General Secretary Search Committee Appointed

Date Posted: 
Thursday, August 10, 2017

The General Synod Council met Wednesday, August 9, to finalize the membership of the search team for a new general secretary. They selected from a pool of applicants from throughout the denomination.

“We wanted to represent in the search team the rich diversity that we have in the RCA,” says Dan Gillett, GSC moderator. “[This includes] diversity of all kinds--regional diversity, ethnic diversity, ministry context diversity. [General Synod vice president] James Nakakihara even built an app to help us ascertain diversity. We have representatives from every regional synod. We have half elders and half ministers; half are men and half are women.”

The search team includes:

  • Michelle Chahine, an elder from Immanuel Community Reformed Church in Lansing, Michigan, and president of Great Lakes City Classis.
  • June Denny, an elder from Mescalero Reformed Church in Mescalero, New Mexico. She is retired from working in business administration for the U.S. government.
  • Lee DeYoung, General Synod president and an elder from Hager Park Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan. He works in global mission with Words of Hope.
  • Ken Labbe, pastor of Faith Reformed Church in Kingsville, Ontario. He has previously served as moderator of the RCA’s Commission on Nominations.
  • Young Na, pastor of Forest Park Church in Queens, New York, and a professor. She has served on the Commission on Theology.
  • Pamela Pater-Ennis, a minister of Word and sacrament who serves as a pastoral counselor and an adjunct seminary professor. She attends Clinton Avenue Reformed Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey.
  • Steven Rodriguez, pastor of Lakeview Community Church (RCA) in Rochester, New York.
  • Erma Rolle, an elder from South Bushwick Reformed Church and a member of GSC. She is also part of the African American Black Council.
  • Andres Serrano, pastor of Iglesia La Senda and a member of GSC. He is also president of the RCA’s Council for Hispanic Ministries.
  • Lauralyn Vasquez, a commissioned pastor working with small groups at Rancho Community Church in Temecula, California.
  • Evan Vermeer, an elder from First Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa, and a past president of the General Synod. He works as a feedlot consultant.
  • Matt Waterstone, senior pastor of First Reformed Church in South Holland, Illinois.

The group has extensive experience as members and leaders of congregations, classes, regional synods, and General Synod.  

Gillett says the General Synod Council is continuing to develop clarity about what’s needed in the next general secretary, and they will share that direction with the search team when it is finalized. The search team is expected to present a candidate to GSC in time for consideration at General Synod in June 2018.

"We are confident that the selected individuals will serve well in the important discernment process ahead," says Lee DeYoung, General Synod president. "We covet the prayers of God's people throughout the RCA for the search committee and the GSC during this leadership transition season. May God’s favor be evident as we seek the Spirit’s direction and provision in selecting the RCA’s next general secretary."

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