Official Letter from the Deacons

Published on May 11, 2017

Dear First Baptist Cleveland Church Member,

As recently shared on Sunday Morning April 23rd, Brother Allan announced his intention to step down as our Senior Pastor in the fall of 2018. As Brother Allan stated, the church is now entering a season of transition that will require identifying, and calling a new Senior Pastor. Brother Allan also expressed it is his desire, in agreement with the Deacons & Leadership Advisory Team, that every effort is made to find the individual God has prepared to lead First Baptist Cleveland into the future. This is truly an exciting season, as we look toward the days ahead together. This is undoubtedly a time that requires our most sincere, and devoted prayer and seeking of God’s face and His will for His church.

Transition Team, Process & Details:

The Deacons and Leadership Advisory Team have unanimously affirmed a Transition/ Pastor Search Team selection process along with criteria for naming the Transition/ Pastor Search Team. The Deacons and Leadership Advisory Team believe this Transition/Pastor Search Team must be a diverse group including both men and women, and representative of the entire church body. The team will consist of seven individuals who will have the responsibility to search for and identify God’s man to be the next Senior Pastor of First Baptist Cleveland. Some of the criteria for being a member of the Transition/Pastor Search Team are:

  • Members of First Baptist Cleveland
  • Actively involved in ministries of our church
  • Consistent financial contributors to First Baptist Cleveland
  • Possess an awareness and understanding of the working operations of the church,staff and personnel, as well as different areas of ministry of the church.

Nomination & Selection Process:

The church membership will be given the opportunity to nominate up to seven individuals to serve as members of the Transition/Pastor Search Team. Once the nomination period has ended, the names will be submitted to the Leadership Advisory Team and the Executive Ministerial Staff, who have the responsibility of vetting the names. After all the names are vetted, the Leadership Advisory Team and the Executive Ministerial Staff will send no more than 21 names to the Deacons for affirmation. Once the Deacons affirm the proposed list of names, those names will be submitted to the entire church congregation to select a seven member Transition/ Pastor Search Team.

Intended Schedule:

The nomination period will take place during the entire month of June 2017. The vetting of nominees will take place during the month of July 2017. The final selecting of the 7 member team by the church membership will take place during the first three Sundays of August 2017. The hope is that the Transition/Pastor Search Team will be ready to begin work on this very important responsibility by September 1, 2017.

How to Nominate:

The process to nominate Transition/Pastor Search Team members will begin in June 2017. Church members are encouraged to nominate up to seven individuals to be considered as a Transition/Pastor Search Team member. You may prayerfully nominate potential Transition/Pastor Search Team candidates by:

  • Paper Ballot – which can be picked up at the Welcome Center desk and returned to the designated box at the Welcome Center desk.
  • Online at
  • Giving a paper ballot to any deacon

Once the team is selected:

The Transition/Pastor Search Team will listen to and interview Senior Pastor candidates. The church congregation, along with other qualified individuals including the Executive Ministerial Team, will have the opportunity to recommend potential Senior Pastor candidates. All suggested candidates will be provided to the Transition/Pastor Search Team. They will be responsible to do their due diligence as to each recommended individual. Once the top candidates are identified and agreed upon, the entire team will interview and vet the top candidates. The Transition/Pastor Search Team will subsequently recommend the chosen candidate to the entire Deacons and the Leadership Advisory Team for affirmation. Once affirmed by these groups, the candidate will be recommended to the church membership for a vote in view of a call.

Final Details:

It is possible that questions may arise during this season. The Leadership Advisory Team will be available to answer any questions that you may have in a “Question & Answer” gathering to be held in rooms 220-227 on Wednesday evening May 24th, 2017, and Wednesday evening May 31st, 2017. The meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. Please come and ask any questions regarding this process during one of these gatherings. In the event that you are unable to attend a gathering, any member of the Leadership Advisory Team will be glad to answer questions.

For your convenience, the names of the current active Deacons, the Leadership Advisory Team and the Executive Ministerial Staff are listed in the attachment to this letter.

As this season is upon the church, be enthusiastic and prayerfully continue to seek God’s guidance for the Transition/Pastor Search team to be selected, the future Senior Pastor, and those serving in a leadership role.


Dr. Allan Lockerman, Senior Pastor
T. Roy Jones, Chairman of the Deacons
Mike Sharp, Vice-Chairman of the Deacons
Manson Clement, Secretary of the Deacons


Download a PDF version of this letter.

Stay up to date with the entire Senior Pastor Transition process at