Is It the Weather or the Water?

In Manatee and Sarasota Counties on the west coast of the Florida peninsula, there are five Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) churches. Each is quite different from the others in size and style, but one of the things they share in common, odd as it might seem, is the longevity of the pastoral tenure in each church.

Though I am leaving, I have been at Hope Presbyterian Church for nearly 25 years. Larry Edison, has been pastor at Covenant Life Presbyterian Church for 30 years. Dave Sturkey has pastored Cornerstone of Lakewood Ranch since its founding 18 years ago. John Grady became the pastor at Faith Presbyterian shortly after I came here, through a merger with the congregation that he pastored for a few years before that, so his total is 30. And Dwight Dolby, of Auburn Road Presbyterian in Venice, has nearly 20 years behind him.

No matter how one slices it, this shatters the average tenure (about 7-8 years) of most protestant churches. Not sure why this is. Is it the water we drink or the weather we enjoy? I guess we’ll never know.


One thought on “Is It the Weather or the Water?

  1. That is interesting. . . Especially since this group of PCA churches seems so diverse. Is the longevity mirrored among the ruling elders as well?We'll be visiting a PCA church here in VA tomorrow. It's not easy. Can't tell as much as I'd like from a website and listening to a sermon MP3 or two. Hubby and I have talked about what we want in a church here. . . but. . . it's hard to change, you know? Added to that, we know we'll be here a limited amount of time, but not sure how limited. So, I almost want to just visit one and as long as it is "okay" just stick with it.Anyway. . . (Oh, and for any other pastors reading this — it is really important to keep your website current. A sample bulletin from manymany years ago? Makes it hard to know if it reflects the church currently or not. . .)But then, maybe not everyone tries to scope out a church before they visit like I do. . .

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