January 9, 2023

This will be the final blog post on the Our Search Pastoral Search Committee Blog.

Thank you to all who have prayed and tracked with us through this process.
Lord willing, Jeremy Willetts will officially start his ministry at Southgate in February 2023. More information will be released about this installation service in the coming weeks.
So many people to thank for their help in the process.
First, to God, for seeing us through the process and guiding us to our candidate (and now Senior Pastor!), thank you to the congregation for your participation with the survey and partnering with us in prayer. Thank you to each Search Committee member for your time and dedication to the process. Thank you to the Elders for providing guidance, valuable feedback and joining the PSC down the road. Thank you to the office staff for logistical support, a special thanks to Riley Ochs who worked with me on this blog and a lot of the content that was distributed to the public, without him I would have been lost. Thank you to those who participated in the Candidate Weekend setup and cleanup. Again, we rejoice and thank God for this result and are praying expectantly for big things at Southgate in 2023!
Respectfully submitted,
Caleb Mounts

December 8, 2022

Phase VII completed!
Praise the Lord that Jeremy Willetts has accepted the positions of Senior/Lead Pastor at Southgate Baptist Church.

We now head to the last and final Phase VIII.
Phase VIII: Onboarding - Settling In
- Moving
- A good start

Moving forward, most information about Phase VIII will be provided by the personnel committee and the Elders.

The personnel committee is made up of:
Craig Terrell
Tim Dewhurst
Teresa Dolph

Jeremy has committed to finishing up a few tasks and initiatives at his previous position before beginning his time at Southgate. The Committee (along with the congregation) is anxious for his time to start, please join us in prayer for ALL of the logistics that are involved in moving a family from one state to another. There will hopefully be some officially communication from Southgate on the timeline coming soon, but we appreciate your patience as the personnel committee works through the onboarding process.

This blog will stay active through the end of 2022 with a few more entries to come and will then be archived in 2023 for posterity.

Thank you to those who have tracked with us through this journey!


November 15, 2022

CANDIDATE WEEKEND | November 19 - 20
The first opportunity for our church family to meet the Willetts family will be:
• November 19th 1:30pm-4:30pm in the Fellowship Hall – Meet and greet
session with light refreshments. We are especially encouraging those who
are volunteering on Sunday the 20th to attend during this time, so they can
meet Jeremy and his family.

Following the worship service on Sunday November 20th, there will be an interview in the auditorium with Jeremy. Childcare will be provided for Nursery-5th grade during
the service and interview. Following this time, we will have a second opportunity
to meet the Willetts family:
• November 20th 11:30am-12:30pm on Sunday in the Fellowship Hall – Meet and greet
session with light refreshments.

Lastly, as a reminder, we will have our Special Business Meeting on Sunday,
November 20th at 6:00pm to pray and vote to call Jeremy as our next Senior

November 06, 2022

The last two Sundays we have been able to share exciting developments in our search for our next Senior Pastor. This news has proven to be a testament of God’s faithfulness to the Southgate church body. While there are times God’s faithfulness to His people is more visible than others, let us hold fast to the promise that he is indeed faithful in all circumstances. Over the course of the last several months, it has been abundantly clear who God has seen fit to candidate at Southgate. The right doors have opened, and remained open, and it is praiseworthy how God has consistently provided in this manner.
We are excited to announce that Jeremy Willetts will be the candidate for our Senior/Lead Pastor position. This is an exciting time. During the service today, we introduced Jeremy and his family through a video and a pamphlet. The video can be found above, and the pamphlet can be found by following the button below. If you were unable to worship with us in person today, we urge you to familiarize yourself with Jeremy and his family by watching the video and reading the pamphlet in the near future. Next week, we hope to have another video from Jeremy introducing himself to us.
As previously mentioned, the weekend of November 19th and 20th will serve as the candidate weekend. There will be opportunities to interact with Jeremy and his family on Saturday afternoon, as well as Sunday after the service. On Sunday, November 20th at 6:00pm we will have a special business meeting, which will culminate in a vote to call Jeremy as Southgate’s next Pastor. There will be more information forthcoming about the events of the candidate weekend in the days ahead, and while some things are still in motion, we want to make sure we are sending info sooner rather than later so everyone can plan accordingly. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. Please continue to pray during this time!! God be praised for his steadfast love for us.

November 01, 2022


As we move through this week you will find the November prayer and fasting guide by clicking the button below. This document walks us through how to pray in preparation for our candidate weekend.

Please join us in prayer and Thanksgiving as we look forward to the Candidate Weekend on November 20th, 2022.

October 28, 2022

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time    to refrain from embracing,
6a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.


October 3, 2022

As the weather has grown cold our pastoral search process has heated up!

The month of September was dedicated to continued candidate appraisal, interviews, background, reference checks, and tough scrutiny through the evaluation rubric that the committee has created. Much time and work was dedicated to this part of the process and we thank each of you for your patience with updates from the Committee. We’d like to tell you everything! But in keeping respect and confidentiality for the process, we appreciate your patience as we continue to move through Phase VI.

One additional note is that we have begun engaging the Elders of the church in the process for their valued input and guidance on the candidate pool.

We hope to present more information soon but please continue to partner with us in prayer as we move through the final third of this pastoral search. The Lord is moving here at Southgate and we continue to pray for wisdom, guidance and patience as we look for the man God has for us.

August 24, 2022

Phase V completion! As denoted by the graphic, we are headed down the home stretch of the Pastoral Search process!
Thank you for the continued patience as the committee continues to work the process.
In several of our recent meetings we have discussed the feelings of Samuel as outlined in 1 Samuel 16:6-13:

6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is
before him." 7But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the
height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man
sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said,
“Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And
he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his
sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen
these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There
remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel
said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And
he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was
handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took
the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the
Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to

As we look at each of these men there are many strengths and good qualities that we are seeing and find encouraging! But who does God truly have for us? We continue to pray for guidance and wisdom from the Lord. Your continued partnership in prayer is greatly appreciated!

As denoted in our Phase VI explanation:
Phase VI: Candidate Focus - Which candidate is best?
  • Candidate interviews
  • Background check
  • Visit candidates' location

We continue to hold interviews for those candidates that have moved through our appraisal and evaluation rubric. This is a vital moment in our search process! Now more than ever your prayer with and for the process is important, pray that the Lord keeps His hand on Southgate and guides the church to the Pastor He has for us!

August 3, 2022

Ken Blood shared an update on the Pastoral Search Committee status during Sunday's service on July 31, 2022. We would encourage you to rewatch the live stream portion of the update if desired. One of the main talking points in the update was the desire from the committee to continue to partner in prayer with the congregation about the Pastoral Search process. To help facilitate this, view the August prayer guide by clicking HERE
This guide walks a person through the first chapter of the book of Colossians and helps shape a unique prayer experience. On the right hand side of the page are members serving at Southgate as well as our next Pastor.
Thank you for your patience as the committee continues to prayerfully sift through our applicant pool to find the man God has for Southgate.

June 23, 2022

As part of the genesis of the Pastoral Search process, three documents were created to better inform the committee on the current standing of Southgate Baptist as it relates to the congregation, local community, and leadership.
Those three documents are a Church Profile, Community Profile, and Pastor Profile.

As these documents have shaped some of the committees thinking, we felt that sharing these documents would be beneficial to help provide context to decisions and initiatives pursed by the committee.

As we continue to move through Phase V we ask for your consistent prayer support for Southgate, the search process, and the future candidate God has for us!


June 8, 2022

Phase IV completion! The pace has quickened as we continue to make progress on the road before us! Thank you Lord!

The committee has completed the job posting at the targeted Baptist Organizations and Seminaries and the applications continue to roll in!

As we enter Phase V the committee wanted to remind you of what this very important phase entails:

Phase V: Candidate Engagement - What candidates are viable?
 - Resume, application, reference, sermons
 - Phone interview
 - Reference checks

One of the best ways you can partner with the committee in this phase is in prayer. To help facilitate what that might look like, please click the button below to see a prayer guide that was generated by our Prayer Coordination Sub Committee. This document will guide you on not only what to pray but how to pray for the specific needs of the committee. Your prayers are an encouragement to us all!

Lastly, as we enter Phase V we ask for your patience, this is a critical phase where we will seek the Lord's guidance on what candidates should move forward in the process. This has the potential to be a lengthy phase. Again, we are relying on the Lord's timing and sovereignty in this matter. Your forbearance and partnered prayer are greatly appreciated! 

June 4, 2022

Phase III Completion! Praise the Lord that we have completed the current phase in our Pastoral Search.

With great excitement the Pastoral Search Committee is please to announce that the job position opening at Southgate Baptist for the Senior Pastor role has been officially posted!

You can find the posting HERE on our church website

If you feel that there is a candidate that should apply, please feel free to pass along this link and encourage them to apply, the committee is eager to look over their resume.

The committee is still in process of posting the job at targeted Baptist Organizations and Seminaries.

We would ask that you continue to partner in prayer with the committee as applications start to come in. Pray for wisdom and guidance as we look to begin the candidate appraisal process once the applications start rolling in.


May 20, 2022

And we are back! Thank you for your patience! Since our last entry the Pastoral Search Committee has made great strides and is approaching the completion of Phase III. Once that happens the job posting will be made public and the candidate collection process will begin.
Please pray for focus and efficiency for the Committee as we finalize our outstanding tasks as we look to complete them promptly and with excellence.

April 23, 2022

As we close this week the committee was reminded of the principle of servanthood from our review of Lead by Paul David Tripp. Of the survey results that were returned, many people mentioned that they participated in some aspect of servant ministry at Southgate. What great and encouraging news!
Speaking of the survey, thank you again to all those who participated. This past week the survey sub-committee presented the findings and results from the congregational survey to the full Pastoral Search Committee. Many hours were spent crunching numbers and organizing the data into a coherent report. Special thanks goes out to Wes Baker, John Clairmont and Lynn Geist for their hard work. They are a blessing and great asset to the team!
The committee now turns to developing a church and pastor profile as we move toward the completion of Phase III. Once Phase III is complete we will look to begin to fill our Candidate Collection pool. Currently it is empty, and we along with the congregation anxiously wait for Phase IV to begin. Your continued partnership in prayer is greatly appreciated.

April 13, 2022

The following is a summary of the prospective phase timeline that the Pastoral Search Committee has created to help communicate and document the workflow process that is ongoing in our search for a new Pastor.

You'll notice that a new graphic has been added to this page as well:


This graphic will be utilized to quickly communicate the current progress of the Pastoral Search process by showing what phases we have completed, what phase we are currently in, and what phases remain.

Phase I: Laying the Foundation - What are we doing?

  • Form the committee

  • Learn about the process

  • Seek Guidance

  • Assign roles

Phase II: Self-Identification- Who are we as a church?

  • What is the spiritual health of Southgate?

  • What are the spiritual needs of the people?

  • Who are our neighbors?

Phase III: Pastor and Church Profile - For whom are we searching and who is searching for us?

  • From Self-Identification develop:

    • A "Pastor Profile"
    • A "Church Profile"

Phase IV: Candidate Collection - How will we find candidates?

  • Baptist organizations

  • Seminaries

  • Unsolicited candidates

Phase V: Candidate Engagement - What candidates are viable?

  • Resume, application, reference, sermons

  • Phone interview

  • Reference checks

Phase VI: Candidate Focus - Which candidate is best?

  • Candidate interviews

  • Background check

  • Visit candidates location

Phase VII: Candidate / Congregational Introduction - Is this the man? Is this the church?

  • Preaching, fellowship, visitation

  • Congregational approval of candidate

  • Candidate accepts position

Phase VIII: Onboarding - Settling In

  • Moving

  • A good start

Currently we are Phase III. With the Congregational survey complete we have been working through the responses and data metrics to help formulate our church profile which will help influence our pastor profile.

You can continue to monitor this page for updates and check the banner graphic to see where we are. Thank you for your patience as this was a longer entry. We hope you, along with us, continue to pray for Southgate throughout this process!

April 7, 2022

Thank you to all who participated in the congregational survey. We received over 290 responses! This information will help us form the church profile and create a baseline for ministry interests for the future of Southgate. Thank you for your patience as we work through the data analyzation. Switching gears, the following are a couple of resources the Pastoral Search Committee are utilizing for guidance throughout this process:
Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by Paul David Tripp
Search: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook by William Vanderbloemen

Thank you for your continued partnership in prayer throughout this process. In our next entry we will break down the timeline and phases associated with the pastoral search process. Stay tuned!

March 27, 2022

Today the Pastoral Search Committee sent out a congregational survey to all members and attenders who have an email address in the church database system. Please take the survey at your earliest convenience. The survey will be open for 7 days and will close on Sunday, April 3rd at 11:59 PM.
If you did not receive the survey and would like to complete it, please contact the church office at 937-325-0619 to get your email address and contact information updated in the database system. 
Thank you for your participation! We value your feedback!

March 24, 2022

On Sunday March 20th, a live announcement was read from the Pastoral Search Committee updating the church on the latest happenings of the group process — below is a recounting of that:
This announcement is for you if you are currently attending Southgate but do not receive emails from the church office. Our Pastor Search Committee will be sending out a survey to members and attenders that will gather information helpful in its search for the man whom God is preparing to be our next pastor. This survey will be emailed out on Sunday March 27th. We want to make sure we have contact information for any current attenders who wish to participate in the survey. If you attend our services but do not currently receive emails from the church and would like to be included in the survey, please provide us with your email address. Forms are available at the Welcome Center on Sunday mornings for you to fill out. If you fit into this category — you are not a member but attend our services, you do not currently get emails from the church and would like to participate in our upcoming survey — it is important that you complete and return the form asap since the survey will be released next week. Again, these forms at the welcome center are only for attenders not currently getting emails from the church. They are not meant for anyone else. We also encourage everyone — members and registered attendees — to check your profile at the church website to make sure that your information is current. You can also call the church office at 937-325-0619 to update your contact information.
Lastly, we want to ask you to pray. The most important way you can be involved in this process is prayer. Pray for the committee, pray for the process, pray for Southgate, pray for the future Pastor that God has for us. To help focus these efforts our Prayer Coordinators have created a document that walks you through a typical week where you can pray for specific and focused topics. This document is available in the March 16th entry and at the Welcome Center. We covet your prayer throughout this process.


March 16, 2022

As the Pastoral Search Committee continues to meet, we are working through means to keep the congregation informed and involved in the Pastoral Search process. This webpage is the main fruit of those labors and we will endeavor to keep this up to date as the process unfolds. Please check back here for regular updates that will give insight not only into our work process but also how you can be involved.
The most important way you can be involved is in Prayer.
Pray for the committee, pray for the process, pray for Southgate, pray for the future Pastor that God has for us. To help focus those efforts please click the button below to view the prayer guide that was created by our Prayer Coordinators, Joan Alexander and Kelly Hellwig. This document walks you through a typical week where you can pray for specific and focused topics.
We covet your prayer.

March 9, 2022

The Pastoral Search Committee has begun its process of weekly meetings. This group is being co-chaired by Tim Dewhurst and Ken Blood. Each of the ten commitee members have taken on roles that will move the group through the important task of identifying who the Lord would bring to Southgate. We will regularly meet and frequently update you on our progress, this will be done by updating this page, sending email communication and anoucements on Sunday morning.

Committee members include:
    • Joan Alexander
    • Ken Blood
    • Wes Baker
    • John Clairmont
    • Tim Dewhurst
    • Lynn Geist
    • Kelly Hellwig
    • Mackenzie Klawer
    • Caleb Mounts
    • Craig Terrell