Succession Update

The leadership transition from Pastor Lester Zimmerman to Pastor Brian Coles took place on January 3, 2021.

The steps taken

2010    Pastor Lester shared with the Elders his 10-year plan to step down as the Senior Pastor at Petra.

2013    The Elders engaged Britton Consulting Group to help guide the succession process.

2014    Shared the Succession Plan with the Pastoral Team

2015-   Worked on refining our vision, values, team assessments, and a job description for a future Senior Pastor
2018

2019    Announced the Succession Plan to the congregation and began the search and interview process with a search team. Mid-year we recommended Pastor Brian Coles as Pastor Lester’s successor as Senior Pastor. The congregation affirmed this, and Pastor Brian moved into an Associate Pastor role in preparation and training for his eventual Senior Pastor role.

2020    Pastor Brian continued his training under Pastor Lester as Associate Pastor and was given increased responsibilities for his future Lead Pastor role. We were in a search mode for his replacement in youth ministry. Things were on schedule and moving along well.

2020    The Petra Elders assured the congregation on June 21 that the succession plan was on target, even though the COVID-19 campus closure added some new challenges. Pastor Lester was still on schedule in his mentoring of Pastor Brian Coles. January 3, 2021 had been designated as the Sunday when the Senior Pastor baton would be officially passed to Pastor Brian. You may watch the complete announcement on the video below.

2020    In September James Blake was announced as the new Student Ministries Pastor. He began serving in November. This then released Pastor Brian Coles to move into the next step as the Lead Pastor role at Petra. See the September 13 announcement here

2020   As of November, Pastor Lester continued to hand over responsibilities to our upcoming Lead Pastor, Brian Coles. Pastor Lester transitioned the location of his office to the north end of campus as he prepared for his expanded role as a Hopewell Network Apostolic Leader. His former office went through some refreshing before Pastor Brian Coles moved in. As announced in the fall, James Blake has been hired as our new Student Ministries Pastor to replace Pastors Brian and Tracy Coles. James got married to Stacey in mid-November and  then be joined the Petra team toward the end of November. His licensing for ministry took place on December 6 at both the 9 and 11 a.m. services. Pastor Brian Coles started leading the Ministry Leadership Teams and the Elder Team with Pastor Lester’s guidance.

2021   January 3 Pastor Lester literally and figuratively passed the baton of senior leadership to Pastor Brian Coles. Pastor Brian is now serving as Petra's Lead Pastor. Tracy is serving as Local Outreach Pastor. To view this very meaningful and historic service, go to this page or watch the video above.

A TIME TO HONOR
CELEBRATING 38 YEARS OF MINISTRY BY PASTORS LESTER AND ERMA ZIMMERMAN

MEN’S GOLF OUTING
HONORING PASTOR LESTER ZIMMERMAN
Saturday, September 26, 8 a.m. Shotgun Start
Foxchase Golf Club, Stevens, PA

WOMEN'S EVENING OUT
HONORING PASTOR ERMA ZIMMERMAN
Saturday, October 23, 7 p.m., Petra Church, Oasis
All women are invited to a very special Women’s Evening Out as we honor and celebrate Pastor Erma for her 38 years of ministry at Petra! All attenders are asked to bring an item to donate to Petra’s Food Bank. 

NIGHT OF HONOR
A GATHERING TO CELEBRATE THE MINISTRY OF PASTORS LESTER AND ERMA ZIMMERMAN
Saturday, November 7, 6 p.m., Petra Church, Sanctuary
An evening celebrating 38 years of ministry at Petra by Pastors Lester and Erma Zimmerman – with worship, testimonies, ministry highlights, and times of sharing. 

 

 

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