At the beginning of this year (2018), Pastor Russ announced he would be transitioning, and his time as the pastor of our church would be coming to an end sometime during the year. In May, his official last Sunday was set for October 28th.  The church board is in the process, in consultation with our District Superintendent, to identify who will be the next pastor of our church. This page will provide updates throughout the process.

UPDATE (12/04/18) 

The Church Board met with District Superintendent, Dr. David Bowser, on Tuesday, December 4th to continue the succession planning process to find God’s next leader for Bel Air Church of the Nazarene.  Dr. Bowser started the meeting by reading from 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13.  In verse 11 it reads, “Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”

Dr. Bowser challenged us, asking if we are praying, clear the way for our Lord to come?  Clear the way is a great way for a church to pray.    May God make His love increase.  Don’t take for granted that God is at work.   Lord, strengthen our hearts.

The Board held discussion on the congregational life or our church, how we are adjusting to change and the desire that we have to continue to lift Him up and experience His presence in our worship.  There was a great deal of conversation on the our spiritual state as we adjust to the continuance of our ministry after Pastor Russ’s departure.  There is a sense that God’s presence is continuing to be felt as we worship. We are grateful for Pastor Shirley’s presentation of the Word and her heart for our church as she fills the pulpit during this transition.  Dr. Bowser wanted our church to be aware that churches across the district are praying for Bel Air as we move through this journey.

The Board has a number of areas related to ministry and our successful operation as we prepare the way for a new Senior Pastor.  There are some critical items that are being addressed, and we see God working through these areas as well.  Significant progress has been made “preparing the way.”

Dr. Bowser and the Board reviewed the names of candidates that had been submitted for consideration.  He asked that we pray over these candidates, that God would move and speak to them and make known to His choice the call for service as Senior Pastor for Bel Air.  We will spend the Advent season in prayer for the selection process, and ask that the congregation earnestly pray with us for His will to be accomplished.

Immediately following the Advent season, the board will continue to review the resumes.  After this review, the resumes will be prioritized and conversations with the candidates will be scheduled.  Please continue to pray for God’s direction as we seek His will.


UPDATE (11/04/18) Dr. David Bowser, the District Superintendent of the Mid-Atlantic District Church of the Nazarene, who is leading our church board in the succession process. was in our services on November 4th, 2018.  During the message, Dr. Bowser provided an update on the succession process, as well as information on arrangements for the interim period, while we search for a new pastor.  (You can listen to the sermon by going HERE and clicking on the sermon “The Space Between the No Longer & Not Yet“.)  You can access the letter distributed after the service with the update, along with other documents mentioned in the update, by clicking on the links below:



  • Step 1:  Pastor Russ announces his transition, the District Superintendent meets with the church board, and an ending date is set.
  • Step 2: Clarification of Church Mission, Vision, and Core Values
  • Step 3: Gain input concerning our church and pastoral leadership through a congregational survey.   Compile the results and report them during an all-church meeting.
  • Step 4: Engage lay ministry leaders and those involved in ministries of the church about the process, and to receive input.
  • Step 5: Develop a pastoral profile and an opportunity profile.  Review Organizational Structure of the Church, understanding what it means to run the ministry of the church, and making sure things are in order for new leadership.
  • Step 6: Make arrangements for the interim period.
  • Step 7: Look at Prospective Candidates.
  • Step 8: Interview potential candidates.
  • Step 9: The church board recommends a potential candidate, and the church votes.  (The congregation should have an opportunity to meet with the potential pastor before the vote. We’ll provide those details when that time arrives.  If the vote is positive, the potential successor will pray and decide whether to accept the call.)
  • Step 10: Once a recommended pastor accepts the call, welcome and support the new pastor, developing strategies to allow for the transition to be successful.


Here is the list of board members who are working with the District Superintendent on the Succession process.

  • Kathy Artman
  • Morgan Artman
  • Randy Aversano
  • Jeannette Fristoe Blake
  • Gary Feveryear
  • Patty Finney
  • Payne Ford
  • Carty Ingram, Sr.
  • Kent Jordan
  • Eric Mark
  • Dan Miller
  • Edith Miller
  • James Moots
  • Trish Orndorff
  • Jeff Reed
  • Bambi Steelman
  • Sid Steelman
  • Tracy Tracy

(Note:  This includes some board members from last church year, who were invited to remain as a part of the group for this process.)

You are encouraged to approach one of them if you have questions or input.  Also, you can reach out to Gary Feveryear ( by email to ask a question or give input.



Succession Planning Summary From Meeting with Dr. David Bowser on Monday October 9th

The Church Board met with District Superintendent, Dr. David Bowser, on Tuesday October 9th to continue the succession planning process for a Senior Pastor to succeed Pastor Long.

  • The meeting opened with reading Scripture from John 14:6-7.
    • Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”
  • We discussed our desire that through this process we will seek after His way, not our way, as we seek out God’s next leader for our church.  We want more than anything to know and follow His plan for Bel Air Church of the Nazarene.
  • The board completed the final review of the pastoral profile.
  • The board walked through the initial review of an opportunity profile for BACN.  We established a plan to finalize that document and provide it to Dr. Bowser in a timely manner to make these documents available to all perspective candidates, describing the role, competencies, and expectations of the Senior Pastor as well as the opportunities presented at BACN in terms of facility, ministry, and financial status.  This profile also includes information on our community, and benefits of location, and geography in the Bel Air/Harford County area.
  • The board discussed in detail plans for interim pastoral arrangements while the process of selecting a Senior Pastor continues.  Some of these details included the continuance of current staff, roles and responsibilities during the interim period, and Dr. Bowser’s roles and responsibilities related to coverage and support at Bel Air during the search.
  • The board reviewed at length some transition details provided by Pastor Russ and worked to resolution of all line items presented to Dr. Bowser and the Board.
  • Finally, we discussed the time line as we move forward and the next steps to be addressed at the next planning session.  The board will meet again with Dr. Bowser on Tuesday, November 13th.

Respectfully, Gary Feveryear


Succession Planning Summary From Meeting with Dr. David Bowser on Monday September 17th

  • The meeting was opened with a reading of Scripture from Ephesians 4 where Paul urged the Ephesians to
    • live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body, one spirit, just as you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (4:1-6, NIV)
  • We discussed considering the call, what God has called us to be as individuals, as a church board and as His church.  It is in this spirit that we want to move forward as a church board to complete the mission of finding God’s next leader for Bel Air.
  • Dr. Bowser informed the board that he met with the pastor and pastoral staff on September 11th and discussed with them the next 60 days.
  • We reviewed the church manual sections 115, 159, 212, and 213 regarding the nomination process for a new pastor, implications for the current staff, responsibilities of the church board, and duties and authorities of the District Superintendent.  By common consent, the board agreed to paragraph 159, where we will retain staff through the interim period, and 90 days beyond the selection of a new pastor.
  • We discussed at some length, resume bias and the upcoming process of reviewing resumes and identifying potential candidates.
  • Finally, we broke down the pastoral profile, and will finalize this profile and combine it with an opportunity profile, to post and make available to potential candidates as the pool of candidates is finalized to begin the resume reviews and selection process for interviewing candidates.  These profiles will also be made available to the church community, when they are completed by our next meeting on October 9th.

Other updates:

  • A Farewell Banquet for Pastor Russ and Debb will be held on Friday, October 26th, at 6:30pm, at Water’s Edge in Belcamp (for adults age 15 & over). Tickets are $30 and are available until Friday, October 12th, by calling the church office at (410) 838-8290.  Payment must accompany reservation as seating is limited.  There will also be a special service and reception on Sunday, October 28th, their last Sunday.  All are welcome!



Gary Feveryear gives a succession update during service on Sunday, August 26th.


Resources from the Congregational Meeting, led by Dr. David Bowser, District Superintendent, on Sunday night, June 24.

  • Paste this link into your web browser to listen to the audio of the meeting:
  • Click here for the Powerpoint slides from the meeting.
  • Click here for the Pastoral Profile distributed during the meeting.