Pastoral Transition

Our senior pastor, Frank Boswell, retired in the winter of 2021 after serving the congregation faithfully for nearly 30 years. We are so grateful to him and his wife Jeannie for being obedient to God’s calling to serve this congregation. We have been blessed in so many ways! As a consequence of Frank’s decision to retire, we have been in the process of looking for a new senior pastor. A pastor search committee was formed in January 2020 that has been meeting regularly for prayer and for addressing the tasks needed to accomplish the search for a new senior pastor. In this web page we would like to share with you some of the Scriptures that have encouraged us, some of our prayer requests, and finally a summary of our tasks and our progress towards completion of these tasks. It is our hope and prayer that God be glorified through this process and we grow closer to Him!



The best way to stay informed as the pastoral transition progresses is this blog!
Look for posts with...

  • clips from the weekend services
  • things you can pray about
  • updates on the search process
  • and thoughts on how we are growing together as a church through this transition

Pastoral Transition Blog

Be a part of the prayer team

Pastoral Search Prayer Team


Phases of the Search Process

Phase 1: Organization

Nominating Committee selects the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) and Chairman
Nominating Committee selects McGowan Global Institute (MGI) as a consultant to help guide the Pastor Search process.
Hunt Valley church (HVC) Members vote to approve PSC members at congregational meeting
MGI hosts Discovery Weekend Focus Groups for HVC Congregation.
PSC forms subcommittees and positions listed below to mange and implement the search process:

  • Church Survey Committee
  • Focus Group Committee
  • Church/Pastor Profile Committee
  • Prayer Committee
  • Website Committee
  • Candidate Management Committee
  • Sermon Listening Committee
  • Document Development Committee
  • Communication Coordinator
  • Secretary

PSC prays together weekly and prepares for candidate selection by reading Preaching by Tim Keller and discussing the book together.
PSC has internal training with MGI.
Survey Subcommittee designs, sends out and analyzes survey to HVC congregation on Church Vision and Pastor Qualities.
Prayer Subcommittee creates a prayer guide for the HVC congregation throughout the preparation process.
Website Subcommittee sets up a PSC webpage within the HVC website.
Focus Group Subcommittee prepares for and conducts Vision and Brainstorming sessions with HVC congregation in small groups, including time for Q&A.
Church and Pastor Profile Committee develops preliminary Church and Pastor Profile based on congregational input from survey and focus group results.
Training is provided for the PSC on sermon review

Phase 2: Collection

PSC publishes the Church and Pastor Profile and solicits candidates with the support of the congregation, and pastor and MGI recommendations.
Candidate files are created in a confidential Google drive for the PSC.

Phase 3: Evaluation

Candidate Management Subcommittee implements a candidate evaluation process and manages remote interviews for the PSC members.

  • PSC interviews candidate selections, reviews sermons, gifting profiles, references; and conducts remote interviews for candidates.
  • PSC narrows down to no more than three finalists.
Phase 4: Selection

Background and reference checks are conducted on the final candidate.
PSC votes internally to select the final candidate.
Personnel Subcommittee finalizes the arrangements for a public visit.
The finalist makes a weekend visit to interview/meet with HVC staff and lay leaders, deliver the sermon and be introduced to the HVC congregation.
The candidate is introduced to the HVC Session.

Phase 5: Completion

PSC distributes final report and recommendation to the HVC congregation.
HVC Members vote to call the Recommended Candidate at a Congregational Meeting. Presbytery confirms the Called Candidate.
Presbytery installs the Called Candidate as the new Senior Pastor of HVC.


Search Team




The questions and answers people have found most helpful.

What is the process the committee is going through?
  • Preparation phase - the search committee solicits input from a congregational survey, gathers input from staff interviews, designs an HVC church profile, prepares a pastor profile and compiles a candidate questionnaire.
  • Securing Candidates - search committee gives the documents they have prepared to McGowan and Associates. McGowan then begins the search for candidates and in addition they vet the candidates suggested by the congregation. Any candidates, that McGowan determines fit the pastoral profile, will be sent to the committee for evaluation.
  • Evaluation - the search committee does an in depth/comprehensive evaluation of the candidates based on the pastoral profile, online sermons, blogs/social media posts and any other information provided by the candidate. The number of candidates is slowly refined to our top selections.
  • Selection - candidates are interviewed and visit the church to preach. A candidate will be selected and be presented to the congregation for the final vote. Prior to the vote, the committee will call for a time of prayer and fasting so that the congregation and staff as a whole can prepare our hearts for the vote and for the coming of a new lead pastor.
What is the history of our search?
  • January 2020: Search Team formed
  • March 2020: Covid pandemic shut down
    • Search Team continued working
    • Many pastors did not want to leave their church
    • January 2021: Official retirement of Sr. Pastor Frank Boswell
  • 50+ pastor candidates reviewed as of May 2024; 3 qualified candidates elected to pursue other opportunities in late stages of the process.
How long do searches typically take?
  • Several factors affect the length of search including denomination size, area of the country, etc. Most experts suggest 18-24 months (in a non-COVID/post-COVID environment). Keep in mind that we kicked off our search in January 2020 and the country “shutdown” in March 2020! Imagine the tug on pastors to steer their congregations through a pandemic and some of the political/social issues which have developed since. To many pastors it was not a good time to leave their church.
  • The Search Team has been encouraged by the quality of potential candidates and is disappointed that those candidates elected to pursue other opportunities. However, the team recognizes that the LORD is ultimately responsible for determining who the right person is and when that person as well as HVC is ready for him to be called.
Why is it so hard to fill this position?
  • Hunt Valley Church is unique – that is likely why you are here! Within the PCA, HVC is among the top 25% of churches nationwide in terms of size. Most PCA churches are very small and many pastor candidates do not have experience with a large staff and the many ministries HVC provides. While the team is reviewing a broad spectrum of candidates, there are few who have the required qualifications and level of experience to meet our needs.
  • As a PCA church, we are seeking someone who is ordained in the PCA or is able to be ordained. We have not limited the search to PCA pastors and expanded our search to candidates that are compatible in their beliefs and experience. The effort to determine if a potential non-PCA candidate is compatible sometimes adds to the length of the interviewing process.
  • HVC values strong preaching, teaching, and vision casting. The pastor candidates who have experience in larger churches are gifted preachers and often highly sought after, able to weigh several options. With most of the PCA outside of the northeast and central northeast, our geographic area and higher cost of living can present a perceived challenge to potential applicants.
  • In the end, we are looking for a man who prayerfully feels called by God to be our next pastor. We trust that the LORD is preparing him and asking us to wait on His perfect timing.
Are we offering enough compensation to prime candidates?
  • Hunt Valley Church leadership provides all of our staff with competitive salaries which we compare to multiple national annual surveys of churches. We believe hiring top talent leads to creative and effective ministry. Our compensation package for a senior pastor has been reviewed with consultants as well as several candidates in final stages and the feedback has been encouraging.
Why not a female candidate?
  • Hunt Valley Church affirms that all positions of leadership and service in the church are open to women, except for the authoritative teaching and disciplinary roles which the Scriptures reserve for men. In a Presbyterian system of government, these roles are embodied solely in the offices of minister/pastor and elder (also called teaching elder and ruling elder). Aside from these functions, women are encouraged to seek out all avenues of leadership and service, including teaching the Scriptures, leading small groups, serving in various church leadership groups, participating in diaconal ministry, exercising leadership roles in public worship, and in other ways exercising their gifts for the greater benefit of the body of Christ.
When does the pastor go through the presbytery - before or after we vote on him as a congregation?
  • After our congregation elects a new pastor and he accepts the terms of the call, the congregation will also designate one or more commissioners to present the call before the Presbytery. The man we elect to be our new pastor must be examined and approved by our Presbytery and, if necessary, released for transfer by his present Presbytery from his current pastorate.