Minister Transition Resources

Compiled by

Randy Willingham, D.Min.

One huge loss for churches is when they see the minister transition as simply replacing the past minister. We cannot possibly calculate the lost value in adopting that perspective. One of the most strategic and opportune times for churches to develop is in the transition between ministers. Questions can be asked and insight gained at that time that cannot be gained at any other time in the life of a congregation. Additionally, attention to the transition between ministers (for both churches and ministers) is even more important today than yesterday because of the shortage of ministers.

We hope this loss will be avoided and turned from loss into real opportunity. The Baptists and the Methodists have been doing interim ministry for years and have decades of research and practice from which we can learn. One of the best interim ministers I have seen in the Churches of Christ is Jerrie Barber. We highly recommend his work. He is a creative, courageous, and true peacemaker who understands transition work at a very deep level. We strongly encourage you to secure the assistance of competent and trained practitioners who understand how to harvest the opportunities in these transitions. We strongly recommend translating this valuable point in time as a leverage point for significant congregational growth.

About this Document

The material here will be updated so be sure to check back if it has been awhile since you downloaded the document. We have provided it so you can easily print this off to take into a search committee meeting. However, feel free to also email the document to others because the electronic document can be nice as most of the contact links are provided as hyperlinks. And, the table of contents includes links to places in the document or to the relevant resource.

Dr. Charles Siburt served on the board of Pure Heart Vision, a ministry dedicated to helping churches mature in achieving God’s mission. Drs. Charles Siburt and Randy Willingham were the sub-committee for that group to help Pure Heart Vision offer significant resources for assisting in the minister transition that collaborated with what Dr. Siburt was currently doing.

You will notice a reference to a Minister Transition E-Workbook. Randy Willingham is currently preparing the workbook that will be available for both ministers and churches. However, in the meantime, the link goes to a site where you can purchase Dr. Siburt’s material that he previously used in coaching churches through the transition. You can purchase the material through ACU.

Dr. Siburt’s material is highly valuable but is less useful without his coaching. Once the material is completed by Randy Willingham we will keep the link to Dr. Siburt’s material because even though it can never be as useful without his coaching it will be useful along with the workbook produced by Dr. Willingham.

  We dedicate the current material we are compiling and the ministry to churches and ministers in this transition to Dr. Charles Siburt.

We lost the physical presence of our beloved Dr. Charles Siburt but we will never forget him. Much of our consulting and coaching work is inspired by and dedicated to him. He is missed every day. Our Center for Spiritual Leadership is dedicated to Drs. Siburt and Flavil Yeakley. And, we dedicate our attempt to assist ministers and churches in transition to Dr. Siburt.

He was a unique mixture of high level competence and genuinely deep compassion. He loved true harmony but was willing to challenge cheap, superficial, or false peace. He constructively challenged people with courageous care that was both truthful and relevant to greater maturity. Charles loved to empower others, and to experience others reaching their God-given potential. He was a master at helping others close the gap on who they were becoming without imposing himself or his own agenda. Personally, he lived a dedicated life of purpose and meaning that was very intentional.

He was like a great artist when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and his masterpieces were pictures of truth in love framed with grace - and, sometimes, painful grace. He was, though legally blind, repeatedly described as the most insightful and wise man others ever experienced. Ironically, almost poetically, he saw what others didn't before their very eyes; he saw what mattered most. He blessed us as Chair of our Pure Heart Vision Board until he left his loved ones to be with the Lord on July 11, 2012.

We hope the very best for you as you make the most of the minister transition you are entering.






Table of Contents


Click the links below to go to these resources.


Coaching Forms











  • Harding Faculty Workshops (add Ed Myers)






  • People & Places to Find Youth Ministers/Churches Looking




Fill in Ministers (return to TOC)

Keep in mind that fill in preachers are not the same as interim ministers. Interim ministry is a specialized ministry with a primary focus on assisting churches to prepare for a new minister by doing sober self-assessment, responsible match making, networking, doing cleanup work from previous ministers, and leveraging the processing of transition dynamics for deepening the ministry of the church. This is a list of possible speakers, not interim ministers. For additional resources, contact other opinion leaders in the Churches of Christ by clicking here.


Joe Brumfield - Counselor on our Bible department. He has done work in counseling and work with families. I have not personally experienced his material but I have received recommendations from people all over the country about him. So, that tells me he is definitely getting out and interacting with a wide range of churches. <>


Jim Bury – New Testament scholar with a lot of good biblical substance. Would provide excellent substance from a biblical/theological view. Great but interesting sense of humor, extremely intelligent, and articulate. <


Marvin Crowson - AMAZING energy. Works with church plants all across the nation. Has done consulting work for Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and other corporations and now spends full time developing mission teams who serve within the United States. Marvin and his wife, Judith, own Awareness and Development which trains people for more effective service and Marvin is an authority on the use of the DiSC profile.

Marvin is associated with the Center for World Missions as a Domestic Missionary in Residence and has served as a missionary in Jamaica for 9 years with a team he helped form at Harding. He has also served the church in numerous ways in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Alabama. He coordinates the OutReach America program, which works to build domestic missionary teams to work predominantly in gateway cities and on college campuses. Marvin’s goals are to recruit, equip, place and support vocational individuals and teams in major population centers within the continental U.S. in order to plant new churches or take proactive roles in existing congregations. <>

Willing to travel? Yes.


Kelly Elander - former minister. HU professor in the Harding University communications department. He has a gentle kind spirit and did some biblical training at the Sunset School of Preaching. He seems to be focused on evangelism and genuinely care for the lost. <>, 



 Kelly Neill - Professor of music at Harding University. Wants to speak occasionally for different churches. Every church I know of who has used him deeply appreciates him. He has a wonderful spirit heart, devout faith, and he is genuinely kind, gracious, and caring for others. <>



Dale Manor - Old Testament archeologist. Good speaker. Can do good presentations on archeological digs (some of which he has led in Israel) that could be of interest to church and non-church members. Wonderful minister who still preachers in Melbourne, AR but can do occassional preaching elsewhere. Could do a good weekend workshop that reaches out to the community and other churches as well as being informative to the congregation.



Willing to travel? Occasionally, with notice.


Alan Pogue - Excellent at working with families and has done some parenting workshops, has developed effective ministerial connections between the community and the church’s family outreach, is a great communicator from an organizational development standpoint. Ph.D. from Oklahoma University. <>



Paul Pollard - New Testament scholar who preached for a number of years at Augusta, AR for an African American congregation even though he is Caucasian - and they loved him. Has taught at Harding for a number of years. Sweet spirited servant with a lot of energy, passion, and focus. Relates well to a broad range of people. His wife, Sherry, is an effective therapist. <


Bill Richardson – a missionary at heart who directs the CAMT (Center for Advanced Ministry Training) as well as the Master of Ministry program at Harding University. Brilliant man who has good substance and is a good speaker. He is witty and intelligent while having great people skills. Has courage and integrity. He has risked himself many times to give opportunities to others. <




Devin Swindle – Excellent at preaching out of the Old Testament with a high degree of relevance and biblical depth. He preaches full-time at the Highway Church of Christ and can only be away a limited amount of time. Can host workshops for preachers wanting to learn to preach more effectively in your area. <>


Willing to travel? Yes, for preaching workshop especially to parts of the U.S. where the Churches of Christ are weak.


Tom Tackett - Bible degree at Harding but then studied chemistry and went to work for Eastman Chemical. Served as an elder and is a believer in whom there is no guile. He has biblical integrity and commitment. He may be preaching somewhere now but if so it is recent and he may still be able to do some occasional preaching for others. <>



Tom Taylor (former minister, presently a pharmacist, and graduated from Harding School of Biblical Studies, Harding University, and Harding Graduate School of Religion). Has a deep understanding of the Churches of Christ and where we are as a brotherhood. Very informed biblically and theologically. He can be a very fun guy with a great sense of humor. Served as a minister for a number of years and thinks he may go back into ministry in his later years. From Indiana married to a good southern lady named Patricia from Arkansas. <


Willing to travel? Yes, from Arkansas to Indiana or northeast part of United States.

Philip Thompson - Genuine minister heart who formerly preached at a congregation in Little Rock but now teaches at Harding University and directs the Center for Preaching. Has graduate work beyond his doctorate in ethics from Trinity Evangelical Seminary and can do workshops on Christian Ethics. <>




Duane Warden - New Testament scholar who is retired from the Harding Bible department. Very devout bible scholar and churchman who can challenge your thinking. <






Flavil Yeakley – Many have heard of Dr. Yeakley but few know just how deep is his sacrifice of service to Churches of Christ. He is a Church Growth expert. The Center for Spiritual Leadership is inheriting his work with the Center for Church Growth as well as his expertise and direction. Few people can even come close to matching his integrity. He is highly respected for good reason.  <>


Click here for more on Flavil Yeakley.

Kevin Youngblood – Absolutely brilliant Old Testament scholar who is a genuine servant. Very impressive individual who has deeply invested in and cared for the church. Has served as minister and elder as well as bible professor. He is highly respected by biblical scholars, churchmen, students, and colleagues . . . and for very good reason. Has published major commentaries including his most recent work on the book of Jonah. <>


Randy Willingham – Professor at Harding University, faculty coach, and Director of the Center for Spiritual Leadership, which has inherited the Center for Church Growth led by Flavil Yeakley. He specializes in leadership development, elder selection processes, minister and church transitions in between ministers, and conflict management. Also, leads the ministry called Pure Heart Vision that seeks to provide opportunities for people of pure hearts seeking to serve God. < >


Willing to travel: Yes. See also, Pure Heart Vision and Courageous Conversations



Harding University Bible Faculty offered Workshops (return to TOC)

Check back soon.



Intentional Interim Ministers (return to TOC)

Consultants who can assist churches in transition…

  • Dr. Carlus Gupton - Knoxville, TN -


Interim Ministers (from ACU’s List – click here) (return to TOC)

Opinion Leaders Relevant to Finding a Minister/Church (return to TOC)


 People & Places to Find Ministers/Churches Looking (return to TOC)


*We suggest that you find churches that have recently hired and ask them for quality candidates they did not, for one reason or another, hire.


School, Contact Person, Department, Role




Abilene Christian University

Karissa Herchenroeder, Administrative Coordinator

Doctor of Ministry Office


ACU Box 29405

Abilene, TX    79699

Phone: 325-674-3732



Amridge University

Allison Tally, Career Services

1200 Taylor Road

Montgomery, AL  36117-3520

Phone: 334-387-7512

Web Page:


Austin Graduate School of Theology

Jeff Petterson, Faculty Chair

7640 Guadalupe street

Austin, TX 78752-1333

Phone: 512-476-2772



Brown Trail School of Preaching

Bob Stapleton, Director

1801 Brown Trail

Bedford, TX  76021

Phone: 817-268-3222

Cell Phone: 817-937-3981

Web Page:

Crowley’s Ridge College

Art Smith

Vice President for Student Affairs

Crowley’s Ridge

100 College Drive

Paragould, AR 72450

Phone: 870-236-6901

Email :

Web Page


Florida College

Ralph Walker

Public/Alumni Relation

119 North Glen Arven Avenue

Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Phone: 813-988-5131 Ext 171


Faulkner University

Scott Gleaves, Dean

College of Biblical Studies


5345 Atlanta Highway

Montgomery, AL  36109

Phone: 334-386-7154

Freed-Hardeman University

Billy Smith

Dean of the School of Biblical Studies

158 E. Main St.

Henderson, TN  38340

Phone:  800-348-3481


Web Page:



Great Lakes Christian College

Phil Beavers

VP of Institutional Advancement

6211 West Willow Highway

Lansing, MI 48917-1299

Phone: 517-321-0242 Ext. 215



Harding University

Randy Willingham, Director

Center for Spiritual Leadership

915 E. Market, Box 12288

Searcy, AR  72149-5615

Phone: 501-279-4573


Harding University

Bill Richardson, Director,

Center for Advanced Ministry Training (CAMT)

Harding University

HU 12280

Searcy, AR 72149

Phone: 501-279-4252 or 501-279-5276


Web Page:


Heritage Christian University

Philip Goad

VP of University Advancement


Florence, AL  35630

Phone: 256-627-6105, 800-367-3565

Lipscomb University

Steve Joiner, Managing Director

Institute for Conflict Management

One University Park Dr.

Nashville, TN  37104

Phone: 615-966-7141  Ext. 7141


Lubbock Christian University

Carmen Puente, Office Manager

Department of Youth and Family Ministry


Lubbock Christian University

5601 19th St

Lubbock, TX  79407

Phone: 806-720-7651


Web Page:

National Christian School Association

PO Box 11000

Oklahoma City, OK  73136

Web site:

Oklahoma Christian University

Mark Chan

Career Services

Box 11000

Oklahoma City, OK  73136

Phone: 405-425-5960


Pepperdine University

Joella Michael, Assistant Director

24255 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA  90263

Phone: 310-506-4270d

Web site:




Rochester College

Essie Bryan, Director

Career Services

800 West Avon Road

Rochester Hills, MI 48307


Phone: 248-218-2176


Southwestern Christian College

Dr. James Maxwell, VP of Institutional Expansion

PO Box 1072

Terrell, TX  75160

Phone: 972-524-3341 ext. 144


York College

Frank Wheeler, Professor

Department of Biblical Studies

1125 East 8th Street

York, NE  68467-3202

Phone: 402-363-5646









 People & Places to Find Youth Ministers/Churches Looking (return to TOC)

Check back soon.



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Harding University

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