Transition Updates

We will use this page to share updates and information with our spiritual family regarding the transition of pastoral leadership at Greentree. The most recent updates are at the top of the page.

Update on November 5

Dear Greentree Spiritual Family:

We are pleased to announce that beginning in January 2022, Dr. Dan Doriani will serve as preaching pastor, providing leadership and stability during the interim period as we search for our next Lead Pastor. In addition to preaching on Sundays, Dr. Doriani will also serve as Moderator of Session and will help us prepare for a successful transition by coordinating a self-assessment to clarify Greentree’s ministry priorities, church culture, and vision.

Brief Biography

Dr. Daniel Doriani is a Professor of Theology and Vice President at Covenant Theological Seminary, where he has also served as Dean of Faculty and Professor of New Testament. He has sixteen years of pastoral experience, principally as Senior Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. Dr. Doriani earned graduate degrees from Westminster Seminary and Yale, where he was also a research fellow. He is a council member and blogger for The Gospel Coalition and also writes for the Alliance for Confessing Evangelicals. He has written sixteen books, including commentaries and studies of hermeneutics, gender, family, and work, among other topics. Dan is married to Debbie, and they have three grown daughters.

Fun facts

Dan once spoke in a lecture series in which he was preceded by Bono (U2) and followed by Mel Gibson. He had a winning record as a college tennis coach and plays tennis competitively. As a percussionist, he plays egg-shaker, maracas, jingle sticks, and cyclotron. His daughter Abigail’s team won national and world championships in Ultimate Frisbee. The family hikes in the Rockies almost every summer.

Meet & Greet Dr. Doriani on Sunday, November 14

Dan and Debbie will be joining us for worship on Sunday, November 14. We will host a Family Meeting between services, at 10 AM, when we will introduce Dan to our congregation and give you time to say hello.

We are grateful to God for His guidance and provision in this season, and we are thankful to Dan for agreeing to serve in this capacity. Join us in praying that God will continue to direct our steps as we trust in Him.

In Christ,

The Pastoral Transition Team (Scott Holley, Taylor Kuiper, Liz Olson, Eric Van Zee, Zac Wagganer)

Update on August 22

On Sunday, August 22, Scott Holley and Peggy Demetri gave an update on progress in the transition process, changes in the transition timeline and ministry plans for the fall. Then Pastor Tom Ricks taught from Joshua 1. The main points of the update are below:

  • As we seek wisdom from other churches and denominational leadership regarding our transition timeline, it has become apparent that the transition process will take longer than we initially thought. Without exception, every person we have talked to has recommended that we anticipate at least an 18 month gap between Tom’s departure and the hiring of his successor.
  • With that in mind, we have determined – in concert with Tom – that his last Sunday in the pulpit will be January 23, 2022, with a celebration for him later that day. More information to come!
  • We are currently in conversation with potential candidates for the transitional pastor role and will give you more details as we can.

To watch a video of the presentation, click here.

Transition Announcement on April 25

On Sunday, April 25, Pastor Tom Ricks, together with the Session, shared with the Greentree Church Family that God is calling him step down as lead pastor of Greentree in order to take a leadership role in church planting for our denomination, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

To watch a video of this presentation, click here.

Questions You May Have

Why is Tom Ricks leaving his position as Lead Pastor of Greentree Community Church?

One of the many ways Tom’s leadership has shaped Greentree is through his commitment to church planting. Tom has also been influential on a national level, through coaching, training and leading the church planting network of our denomination, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). After much thought and prayer, and through advice from trusted friends and colleagues, Tom has become convinced that God is calling him to transition into a full-time role in church planting for the EPC. Greentree will continue in our commitment to church planting as we support Woke Bridge, our newest church plant in Ferguson, and as we partner with Tom and his work with the EPC.

When is Tom Ricks leaving his position as Lead Pastor of Greentree Community Church?

Tom will preach his last sermon as Lead Pastor of Greentree Community Church on Sunday, January 23, 2022. He and Cindy will then spend some time away from St. Louis and Greentree. But our relationship with Tom will continue long into the future, as Tom and Cindy look forward to being part of the Greentree spiritual family for many years to come.

Will we have a Transitional pastor?

Yes, we believe having a Transitional Pastor while we search for our next Lead Pastor will help us with this change. The elders have appointed Scott Holley, Zac Wagganer, and Eric Van Zee to lead the transition process.

How will we find the next Lead Pastor?

The congregation elected 12 people to the Pastoral Search Committee. The Greentree members serving on the committee are: Jennifer AuBuchon, Sharon Buchanan-McClure (Deacon), Michael Denckhoff (Elder), Jeanne Greenwood, Jill Hanna, Bob Lapides, Anthony Luster (Elder), Alecia Plotzke, Matt Schaefer, Mark Uhlenberg (Deacon), Scott Wagner and Tom Whittaker (Elder). The team is currently preparing for the upcoming search by reading the book SEARCH, by William Vanderbloemen and meeting weekly for prayer.  The search will begin in earnest once the Transitional Pastor is here in the first part of 2022. The average time for a typical EPC church to find a new pastor is 15 months.

What will Greentree’s relationship with Tom look like during and after the transition?

Tom is committed to helping the transition go as smoothly as possible. Tom will not serve on the search team for the successor pastor, but he will be available for input and consultation. While Tom and Cindy will have a season away from Greentree to allow the new pastor the space to transition into leadership of Greentree, they hope to return to worship and enjoy community at Greentree Community Church, their spiritual home and family.

Will we continue to support Tom and Cindy after his departure?

Tom’s salary and benefits will be funded through the churches of our denomination, the EPC. Our elders have committed $40,000 per year for the next four years to support the EPC church planting work Tom will be leading.