Regional Minister Search Update – February 2020

Greetings, Kentucky Region! We’re sorry you haven’t heard from us for awhile, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been working on your behalf. We’ve made some great progress on a few behind-the-scenes tasks we have to undertake before we can start the proper search for the next regional minister. Specifically, we have to create a regional profile and a job description for the position. This is harder for us to do since our last several hires have been “in-house,” meaning no profile was needed.

If you remember, we distributed a region-wide survey asking for  your feedback on our region and the position of regional minister. Thanks for your responses! They will help us generate our regional profile. Here’s a short summary of what we hard you say:

1 – What, in your opinion, are the two or three most urgent priorities for the Region that the next Regional Minister should address?

Church membership and growth; financial sustainability amidst declining finances; keeping our camps vibrant and usable

2 – What are your additional hopes and dreams for the Region for the next five years?

That churches would be better connected to each other, that the camps would be brought up to date, that search and call would receive more attention, and that there would be some sort of evangelism training for congregations.

3 – What are the strengths and special gifts of this Region that can serve as building blocks as it addresses the urgent priorities and five-year hopes and dreams that you have named?

Strong congregations and ministers; deep DoC history; educational institutions; hard-working regional staff; vibrant camp program

4 – What realities of the Region can you name that could be obstacles to the Region as it sets its sights on the urgent priorities and five-year hopes and dreams that have been named?

Church aging and decline; financial realities; communication barriers; “fear” phobias that dominate our thinking

5 – What gifts, experience, and commitments do you believe that the next Regional Minister needs to possess in order to be effective in leading the Region toward health and vitality?

Person of God with authentic faith; innovative thinker; visionary leader; effective communicator; pastoral presence; willingness to travel

6 – What additional information would you like to share with the search team as it develops the Regional Profile and has conversations with candidates?

Churches want: the best candidate possible; new thinking and courageous leadership; visits from the Regional Minister; to honor the diversity of the region.

So, what’s next? We’ll use these answers to generate a Regional Profile, which will then go the Personnel Committee. That committee will use the profile to help update the job description for the position. Once those two documents are completed, they will go to the Regional Board, which will vote whether or not to recommend them to the Regional Assembly in October.

Our goal is to have a new Regional Minister in place in time to introduce her or him at the General Assembly in Louisville in July 2021. That means the search will begin in earnest in November with the publicizing of the position and the receiving of letters of inquiry from potential candidates. We’ll keep you posted throughout the process on how things are doing. Thanks for your continued prayers and support!

Your Regional Minister Search Team

Nov. 4 Search Update

Hey Kentucky Region! Sorry to be out of touch for so long, but we’ve been busy gathering and sorting through the responses to our Regional Minister Search Survey. We received 88 responses, which gave us a lot of good data to work with. The team is in the process of summarizing the answers to the six questions so that we can begin to put together a regional profile that can be shared with potential candidates. We hope to finish that work by the end of November.

Thanks to everyone who filled out a survey and to all those who are praying for our process. We’ll post another update when we have finished our work with the survey results.

God bless,

Kory Wilcoxson

Chair, Regional Minister Search Team

And so it begins!

Your Regional Minister Search Team held their first meeting on Saturday, June 8, at First Christian Church in Louisville. The purpose of our retreat was two-fold: (1) to receive Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Training from April Johnson, Minister of Reconciliation for the DoC, and (2) to allow John Mobley, Regional Minister for the Alabama/Northwest Florida Region, to take us through the search orientation process. Our denomination has a specific process outlined for executive searches. The process is more involved than finding a minister for a church, so John was helpful in making sure we were off to a good start.

At the end of our retreat, we outlined several next steps. First, we’re going to review the current position description for the regional minister to see if it needs to be updated. Second, we’ll be reaching out to congregations across Kentucky to solicit input as we prepare our Regional Profile to be shared with candidates. That input can be given two ways. First, we’ve created an online survey that allows you to give us direct feedback on the position of regional minister. You can find that survey here. Feel free to go ahead and fill it out!

Second, we’ll be sending emails to all the pastors in the region with printable paper versions of these surveys. We encourage you to contact your pastor if you’d like a paper copy. Those can then be filled out and mailed to us at:

Regional Minister Survey
c/o Crestwood Christian Church
1882 Bellefonte Dr.
Lexington, KY 40503

We’d like to have all the surveys filled in and returned by July 28, when the search team will start to distill this information into a Regional Profile. Once the position description and congregational profile are approved by the Regional Board, then we can start advertising the position and receiving candidates.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact me at kory@crestwoodchristian. Our team is committed to transparency (while maintaining confidentiality) and keeping the region informed of our work. Your prayers and support are most appreciated!

Kory Wilcoxson, chair
on behalf of the Regional Minister Search Team

Regional Search Team Bios

Executive Search Team

We are honored to serve on your behalf as part of the Executive Search Team that is tasked with finding the next Regional Minister in Kentucky. We appreciate and welcome your prayers as we seek to faithfully fulfill this call.

Kory Wilcoxson, Chair

Rev. Kory Wilcoxson serves as Senior Pastor at Crestwood Christian Church (Lexington).  He is a D.Min. student at Lexington Theological Seminary and an M.Div. graduate of Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis).  He has two daughters, Sydney (21) and Molly (15). He is a runner and a Cincinnati Reds fan.  Kory has served as Moderator of CCK and the Council on Christian Unity.  Most recently, Kory has been chairing the Restructure Committee for CCK.

Syvoskia Pope, 1st Vice Moderator (CCK)

Rev. Syvoskia Pope serves as Pastor at New Century Fellowship Christian Church (Louisville).  She is a graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary.   She is a bi-vocational community leader for Louisville Metro Government, and she provides Community Economic Development services for entrepreneurs. She is also the owner of Exousia Financial, LLC.  Syvoskia serves on several boards and committees of the Christian Church of Kentucky: she is 1st Vice Moderator, Co-Convener of New Church Ministry, board member of Mission Behind Bars and Beyond, and serves on the CCK Reconciliation Team.

Paul Jackson, Personnel Committee Chair (CCK)

Paul Jackson is a lay leader at First Christian Church  (Covington).  Born into a devout Southern Baptist family, Paul changed his membership to Disciples of Christ when he met his wife Sheri.  He retired from Procter & Gamble in June 2018 after 34 years of global supply chain work.  Paul’s hobbies include golf and reading.  He has served the Region on the Regional Board as Chair of Budget & Funds in a previous biennium in addition to his current service as Chair of the Personnel Committee.

Laura Barkhauer

Laura Barkhauer is a member of Beargrass Christian Church (Louisville). She has been a member of the Christian Church (DOC) for over 25 years, and has served as an Elder, a Sunday School Teacher, a VBS leader, a Children’s Ministry member and chair. For many years she has served on the Christmount Council & Board, currently serving as the Moderator. She spends time volunteering in her community, currently with the American Cancer Society as chair of the local Relay For Life event. Laura is a licensed real estate professional with Keller Williams Realty Consultants.  She is married to Rev. Bruce Barkhauer, Director of the Center for Faith & Giving of the Christian Church (DOC). They have three children & two grandsons. 

Darrell Hayden

Rev. Darrell Hayden is the pastor of High Street Christian Church (Mount Sterling). He has been the pastor for the past 23 years.  He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a major in Philosophy and Black Studies.  He is married to Jacqueline; they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Darrell has previously served as Moderator for the Christian Church In Kentucky and currently serves on the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Antonio Sherrill

Antonio Sherrill serves as a lay leader at Second Christian Church (Mayfield). He is a 5th grade teacher at Mayfield Middle School, where he has worked for the past 10 years.  Antonio is the father to a son and a daughter.  He is a candidate for Commissioned Ministry.

Linda Creason

Rev. Linda Creason is a member of First Christian Church (Paducah).  She is married to David (63 years).  They have three children, 8 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.  She served as Office Manager at an outpatient radiology clinic for 35 years.   At age 50, Linda went into ministry.  She became a Commissioned Minister in December 2009.   She ministered at Bardwell Christian Church for over 13 years. She then served as interim at Dawson Springs on two separate occasions for about 1 year each time.  Linda still does pulpit supply in the West Area.  She has served on the West Area Board and the state CWF Board.