A Letter from Pastor Dan
I am excited and proud to announce the beginning of a beginning. Nick Wallsteadt is joining Gold Creek Community Church as the next Senior Pastor.
I see pastoral ministry as a relay race. As runners, our job is to run our leg of the relay the best we can, and at the end we are to successfully pass the baton. Last November, Audrey and I fasted and prayed for three weeks seeking direction for the coming year. It became clear to us that it was time to pass the baton. I have been in ministry for 44 years, but I picked up the baton for Gold Creek 29 years ago when I founded the church. It has been an amazing experience to see all that God has done and is doing.
Over the months that followed, the church’s Executive Team, the Board of Directors, a hired outside consultant and our staff reviewed, checked, interviewed and vetted candidates. In March our board unanimously voted to offer the job to Nick.
Nick and I will run together for a time to ensure that the passing of the baton goes smoothly. I am not going anywhere for a while. We will share teaching duties and leadership responsibilities. I can tell you from the depth of my heart, I know that God is in this. I was 34 years old when I started at Gold Creek; Nick is 35. Everything in his life has prepared him for this moment. My prayer is that the next 29 years far exceed my first leg of this relay. Through this process I heard one thing that really stuck out to me, “No church reaches its full potential with one pastor.”
Pastor Nick comes to us from Southeastern University where he has served the last few years as the VP of Global Ministry Network and the Dean of the Barnett College of Ministry and Theology. Before that he served in the roles of youth pastor, executive pastor and campus pastor at Timberlake Church in Redmond. We will introduce him on May 15th at our 9 & 10:30 a.m. services.
Before I close, I want to assure you of a few things:
I am not tired. God has given me a great measure of strength to continue ministry.
I am not quitting. My role will be changing.
I am not being forced out. I am passing the baton.
I am not sad. I am encouraged to see how God is walking us through this process.
I am excited for this new chapter! I want to do things right!
In a relay, a successful handoff happens when runners have spent time preparing and are in tune with each other. Timing is essential. The steps, reach, movement of the baton–they all come together with precision to contribute to victory. Nick’s hand is now outstretched, his palm open to receive the baton. And my hand reaches toward his—with absolute trust and confidence in God’s timing and the preparation we’re now doing—to move the baton forward and upward, getting ready to release it, into the future of Gold Creek.
I ask you to join me in praying for Nick and his family. But more than that, support him, love him, believe in him and trust him. Let’s be ALL IN as we continue our mission to reach those far from Christ.
Founding Pastor and former Senior Pastor
FAQ’s ABOUT THE TRANSITION
In November 2021, Pastor Dan and Audrey fasted and prayed for three weeks seeking direction for 2022. It became clear to them through that process that it was time to pass the baton and move into a new season of life and ministry.
- Nick moved to Washington before his 6th grade year as his father was in the military.
- He met his wife, Krissa, here while attending Northwest University together.
- They got married in 2011.
- While here he worked a number of jobs at Timberlake Church in Redmond.
- Nick served in kids & student ministry for several years. He then moved to the teaching team, and was part of the church’s executive team.
- He and Krissa moved to Florida where he worked at Southeastern University as VP of the Global Ministry Network and Dean of the College of Ministry and Theology.
- They now have two sons: David (4 ½ years old) & Jonah (9 weeks).
Pastor Dan reached out to his pastoral network to search for someone his peers would recommend. We also enlisted the help of an outside consultant who has worked closely with several churches that have transitioned to new pastors. Gold Creek’s Board of Directors was intimately involved in the process as well, as part of their responsibility is to hire/release a senior pastor. Many Gold Creek staff members also had the opportunity to get to know Nick in the process.
We will introduce him to the congregation at both services on May 15th. He will then be here regularly, attending meetings and getting to know Gold Creek and our community during the week. Nick will share Sunday speaking and teaching responsibilities with Dan over the next several months.
Pastor Dan and Audrey will be helping the team through this transition over the next year. It’s important to Dan that Nick is well equipped and supported. As our Founding Pastor, he cares deeply for each of you, the staff, community, and how this process goes. Dan and Audrey have family here and in Wenatchee, so they will be around both areas enjoying their family and friends for many years even after the transition.
- The mission to reach those far from God will stay the same.
- The family focus and kids’ ministry importance will remain.
- The reputation in the community of being a church where all are welcome, but Biblical truth is taught with clarity and conviction will stay.
The speaker at the Mill Creek campus will be slowly transitioning to Nick, but we will have Dan speaking periodically.
Please pray for this transition, everyone involved close and far. Also, please stay committed to attending, serving and ensuring all our kids/students stay involved.