Welcome Tom Basson, Lead Pastor
September 3, 2023
As part of our lead pastor transition, our leadership team has been committed to being open and transparent as progress and decisions are made. The last time we updated you, we said the search committee had entered a new stage of meeting with candidates.
Our search committee has done a phenomenal job. A few weeks back, they presented a candidate to the Elders with their unanimous recommendation. The candidate met with the search committee, our search firm, staff, and the Elders. With input from those groups, we are thrilled to announce that the Elders unanimously decided to offer the role of Lead Pastor and the role has been accepted by the new Lead Pastor of Eastern Hills Community Church, Tom Basson.
We have been praying for clear direction, wisdom, and unity. And God has been faithful in answering our prayers for the next season here at Eastern Hills.
Tom is coming from Grace Family Church in Durban, South Africa-one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the country. Grace is a multi-campus church with 4 physical locations, as well as a large online campus. Grace Family Church is a part of the North Point Irresistible Church Network which makes it similar to the vision here at Eastern Hills.
Here are a few things to know about Tom:
- 15+ years of leading/teaching experience
- Married to Jess, 2 Boys Ages 9 & 11
- Tom & Jess have both lived and studied in the US at different times in their lives
- World-class communicator with the ability to Genuinely connect with people in all stages of their spiritual journey with Grace and Truth
- Sermons that lovingly challenge and provide practical next-step applications, while creating a curiosity to know more and are engaging
- He is genuine, relatable, and approachable, and carries himself with the highest degree of humility
- He speaks with conviction and from personal experiences
- Ministry & Culture Alignment
- Incredible cultural synergy with Ehills, even from across the globe
- Loves Jesus and is passionate about reaching the unchurched and de-churched
- When you hear him speak it becomes apparent that His heart beats for people who are close to us but far from Jesus
- Feels called to EHills and is excited to build the future together
- World-class leader
- Visionary approach
- Growth-minded for the future
- His focus is on equipping those around him
- Multi-site experience
Take a moment to hear from Tom & Jess:
With Tom and his family being from South Africa, there are obviously significant items to process through. We have already been working with Tom and his family, to begin with visas and all things related to immigrating to a new country- and these things take time. We are hopeful that at the start of the new year, the Basson family will be here and we ask that you pray for the process of moving for their family.
Along the way, we will be sharing more with you about Tom & Jess. Throughout the month of September, Tom will be doing a set of get-to-know-you videos that we will share in our Newsletter and on the website, so you can get to hear more from him.
Our Search Committee did such a fantastic job. We want to say a huge thank you to each one of them. They took time away from family and other obligations to sift through resumes and profiles, and we are so grateful that they did not settle.
We are so excited as a church and we could not be more grateful for answered prayers in this process.
If you have specific questions, please direct those to
The Elders and Leadership team have selected the team of people who will serve on our Search Committee.
The Search Committee will work with Agora Search Firm to find our next Lead Pastor. Would you take some time to pray for this group and commit to pray for them in the months to come?
Lead Pastor Search Committee
Jonathan Zuccarelli | Co-Chair
Carrie Johnson | Co-Chair
Jordan Janz | Elder
Dave Henderson | Elder
Will Eastern Hills go in a different direction?
As we think back on the last 40 years that Eastern Hills has been a church, and have conversations with families that have been here from the start, Eastern Hills has always had a focus on the community outside of the church. The Elders and Staff don’t see any of that changing – both in a transitional period and after a new Lead Pastor is hired. Our partnership with North Point Community Church and the Irresistible Church Network will continue – things like inviting and expecting new-comers and impacting our communities will be hallmarks. The Elders are committed to this year’s theme of being Resilient Kingdom Citizens.
How will the next Lead Pastor be chosen? Will we get to hear them teach before a decision is made?
We will engage in a broad search with a third-party search firm. We will be partnering with Agora Search Group for this nationwide search.
Our Search Committee which is made up of various constituencies including Church leadership and our congregation will work with the Search Firm in the process of reviewing potential candidates.
Before a decision is made, the candidate will be at Eastern Hills in-person for interviews and to provide a chance for us to hear him teach. That visit will factor into the overall decision for both the candidate and Eastern Hills.
Ultimately, the hiring decision is the responsibility of the Elder Board.
How long will the search process take?
The search firm has given guidance that a process like this could take 9-12months.
What will we do between now and our next Lead Pastor?
Our leadership team has asked Kendal Hommes, Reach Out Pastor, to step into a more regular teaching role. Kendal will be up 2-3 times a month and then we’ll fill in with some other familiar faces from the staff and have a periodic guest speaker from time to time.
For any additional information, email