401 SE 15th Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

The Heartwarming Story Behind the Search for Our New Pastor: Part I

Many people have asked, how it was that the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) found our new pastor? The PNC has decided to share a 2 part email with everyone. The first of these emails is to share the “How” of how the PNC came to know of the Rev. Dr. Patrick Wrisley. There will be a second email, distributed on January 17th, which will share with everyone an experience one of our members had, that led us to believe that the Rev. Dr. Patrick Wrisley, was “God’s Choice” for our church.

During the PNC process, the standard question to anyone was, “Do you know of a great pastor that we should consider?” Dr. Bohl had told the Pastor Nominating Committee early in the process that there was a good chance our next pastor would not be looking for a “job” but be serving the Lord successfully, faithfully and joyfully in their current call. This is exactly how it turned out for the Pastor Nominating Committee of First Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale.

One Sunday late in the spring, Kathy Mayers was chatting with Mike House. She threw out the question and got a response. Mike suggested we look at the pastor from a DeLand Presbyterian church where his family had attended a few times while his daughter, Lia was in college at Stetson. The internet is a wonderful help in finding information and quickly brought forth the name of the Rev. Dr. Patrick Wrisley serving in DeLand at the First Presbyterian Church. Within a few weeks we added his name to our prospect list and our chair, Jim Sabin, suggested everyone on the PNC read Dr. Wrisley’s bio and listen to a sermon or two. By early July everyone on the PNC had an interest in reaching out to inquire if there might be mutual interest.

Cold calls are never easy, so Kathy spent over a week praying for courage and the correct words. Being in sales she wanted to be careful to not oversell our wonderful church but to share the potential we have to grow God’s kingdom here in Fort Lauderdale. On July 12, 2017, she placed a call to FPC DeLand and a kind woman answered. She asked if Dr. Wrisley was expecting her call and she told her, “No” it was personal, but she did promise to be brief. A friendly voice came on the line. “Hi, this is Patrick Wrisley.” I explained who I was and CLICK – the phone went dead. Thank God for caller ID as Kathy said she wasn’t sure she would have called back. Within moments Patrick called back to say that lightning storms were causing havoc on the church’s phone line. This time it was Kathy’s cell phone which did not allow him to hear her clearly and so it was decided she would call his cell phone from her landline. The THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM, and she shared a delightful conversation which ended with Patrick agreeing to read our Mission Study and Ministry Information Form and that he would send his resume and Personal Information Form to the PNC.

Kathy professes that without a doubt this is the warmest – cold call she has ever placed. Patrick has what she calls ILF, the Instant Likeability Factor!

This Sunday, January 14th, the Rev. Dr. Patrick Wrisley will be ordaining our newest church officers at the 11 AM service. Please join us!

Now that the PNC has done what they were called to do, we turn to our congregation to support something that we believe would be a wonderful way to welcome God’s Choice to our church family on his first day, January 21st. We ask every member and regular attendee to bring at least one guest to church on Patrick’s first day in the pulpit, January 21st. We can think of no better way to honor our new pastor, than to bring all of our friends and family together on that day as we welcome him and his wife, Kelly to their new church home.

Together in His Grip,

PNC Ambassadors (Formerly PNC)