God’s providence is an amazing thing. A little over eighteen years ago I was approached by the PMU Missions Council about taking the position of Field Director when Dr. McDonald retired. It took three years for that transition to take place, from my initial prayerful consideration to actually leaving my church at the time and taking on the Field Director’s duties.

Now we have come full circle, as I contemplate my retirement and turning over the helm to someone else. This process began about a year ago, and on behalf of the entire Missions Council, I am pleased to announce that Rev. Casey Southerland, currently the Assistant Pastor at Grace BPC in Sharonville, OH, has agreed to fill this essential post in PMU’s administration. The transition will not take place immediately; Rev. Southerland’s duties at Grace, and the resulting adjustments that will be necessary there (He will remain on the pastoral staff.) will take time to do well with minimal disruption. And training new personnel, preparing to move the office to Ohio, and just the necessary work to get Casey up to speed on all the policies and procedures around here will also take time. But we are thankful to be underway.

The current plan is that I will remain in the position until August of 2019, when I will pass the baton to Casey. In the meantime, training will be the principal activity. So, just as with me back in 1999, the transition will take just about three years to complete. We will take our time in order to keep things as seamless as possible, avoiding confusion and disruption on our fields. I will not be retiring from ministry, far from it; the ministries here in Idaho have developed to the point that they are requiring my full attention. So I am very thankful that Rev. Southerland, a good friend and trusted colleague, will take up the challenge and lead PMU to new levels of ministry in North America and around the world. Be watching the Banner in upcoming issues to learn more about Casey and his vision for the mission board. And please keep us all in your prayers as we step forward during this challenging and exciting time in our history.

Dr. Len Pine