Nibs Stroupe, Oakhurst’s beloved pastor for the last 34 years, will retire on January 14, 2017. Here’s what you need to know about the transition.


The transition process is determined by our denomination, the Presbyerian Church (USA), with details established by the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. As part of this process, we are required to hire an interim pastor following Nibs’ retirement. There is no set length for the interim, but it’s likely he or she will serve for one to two years.


October 9: Listening session

November 19 – 20: Celebration of Nibs’ ministry

Late 2016: Candidate for interim pastor selected by Transition Committee and voted on by congregation

Late 2016: Pastoral Nominating Committee selected

January 15, 2017: Interim pastorate begins

Transition Committee

The job of the Transition Committee is to shepherd the congregation through the transition process. They are accountable to the Session, but the bulk of the procedures they must execute are dictated by The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. They are working closely with the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry and its designated liaison, Cassandra Morrow.

The Transition Committee has direct responsibility for the following:

1. Conducting a congregational survey and receiving the analysis.

2. Honorably retiring Nibs Stroupe from Oakhurst and from the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. They do not bear direct responsibility for Nibs’ retirement celebrations but are engaged with the Celebration Committee and Worship Committee on those tasks.

3. Serving as the Interim Pastor Nominating Committee, which conducts the search for a candidate to serve in as interim pastor and presents that candidate to the congregation. The congregation votes on committee’s selection.

4. Establishing the process for forming our Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), to be approved by the Session. They are not involved in the selection of the PNC, the permanent pastor, or any other future church leaders (e.g., Session and Deacons).

5. Support the Session as requested, including hosting a grief listening session, collecting a list of pastoral responsibilities, and advising on ways to transfer those responsibilities to church committees or members as needed.

6. Support the work of the Strategic Momentum Committee as requested. At the advice of the Presbytery, a new committee will be selected to develop a strategic vision for Oakhurst for the next five to ten years once the new permanent pastor has been hired.

Members of the Transition Committee are Nickolas E. A. Downey, chair; Keeron Emmanuel, Nancy Friauf, Suzette Gooch, Caitlin White, Bud Willis, and Dennis Yarman.

After Nibs Retires

The Presbytery has rules for governing the relationship between retiring pastors and their congregations. A complete copy of these guidelines is available here.  More details about policies on pastoral ministry in the PC(USA) can be found on the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry web page.