This past Saturday, we elected Brian Hotrum as our upcoming new Superintendent. Congratulations! I remember how nervous I was when I was elected; no one feels ready or capable for this role! Leading leaders is only possible through relationships. Willingness to be led by the Superintendent allows our Conference to pursue unity and health. It’s hard to have relationships without shared experiences or commonality, so I thought we could get to know Brian a bit more for today’s blog.
Here are some things Brian has to say about his past ministries, the Conference, and working together with us as our new Superintendent:
Twenty-six years ago, Brian was working at Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis, and Superintendent Vic Slaughter sent him to be the pastor at the Lebanon Evangelical Church. Vic said that he would probably be there about six months because the church was talking about closing. It wasn’t easy, but the church survived and grew during the next seven years.
Brian has pastored at four different churches in the Conference, plus one year at a church in the North Central Conference. All of these churches had been in decline for decades, about 20 to 40 years past their glory days.
Because of his long history in the Conference, Brian knows the challenges we are facing. He puts it this way, “There are some great things going on within our Conference, but the reality is that right now, the Pacific Conference is in decline, and we are somewhere between 20 and 40 years after the glory days. I have some experience in turnaround churches, and right now we’re in a turnaround conference situation.”Supt. Elect Brian Hotrum
Brian believes that a lot of problems we face are problems the church has faced for centuries and it isn’t really a crisis, but it is routine maintenance that the church must continually address.
- Training and credentialing for pastors
- Evangelistic fervor to reach an ungodly world
- Unity amid our differences because God blesses unity
However, some of the problems we have are like nothing we have ever faced.
- Political & social issues in the culture
- Adjusting to ministry in a COVID and Post-COVID world
- Denominational merger or reorganizing and restructuring
Regarding Brian’s education, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Bible, a Masters in Theology, (his thesis was on the history of our denomination!), and has almost finished his doctorate. So, you can call him Dr. Hotrum in a short while! (😊) His Doctorate will be in strategic leadership with an emphasis on effective training for pastors. He interviewed 20 pastors in the Conference for his dissertation. In addition to his twenty-six years of pastoral experience, Brian has spent time teaching at Vennard College (Oskaloosa, Iowa) and at Arrowhead Bible College (Fishtail, MT).
As Superintendent, Brian realizes he cannot do it alone. He holds on to the story from Genesis 41 where Pharaoh brings Joseph to interpret his dream. Joseph’s response applied then and applies now when he says, “I can’t do it, but the God I serve can.”
BEFORE YOU GO
If you get a chance, email or message Brian and let him know that you are looking forward to working with him in our Conference! And while you’re at it, be sure to add him to your prayer list. The coming weeks and months will include some new joys and challenges!
One of the opportunities Superintendent-elect Brian will be addressing is our relationship to the Western Conference. We’ll be talking about that at tomorrow’s Supt. Zoom Room. If you would like to join Brian and me in this discussion, contact Nancy for a link: Nancy@thepacificconference.com