MILFORD, Ohio--The United Church of God an International Association has made a major change in its hierarchy involving U.S. regional pastors (RPs).
On Oct. 14, 2010, Dennis Luker, UCG president, announced the change, which is a planned reduction from 10 to three RPs.
Mr. Luker wrote in a letter to ministers: "When the United Church of God started [in 1995], 12 of the 14 Regional Pastors [of the Worldwide Church of God] came over to the United Church of God and the entire structure was carried over as well. The 12 were later reduced to the 10 we have today."
Mr. Luker explained that a large RP structure is not needed because of the relatively small number of pastors and elders in the UCG.
"In the Worldwide Church of God there were nearly 300 full-time pastors along with 700 local church elders," he said. "Each RP had an average of 21 full-time men and 70 local church elders to serve. In the United Church of God, with about 90 pastors, each RP oversees an average of only nine pastors."
Consistent with the church's corporate documents, Mr. Luker also mentioned that a reduced team could fulfill the current RP duties.
"A newly appointed ministerial team will function as regional pastors and perform many of the duties that the former RPs carried out," Mr. Luker explained. "They will be actively involved in most aspects of current RP duties. Policies that related to the regional pastors will not be changed; they will be fulfilled by the Ministerial Services team who will now act as the new Regional Pastors."
Roy Holladay of Chattanooga, Tenn., will regionally pastor the Northeast, Southeast, Florida and South Central regions. Victor Kubik of the Cincinnati area will oversee the North Central, Central and Great Lakes regions. Gary Antion, also of the Cincinnati area, will oversee the Northwest, Southwest and Mountain regions.
The 10 men who will no longer serve as RPs are Todd Carey, Bruce Gore, Larry Greider, Jim Haeffele, Mike Hanisko, Larry Neff, Greg Sargent, Jim Servidio, Lyle Welty and Mr. Luker, who was an RP when he was made president but was not replaced as an RP.