Pastor Search Process

Read about the next steps we will take together.

Pastor Search Process

last updated (September 14, 2022)

The search for the next Lead Pastor of Fort Caroline Baptist Church will be conducted as described in our church bylaws by a thorough and unbiased search process.

The process started as defined in the bylaws with a Pulpit Team:

  • Executive Pastor Matt Sparling
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees Wayne Simmons
  • Chairman of the Deacons John Runton

Together these three men nominated and formed a Pastor Search Team consisting of 11 members of the congregation. In addition the Pulpit Team will be ex officio non-voting members of the Pastor Search Team.

The Pastor Search Team is made up of people reflecting the diversity of our church, but all have displayed a deep understanding of our Mission, Vision & Beliefs. The pastor search team names can be found here.


Our Pastor Search team met multiple times this summer and the leadership of our pastor search team has been selected: 

  • Jeremy Ostrander - Chair
  • Jamaris Poole - Co-Chair
  • Jessica Ray - Secretary
  • Courtney Barnes & Brandon Bickerstaff - Congregation Communicators
  • Melinda Farford - Prayer Coordinator
  • Trina Claycomb - Candidate Communication Coordinator


Our pastor search team went through a training by Bob Bumgarner, the Lead Missional Strategist at First Coast Churches (formerly Jacksonville Baptist Association) and they also heard a report from FCBC staff on the state of the church and future visions coming out of the staff's 2023 planning retreat. The Pastor Search team has created a church and community profile and are asking the congregation to participate by taking it. If you're a Fort Caroline member or regular attender, you can take that survey here. Lastly, the team made a unanimous decision to partner with a Vanderbloemen, a search firm that helps to mitigate the process while broadening the talent pool to meet the needs of the community and congregational survey. We ask that you continue to keep the team in your prayers and our future pastor.


When a candidate is selected by the Pastor Search Team, that candidate will be brought before the church through a series of meetings that will give the congregation the opportunity to meet him and get to know him and his family, his philosophy of ministry, and his passion for the Lord and His church.

After the candidate has met the congregation, he will preach in view of a call. Afterward, the members of Fort Caroline Baptist Church will vote whether to call him as the next Lead Pastor or to continue the search. An affirmative vote of two-thirds will be necessary to call the candidate as the next Lead Pastor of Fort Caroline Baptist Church.

A copy of the FCBC bylaws can be found by clicking this button.