Leadership Transition Information

In July 2022, Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge announced his retirement as the General Minister of Pittsburgh Presbytery as of December 31st, 2022.  As the Presbytery moves through this season of transition, you can check this page for the latest information and resources.

  • January 2024
    • The General Minister Special Nominating Committee has conducted an initial round of application and CLC-match reviews. A pool of candidates to continue in the search process has been selected, and all applicants have been notified of their position in the search process. The committee is forming a set of questions that will more deeply probe the candidates’ sense of identity and call, which will be sent to candidates for written response.
  • November 2023
    • All members of the General Minister Special Nominating Committee participated in anti-racism training. This step intentionally came before reviewing even initial candidates to ensure the committee incorporated the principles of antiracism and intersectional anti-discrimination into the search process. The General Minister Special Nominating Committee would like to express their gratitude to the Presbytery’s Anti-Racism Transformation Team for exercising their influence to ensure the integrity of the search process, and commend the work they undertake on behalf of the entire Presbytery.
  • October 2023
    • The General Minister Special Nominating Committee opened the application process by posting a Ministry Discernment Profile within the PCUSA system as well as sharing it online and in Presbyterian publications. Presbytery members are invited to share the position with any leaders who they feel would make an excellent candidate; it can be found online at pghpresbytery.org/branches/job_opportunities/
  • September 2023
    • The Executive Committee approves new Purpose and Strategy Statements for Pittsburgh Presbytery, as well as approving the Ministry Discernment Profile for the General Minister position, which can be found on Church Leadership Connection
    • At the September Presbytery Meeting, Associate Minister/Acting Head of Staff, Rev. Brian Wallace, presented an extensive update on the leadership transition process, including background on the new strategy and purpose statements as well as a series of insights gathered from recent congregational and Presbytery surveys.  The complete report can be found here
  • Summer 2023
  • May 2023
  • April 2023
    • The Special Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee have representatives attending one another’s meetings.
    • A sub-group called the “Next Steps” Committee, comprised of both SNC and EC members, identify a three-phase transition plan
      • Evaluate the Staffing Structure and Leadership Model of the Presbytery
      • Prepare and Approve Ministry Information Form (job posting) for the next Presbytery Leader
      • The SNC will begin reviewing and interviewing candidates, while the EC will focus on insights gained from the Landscape Study.
  • March 2023
    • The Executive Committee and Special Nominating Committee members participate in the annual Executive Committee retreat.  The retreat focuses on the Presbytery’s role and purpose and reviews the recent history of Pittsburgh Presbytery.
    • The Executive Committee and Special Nominating Committee receive the report and interpretation of the Landscape Study
    • The Special Nominating Committee is convened and is oriented by Rev. Forrest Claassen, Executive of the Synod of the Trinity.
    • Read Brian’s March Transition Updates Letter for more information
  • February 2023
    • The following individuals are elected to serve as the General Minister Special Nominating Committee at the February 2023 Presbytery Meeting.
      • Rev. Laura Strauss (Sunset Hills) – Co-Chair
      • Elder Bucky Savatt (Ken Mawr) – Co-Chair
      • Elder Mark Roth (East Liberty) – Clerk
      • Rev. Brian Janssen (Bethany)
      • Elder Anita Perry (Riverview)
      • Elder Lauren Wolcott (Hot Metal Bridge)
      • Rev. Hunter Farrell (Pittsburgh Seminary)
      • Rev. Gavin Walton (Grace Memorial)
      • Rev. Austin Shelley (Shadyside)
    • Read Brian’s February Transition Updates Letter for more information
  • January 2023 – Rev. Louise Rogers begins her service as Temporary Associate Minister, taking on primary responsibilities for congregations in the South Branch and working with the Administrative Commission on Transformation (ACT).
  • December 2022 – A celebration and farewell for Dr. Sorge is held as part of the Presbytery meeting.  In addition, the Rev. Louise Rogers is announced as Temporary Associate Minister beginning January 30th, 2023
  • November 2022 – The Landscape Study is made available to all members of Pittsburgh Presbytery
  • October 2022 – The Executive Committee approves three transitional steps
    • Rev. Brian Wallace, Associate Minister for Emerging Ministries, will serve as Acting Head of Staff.  Other members of the leadership staff (Elder Carla Campbell – Stated Clerk, Rev. Ralph Lowe – Associate Minister), along with Brian, will share the responsibilities of the General Minister during the transition period.
    • The Presbytery will search for a full-time Temporary Associate Minister to serve during the season of transition.
    • The Presbytery will conduct a Landscape Study through Holy Cow Consulting.
  • July 2022 – Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge announces his retirement