Lead Pastor Transition Updates

We would like to keep our community informed about our Lead Pastor transition.  As our Transitional Leadership Team has more information about the search process, we will communicate it to you.

Lead Pastor Transition Updates:

Recent Updates:

November 25, 2022

Dear Church Family,

As a part of this transition process, we have committed to being open and transparent with the progress and decisions we are making as a leadership team. This weekend we will spend time at the end of each service sharing more, but we wanted to make you aware of these decisions in advance of that conversation.

  • After vetting potential companies to find our next Lead Pastor, we have made the decision to partner with Agora Search Group. Their unique and personal investment into the process set them apart, and we are confident that they are best suited to help us in this season.
  • As a part of the interim process, Darius Wise has agreed to join our team as our Interim Teaching Pastor. Darius spoke earlier this year and his family is a part of our community. He brings tremendous ministry experience and he will teach roughly half of the weekends beginning in January.
  • In an effort to maximize staff and volunteer resources in this season, we have made the difficult decision to suspend Saturday services beginning in January. These services have been a staple of our community for decades and we will revisit this decision after a new Lead Pastor is hired but we believe that this is the best decision in the interim.

I know that these changes make this bigger change feel much more concrete and there are feelings that go along with that but Phil and the team will be available this weekend to help answer any questions and to offer any care that is helpful.

Grace and peace,

Phil & Your Elder Team

Previous Updates:

Search Process:

We will be partnering with Agora Search Group. Their unique and personal investment into the process set them apart, and we are confident that they are best suited to help us in this season. We will be working with them to select a search committee. The search committee will report and make recommendations to the Elders.


How long will Phil be around?

Phil's last weekend here at Eastern Hills will be December 17-18, 2022. We are working on plans to celebrate Phil and will inform you of those plans as they are decided.

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 Firm for this nationwide search. 

A Search Committee is also being organized to include the various constituencies including Church leadership, Staff, and our congregation.

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 Phil and our next Lead Pastor?

We are thrilled to have Darius Wise join the team as our Interim Teaching Pastor. Darius and his family are part of our community and Darius taught here a few months back. You can expect Darius to teach 2-3 times a month and we’ll continue to see some familiar staff faces rounding out the month. We’ll also likely have periodic guest speakers from time to time.

For any additional information, email