April 17, 2016
When did the search for a new Lead Minister start?
The process began with a Search Team who were designated by the elders and first met on August 4, 2015. The members of the Search Team are Chris DeWelt, Titus Neuenschwander, Logan Greer, Rick Bushnell, Ed Hahn, Dale Harrington, Mark Scott, and Shane Wood. They met regularly (over 15 times), made two trips of over 600 miles each, had dozens of phone discussions, met privately with many leaders both locally and away from home, and carefully researched the candidates. In finding our way to Sy, the Search Team looked at a few hundred sermons, considered over 30 candidates, and dedicated hundreds of man-hours to seeking whom the Lord would have as our Lead Minister.
Who is Sy?
Sy grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma and his home church is Boulevard Christian. Yes, that is also the home church of our Creative Arts Minister, Josh Huckabay. In fact, Josh and Sy are close friends, which the Search Team did not know until well into the process of consideration.
Sy has been serving for the past four years at Crossroads Christian Church in Evansville, Indiana. He has served on the preaching team at Crossroads and also served as the Young Adult and Community Outreach Pastor. We believe his ministry at a church of 4000 will serve him well as we move toward the future.
Sy is married to his lovely wife, Monica. In January, they welcomed the newest member to their family, a little girl named Geri Jean. Monica has a real passion for mentoring and working with young people. She is also excited about coming to join the family here at College Heights.
Who were Sy’s references?
Sy’s references came from Ken Idleman (the lead minister whom he served under), Matt Proctor (president of OCC and mentor to Sy), Mark Moore (a mentor), Robin Sigars (minister at Carterville Christian Church where Sy served during college), James McCracken (the minister of his home church in Muskogee, Oklahoma), and Damien Spikereit (Vice President at OCC and a mentor).
Sy has shown maturity in his leadership, his preaching, his capacity for vision, and most importantly, in his spirit as a humble learner. With one voice, the Search Team, the Ministers, and the Elders believe God is now calling College Heights to a future of significant and timely ministry, and we believe Sy will be the lead catalyst for that future.
What are his responsibilities as Lead Minister?
- Primary Preacher–his voice will not be the only one we hear from the pulpit, but he will be the lead preacher.
- Vision Caster–Sy will be responsible for the articulation and delineation of where God is leading College Heights. Sy will lead the vision process, which is an important one and involves many people.
- Staff Leader–he will lead the very talented and gifted staff of our church.
When does he start?
You can watch the official announcement here:
The elders and the staff are excited by where we see God taking us as we move forward in faith. God has been with us, God is with us, and God will continue to walk with us into a great future. We truly believe that the best is yet to come!