We, the people of Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America Yearly Meeting (EFC-MAYM), are in the midst of a significant time of transition as it relates to our regional leadership structure. Our current general superintendent, Dr. David Williams, announced his resignation in November with an expectation that he would complete his current term of service following this year’s Ministry Conference at the end of July.
Over the past several months, the yearly meeting Elders Board has been earnestly seeking to discern the “good, pleasing and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2) for the future of EFC-MAYM. As part of this process, we began assembling a superintendent search committee in early January. In late February, members of the yearly meeting staff approached the Elders Board, and strongly encouraged us to ask Dave to reconsider the possibility that the Lord may continue to have a prominent leadership role for him with EFC-MAYM beyond the end of July. The Elders felt compelled to take these concerns seriously, to hold this matter before the Lord in prayer, and to remain open to any creative alternatives. We asked Dave and his wife, Carol, to hold this matter in prayer as well.
On Saturday, April 13, 2019, the Elders gathered in Haviland for our spring board meeting. Following several weeks of thoughtful discussion and prayerful discernment, we agreed to extend a call to Dr. David Williams, our current general superintendent, and Dr. Thayne Thompson, our current Director of Missional Management, to serve together as co-leaders for EFC-MAYM on a one-year trial basis, beginning August 1, 2019. Based on their complementary gifts and skill sets, we have asked Dave to serve as part-time (3/4) Lead Superintendent and Thayne to serve as part-time (3/4) Executive Superintendent. Dave would assume primary responsibility for providing spiritual, formational and pastoral leadership for EFC-MAYM, and Thayne would assume primary responsibility for providing strategic, missional and organizational leadership for EFC-MAYM. The job descriptions for both positions have been modified and salaries adjusted in such a way that we anticipate minimal impact on our operational budget during the coming year. The Elders will be presenting this proposal for final approval by our yearly meeting representatives at our 2019 Ministry Conference in Haviland.
As most of you know, Dave recently accepted an invitation to serve as part-time director of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries (MAPM) at Barclay College. He feels confident that this new leadership structure will allow us to strengthen the strategic partnership between Barclay and EFC-MAYM. Thayne will continue to serve as a small business owner while increasing his time and responsibilities in leadership and service at EFC-MAYM. He believes his gifts in organizational leadership can be used by God to help maximize our collective resources for the sake of Christ and his Kingdom.
As an Elders Board, we are deeply grateful for the wise counsel and personal prayer support we received as we have worked with both Dave and Thayne to determine whether there might be a new and creative arrangement that would be beneficial both for them and for the yearly meeting. At the end of the day, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 28:15) to move in this direction. If this proposal is approved by our yearly meeting representatives, we will continue working with Dave and Thayne to implement this leadership transition following Ministry Conference.
Please show your support and encouragement to Dave and Thayne as they make preparations to serve in these new leadership roles in the coming days, in partnership with our entire yearly meeting leadership team. And please do your best to make this news known to the members of your local church. We believe that our best days are still ahead of us as an extended family of Friends here in Mid America, and we look forward to even greater opportunities to “equip the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world in Jesus’ name.”
Diana Hoover, Acting Clerk
Evangelical Friends Church-MAYM
Cell: 806-228-6712 firstname.lastname@example.org