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February 2021

On Sunday March 14 we will hold a congregational vote to call Pastor Dan Nichols as the next Senior Pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship.  

Grace Christian Fellowship hired Chemistry Staffing in September of 2020 to help us with the search for our next Senior Pastor.  Chemistry worked with the search team and the board to develop a job description and profile of Grace Christian Fellowship.   Chemistry conducted three interviews with Pastor Dan and compared his profile with that of GCF.  In early November Chemistry brought Pastor Dan to our attention. 

In early December, the search team conducted our first interview with Pastor Dan.  In mid-January we conducted a second interview with Pastor Dan that included five members of the board.  From February 5-7 Pastor Dan and his wife Joy spent time with the board, the search team, and the staff for an extended interview.  Pastor Dan preached at all three services on February 7.  The search team also conducted 22 reference calls regarding Pastor Dan.  Pastor Mike and Pastor Nick have also had numerous meetings with Pastor Dan over the last several months.

On February 10, the search team and board met to discuss and determine next steps.  By unanimous vote we decided to ask Pastor Dan and Joy to come for an official candidate weekend on March12-14.

Pastor Dan meets all the standards and requirements that we established back in September of 2020 when we provided a job description and profile to Chemistry staffing.  It is without reservation that we present Pastor Dan Nichols for a congregational vote to be the next Senior Pastor at Grace Christian Fellowship.  Our constitution requires a 75% positive vote of the members in attendance at this 3/14/2021 congregational meeting.

The board and Pastor Mike have been discussing transition plans for Pastor Mike’s eventual retirement for several years.  They will continue to develop these transition plans more specifically when we call the next Senior Pastor.

Please plan on attending the congregational meeting on March 14 after the third service.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or our Moderator Jamie Zimmerman.


Paul Sypher

Chair, GCF Senior Pastor Search Team
If you have questions, please contact Jamie Zimmermant: or Paul Sypher at

Pastor Dan Nichols – Pastoral Candidate preaching Feb. 7th, 2021.

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January 2021


Dear Grace,
About two years ago we began planning for the time when Pastor Mike will retire and we transition as a church to a new Senior Pastor.  We wanted to provide an update on where the process is regarding the transition plan.
This past fall, at our annual congregational meeting, there was an update from the Leadership Continuity Team (LCT) about completing a Senior Pastor job description along with contracting with the search firm Chemistry, to help in the search process. The LCT was voted on to become the official Search Team and they have been working alongside Chemistry and the Board.
The update video above is from me and Paul Sypher regarding the search and transition process.  If you have questions, please contact me at or Paul Sypher at
Jamie Zimmerman
Church Board Moderator



December 2020

In June of 2019, I introduced the idea of Succession Planning to our Board of Directors and that summer, we established a 2-fold succession strategy: Plan A and Plan B. Plan A became the strategy in the event of an emergency need with Plan B being my retirement under ideal circumstances.
During a sermon last November (2019), I announced Succession Planning to our church family and we formed a Leadership Continuity Team (LCT) to facilitate our planning. Appointed by our Board of Directors, the members of our Leadership Continuity Team (LCT) are: Tracy Poli, Matt Sears, Paul Sypher, Beth Hutchinson, Kris Melford, Lynne Sypher, and Dave Steiginga.
Plan A (in the event of an emergency) was completed and approved by our Board in March just prior to the pandemic shut down. When the pandemic hit, Plan B was put on pause.
After a few weeks, the Lord made it clear that we should continue our work on Plan B given the time required to identify, interview, and candidate a Senior Pastor. Time is our friend in this process and we can afford to be patient and prayerful. I’m in no hurry to retire and will remain in place and available to our church for whatever period of time is most helpful.
In order to cast a wide net for possible candidates, we have engaged Chemistry Staffing to partner with us in our succession process. This is the same search firm that helped us in our recent Youth Pastor hire and they’ve been successful in finding quality pastor candidates in other churches in our region of the country.