Pastor Search Updates

The elders want to keep everyone updated with what is currently happening as we search for a new full-time pastor...



May 29th Update:

It is crazy to think that it has been 4 month since Mark and DJ have stepped down from full-time ministry here at Southern Hills.  Eli Diaz has been our Pulpit Supply Pastor during this time and has been going through the Attributes of God.  It has been a great study of who God is and excited to continue digging in God's character and Biblical Truth.  If you have missed any of it please click here. 

The only new update is that as church members we met for a congregational meeting Sunday May 17th.  During the meeting we affirmed the Pastoral Search Committee:

  • Shelby Happe

  • Bill Howard

  • Simon Jamieson

  • Al Krienke

  • Beth Maurer

  • Ken Tonsager


So there job will be to look through candidates for our next Full-Time Pastor here at SHEF Church.  The first meeting of the Elder Team and Search Committee will be in June to go through training with the EFCA's Rocky Mountain District Superintendent Dr. Gregory Fell.

What happens after that?  The Pastoral Search Committee will continue to meet regularly to look at candidates.  They will undertake to find and interview appropriate candidates and after prayerfully considering the candidates the Search Committee shall make a recommendation to the Elder Team. The Elder Team will look through the recommendation and do a similar process of prayerfully considering and looking through the candidate. If at that point the Elder Team thinks they would be a good candidate they will schedule a congregation meeting.

January 5th Update:

2020 will be a year of change. In case you haven't heard yet, Pastor Mark and DJ are stepping down from full-time ministry here at Southern Hills. At the end of January, they will be moving to Coloroado to care for DJ's father.  CLICK HERE TO READ THEIR LETTER EXPLAINING MORE

This raises questions on all sides - like, what do we do now?

The Elder Team met with our District Superintendent, Greg Fell, on Thursday Jan. 2 morning to get the wheels moving. We have decided to use IPM (Interim Pastor Ministries) to provide us with an interim pastor for 12-18 months.  IPM pastors are specifically trained to help churches make a smooth and healthy transition to a new full time pastor. The elders will put together a Search Committee training. It is our desire and promise to communicate/update our church family on a regular basis.

Please pray for Mark and DJ, for each other, for the Team Leaders, for the elders; AND start praying NOW for our new pastor.


1. Nick is not interested, his calling and ministry is to our yout

This congregation, this family, stepped up when Mark and DJ went on sabbatical. We not only survived, but we thrived. Our great and awesome God will not let us down through this either.



Dear Church Family,

It is hard to believe that 2020 is already here. I remember as a kid thinking that the year 2000 was so far away and now here we are two decades into the new millennium! The start of another New Year is a great time to both look back and look forward. We can look back and remember God’s goodness and faithfulness to us in the past year. And we look forward to the unfolding plans and purposes of God in the coming year.

DJ and I have been doing exactly that. Only rather than looking back at God’s wonderful works in the past year we have been reminiscing about all that He has done and accomplished in the nearly 32 years that we have been serving this church. What a great story God is writing here in Hot Springs. And we truly believe that He has so much more He wants to do in and through Southern Hills E Free. As we look forward to starting a new year and a new decade we believe God will continue to be faithful.

As DJ and I look forward we have come to realize that God is guiding us into a big change in our lives. We believe God is leading us to step down from full time ministry. One thing that has always been supremely important to us is family. We feel that in resigning from pastoring, God is providing us with a season to focus on ministry to family.

This begins with a chance for DJ and me to focus our relationship with one another. This new chapter will give us some time to concentrate on who we are as a couple and explore God’s plans for us for the future. But it will also give us an opportunity to minister to extended family, specifically DJ’s father, Don.

As many of you know Don’s wife passed away just a few months ago. Beyond that, Don has been experiencing a number of health related issues. He is at the point of needing more care which DJ and I believe we can provide. In this way, he will be able to remain in his home longer, which is greatly important to him.

This is a difficult decision for us because we love all of you so much and we know God is doing many good things here. Yet we are at peace because we truly feel God is leading us in this move. We believe SHEF is a strong, healthy church with great leaders and God has good plans for you. The church is the bride of Christ and He will take care of His bride. Our
plan is to remain at the church through the end of January and then move to Loveland, Colorado at the beginning of February.

Please be praying for us and the church as we all seek to follow God in this New Year!
We love you!

Mark and DJ Crossman