Pastoral Search Committee FAQs

CBC Senior Pastor Search Process

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How soon will we have a new pastor on board?

A.  The Search Committee is working diligently to bring a new pastor to CBC. Our search firm, Slingshot Group, indicates that it will take a minimum of 6 months to find our next pastor. If the early candidate pool turns out to be less than satisfactory, it could take longer. Because we are looking for the candidate the Lord has already picked out for us, we are working efficiently and prudently toward uncovering that person. However, we don’t want to unduly rush the process in our human concern for getting someone on board, missing the Lord’s cues in the process. 


Q.   When will we get started with the search process?

A.    We have already begun; even with the approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we moved quickly to get the search process underway. The Leadership Council appointed and commissioned the search committee, and then identified and contracted with a very good search firm to assist us. Given holiday interruptions, and our collective availability, we set the dates for the search firm’s onsite visit in late January. These dates put us into a good time frame for finding a new senior pastor. Slingshot assures us that by beginning in January, we are getting into the process during the best time of the hiring season. 


Q.   Why are we hiring a search firm to help us in finding a new pastor?

A.    The Search Committee will be leading and managing the search and review process for finding a new senior pastor. The Leadership Council hired a search firm to assist the committee in order to give us a much broader reach for candidates than we would be able to do for ourselves. The search firm will get to know Calvary Baptist by coming to our church in January for a site visit. The firm will lend its professional expertise and knowledge to help us find the best candidates and then help us vet and compare candidates and their credentials.

Slingshot has a stellar reputation in their field: they are a not-for-profit organization staffed primarily by former pastors, and they have an excellent reputation with the churches they have assisted.  The Slingshot Group will serve as our agent in the process and as a staff extension to the Search Committee, freeing the committee to concentrate on the core work of examining and comparing candidates to find the best fit the Lord has in mind for us.


Q. When will the search firm visit our church?         

A.  Slingshot will be at Calvary on January 27 and 28, 2018, for two days of extensive meetings and interviews. The results of that visit will be used to prepare the church profile and candidate profile we will use in the search process, as well as the material needed for the position announcement.


Q. Why do we have a Search Committee of nine members? Why not just have the deacons conduct the search for a new pastor? Who makes the final decision?

A. The leadership Council (which includes the deacons) wanted to insure some breadth of representation from among the members of the congregation on any committee charged with finding a new senior pastor. Consequently, they formed a sub-committee containing three deacons and six congregants. The Search Committee will make a recommendation to the Leadership Council of a preferred candidate. The Leadership Council will make a recommendation to our church about our new pastor.  


Q.   What will the Search Committee do in January prior to Slingshot’s site visit?  

A.    During January, the Search Committee will be preparing for the site visit and providing Slingshot with data to help it prepare for the onsite visit.  We will be answering Slingshot’s detailed questionnaire about the nature and history of our church, identifying the strengths of our church and the challenges it faces, helping Slingshot prepare the church and candidate profiles to be used in the search process, organizing the onsite Slingshot visit, and completing other tasks.


Q.   If I know of a possible candidate for the job, how do I make his name known? What do I tell him? 

A.    If you know of a candidate you would like to have considered, please make their names known to a member of the search committee, rather than to the pastors or the deacons. By having one “place” to go with names of possible candidates, we insure that nobody gets inadvertently missed in the process. The committee will keep these expressions of interest (and their resumes, if submitted) on file, and they will be notified when the application process begins. When Slingshot opens the application process, these interested candidates will still need to submit the required application materials to Slingshot using the firm’s online portal. This insures that all applicants are considered equally, and that the firm and the committee are properly and fairly comparing candidates.


Q.   What role will our current pastors play in the search process?

A.    Our pastors will play an important role in the process: they will be interviewed by the search firm, advise the Search Committee, review the candidates’ theological backgrounds, and help interview the candidates. Though the search committee will make its own recommendation to the Leadership Council, ultimately, the pastors as members of that council will have a role in recommending the final candidate. The structure of this process has been set up so that the search committee and the leadership council can come as close as possible to unity in identifying God’s choice for us.


Q.   Will the Hamilton campus be involved in the search process?

A.  Hamilton is as involved in the search process as the Holland campus. Isaac De Haan, a member of the Hamilton campus, is a member of the search committee and a new deacon. Tom Wright and Isaac DeHaan will represent Hamilton as members of the CBC Leadership Council. Slingshot will conduct a focus group with representatives of the Hamilton campus during the site visit in late January.


Q.   Will you be gathering any input from the general members of the congregation who are not on the search committee? Will we get to meet and hear the candidates?

A.    Representatives of the general congregation will have input into the process during the Slingshot Group’s visit with us in January. We will also work to give the congregation adequate opportunity to interact with one or more finalists, though how that will happen has not yet been determined by the Leadership Council.


Q.   What does the committee need from me as a member of the congregation?

A.    We need your encouragement during the heavy load of work the search will entail. We need your constant prayers. And, we need your support for a spirit of unity within the congregation in finding and embracing the Lord’s choice for our next Senior Pastor.




Merry Christmas and other updates!

Dear Calvary,

We have been in a pastoral transition for about two months now and the Lord continues to bless our church in many ways. I am reminded of Psalm 100:5 which says,

                  For the LORD is good;

                  his steadfast love endures forever,

                  and his faithfulness to all generations. (ESV)

We were blessed during the Thanksgiving holidays by wonderful testimonies of God’s grace. Our children produced a wonderful Christmas musical at both the Holland and Hamilton campuses and just this past Sunday at the Holland campus, our choir, praise band, orchestra and even choir chimes led us in worship. Live preaching has begun at the Hamilton campus and in Holland we are squeezing everyone into one, very full, worship service. Pastor Dean Parham has joined our staff as Executive Pastor and after a long absence due to a motorcycle accident, Bernadette Walker has returned full-time to the church office. Men and women have been gathering for prayer during this season and the Lord is working in people’s lives, drawing them to Himself.  Our Pastoral Search Team has been commissioned and we have moved forward by hiring an outside firm to partner with us in our search. The Lord has truly been good to us and shown us His faithfulness.

I am grateful for each volunteer who has stepped forward to serve or ask how they can meet a need. Thank you to countless people who have told me they are praying for me and for our staff. Thank you to all who serve weekly, faithfully showing up to bless the Lord and to bless our church. Thank you to all who simply see a need and meet it without ever having to be asked. You are a blessing to our church.

As you gather with your family, friends and loved ones this Christmas, I am praying that your holiday will be filled with the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Take time this week to read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke chapters one and two. Allow the Word of Christ to dwell in you richly this season. My family will be traveling to Arkansas for Christmas to spend it with our extended family and I trust the Lord will bring us back together safely in the new year.

Changes are coming to the Holland campus in January. We will be moving out of our auditorium space for about six weeks beginning on January 2 as it is being renovated. So what are we doing in the auditorium?  The platform will be rebuilt, the room is being painted, new carpet is being installed and new seating will be installed. During this physical transition, we will move our Sunday worship service to the Ministry Center. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. For those who are used to attending at 9:00 a.m., most of our 9:00 a.m. activities will be on hiatus during the auditorium renovation. The only 9:00 a.m. events will be JOY class, Youth Sunday School, prayer gathering and worship rehearsal.

The end of both the calendar year and financial year for Calvary and Hamilton is fast approaching. Let’s start 2018 strong by finishing 2017 strong. To be included in your 2017 giving statement, all gifts must be received in the office or postmarked by December 31, 2017. Any gift you give to Calvary this season will enable us to continue our mission of passionately pursuing Christ and lovingly pursuing others for Christ in Holland, Hamilton and around the world.

Keep an eye out for the “Five Things” email each week to keep up with any changes and information that you need to know weekly. If you aren’t currently receiving “Five Things,” call the church office and we will make sure you are on that list. Also, help us keep our church directory current by verifying your information. We will have tables set up in January where you can update your information and have your picture added to the directory. 

How can you continue to pray for Calvary during this season of change”

  • Pray for our pastors and deacons to be faithful the Lord and to make wise decisions for our church.
  • Pray for our search team to find God’s man to be our next Lead Pastor.
  • Pray for our preachers, teachers and leaders to faithfully and accurately communicate the truth of God’s Word.
  • Pray that the renovation of our auditorium goes smoothly and without delay.
  • Pray that the Lord uses our church to reach our community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that we will grow in Christlikeness and that our love for the Lord and for one another will be known throughout Holland and Hamilton.

It is a joy to serve our church during this transition. If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email me or any of our staff. We are here to serve you.


Merry Christmas,

Pastor Trent

Haggai Project Update


If you have been around Calvary for the last few years, you have heard about the “Haggai Project”. This has been an effort to upgrade various aspects of our facility. Some of that work has already been accomplished, but the largest aspect is about to begin. We are now ready to start the remodeling of our church auditorium.

This project will obviously mean some shifting around in our programs while we step out of our auditorium space. We will be asking everyone to remain flexible during this construction period. Here is what you can expect to see happen as we know it now.

We will continue to meet in the auditorium during the month of December with one adjustment. Another church in Michigan who is remodeling their auditorium is purchasing roughly half of our current pews. They will be picking these up at the start of December and we will be replacing them with chairs from the balcony for the remainder of the month. We will continue to look for a new home for the rest of our church pews. In fact, if you are interested in some pews, or know someone who is, be sure to contact one of the church staff to get them reserved.

January is when the real change will take place. On Tuesday, January 2nd, we will close off the auditorium as we start the remodeling. This will have a ripple effect on our church programs for roughly the next six weeks. The biggest impact will be felt on Sunday mornings. We will be moving the morning service down the hall to the Ministry Center. This will involve pulling chairs from various locations in our building and doing a reset every weekend. To make this operation as smooth as possible, we are moving to a single hour format for this time period. This means that all children’s and adult classes will go on hiatus and there will be no programming for the 9:00 hour (the teens will be doing a creative gathering during these weeks). The morning service will start at 10:30 as usual along with the normal 2nd-hour children’s ministries. Once the morning service is over, we will be asking you to help us clear and/or reset the room for activities planned that week.

Here is one disadvantage we already see with this arrangement. Making connections with other people is hugely important in the life of any church and during this time period that will become more of a challenge than normal. Help us to alleviate that by taking some personal initiative. Specifically, we want you to do more partying during the first of the year. Plan a night (or even several nights) when you will invite some people from church to come over to your house for a party. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just a fun time to get to know people better. Don’t simply invite your long-term friends, ask some people you don’t know well to join you for the evening.

Now I know what some of you are going to say. “I don’t have a big enough or nice enough or clean enough house for this.” Or, “What if nobody ever invites me to their party?” Here is my answer. I am going to have a party every Sunday night at church during this time period, and you are invited to come whenever you want. Every Sunday night at 5:30 in the café I will be having dessert, and I would enjoy the chance to get to know you!

Now you know the basics of what is happening. If you would like any more detail, feel free to ask any of the church staff. Thanks in advance for your flexibility and positive spirit during this remodeling period.

Dean Parham – Executive Pastor

December, 2017

Pastoral Search Team and other Updates

Calvary and The Church at Hamilton family,

As announced in the Sunday services, Jim Visser is the chair of the Search Team. This team is currently being finalized and will be commissioned and prayed over during the Thanksgiving Praise service on Sunday, November 19.

We will have a special offering for the Haggai Project during the Thanksgiving Praise service on November 19 at both campuses. This is a project still in process, as we renovate and update our facilities. The Church at Hamilton campus was able to be renovated over a year ago now because of funds raised through the Haggai Project. We believe the Lord would have us finish this project before a new pastor is in place. Let's join together and complete this project!

New roles and responsibilities have become a reality during this transition. We want the congregation to know well that all of our staff and leadership are available to you during this time. We invite you to communicate with the church office any needs you may have, counseling you may need, or conversation you may want to have with one of our pastors. Moving forward, Pastor Trent will be serving as the "acting lead pastor." Pastor Dean has come on board as our Executive Pastor. We will be officially installing him during the service on Sunday, November 19. Pastor Ben will continue serving as the Youth and Young Adult Pastor, while assuming a more present and greater role as the Campus Pastor at The Church at Hamilton.

One of our great needs at this time is unity and time together. Answering the call of that need, we are going to resume having one service at Calvary starting December 3. We will still be having Equipping U and Sunday school classes during the 9:00am time period, with the one service at 10:30am.

We invite you to use this as an opportunity to reconnect with those whom you may have lost contact with due to attending different services, and an opportunity to get even more plugged in to the community here.

What this means for The Church at Hamilton is live preaching! Starting December 3 we will be offering live preaching in Hamilton. We believe this will enhance our ability to minister well in the Hamilton community.

One last point of update is we will be hosting our annual business meeting on December 10. This meeting will take place at both campuses following their respective services. If you are a member of Calvary Baptist Church or The Church at Hamilton please plan to stay after the service on December 10 for this brief meeting.

1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, 
and let us exalt his name together
-Psalm 34:1-3


Welcome to the Team!

Calvary and The Church at Hamilton Family,

It is our desire through this transition to communicate well and clearly. There will be many decisions to make, changes that will come, and opportunities for miscommunication. This blog is going to be the hub for new information and communication during the search process. With that in mind we would like to tell you about a new member coming on board with us.

A couple months back when Pastor Ed and Tina transitioned to serving in Israel, we began a search for a new Executive Pastor. Our Leadership Council met in September and approved a candidate that our staff and pastors have since offered the job to. 

We would like to welcome Pastor Dean Parham to our pastoral team! Dean is coming on staff as our Executive Pastor. The plan is to formally call him to the role and commission him through the laying on of hands during the service on November 12. In the meantime, you are sure to see Dean and his wife Linda walking around the halls at Calvary and The Church @ Hamilton. Extend a hand of greeting and take some time to get to know Dean and his family.

Learn more about Pastor Dean and his wife Linda.

Dear Calvary and The Church @ Hamilton Family

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

For as long as I have been part of Calvary (over 20 years now) and The Church @ Hamilton, we have been a missions-minded church. We have prayed for the world; we have supported missionaries, sent out missionaries and missions teams, and hosted critical missions events. God is now giving us a new opportunity to continue this legacy.

While serving our church, I have for the last several years also served on the board of ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism), a powerful missions organization supporting 900+ missionaries in more than 70 countries. Calvary supports several missionaries serving through ABWE.

This last weekend, the Board of ABWE asked me to become their next president.

As Martha and I thought and prayed over this opportunity, we realized we have sensed God’s hand of preparation for something like this. From the beginning of our marriage, Martha and I have served the Lord through the American church, but we always expressed to the Lord that we would be open to missions if he ever called us. Several times we even sought the Lord about this. Only now has God opened a door we felt we had to walk through.

Martha and I have decided to accept the role of ABWE President as a call from the Lord to serve him, be a light to the nations, proclaim Christ, and encourage Great Commission participation around the globe.

While it will be hard to stay connected to Calvary and TC@H from a distance, it is our desire to not “leave” but rather to be sent out and launched from Calvary, perhaps as a unique extension of her missionary family. With this hope, on Sunday October 15th we will begin the several-week transition process from Lead Pastor of Calvary to President of ABWE.

God has prepared our church as he has prepared us for this next season and I am convinced that God will continue to abound in supplying leaders in and for our transition. He has always proved faithful and gracious to our church.

We have deeply loved our 20+ years serving the Lord here and ask that you might pray for us as we will pray for you. We leave with nothing but joyful memories and hearts filled with anticipation to see how God will supply our every need.


With a deep and abiding love,

Pastor Paul & Martha Davis