Dear Woodside Family,
The process of finding the next Senior Pastor for Woodside began about five years ago. A small group of leaders met to pray and talk about what the next season of ministry might look like. During that time, we researched what other churches had done in the area of succession, read many books and met with consultants to determine the best approach. The team prayed a lot.
The weekend of March 3-4, 2018, we announced that the succession process to identify a new Senior Pastor of Woodside Bible Church had begun.
A Search Team, made up of men and women from across our campuses, was selected and approved by our Elder Board. We also began a partnership with Vanderbloemen Search Group to conduct an international search to identify the best external and internal candidates. After evaluating dozens of applicants and interviewing a short-list of potential candidates, the Search Team presented their selected candidate to the lay Elder Board for approval on the evening of Thursday, December 6. Larry Harrison, the Elder Board Chairman and Search Team Co-chair said, “It was obvious God was in the room that evening. We introduced the candidate and outlined the recommended process. The Elders were excited and enthusiastic. It was a holy moment.”
The Elder Board voted unanimously to hire Chris Brooks, Senior Pastor of Evangel Ministries in Detroit and Campus Dean for Moody Theological Seminary’s Michigan campus in Plymouth, as the Teaching Pastor of Woodside Bible Church. In the late spring, there will be an Elder Board and Woodside member vote for Chris to become Senior Pastor of Woodside Bible Church.
On Saturday, January 12, Chris will join our team as Teaching Pastor. He will spend a great deal of time getting to know the Woodside family, our teams and various committees. He will also begin teaching and preaching at the Troy campus and at many of our other campuses as well. During this process, we will all get to know Chris and his family. Chris will also get to know us as well.
The opportunity God has given us to be able to serve alongside each other in the months ahead is very unique and could have only been orchestrated by God.
About six months ago, Chris and his wife Yodit, felt the Lord leading them to a new season of ministry. Chris had served as the Senior Pastor of Evangel for 15 years with a vision to lead a church that had regional impact in reaching many for Christ. Feeling the Lord telling them that their work had been accomplished at Evangel, he let them know he would be stepping down from his position on December 31, 2018. During that time, since the announcement, Chris and Yodit prayerfully waited on the Lord to show them what was next.
Soon after Chris announced that he would be transitioning from his position at Evangel, the position of Senior Pastor at Woodside was posted. Chris applied and is now our leading candidate for the Senior Pastor position. We praise God for His perfect timing.
I met Chris almost 15 years ago and we have served together on various boards comprised of local church leaders who have a vision and passion of reaching this region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Currently, Chris and I co-direct The Council of Fifty which is comprised of some of the top pastors from the cities and suburbs in our region. Our goal is to work together as churches to bring unity in Christ and to expand the reach and impact of the Church for the sake of the Gospel.
I am thrilled about the decision to have Chris join our team. He has a commitment to the Bible and a strong conservative theology. Chris is equally gifted in leadership and preaching the Word. He earned a B.A. in Finance from Michigan State and then went on to Biola University and graduated with a M.A. in Christian Apologetics. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry in Theology and Economics from Asbury Theological Seminary. He has also received certifications from Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics and Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.
He knows Woodside, our history and our passion to reach people with the Gospel. He has shared with me that there is not another church in the country where he would rather be than at Woodside. I am confident that God will use him to take Woodside to new levels of ministry, vision and impact here and around the world. Please continue to pray as we seek God’s wisdom and direction in the transition process to Senior Pastor.
Many of you have prayed every day during this season and I want to thank you. Let’s all pray for Chris, his wifeYodit and their kids; Chris, Zoe, Cameron, Judah and Sophia during this season. These are exciting times and the best years of Woodside Bible Church are yet to come.
I thank God for each of you,
The Gospel Mosaic: Woodside Bible Church
Thinking and Living Biblically: Biola University
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: Biola University