The Gathering Church’s Leadership Team and Associate Pastor Search Committee are pleased to introduce new Associate Pastor candidate: Curt Lowndes!
“Curt and Jenny were a vital part of the Gathering Church in our first years. I am excited about the potential of their return and the role that Curt can have as a partner in ministry. I am convinced that God will use Curt not only in our church but in the broader community to express the love of Christ.”
-Mark Acuff, Lead Pastor
About Curt and the Lowndes Family:
I am a graduate of Georgetown College (KY) and Duke Divinity School, and currently have the privilege of serving as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Morehead, KY. Previously, I’ve worked in a public school system, for Habitat for Humanity, and in a small consulting firm.
During and after graduate school at Duke I served on the Leadership Team of the Gathering Church, have preached, worked in the GC Kids ministry and co-hosted a Home Group.
My wife, Jenny, and I are both from small towns in Kentucky. I grew up in Pikeville, and she grew up in Brandenburg. We met in college and married in 2007. Jenny graduated from the University of Kentucky’s Nursing School and is an experienced neonatal nurse (including in the NICU at Duke Hospital), but is currently a full-time mom to our daughters, Eloise (2012) and Olive (2014).
We love cheering for the Kentucky Wildcats and Atlanta Braves, traveling to the mountains, having dance parties in our living room, and enjoying Saturday morning family breakfast.
Durham means many things to us: amazing food, diverse culture, incredible music, Pelican’s sno-balls, our struggle with infertility, but also the birth of our first daughter. Ultimately, the people in Durham, the community we grew to love and who loved us in return, are what make this place special to us. Durham is so much more than a city; it’s a family.
Getting to know Curt:
Some of Curt’s responses to vision and ministry questions posed by the Search Committee:
On His Calling
“God has called me to be a pastor in the local church. I serve the Body of Christ. I desire to help people experience God in genuine and transformative ways. I am called to listen to God and witness to God’s reconciling work by partnering with God & others in the restoration of God’s good world.”
On His Hallmarks of Ministry
- I loved, stood with, and cared for the poor, hungry, and oppressed.
- I did justice, loved mercy, and walked humbly with God (Micah 6:8) and called others to do likewise.
- My ministry as a Husband and Father was as important to me as my ministry as a Pastor.
“The mission of the church cannot be accomplished by an individual; we must pursue our calling together as the body of Christ in order to bring about real and lasting change in people’s lives and in our community. This type of change will require us to form strong partnerships with one another and with our neighbors (individuals and groups).”
On Incarnational Ministry
“Incarnational ministry recognizes that people’s physical and spiritual needs are connected to one another and cannot be isolated from one another. The church must address a person’s physical hunger for bread, but also their spiritual hunger for the Bread of the world.”
“I believe that with God’s help we can do the amazing things we have been called to do as God’s people. Engaging in mission requires seeing where God is at work in the world and joining God in that work.”
On the Body of Christ
“Each individual has a responsibility for the wellbeing of the community. For the body of Christ to be whole and healthy, each person must live into who they were created by God to be and exercise their particular gifts.”
Background, Process, & FAQs
Why has the Gathering Church sought to hire an Associate Pastor?
In 2016, the Leadership Team decided to create a role description and process to hire an Associate Pastor. An Associate Pastor Search Team (APST) was established in June to lead that process. The ministry of an Associate Pastor was vital to the Gathering Church when Chris Breslin filled that role. In 2014, the Gathering Church sent Chris to plant a Oak Church in Durham.
How did Curt enter the process?
The APST was instructed to pursue Curt as a candidate based on our positive experience when Curt was a part of the first years of the church. Curt and Jenny served as Sunday School teachers, and Curt co-led a Home Group and was a member of the Leadership Team.
What has been the timeline so far?
The APST conducted interviews over the summer and in the Fall of 2016 recommended Curt for the position to the Leadership Team. The 2016 Leadership Team approved the recommendation and passed on its implementation to the 2017 Leadership Team. This Leadership Team will make its final decision on the position after Curt’s visit March 25-26.
If hired, when would the Lowndes family move/when would Curt start?
The proposed start date for Curt would be June 1, 2017. This would allow for the end of the current school year and give them some time to sell their home in Kentucky and secure housing in Durham.
How can I ask questions or provide feedback?
There will be a presentation and dessert social on March 25th at Extraordinary Ventures (200 S Elliot Rd. Chapel Hill, NC 27514) from 6:30-8:30pm. This evening will be a chance to meet and spend time with Curt and other leaders.
For questions, comments and observations the congregation is invited to email the current Leadership Team Chair, Jack Parham at email@example.com.