Transition Process for the Senior Pastor Position

Marcus Hayes Resources

Marcus Hayes Sermon - October 27

UPDATE: October 31, 2019

As you may know, we held the vote for the Senior Pastor Position this past weekend. Pastor Marcus Hayes was presented to our family, he preached in all of our weekend services and the congregation cast their votes.

After the votes were counted Marcus received 81% affirmative votes, but that super majority does not meet the 85% threshold set forth by our Constitution.

More information will be forthcoming about the path forward.

UPDATE: October 13, 2019

We are very excited to announce that on the weekend of October 26 & 27, we will have a vote concerning the "call" and selection of a new Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Naples. On the weekend of October 19 & 20, biographical information about the candidate will be distributed to the Church. The week of October 21, you will be provided opportunities of dialogue and means to get to know him and his family as well as hearing him preach in the main worship services the weekend of October 26 & 27.

UPDATE: September 30, 2019

The Senior Pastor Search Team has been hard at work over the past few months, as they have been seeking God's man to lead our church in the future. The team has gone from hundreds of applicants to focusing on the one man that they believe God is calling to be our next Senior Pastor.

Please be in prayer for the Senior Pastor Search Team, and the Personnel Committee as they make arrangements to present the candidate to the church. Also, be in prayer for their selected man and his family as they too are planning and pursuing God for His direction and calling.

UPDATE: September 10, 2019

The eight members of the Senior Pastor Search Team took the week off during our ONE Week to pray and hear from God about the two candidates that they are considering. The Team has flown over 16,000 miles and has driven over 600 miles in search for our next Senior Pastor.

Please continue to pray for the team and for the man that God has for us. Specifically pray that the Team will have wisdom and clarity as they evaluate the two candidates.

UPDATE: August 25, 2019

The Senior Pastor Search Team is focusing on two primary candidates. There is another reserve candidate should either primary candidate be removed from consideration. One of our primary candidates and his wife were in Naples last week for meetings and a dinner with the committee. The other candidate will be visited at his church this weekend. In addition, a security firm is being identified to conduct a background check to include credit and social media profiles of both candidates, their spouse, and children if applicable.

Continue to pray for our committee and these families, as important decisions are made in the weeks ahead.

UPDATE: August 1, 2019

Members of your Pastor Search Committee met with two leading candidates this week in Naples.  There are also two additional candidates whom we are considering. As we near the point of formal interviews please keep all four families in your prayers over the next several weeks.  It is conceivable that an election could be held at the end of the summer as all current candidates  have school age children who hopefully would enroll in the Academy this upcoming semester.  We remain very excited as God leads us toward a new Sr. Pastor at First Baptist Naples.

UPDATE: July 21, 2019

The Senior Pastor Search Team continues to make progress in recent weeks. Members have traveled to Orlando, California and North Carolina to hear top candidates, over the past few weeks. One candidate asked that his name be removed, as he doesn't feel released from his current ministry. Additional candidates in Louisiana and South Carolina are also still being considered.

Please remain in prayer for this important work and for God's man for HIS church at First Baptist Naples.

UPDATE: June 18, 2019

On June 11-12, three members of the Senior Pastor Search Team traveled to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. This was a great opportunity for them to meet with potential candidates, and to network with other Southern Baptist leaders for the purpose of finding potential candidates.

The team continues to meet each week and is utilizing video conferencing to make sure that all members can be part of each meeting.

UPDATE: June 5, 2019

In an effort to solicit input from our 20-40 year olds, the Senior Pastor Search Team conducted a focus group on Tuesday, June 4th. In the group, attendees were shown 5 different preaching styles to evaluate. The information will be used to help hone in on God's man.

UPDATE: May 21, 2019

The Senior Pastor Search Team is continuing to receive potential candidates and referrals. They are also keeping their top candidates list up to date.

The team is also putting into place "focus groups" to solicit input from church members. These groups will view a variety of sermon delivery styles and evaluate them based on their preference. 

Continue to lift up the Senior Pastor Search Team as they seek God's man for our church.

UPDATE: May 6, 2019

Out of the 50+ candidates that have been received to date, the Senior Pastor Search Team has honed in on the top candidates and are actively reaching out to these individuals for further assessment. 

The initial deadline for candidate submissions is June 30, 2019. Church members can refer a qualified pastor for the position at

UPDATE: May 1, 2019

The Senior Pastor Search Team made a decision to only complete the assessment form for individuals that are eligible. They also determined that all referrals would be directed through a secondary portal on the website.

In an effort to be up front with potential candidates, two letters of response were drafted to let candidates know if we will be contacting them in the future or not. They will be notified in a timely manner.

UPDATE: April 24, 2019

Our Senior Pastor Search Team has been meeting every week, and has been hard at work implementing mechanisms for collecting, and evaluating interested candidates and referrals. They have a matrix in place where each team member can evaluate candidates as they are received into our portal. This system will compile all team evaluations into one location for easy and equal assessment.

With these systems in place, they have received, and assessed numerous inquiries for the Senior Pastor position.

Please continue to pray for God's direction and discernment throughout this process. 

UPDATE: April 2, 2019

On March 30 and 31, we voted as a church to elect the Senior Pastor Search Team. Thank you so much for your prayer and commitment to follow God's will as you voted. 

Please continue to pray for our church and this team as they seek God's will for our next Senior Pastor.

Senior Pastor Search Team



UPDATE: March 24, 2019

Please see the list of candidates for the Senior Pastor Search Team at the link below. We will be voting on these the weekend of March 30-31, 2019.

Senior Pastor Search Team Candidates

UPDATE: March 17, 2019

Join us this week as we begin the devotional written by Dr. Hayes Wicker entitled, A Devotional Guide For A Season Of Seeking The Lord. Click the link below to access the devotional online.

Devotional Guide

UPDATE: March 4, 2019

We know that you may have questions about the Senior Pastor Transition Process, so to help you out, we have compiled many of the common questions that have come up. Click the link below to download the sheet.

Senior Pastor Transition FAQs

UPDATE: February 19, 2019

Thank you all for your continued prayer as we are working through the Senior Pastor Leadership Transition process. We know that the Holy Spirit is at work.

Here is a quick update of where we are currently in the process. 

  • Thanks to our pastoral staff, our personnel and finance committee members, and our deacons, we received over 100 names in consideration for our Senior Pastor Search Team. Our Personnel Committee is hard at work prayerfully evaluating and sorting through all of these individuals. 
  • The evaluation process will narrow down the selections to 14-21 individuals, who will be presented to the church for consideration a secret ballot. 
  • We will vote to elect the Senior Pastor Search Team on March 30 & 31. 
  • Please know that your continued prayer is vital throughout the entirety of this process, but currently we are praying specifically for God to clearly define the individuals that will serve on our search team.

A Letter from Dr. Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor and Mr. Troy Boone

Dr. Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor and Mr. Troy Boone, Chairman of the Personnel Committee penned a letter to the membership of First Baptist Church Naples. The letter outlines the Senior Pastor leadership transition process. 

Read the Letter

We want you to be informed about the Senior Pastor Leadership Transition Process. You can click the link below to view Section 1 of Article II of the First Baptist Church Naples Constitution. This section focuses on the Senior Pastor position.

View Section 1 of Article II



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