Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. will appoint the Rev. Dave Samelson to a dual appointment beginning July 1. Samelson, who is currently the District Superintendent for Great Northern District and Dean of the Cabinet, will co-pastor the Point Pleasant UMC in Elk Grove where he will work alongside the church’s long-time pastor the Rev. Neal Harrell.
Bishop Brown says, “When a pastor serves a long time in a community, the change of clergy can be challenging.” He added, “Pastor Neal Harrell has served exceptionally well and faithfully for twenty years at Point Pleasant UMC and is hoping to retire in two years.” Conversations with the Cabinet about the coming change led to a vision of bringing the new pastor “along-side” Harrell well before his retirement, to work with him, and to learn about the church and the work. “This way, over a period of two or more years, an easy and careful transition can be made where the congregation and the clergy partner together to embrace and be part of the coming change,” said Brown.
The transition will begin slowly with Samelson continuing his duties as the District Superintendent of the Great Northern District over the next two years. In year one, his time will be minimal with occasional preaching, attending meetings, and visitation to get to know the church. During the second year, which will also be the final year of Samelson’s service as a District Superintendent, his time will increase slightly at Point Pleasant. During these two years, the church will provide no compensation. In the year three, Samelson will begin full time at the church as Harrell retires.
Bishop Brown wants to be clear to the Great Northern District, and the California-Nevada Conference, that “As we step into this new time, in no way will Rev. Samelson’s work with the District be hindered.” During this year, he will hand off his role as Dean of the Cabinet to provide time and energy for his new role with Point Pleasant. The Cabinet Team will be supporting this unique approach to the superintendency with the collaborative spirit with which they have been working for some time.