OCT 8, 2019 UPDATE

Final fix ups and cleaning at the Gerrish Brook farmhouse, as well as office set up at the church are being taken care of this week in anticipation of the Richter's arrival from Ohio. Thanks to all who have stepped up to help with preparations, as well as those providing meals upon their arrival. What a blessing to see the body love on our new family members!

We ask that you pray for safety as they make the 800 mile trek to NH with all their belongings.

OCT 1, 2019 UPDATE

The Richters will be moving into the farmhouse at the Gerrish Brook property on Friday, October 18. We'd like to bless them with meals while they unpack and get settled in. If you'd like to help in this way, please go to this Sign Up Genius link. Text Pam Hilton at 603-866-9289 with any meal questions.

We are still looking for a few volunteers to help with cleaning the Farmhouse first thing in the morning on Saturday, October 12. Follow this link to sign up. Contact Shanta with farmhouse cleaning concerns:
Please lift up the Richter family in your prayers as they wrap up their time in Ohio, say goodbye to the church that's been their home for a number of years, and leave their two oldest children behind in college.

SEP 24, 2019 update

Would you like to be involved with the pastoral transition? We have some great, easy opportunities for you! The Richters will be temporarily living at the farmhouse on the Gerrish Brook property when they arrive later in October. In order to make it "move in ready" we need help with some basic cleaning. We will be gathering for a few hours on Saturday, October 12th from 8am-12 noon to clean the apartment. We will have all supplies needed. All you need to do is show up at the farmhouse and give us an hour or more of your time. Sign up via this SignUp Genius link. Sign up for one hour or more or the whole morning, whatever works in your schedule. Any questions please email

SEP 17, 2019 Update

Pastor Dan Richter will be officially joining the DEC staff as of October 22nd. We will begin to see him in the pulpit early November. Terry and Dan will continue to work together through a transition period taking us towards the end of 2019. Many final details remain to be determined. The Board of Elders, DEC staff, and the PTC appreciate your grace and patience as we work through this process.

SEP 10, 2019 UPDATE

The Board of Elders and PTC Transition sub team have been in regular contact with incoming Pastor Dan Richter as they identity the specific family and pastoral needs they have in anticipation of their upcoming move. The PTC is providing advocacy support for Pastor Terry and Kathie as they prepare for a new stage in life and at DEC. The PTC is also providing support for Dan with his needs in the role as pastor of DEC, and his family as they settle into a new home and community. We will have a couple of opportunities for the congregation to help with this transition. Please be on the lookout for related Service Projects to come soon.

SEP 4, 2019 UPDATe

DEC and Board of Elders are very happy to announce that, after 100% agreement from the all levels of voting within DEC, Dan Richter has officially accepted the position of new Senior Pastor at DEC. Many details for the transition have yet to be determined, including Dan's actual start date, but we anticipate that the Richter family could be joining the DEC family in the fall! We will continue to update you with the process as more information becomes available. Please continue to pray for God's guidance and provision through the next steps.

AUG 9, 2019 UPDATE

The Pastoral Transition Committee and the Elder Board are excited and pleased to present our nomination for the new Senior Pastor at Durham Evangelical Church. You can view his bio on our DEC Happenings weekly update. Please check your emails for a video and bio of our Senior Pastor Candidate.

JULY 10, 2019 UPDATE

The PTC are preparing for the Q&A session taking place this Sunday 7/14. Join us in the Student Center after 1st service and we will answer your questions regarding the process of searching for, hiring and transitioning to a new Senior Pastor.


The Pastoral Transition Committee met on June 25 to review the latest information gathered from the applicants currently being considered. Elder Board Chairman Barry Reinhold joined us to discuss the transitional roles for Pastors Terry Sharbaugh and John Wiswell, the involvement of the staff in the transition, and the salary range for the new pastor.

The committee discussed the need for further questions for the current applicants. A short video conference will be scheduled with them to address these questions.

The committee decided to close the acceptance of new applications for the time being, to keep from becoming overwhelmed as we process the applications we've already accepted.

June 19, 2019 UPDATE

As we continue with the interview phase and reference-checking phase of the Pastoral selection process, the Pastoral Transition Committee is looking ahead to make sure we are ready for next steps. We’re reviewing and clarifying our understanding of the requirements according to the PTC Charter provided by the elder board, as well as the requirements as stated in the DEC Constitution and By-Laws.  It was decided that DEC's Constitution, By-Laws, and policies should be available on our website so that applicants (as well as DEC members and general public) will have clarity about who we are.  

Due to each committee member's personal time constraints, we're also considering closing the acceptance of new applications until the current list of potential candidates is processed. 

The Transition team has begun meeting to develop a plan to assist both the outgoing and incoming pastors and their families.

If you have questions be sure to touch base with one of the elders or email

June 12, 2019 UPDATE

The Interview Team is in high gear, conducting first and second interviews with those identified as viable applicants by the PTC. The Search Team has identified another potential applicant and has conducted a screening interview. The PTC met on Monday, June 10 to discuss the progress and determine which candidates should move forward to the next step. 

The PTC also spent some time with pastors and staff summarizing the process and current status of our search for a new senior pastor. 

June 5, 2019 UPDATE

At Sunday's Leadership Council meeting, PTC provided ministry team and Community Group leaders with an in-depth review of the progress that has been made over the past 5 months, as well as a glance at the next steps. Leaders were given a take-away information sheet that they were encouraged to share with their groups. Please send any questions or comments to or speak directly to an elder or PTC member.

May 22nd, 2019 UPDATE

The Pastoral Transition Committee continues to receive and process applications for the Senior Pastor position at DEC. The committee's Interview Team has scheduled interviews with two potential candidates this week. We are excited to see what God will reveal as we begin this next phase of the process. 

Please continue to pray for Pastor Terry and Kathie,  for our future pastor and his family, and for the PTC. Go to your nearest friendly elder if you have questions, or email

May 15th, 2019 UPDATE

Recognizing the importance of relationships and the role they play in team unity through this process, the PTC (+spouses) gathered for a casual evening of food, fellowship, and prayer on Monday evening. The business portion of the evening included reviewing where we are at with the entire Pastoral Transition process and making sure we are in agreement with upcoming steps to be taken. We are approaching a phase of complexity as we continue to accept applications, narrow down those already accepted, and move forward to the interview process with recommended applicants. Seeking God's wisdom and discernment is our utmost priority. We firmly believe He will continue to guide us - the PTC, staff, elders, and body of DEC - and protect us on this journey to a new Senior Pastor.  

If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your friendly elder or email  

May 8th, 2019 UPDATE

The Search team has completed video conference call screening of the first three potential candidates. The PTC is currently reviewing these recorded interviews and weighing in with their impressions and opinions. The team will meet within the next several days to decide on which candidates will move to the next step in the process. 

Applications are still being accepted.

Please continue to pray for clarity and unity for the PTC and the elders. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your friendly elder or email

April 24th, 2019 UPDATE

The Pastoral Transition Committee's Search subteam has identified three potential candidates from the applications received thus far.  These men will be contacted for a phone call screening this week. We continue to accept applications as we pursue more infornation on these men.

If you know someone who would be a good candidate, please encourage them to prayerfully consider applying.

Please continue to pray for clarity and unity for the  PTC and the elders. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your friendly elder or email

April 17th, 2019 UPDATE

The Senior Pastor job has been posted in multiple venues and applications are coming in. The PTC is running all applications through a screening process and following up accordingly. Please be praying for God's guidance as DEC seeks the man God has called to us.

April 10th, 2019 UPDATE

At their 4/4 meeting, the Board of Elders reviewed and approved the Senior Pastor Role Description and Job Description. Both documents will be posted on and be further disseminated according to the PTC Search sub-team's distribution plan.
The PTC is meeting with Dave Smith on 4/9 to receive further expert guidance with the search process.

March 27th, 2019 UPDATE

PTC met together on March 25th and reviewed the Search Committee Sub-team's front facing Job Posting description and their 4-Phase search plan. Both documents will undergo additional editing and be submitting to the Elder Board by 4/4/19 for final approval and public posting. 

Multiple conversations have occurred with others who have successfully founded, led and transitioned churches in New England. Common recommendations are being noted and considered regarding each phase of seeking and transitioning to a new pastor.

The Search Team's 4 Phases:

Phase 1: Create Summary Job Description & Process for Posting Position 

Phase 2: Distribute & Communicate Senior Pastor Position 

Phase 3: Collate & Screen Applications

Phase 4: Conduct First Round interviews & select candidate for visit

The Senior Pastor Job Posting will be available soon at

Contact with any questions.

March 20th, 2019 UPDATE

The Search  committee sub team (Carla Evans and Kasey Dillon) has submitted a draft of the Senior Pastor Job Posting to the Pastoral Transition Committee for review and comments. Also, the committee is compiling a list of points of distribution for the job posting. 

Please pray for clarity, unity, wisdom, and discernment the  PTC, our pastors, and elders. Any questions? Contact the


The DEC elders will be commissioning the Pastoral Transition Committee on Sunday, March 24 during both services.

Any questions can be addressed to


Kasey Dillon and Carla Evans have been selected to the Search Subteam. They will be "casting the net" to identify and contact the various sources (local churches, seminaries, personal contacts, Christian organizations, etc.) and let it be known that DEC is in search of a lead pastor.

Pamela Hilton and Alana Lepine have been selected to the Communications Subteam. Look for their PTC updates on Facebook,, and DEC Happenings.

The Board of Elders is finalizing the Role Description that will be used for the Pastoral Job posting.

Any questions can be addressed to


Dear DEC Members and Attenders,

We, at DEC, have been graced and honored to have had a team of spiritual leaders through whom God has worked to bring the truth of the gospel, the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to Durham, the New Hampshire seacoast, and throughout the world.  And now God is working in the process of leadership change at DEC. We have no doubt that Jesus will continue to build DEC and lead us into new leadership.

As we seek to conform to God’s will, the Elder Board at DEC has prayed about, discussed and taken action towards transitioning our leadership.  To guide and drive this transition, a Pastoral Transition Committee (PTC) will be created as directed by the DEC Constitution (seen as “pulpit committee” in Article X, Section E-1).  The Elder Board has created a Focus Team (FT) to choose and equip the PTC with what is needed to guide the process effectively and with a clear purpose of conforming to God’s will for DEC.  Its members are Governing and Emeritus Elders, currently made up of Pastor Terry, Elder Joe Cheslock, Elder Chris Miller, Emeritus Elder Tom Brink, Emeritus Elder Bill Bryon and Emeritus Elder Mark Valliere.

The Focus Team will be

  1. Seeking God’s will for DEC including counsel and experience-sharing from Christ-centered, Bible-believing sources beyond DEC

    1. The Board, Staff and Leadership Council have been actively engaged in prayer, retreats and meetings specifically devoted to seeking and defining direction for DEC

    2. The Focus Team has already had conversations with staff at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary who have excellent experience and skills in Pastoral Transitioning

  2. Reviewing the present Organizational Structure of DEC and presenting an Organizational Vision of where God wants DEC to have positions to carry out His will for DEC

  3. Creating Ministry and Person descriptions in alignment with God’s will for DEC for the positions to be filled

  4. Selecting the Pastoral Transition Committee (PTC) members to include the Focus Team members that are Elders, DEC Staff and DEC Members

  5. Presenting the PTC with a Charter

  6. Establishing proper communication between the PTC, Elder Board, DEC Staff and DEC congregation

  7. Providing support, encouragement and blessings to the pastors who are transitioning out of their current positions

We are hopeful that the Focus Team will have the PTC in place and equipped by mid-January, and the PTC will have the leadership changes complete in the 2020 timeframe.

Please be in prayer with us as we walk in love and obedience through this transition with Jesus as He leads DEC into the future.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

The Board of Elders