Succession Update

The Succession Plan for Pastors Lester and Erma is moving along at a steady pace, as planned. We value your continued prayer as we work on a smooth leadership transition from Pastor Lester to Pastor Brian Coles as Petra’s next Senior Pastor.

The steps so far

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

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 is continuing his training under Pastor Lester as Associate Pastor and is being given increased responsibilities for his future Senior Pastor role. We are in a search mode for his replacement in youth ministry. Things are on schedule and moving along well.

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


2020    Save the Date! An Appreciation Event to honor Pastors Lester and Erma Zimmerman for their 38 years of service to Petra has been set for Saturday, November 7, at 6 p.m.

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