentionality.  Our goal was not to just fill a position, but to hear from God who He had next to lead Four Mile. 

After much prayer and discernment, we believe that individual to be David Lyle.  From our initial interaction, he clearly has a heart for Jesus, as well as the leadership qualities and experiences to serve as our next senior pastor.  David submitted his resume in January of 2020 and has graciously worked with us throughout the following months (COVID and all!).  In addition to the interview process, David was able to visit with us over the summer, and the elders were able to spend a weekend with David and his wife, Jennifer, to get better acquainted, as well.  Each meeting and discussion with David, we found ourselves more encouraged and affirmed that this was who was next for Four Mile.  

David grew up in Grove City, Pennsylvania and Jennifer is a native of Geneseo, Illinois.  They have a daughter, Allyson, who is a senior at Wheaton College and a son, Andrew, who is a senior in high school.  David and Jennifer both graduated from West Point in the early 1990s.  Jennifer served as a logistics officer for 6 years before getting out of the Army to pursue her career as a dietitian.  After several assignments as an engineer officer, the Army selected David to attend graduate school and return to West Point in 2003 as a member of the faculty.  He has served at West Point for the past 17 years and is currently an Army Colonel assigned as the Vice Dean for Resources and Professor of Economics. Throughout his time at West Point, David has been actively involved in campus ministry. He founded and co-directed the West Point Sunday Night Vespers Service, as well as directed the West Point Fellowship of Christian Athletes Program.  David enrolled in seminary in 2012 to enhance his ability to contribute to his ministry opportunities at West Point.  Over the past 17 years, he has had a multitude of opportunities to serve and grow under the guidance of many Army Chaplains from diverse denominational backgrounds.  They have allowed David to partner alongside them in various leadership roles such as delivering sermons, conducting funerals, serving communion, providing Biblical counseling, presiding over baptisms, teaching, and leading congregational prayers.  After 27 years of service as an Army officer, David is retiring, and excited to pursue his calling to full-time ministry.

David first learned about Four Mile during the summer of 2019 while completing the ECO ordination program.  Of the many job postings on the ECO website, he found ours to be very much in line with his heart for ministry. While in the area for a family function, he made a surprise visit to Four Mile.  He had such an encouraging experience that he came back a few weeks later to visit with Martin and Cammie.  He came away from his visits excited by Four Mile’s mission and encouraged by the love for Jesus he saw in our leadership and staff.  David participated in our Daniel fast in the fall of 2019 from his home in New York and has been worshipping with us each week remotely ever since.  

As part of this process, we will be holding a congregational vote on December 13th to finalize the hiring of David.  In preparation for the vote, the elders, along with Martin and Cammie, will be sharing their experiences and thoughts about David over the coming weeks.  We have been thorough in our process, and most importantly, have been prayerful throughout.  We believe we have received affirmation along the way of David being the correct fit for Four Mile, and he believes he has received the same clarity.  We want what God wants and desire to be in His will above all else.  Updates and additional information will be posted on our website under Succession.  The elders will be available for questions over the next few Sundays before the vote on December 13th.  We can also be reached by email at elders@fourmile.org.  

In Christ,

Your elders,

Joshua Diamond, Sherri Herstine, Brian Grubbs, Bill Nixon and Steve Gumpf