Dear Bear Valley Church

As the Chairs of the Bear Valley Church Deacon Board and the Lead Pastor Search Committee, we are delighted to introduce you to Adam Bishop, our unanimous nominee for the position of Lead Pastor at Bear Valley Church. One year ago Jim Walters announced his plans to retire, triggering a search for our next Lead Pastor. After countless hours of work by the search team and over 100 applications later, it is our firm belief that God led us to Adam.

Introducing Adam Bishop

Adam Bishop is a man with exceptional gifting and talents. He has been given wisdom beyond his 37 years that is accompanied by humility and a heart for God and people. Perhaps his greatest asset is his family. His wife, Morgan, is Adam’s partner in ministry. Together, they have three boys: Sam (7), Jacob (5), and Henry (1). Despite the demands of ministry, Adam makes sure that his family knows and experiences that they are a priority to him. He models a healthy balance between time for ministry and being there for his family.

Adam grew up in a Christian home and came to faith as a young child. His faith became his own and his relationship with God took off during his middle school years. After high school he felt God leading him into ministry, and he has been obedient to that calling ever since. Adam has served in a variety of roles within churches. While his gifting and experience drew us to Adam initially, it was who he is as a husband, father, pastor and man of God that convinced us he was God’s man for Bear Valley.

One of the most important aspects of getting to know Adam better is talking to the people who know him best. We spoke to people under whom he served, Christian leaders of the highest caliber who poured their lives into his. We spoke to those who had worked with and for Adam, and we were amazed at the consistency in their descriptions of Adam. To a person, they all painted the same picture of a man of tremendous character who God has anointed with exceptional skill and giftedness. They all said that, in a heartbeat, if given the opportunity, they would want to work with or for him again.

Adam’s Ministry Experience and Qualifications

Adam has a degree in speech communication from Carson-Newman College and two masters including a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. Adam’s early ministry experience was in the suburbs in Atlanta. He has held positions as Student Pastor to 300 students, College Pastor, Small Groups/Teaching Pastor, and Pastor of Ministries leading a 100-member Guest Services Volunteer Team and 67 Life Groups. In addition to serving churches in Georgia, Adam served for four years in the heart of New York City as Small Groups/ Teaching Pastor at The Journey Church.

In Adam’s current role as Executive/Teaching Pastor of Bethlehem Church in Bethlehem, Georgia he has worked hand-in-hand with the Lead Pastor and church staff to grow their 100+ year-old church from a congregation of 400 to a dynamic community of 2,000 over the past four years.

We believe that Adam is perfectly equipped to lead Bear Valley. He has had an extensive ministry of preaching and teaching. He has a heart for spreading the gospel and enthusiastically involves members of the body in building strategic missions partnerships around the world. He has extensive leadership experience in multi-staff churches in both urban and suburban settings. He is multi-generational in his approach – his current church has a robust ministry to students and has also experienced rapid, recent growth among empty-nesters and retirees.

(To listen to one of Adam’s sermons, go to vimeo.com/171447959. Additional sermons available at bethlehemchurch.us.)

The Selection Process

After Jim Walters announced his retirement, the deacons appointed a search team that reviewed over 100 resumes from around the country and even a few from around the world. They interviewed and vetted many candidates until God led them to Adam, who they enthusiastically and unanimously recommended to the deacons. He was head-and-shoulders above all other candidates. Adam and his family had an opportunity to tour our community, worship with us, and meet in person with the pastoral staff, deacons and search team. The deacons also conducted their own evaluation of Adam and are enthusiastic and unanimous in recommending Adam to the congregation. The congregation will have an opportunity to vote on Adam on October 2 as the next Lead Pastor of Bear Valley Church.

The Power of Prayer

We have been privileged to see God’s guiding hand and so many answers to prayers in this process. We are so grateful for commitment of the church to lift us, and this process, in prayer. There isn’t room to recount all of the ways God moved but there’s one we’d like to share. During our prayer time in November we asked God to put a spiritual restlessness in the heart of the man he was calling to lead Bear Valley. In our initial interview with Adam one of the first things he mentioned was God doing that very thing in his heart – in November!

Key Dates and Events

On Saturday, October 1, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Adam and Morgan at receptions held at the church from 10:00am-12:00pm and 3:00-5:00pm.

Adam will be preaching on October 2 in all three services. A business meeting will be held at the end of each service to vote on his nomination as Bear Valley’s next Lead Pastor. Anyone who is a member and who is 16 years old or older is eligible to vote.

Adam and his family are thrilled with the prospect of joining the Bear Valley family. If his nomination is affirmed on October 2, he hopes to be able to be on the job at the beginning of November.

Please be in prayer for
• Our staff – that they would be strengthened during this time of transition
• For God to grant you wisdom in your consideration of Adam of our next Lead Pastor
• For our church body – A time of pastoral transition can be both exciting and unsettling
• Bethlehem Church – Adam is an integral part of their church and their leadership, and his departure will be difficult
• for them from a practical as well as an emotional standpoint
• Adam and his family –that the Lord will continue to guide them and bless them

With grateful hearts,

Tom Salaver
Chair, Board of Deacons

Del Smith
Chair, Lead Pastor Search Committee

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