A word from The Elder Board

Church family, 

We are pleased to announce that after an agreed upon process, prayer and discernment it seemed good to the Spirit, the Elders, and the District Superintendent Matt Boda to call Jeremy Cook as our next Lead Pastor.
Our work to search for a new Lead Pastor began with prayer and we haven’t stopped praying.  Thank you for working alongside us in this process.  A huge thank you to the Succession Committee for their substantive service to the Elders and the church.  The Elders have taken the last few weeks to work from that foundation, and to interview the candidates and reach a decision.  The overall process included significant collaboration with our District Superintendent, a staff survey, a survey of 100 volunteers, interviews of the candidates and significant reference work.  Throughout, the focus was to discern a candidate who would be the best fit for the future based on the posted job description and priorities.  We were blessed with a very strong short list.
We have trusted that the sovereignty of God has been leading through this process.  We are excited about the gifts, connections, and experience Jeremy will be bringing to this position.  We look forward to welcoming Jeremy and Heather and their children Oliver and Ciana back to our community. 
We are now moving to the transition phase of our plan.  Jeremy will begin September 16 allowing two weeks of overlap before Greg completes his service on Sept 29.
On behalf of the Sherwood Park Alliance Church Board of Elders,
Grace Albers, Chair

Succession Planning

Succession planning has been shaping our Board meetings since October and resulted in additional meetings in November and December. The staff Executive Team has been engaged throughout, and our Elders are being supported by our Western Canadian District Superintendent. What this means practically is that we anticipate moving our succession process beyond the Preparation Phase (our current posture) to a Selection Phase (explained below) in March and April. We plan to finalize our process and timelines at our Board retreat in mid-February, but the working draft expresses a goal of naming our next Lead Pastor in May, with the successful candidate assuming the role in early fall. As we move further into 2024, I anticipate having additional opportunities to share how I arrived here, and what may be next for me, so stay tuned! Regular updates will be posted on this page and in our newsletters. In the meantime, the Board and I have provided brief answers to some anticipated questions, which you can read below.

As all this unfolds, please remember that this is a deeply spiritual process which calls for prayer and recognition of God’s leading. I thank God for you and welcome your participation in this Intentional Succession journey.

-Greg Hochhalter


Thank you for being here!  As we walk through the next few months together, this page is here as a communication tool.  The Elder board is there to answer any of your questions or concerns at anytime. This page will be updated as we move along the timeline.


June 4, 2024 |  Announcement made that the new lead pastor has been named. More information to come soon!


May 3rd, 2024 | This week the Succession Sub-Committee completed their assignment, and they have submitted their report. Please continue to pray for the Elders as the full board prayerfully discerns next steps in the succession process.


April 8th, 2024 | The Lead Pastor role at Sherwood Park Alliance Church is now closed for applications. Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we step into the next part of this process.


Our hopeful timeline


Intentional Succession?

When a pastor initiates a transition and signals to the Board that they should prepare to hand leadership to another, we call this intentional succession. The goals include modelling healthy transition and preparing the church for the next era of ministry. Every church is unique, and every succession scenario has its own complexities, but typical succession processes include four phases: Preparation, Selection, Transition, and Continuation.

Preparation Phase

Proactive Approach: Since the outgoing Lead Pastor has initiated succession, this phase can be more strategic and less reactive. The outgoing pastor works with the Board in creating a succession plan, ensuring alignment with the church’s Purpose, Priorities, and essential Practices. The process can be more orderly and less hurried, allowing for thorough preparation and widespread involvement of the congregation.

Selection Phase

Inclusive Process The SPAC Board of Elders expects to create a subcommittee of the Board, known as the Succession Committee. The composition of the committee will include current Elders and additional congregational members. The committee will listen to input and support the Elders by reviewing and interviewing applicants while being supported by the District Superintendent of The Alliance Canada, Western Canadian District. When the committee reaches consensus, they will recommend a short list of candidates for consideration by the Board of Elders.

Transition Phase

Mentorship: The outgoing Lead Pastor continues in their role while serving as a mentor to the incoming leader, providing guidance, sharing insights, and navigating the handover. This type of collaborative approach, with the outgoing pastor championing the new leader to the congregation, is a way to welcome and prepare for the final succession phase.

Continuation Phase

Legacy and Stability: The outgoing Lead Pastor steps aside, and a new Lead Pastor assumes the role while respecting the church’s legacy and maintaining a degree of continuity. Enhanced Confidence: The congregation feels confident and secure in the church’s future, knowing that succession was thoughtfully planned and executed.