New Church Development Advisory Committee Reorganizes

The New Church Development Advisory Committee helps organize and lead the New Church Planting conferences of the Church of the Brethren, among other responsibilities. Shown here: A painting by Dave Weiss illustrates the theme for church planting and new church development.

By Jonathan Shively

The National New Church Development Advisory Committee of the Church of the Brethren recently went through reorganization as it continues to give input and direction to denominational support for church planting.

David K. Shumate, district executive minister of Virlina District, concluded 16 years as a member of this committee. During his tenure he compiled a manual for new church development, helped plan nine New Church Development events (attending eight), and taught two courses for Training in Ministry (TRIM) in conjunction with conferences. His personal leadership for church planting in Virlina District has given him valuable experience and perspective, which he actively shared in his work with the national committee.

David Shumate has been a steady presence in the church planting movement. He is effective and wise. A key piece of advice that he offered early on was to do fewer things well over a sustained period of time, counsel that we have followed with appreciation.

Two new members have been appointed to serve on the committee. Kendal Elmore, district executive minister for West Marva District, joins the committee as a liaison to the Council of District Executives. He and West Marva District recently supported the emergence of Hanging Rock Church of the Brethren, recognized as a fellowship at the 2014 Annual Conference. Also appointed to the committee is Doug Veal, pastor of Daleville (Va.) Church of the Brethren and chair of the Virlina District New Church Development Committee, which oversees a number of new church initiatives.

Continuing members of the committee include Don Mitchell of Atlantic Northeast District; Deb Oskin of Southern Ohio District; Ray Hileman of Atlantic Southeast District; Dava Hensley of Virlina District; Steve Gregory of Pacific Northwest District; and chair Jonathan Shively of Congregational Life Ministries.

— Jonathan Shively is executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

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