The session is pleased to announce that the Interim Search Committee has completed its work and that the interim pastor for Banner Elk Presbyterian Church has been chosen – and approved by the Presbytery. The Rev. J. Decherd (Deck) Guess, currently serving in Laurinburg, NC, has accepted the call. He will be preaching for the first time at Banner Elk on August 25th. Before that date there will be several meet-and-greet events for the congregation to get acquainted with Deck and his wife Deb. (Rev. Ed Donnell has agreed to provide some support until Deck arrives).
The Interim Search Committee began our work with four possible candidates, and interviewed all. We listened to sermons on-line for each of the candidates and arranged for the top two to preach in a neutral pulpit as a part of the process for making our final, prayerful decision. Deck’s enthusiasm for ministry and his love of this area were some of the determining factors in our choice. We feel confident that the Holy Spirit has been at work in Deck’s selection!
Deck’s parents built a vacation home on Beech Mountain and he has been coming to the area since the 1970s. He and his wife love the mountains! Deck brings a range of experience that well suits the needs of this church. He has served in a resort church in Florida with seasonal membership. He has experience with older congregants, having served as chaplain for a retirement community. He is active with the children in his current congregation. He frequently attends the Montreat Arts, Recreation, and Worship Conference, which provides enrichment in worship planning and lots of training for working with children and youth that can benefit our new and growing programs.His wife also has extensive experience in Christian Education.
We are excited about this new chapter in the life of our church and look forward to welcoming Deck and Deb into the life of this congregation! Until they arrive, the Reverend Ed Donnell will serve as a “bridge” interim; he will handle pastoral care, be available to staff, and preach on at least two Sundays. The other Sundays will see guest preachers filling the pulpit.
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