23 March 2023 |
Pioneer Memorial Church (PMC) in Berrien Springs, Michigan, has selected their new lead pastor, Shane Anderson, after current lead pastor Dwight Nelson announced he will be stepping away from the position at the end of May 2023.
A welcome message was released on the PMC website on March 22nd, sharing the decision to make Pastor Anderson the fifth lead pastor of PMC:
Since 2004, Pastor Shane has served as senior pastor of the New Market Seventh-day Adventist Church in New Market, Virginia. The church, which has 700 active participants, also operates the Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary School and is the campus church for Shenandoah Valley Academy.
“For many years now, Pioneer has been one of the leading churches in our global Adventist community. God has worked mightily through this dynamic and diverse congregation, and I am excited to have been called to serve as its lead pastor!” says Pastor Shane.
He continues, “I am grateful to Dr. Dwight Nelson for his leadership over the last four decades. His work at Pioneer has been filled with passion and vigor, and it is an honor to succeed him in leadership. I am looking forward to getting to know the members of the Pioneer and Andrews family, and to discover the ways God has chosen for us to work together to achieve His goals.”
Prior to New Market, Pastor Shane was employed for 10 years by the Washington Conference as a pastor and church planter.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in theology from Walla Walla University, then earned a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in leadership from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. His dissertation topic was “Reducing pastor-dependency in the New Market SDA Church through self-managed ministry teams.”
During his time at New Market, he led the creation of a discipleship training program through which more than 2,000 community guests have visited the church in the last five years—a remarkable feat, considering the town has just 2,100 residents. This has led to regular baptisms and to the planting of two churches in the area, one Spanish-speaking and the other an English-speaking congregation.
While he continues to train disciples, Pastor Shane’s passion is revival and reformation in the Adventist Church. “I crave seeing the church fully embrace its liberating prophetic message and its unique mission of preparing the world for Christ’s return,” he says.
Pastor Shane authored the book How to Kill Adventist Education (And How to Give It a Fighting Chance!), which was published in 2009 by Review and Herald.
According to the Adventist Review, the Search Committee process was adjusted based on the relationship with the Michigan Conference. This has to do with the unique positioning of the church’s leadership between the university and the conference:
PMC is a church within the Michigan Conference, which is responsible for selecting its pastoral staff. Andrews University, although it lies in the territory of the Lake Union Conference, is an institution of the General Conference. Due to the unique relationship of PMC and Andrews University, the standard process for selecting the lead pastor was adjusted.
The original press release shares that:
Michigan Conference administrators comprised of President Jim Micheff, Executive Secretary Justin Ringstaff and Ministerial Secretary Cody Francis met with Pioneer Church elders and two were selected to serve on the committee: head elder Bryan von Dorpowski and associate head elder Debbie Michel. The eight-person committee was rounded out with Andrews University President Andrea Luxton, Lake Union Conference President Ken Denslow, and General Conference Ministerial Secretary Ramon Canals. Since Pioneer has a unique relationship with Michigan Conference the normal process was adjusted to include these various representatives.
The full message can be read at the Pioneer Memorial Church website.