On March 31, 2019, Pastor Ed Ezaki will step down from the pulpit of Kingsburg Community Church with grace, ease and celebration. Although Pastor Ezaki is officially retiring as Senior Pastor, his service in ministry is hardly coming to a close. More accurately, it is merely shifting focus.
As a self-proclaimed ‘leadership junkie,’ Pastor Ed began carefully orchestrating this pastoral transition nearly five years ago when he felt God urging him toward retirement from the pulpit. Firmly set upon the idea that a strong leader lays an intentional foundation for the success of his replacement, Ed began researching successful transition processes. In 2015 he went to the KCC Board of Directors to ask for their blessing and support of this process. The Board unanimously agreed, and plans were set into motion with the formation of a transition team consisting of 10 congregation members of various ages and backgrounds who would lead the process with input from the congregation as they began the search for a successor pastor.
In June 2016, Pastor Ricky Chambers was approved through congregational vote. Once hired as successor pastor of Kingsburg Community Church, Pastor Chambers shared all facets of pastoral duties with Ed while himself completing seminary at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. He gradually began taking on more responsibilities over the course of a 2.5 year span.
Under typical circumstances, a church pastor would announce retirement and board members or elders would begin the search process to hire a new pastor after the position is vacated. Unfortunately, churches often suffer from lack of spiritual leadership, lower church attendance, and disengagement of parishioners as a result. This is simply not the case at KCC. In fact, our church is growing, thriving and developing new vision throughout this transition. The congregation understands that Ed’s retirement doesn’t mark the end - it marks a new beginning for both the pastor and the church. Built into the transition plan is an intended sabbatical, when Ed will step away for a given time to allow Pastor Chambers the opportunity to develop his own unique style of leadership. Then, once Ed has a chance to celebrate retirement and seek God’s guidance for his next phase of ministry, he and his wife, Gretchen, plan on returning to KCC as serving members in the community of believers they both love so dearly.
On behalf of KCC’s Transition Team and Board of Directors, I would like to thank Pastor Ezaki for his years of faithful service and leadership in our congregation of believers, throughout the community of Kingsburg, and across the globe through his heart for missions. I feel that God has truly blessed this transition process through Ed’s leadership and eagerly look forward to what lies ahead.