Pathways Changes Announced

by | Dec 1, 2023 | Feature

For most of this year, the Pathways to Ministry Committee, in consultation with Senior Pastor Timothy Peoples and Pathways Director George Mason, has been evaluating Wilshire’s pastoral residency program with a view toward how best to shape its work in forming young ministers for the next generation.

As Wilshire moves forward with this vital ministry, several leadership changes will support the work and build on our church’s success. Already, Geri McKenzie, who administered the Pathways program as Associate Director, has moved into the role of Wilshire’s Executive Director of Administration.

Now we are announcing that George Mason will shift his focus from directing Pathways to nurturing the more than 40 Pathways alumni around the country and helping to continue their growth in ministry. We are also pleased to announce that George is joining the Center for Healthy Churches, which is led by Wilshire member Matt Cook, as a consultant. George will focus on exporting the learnings of Wilshire’s Pathways model of clergy apprenticeship to other churches nationwide. Already, one of our resident alumni, Jason Edwards, has begun a residency program, and several other churches in our Baptist network have begun residencies. George will also work beyond Baptists in this effort and seek to integrate the Wilshire program and our alumni in these broader contexts.

We are further happy to say that Charlie Fuller, currently Wilshire’s interim minister of music, has agreed to take on the role of director of Pathways to Ministry and coach-in-residence. Timothy said, “While Wilshire knows him mainly as a musician, that’s only one facet of what Charlie brings to the table. His vast experience in church life, academia and as a consultant make him ideal to lead our clergy apprenticeship efforts.” After serving for many years as a choral director, professor and fine arts dean at the university level, Charlie returned to school in 2007, earning Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees. Since 2010 he has served in church positions including minister for congregational life at Little Rock’s Second Baptist Church, executive pastor at First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C., and most recently transition pastor at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco. He also works as a personal coach and consultant and is credentialed through the International Coaching Federation.

“It’s a joy to join the wonderfully talented Wilshire staff team in a more permanent role,” Charlie said. “To lead and build upon George Mason’s faithful, creative and innovative legacy is a joy and a privilege. I’m so very pleased to both lead this program and make coaching services available to staff and others.” Charlie will transition into the Pathways role in the coming months as his time in our music ministry comes to a close.

George said, “As I begin yet another transition in my work with Wilshire, I want to thank the church for its generous support of me and the Pathways program over these past 22 years. I am grateful for the gift of knowing that my name will continue to be attached to the endowment fund that will sustain the program for years to come. I want to thank Geri McKenzie for her faithful partnership in this work for many years and congratulate her on her new role. I am confident that the program is in good hands under Timothy and Charlie’s leadership as they work in concert with the Pathways Committee.”

Wilshire remains on track to add two new pastoral residents in 2024. Meredith Mosley, Pathways Committee chair, said, “The committee eagerly anticipates the start of the recruiting process and looks forward to welcoming our newest residents next August.”