Why is Paul leaving?

After fifty years in ministry, thirty-two of them at Cedarbrook, Paul is ready to transition to a new season of life. See Paul and Sharon’s video on the transition home page. In addition, we believe Cedarbrook will profit from the new ideas and new energy a new senior pastor will bring.

With the chaos of COVID-19, why now?

This transition has been years in the planning. Unsettling as it is, we believe we shouldn’t wait for the pandemic to end because it’s unclear when that will be. Given that COVID-19 may be here to stay, we’ve decided to move forward according to Paul’s retirement plan.

Will Paul and Sharon continue to attend Cedarbrook?

After some months away to allow them to rest and fully embrace this new phase of their lives, Paul & Sharon do plan to attend Cedarbrook.

Will there be a celebration for Paul and Sharon Abbott?

A BIG one! There will be more details to follow, but hold Saturday, March 12, 2022, on your calendars, because you won’t want to miss this opportunity to celebrate with Paul and Sharon. See the Celebration Page for more information.

When is Paul’s last day?

If all goes according to plan, Paul’s last day will be sometime in the summer of 2022.

Given all that is going on, will we have an opportunity to speak with Paul and Sharon before they leave?

We plan to have one or two informal gatherings where you could meet in a group setting with Paul as well as members of the Leadership Team, Board of Directors and Succession Planning Team.

When will the new Senior Pastor start?

Late spring – early summer of 2022.

What is the process for finding our new Senior Pastor?

The process is laid out in detail on the Search Process page.

Why did Cedarbrook hire a search firm (VSG) to help in the process?

Given the Senior Pastor is critical to Cedarbrook’s continued ability to thrive, we thought it best to work with a consulting firm that specializes in helping churches fill key ministry positions. Vanderbloemen has an incredible history of finding the best candidates specific to each church and we look forward to working with them. See Search Firm page for more information.

Who is on the Succession Planning Team?

The Succession Planning Team is made up of new members and long-time members who care passionately about Cedarbrook. The members are Lindsay Folkerts, Emily Lederer, Mark Young, Joe Carrillo, Tabitha Costner and Tom Hamill.

Who is on the Search Committee?

Like the Succession Planning Team, we chose a varied group of individuals who will lead the interview efforts. The members are Ashley Chin, Andrew Randall, Mark Stephens, Laura Johnson, Jason Johnson, Tiffany Johnson, Edwing Mendez and Kerri Lowrey.

Who is on the Leadership Team?

The Leadership Team is made up of the following people: Steve Kohn, Andrew Randall, and Rich Nichols and interns; Lenny Smith and Ed Obendorfer.

Who will be making the final decision?

In hiring pastoral staff, the Leadership Team makes all final decisions with significant input from the Board of Directors and Pastoral Staff.

Will the Church have a say in this decision?

Cedarbrook does not have a congregational form of church government which means church members do not vote directly on things like the annual budget or hiring pastoral staff. Church members help select the Board of Directors and Leadership Team who do make these decisions. The final decision to hire a new senior pastor will be made by the Leadership Team with significant input from the Search Team, Board of Directors and Pastoral Staff.

Will Paul be involved with hiring his replacement?

Paul will be involved at multiple points in the hiring process.

Will we be looking at our existing group of pastors to fill this position?

We believe the pastoral staff are all perfectly positioned to invest their gifts and skills in Cedarbrook and its mission and so will not be considering them to fill this position.

There have been a few changes in our pastoral staff (Middle School and Outreach Pastors have recently left) and now we are losing our Senior Pastor. Is there a concern about Cedarbrook's ability to grow and thrive as we evaluate our future?

As we have navigated the Covid-19 environment, the church has contracted in size. The church leadership has made a concerted effort to evaluate the needs of the congregation and ensure those needs are met while remaining good stewards of our available resources. We are currently replacing three (3) fulltime pastoral staff (Middle School, Outreach and our current Senior Pastor) with a new Senior Pastor and four (4) part-time staff. As we continue our journey, we will evaluate the needs of our church and will grow staff in an appropriate and prudent way.

What will happen with our current group of pastors and staff? Has anyone else decided to leave?

We expect our current pastors and other staff to continue to serve and help us move forward in this new season in the life of Cedarbrook

Where can I go to get updates on the process?

We encourage everyone to visit the Transition page on the website for regular updates on our progress.

Who can I contact with questions or concerns?

Direct all questions and concerns to We will forward your message to the appropriate person(s).

What is expected of me, as a member or regular attender of Cedarbrook, during this process?

Stay informed so that you can pray with us every step of the way.