Gordon McClellan, pastor of the First Congregational Church, announces his departure
MANCHESTER — The pastor of the First Congregational Church in Manchester announced through a letter to church members that he would be leaving his position.
The Rev. Dr. Gordon McClellan wrote in the letter dated Oct. 30 that he would continue in his full-time role until the end of the year at which point he would transition into a part-time role through the end of April to assist the church in finding a new minister.
"Ecclesiastes is right when it says, 'For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven,'" McClellan wrote in the letter. "I believe the time has come for a new season, and a new leader, at FCC."
McClellan wrote that the FCC board will manage the process of hiring his replacement.
The board will decide whether that will be a full-time position or a part-time position, but McClellan encouraged the church to consider moving to a part-time position to "achieve lasting financial stability," but added he respects that is a decision to be made by the board and the congregation.
"Whatever direction is chosen, my hope is for that process to be completed in the spring, so that a new minister can join me in worship for Easter, taking over fully in May," McClellan wrote. "I believe this is the best way to ensure a smooth and successful transition."
McClellan's tenure with FCC got off to a rocky start in 2011 after 13 members of the church filed a lawsuit against the church's Board of Elders over a variety of issues including the hiring of McClellan. While the suit was not specifically about McClellan, the members claimed that the elders were acting outside of the church's bylaws on several measures
including his hiring.
"We've done a lot over the last eight years," McClellan wrote. "First and foremost, we reclaimed peace within our congregation."
Other successes include "major improvements" to infrastructure including repair of the church's iconic steeple, and building endowments to offset some major ongoing costs.
"I am grateful for every moment of my eight years here, and thank you for allowing me the chance to spend them with you," McClellan wrote.
McClellan and his wife,
Krista, and their children, Griff and Georgia, both students at Long Trail School, plan to stay in the area.
Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy
by cell at 802-681-6534.
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