Senior Pastor Transition – FAQ’s

We hope you find these frequently asked questions and answers helpful as we move forward in searching for our next senior pastor. Thank you for praying for your Bethel family!

When and why did Pastor Matthew St. John leave?
Pastor Matthew St. John’s last day was July 31st. We appreciate his ministry here for the past seven years and pray for his smooth transition to New Hope Church in the Minneapolis area. Pastor Matthew and his family felt that God was opening a new door of ministry at New Hope Church for them and that they needed to be obedient and follow His leading.

Will Bethel hire an interim pastor?
The Elder Board has asked Pastor Gary Siefers, our current Senior Associate Pastor, to provide leadership for our staff and their ministries during this transition time. He is working with our elders and ministry leaders to guide the day-to-day ministries and operations of the church.

Who will handle the preaching duties now that Matthew is gone?
The Bethel Elder Board asked our current pastors (Jonas Bundy, Andy Kvernen, Steven Dunkel, and Gary Siefers) to share the majority of the pulpit duties and minister to our church family during this time of transition. These men are uniquely gifted by God for such a time as this, and have adjusted their other normal duties to manage this additional responsibility. Their ministry has been very well received and we are thankful for each one.

Will there be a search committee formed? When?
The Bethel Church Pastoral Search Committee was elected at the August 9th Annual Congregational Meeting. The candidates chosen by the membership to serve with three of our elders (VerDale Herman, Jim Drummond, Steve Swanson) as our Search Committee were Teresa Nickel, Matthew Faul, and Stan Wiens. This committee has been working diligently on the process of finding a new Senior Pastor for our church.

How long will it take to hire a new senior pastor?
This is always hard to predict or know exactly. Our prayer and hope is that we could have a new leader identified and relocated to Fargo within the next 6-8 months. It could happen faster, and it could also take longer.

Who would I contact for pastoral counseling or other needs during this transition time?
Please contact our Church Office (701.232.4476) and we will direct you to the staff member that can best assist you. We have a pastor-on-call for emergencies 24/7, as always, but for most needs you will be able to communicate with us through our office or on the Bethel website.