To: The Congregation of First Baptist Church of Christ, Macon, Georgia

From: The Pastor Search Committee

Subject: Recommendation to call Julie Whidden Long as our next pastor

With great pleasure and much excitement, the Pastor Search Committee
unanimously recommends that our church call Rev. Julie Whidden Long to be the next pastor of FBCX Macon.

Our search began in August of 2023, after Scott Dickison resigned and a search committee was formed. Following the procedures described in the Organizational Manual, the committee began a series of listening sessions and churchwide meetings in order to include everyone in identifying what was important to our church in seeking new pastoral leadership. We also consulted with trusted Baptist leaders from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) on process and asked them for help in our search.

When the name of Julie Long came to the committee’s attention, we followed these leaders’ suggestions for how best to approach the consideration of an internal candidate. We sensed that we needed to be especially careful in our deliberations as we considered a person so well-known and loved by our congregation.

In looking at Julie’s resume (attached), you will see a 25-year history of working in Baptist churches and a strong commitment to CBF and related institutions.

We are excited about the next chapter in the history of our church and propose the following schedule to talk with the congregation about our candidate and our search process.

  • First week in June: Letter mailed to the congregation announcing the search committee’s recommendation.
  • Sunday, June 16, 9:45 a.m., Fellowship Hall: Meeting of search committee with the congregation to discuss the search process and answer questions.
  • Saturday, June 22, 6:30 p.m., Fellowship Hall: Meeting of the congregation with Julie for dessert, coffee, and conversation.

Note: Church members who cannot attend these two question-and answer sessions in person may attend them via Zoom. A link will be provided by email prior to each session.

  • Sunday, June 23, 11:00 a.m.: Worship with Julie preaching. Immediately following worship, the church will be called into conference in order to vote by ballot on the search committee’s recommendation for Pastor.

We have been in earnest prayer from the outset of our work, asking for God’s guidance and discernment in our search for a new pastor, and we want to thank you, the congregation, for your prayers and support for us during this process.

We are excited to present, such a gifted and talented candidate to our church, a candidate who loves God, loves the Church, loves our church, and loves us.

Respectfully submitted,

Members of the Pastor Search Committee
Dan Riley, Chair
Danielle Barnes
Dee Bratcher
David Cooke
Rachel Green
Susan Johansen
Mary Jane Johnson
Jonathan Simpson
Eric Spears
Tricia Whitby

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