UPDATE: March 20, 2018
The Search Committee has continued to meet and seek God's direction and will for the Oak Hill Campus Pastor. After prayer and deliberation the Search Committee has recommended that the Church Council approve Dean Dunavan for that position.
In December 2017 Woodbury Lutheran voted to extend Dean a call as a pastor at WLC upon completion of a two-year vicarage in the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program through Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Dean will begin the SMP program this fall and will serve his vicarage at the Oak Hill Campus. During these two years as he serves at WLC his official call will remain at Concordia Academy where he will continue to teach in a part-time capacity. Following his vicarage he will be officially ordained as a pastor at Woodbury Lutheran.
On Sunday, April 8, following the 10:30 am service at the Oak Hill Campus there will be an opportunity to talk with Dean and members of the Search Committee.
Please join us in giving thanks to God for providing for His people and in welcoming Dean into his new role.
update: december 27, 2017
The Search Committee is happy to announce that the congregation has approved the vote to extend Dean Dunavan a contingent Call allowing him to begin the 4-year Specific Ministry Process. Thank you for your support!
We are also excited about the new slate of candidates that we have as we seek to find a new pastor to serve as our Oak Hill Campus Pastor. We sent the Mn. South District 14 names and after the New Year we will be getting a finalized list of candidates as we continue the search for our next pastor.
Please continue to keep all of this in your prayers!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
The Search Committee
update: December 10, 2017
Dean Dunavan, a long-time member of Woodbury Lutheran and current teacher at Concordia Academy, will be entering the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) process through Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to become a Called and ordained pastor in the LCMS. Throughout the four-year SMP education process, Dean will be engaged in a course of study primarily completed online. During the first two years of the process Dean will serve as Vicar at Woodbury Lutheran while continuing to teach at Concordia Academy. He will then be eligible for ordination and will complete the final two years of the process as a pastor on staff under Pastor Tom's supervision.
Per our constitution, Dean has been recommended for approval of the congregation by the Staff, Elders, Church Council and Search Committee. A congregational vote to extend Dean a Call begins today (Sunday, December 10) and will conclude at midnight on the 17th.
Voting is now closed.
Update: December 5, 2017
The meet and greet to get to know Dean Dunavan has been postponed due to a death in the family. We are deeply saddened for the Dunavan's and we pray God's comfort and healing at this difficult time. The meet and greet will be rescheduled for January.
The congregational vote to extend Dean a Call will begin Sunday, December 10, 2017 and will conclude at midnight Sunday, December 17, 2017.
Voting will be available here once the vote opens.
UPDATE: December 4, 2017
Join us for a meet and greet to get to know Dean Dunavan and his wife, Jyl, a bit better on Wednesday, Dec 6 at 6:30 pm at our Oak Hill Campus. This is a chance to tell him that we are praying for him in this time of learning and also an opportunity to introduce ourselves to him.
UPdate: November 24, 2017
The Pastoral Search Committee continues its work of finding pastors to meet the needs of our congregation and to continue the ministry God has placed before us. We wish the process could move faster, but the reality is the LCMS has a limited number of candidates coupled with many congregations who are looking to fill vacancies. As we wait we acknowledge that we have wonderful lay and staff leadership and we know that God has just the right folks in mind to add to our team in His timing. Below are several updates regarding the process to date.
1. Pastor Adam Hengst has declined our Call to serve as Oak Hill Campus pastor, but has accepted a Call to serve as Senior Pastor at a church in Excelsior, MN. While we are disappointed that Adam declined our Call we are grateful that the Lord has provided that congregation with a pastor after an extended vacancy there. As many pastors are finding themselves on multiple call lists, we are again reminded that the pool of pastors in the LCMS continues to shrink making it more difficult to find the right candidate.
2. The Church Council is recommending that the Search Committee move forward focused on finding a pastor to fill the Oak Hill Campus position. In order to do this, the Committee will restart the process from the beginning:
- From now until December 3rd congregation members may submit names of candidates to the Search Committee. You may submit names by completing the online form below.
- Names that have been submitted will be sent to the LCMS Minnesota South District Office.
- The District President will add names of viable candidates and return the list to us in early January.
- From there, the Search Committee will begin the process of interviews.
3. We are happy to announce that Dean Dunavan will be entering the Specific Ministry Pastor process through Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to become a Called and ordained pastor in the LCMS. Dean is a longtime member of Woodbury Lutheran and currently teaches at Concordia Academy. Throughout the four-year SMP education process, Dean will be engaged in a course of study primarily completed online. During the first two years of the process Dean will serve as Vicar at Woodbury Lutheran while continuing to teach at Concordia Academy. He will then be eligible for ordination and will complete the final two years of the process as a pastor on staff under Pastor Tom's supervision.
Per our constitution, Dean has been recommended for approval of the congregation by the Staff, Elders, Church Council and Search Committee. A congregational gathering to get to know Dean is scheduled for the first week in December (details to follow). A congregational vote to extend Dean a Call will begin on Sunday, December 10 and conclude on the 17th. This is one example of how we will accomplish one of our Multiply objectives of raising up new pastors and leaders.
We trust that God will continue to provide for the ministry of our congregation. Please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance throughout this process.
The Search Committee
Search Committee Updates Archive
UPDATE: October 29, 2017
Voting to approve Rev. Adam Henst as Associate Pastor, Oak Hill Campus is now open. If you are a member of Woodbury Lutheran and have not yet voted please complete this form.
Voting is now closed.
UPDATE: October 27, 2017
The Search Team is pleased to announce their recommendation to call Rev. Adam Hengst as our next Pastor at WLC - to serve as our Oak Hill Campus Pastor. Voting will open on Sunday, October 29, 2017 and online voting will be available here at that time.
UPDATE: October 11, 2017
UPDATE: September 28, 2017
The Search Committee for Associate Pastor for Multisite Ministries - Valley Creek Campus Pastor is pleased to announce Rev. Adam Hengst will be at our Valley Creek Campus for an onsite visit October 10.
Pastor Adam is a graduate of Concordia University, Seward, NE. Pastor Adam’s vicarage was in Lakewood, CO at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Following his vicarage, he attained his Master’s of Divinity in 2012 from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.
Pastor Adam’s first Call was to King of Glory Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, VA (www.kogva.org) where he and his family currently make their home.
Pastor Adam is married to Heidi and together they have two daughters; Adelaide (5yr) and Anya (3). Pastor Adam was born in Gatesville, TX and his wife was born in Englewood, CO.
Currently, Pastor Adam serves as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Care at King of Glory. We are looking
forward to meeting him and his family, and we pray God’s blessings on their time with us.
Pastor Adam and his family will be with us Tuesday, October 10, 7-8 pm at the Valley Creek Campus.
We will be live streaming this event.
UPDATE: September 6, 2017
Last weekend we announced that Pastor Ben Gonzalez declined the call to serve as Associate Pastor at WLC. Although we were disappointed, we are excited that he did accept the call to serve as the Lead Pastor at our daughter congregation theAlley in Cottage Grove.
The Search Team and Church Council are meeting this week to consider our next steps in the process as well as beginning the process of searching for a new Oak Hill Campus Pastor to replace Pastor Derek as he moves to St. Louis.
Through it all God is good! During this time I would ask that you would keep your church in your prayers as well as consider how you can use your gifts to serve during this time. If you are looking to serve please email me at and I will personally be sure to make sure you are connected into a serving ministry at WLC.
Pastor Tom and Pastoral Search Team
UPDATE: August 23, 2017
The Search Committee is happy to announce the vote to call Pastor Ben Gonzales as our next Associate Pastor has closed and the congregation has approved extending the call to Ben.
We ask that you keep Pastor Ben, his wife KJ, and their family in your prayers over the next several weeks as they deliberate where the Lord is leading them to serve.
UPdate: August 13, 2017
The Search Committee of WLC for the Associate Pastor of Multisite Ministry, Valley Creek Campus Pastor Call process would like to announce that Pastor Ben Gonzales is our recommended candidate to serve in this position at Woodbury Lutheran Church. I would like to share some biographical information on Pastor Ben, his family, and his ministry.
Pastor Ben was born in Pecos, Texas and moved frequently with his family during his childhood. Pastor Ben, his wife, KJ, and their four children(Evelyn, 18; Tobias, 15; Genesis, 11; and Cross, 7) reside in Houston, Texas. He currently serves as Pastor at Unveil Church in Houston and has been there since 2010. Pastor Ben conducted his vicarage at Good Shepherd Church in Hayward, California in 2002-2003. Prior to Unveil Church, he served as Associate Pastor at Jefferson Hills Church in Imperial, Missouri (2005-2010).
Pastor Ben received his BA degree from Concordia University in Austin, Texas and completed his Master of Divinity from the LCMS Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
Pastor Ben is mission-minded, Gospel-centered and has a deep love for all people. We pray that Pastor Ben will accept the call to Woodbury Lutheran and that he and his family will be part of the WLC family.
Both candidates that came to WLC for interviews were compared to the job description and the current pastoral needs for WLC. We conducted evaluations from LCMS-supplied information and biographical summaries. We conducted initial phone interviews, feedback from written questionnaires from each candidate, a video conference with each candidate and finally an in-person interview with the congregation, WLC staff, the Search Committee and Church Council/Elders. We have also evaluated the feedback forms submitted by the congregation after the in-person interviews. We believe the Holy Spirit has lead us to recommend Pastor Ben Gonzales for the following reasons:
- To date Pastor Ben received more recommendations and positive feedback from the congregational survey forms.
- His experience and capability to reach out and disciple the Millennial generation and young people.
- His enthusiasm and capability for preaching and teaching The Word of God.
- His experience and capability in starting a congregation and ministry at the grass-roots level. He will help grow WLC and Christ’s Kingdom.
- He preaches and professes what we believe are the core values of WLC: Multiplying Disciples // Transforming Lives. We welcome all people at WLC to come just the way they are.
- He is equipped to reach people we are not currently reaching.
- He is a wonderful communicator.
- He is authentic and has a passion for our Lord and Savior.
- He has a fire and enthusiasm for the lost, for relationships with people, for the Word of God, and for The Lord.
The Call Committee also believes Pastor Adam Parvey is an excellent pastor and candidate and has many gifts and abilities. We believe the Holy Spirit has lead us to this recommendation and we hope and have faith that you concur as fellow members of WLC.
Voting to approve the Call of Pastor Ben Gonzales for the position of Associate Pastor of Multisite Ministries, Valley Creek Camps Pastor is officially open. The vote will be open through Sunday, August 20. After the voting is complete, a Call will be issued to the candidate if he is approved.
To God be the glory!
Call Committee Chair
UPDATE: August 8, 2017
The Search Committee of WLC for the Associate Pastor for Multisite Ministries - Valley Creek Campus Pastor call process would like to share with you the current progress and update in our search for a new Associate Pastor. Both candidates that came to WLC to be interviewed were compared to the job description and the current pastoral needs for WLC. We conducted evaluations from LCMS supplied information and biographical summaries. We conducted initial phone interviews, feedback from written questionnaires from each candidate, a video conference with each candidate, and finally the in-person interview with the congregation, WLC staff, the Call Committee and Church Council/Elders. We have evaluated all of the feedback forms submitted by the congregation after the in person interviews.
- The Call Committee has made a recommendation to the Church Council for approval. We expect the response from the Church Council by the end of this week.
- Congregational candidate survey forms are still being accepted until August 11 and can be found below.
- The recommended Associate Pastoral candidate will be announced on Sunday, August 13 at all services and all campuses.
- Voting by the congregation will start on Sunday, August 13 and run through Sunday, August 20. Paper ballots will be available and electronic ballots will be available on this page one voting opens.
- A Call will then be issued to the candidate after congregational voting is complete and the candidate is approved.
We believe the Holy Spirit has led us to this recommendation and we hope and have faith that you concur as fellow members of WLC.
We appreciate any comments, questions or concerns you may have in this search process.
In His service,
Call Committee Chair
UPDATE: AUGUST 2, 2017
Campus Pastor Candidate Adam Parvey
Campus Pastor Candidate Ben Gonzales
UPdate: July 25, 2017
The Search Committee for Associate Pastor for Multisite Ministries - Valley Creek Campus Pastor is pleased to announce we have narrowed our list of candidates down to three finalists. We will bring each finalist in for an onsite visit. Two candidates are already scheduled and we hope to have the third scheduled shortly.
The Search Committee invites you to meet the candidates!
- Pastor Ben Gonzales and his wife, Katy, are from Unveil Church in Houston, Texas. Join us Monday, July 31, 7-8 pm in the Valley Creek Campus Sanctuary.
- Meet Pastor Adam Parvey and his wife, Lisa, from Redeemer Lutheran in Springfield, Missouri on Tuesday, August 1, 7-8 pm in the Valley Creek Campus Sanctuary.
We will be live streaming both events. Recordings and a feedback form will be available on this page.
Announcement: March 16, 2017
The Search Committee has begun meeting as we prepare to call an Associate Pastor for Multisite Ministries - Valley Creek Campus Pastor.
The main responsibilities of this position will include the following:
- Shepherd the Saturday and Sunday 11 am Contemporary worship services and the WLC online campus.
- Champion the WLC Hospitality Ministry or champion the WLC Reach Ministry (Missions).
- Lead and cultivate a ministry to the Next Generation (18-30 year olds).
Changes to the Call Process
Under the revised WLC Constitution, the following changes have been made to streamline the call process:
- As elected representatives of the congregation, Church Council assumes responsibility for forming a Search Committee and approving a job description, tasks that no longer require initiation and approval through a congregational meeting.
- Once a candidate is identified, congregational voting will be open for two Sundays and will require a 2/3 voter approval.
Call Process Targeted Milestones
- Search committee and prayer teams formed
- Job description approved by Church Council
- Receive nominations from congregation, search committee members and church staff
- Send nominations to District Office for review and for President Nadasdy to add additional candidates
- Prayer team continues
- Search committee reviews nominations, conducts interviews and identifies candidates
- Reference and background checks are conducted on final candidate(s)
- Search committee presents final candidate(s) to the congregation (early/mid- June)
- Search committee reviews input and feedback from the congregation
- Congregational voting closes
- Search committee extends call to selected candidate
- Called pastor considers/prays about the call
- Call is accepted (if not accepted, the process begins again)
- Call confirmation letter is sent
We welcome your continued prayers during this process in attempting to discern the will of the Holy Spirit. We move ahead committed to our work for His Kingdom and with hearts filled with longing for all of God’s people to discover the love of Jesus.