January 15, 2015
Surrounded by a number of clergy and spouses of the Diocese, who were gathered in our home earlier this month, I commissioned the Rev. Tom Herrick as our new Canon for Church Planting. Tom has been working with us through a contract with the Titus Institute for Church Planting, which he leads as Executive Director. But this past fall, with my enthusiastic recommendation, our Standing Committee and Synod acted to bring Tom on staff part-time as of January 1, 2015, to lead our church planting work.
We were so very thankful for the sacrificial leadership of the Rev. Clancy Nixon, who chaired the Great Commission Committee for our first three years as a diocese. Clancy led with tremendous passion and energy, with prayerfulness and wisdom in the fulfillment of a God-given vision. However, the work outgrew the time that Clancy was able to volunteer for it. As the rector of a growing church that is itself planting three churches, Clancy came to see that it is time for new leadership and a different structure.
We still have a commitment to have a minimal diocesan staff and to keep our resources focused on mission. But by bringing Tom on staff, we will be getting much more ministry bang for our budgetary buck; we are using the money that has gone for our contract with Titus to bring Tom on board three days a week without increasing the budget. He will recruit, assess, train and coach church planters, work with our churches in missional planning, oversee our residency and internship program, and guide all our church planting initiatives.
Tom has been engaged in church planting throughout his ministry. He planted a Spanish-speaking church in Houston’s East End in 1975 and then, after seminary, Christ the Redeemer in Centreville, VA in 1994. Tom has served as a catalyst for church multiplication at the regional and national levels for twenty years. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree in church planting from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he has taught the doctoral and master’s level church planting courses since 2008. He serves as a mission strategist and coach for Fresh Expressions US, and as an advisory council member for Anglican 1000 and Evangelize Today. Tom and his wife, Carol, live in Clifton, VA and they worship at Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax.
I have worked with Tom since he was in seminary and I am thrilled to have him serving us in this new role. Please pray for Tom and for the continued fruitfulness of our church planting work.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey