Bayside Baptist Church will be accepting resumes for the position of Senior Pastor through August 5, 2018.

Resumes should be sent to the attention of the Pastor Search Team, 6100 Highway 58, Harrison, TN 37341 or by email to

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Good morning Bayside family. It is so good to be able to worship with you in person this morning.

The PST wanted to bring you up to speed as it seems like forever since we have been able to get together.

We have continued working on our assignment during these times with multiple Zoom meetings to review, discuss, eliminate and dig deeper into various candidates. We have also been able to meet in person the last two weeks.

Our current resume count is 241.
We currently have 5 candidates that we are studying to see if we want to move forward with them.

One concern for us as a team is who would leave their church in the middle of this pandemic.
We have struggled with how hard to pursue anyone at this time because of the nature of what’s happening in churches all across our country.

In addition, we have always included a visit to a candidate’s church as a critical part of our review process and that does not appear possible at this time.

?We will continue the review and due diligence process until such time as the country opens back up. Then, we would plan on moving forward with more intensive investigation, interviews, and perhaps church visits in the near future.

Please continue to pray for us as we seek the man God has for Bayside’s Senior Pastor.

Bayside Baptist Church Pastor Search Team.

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At the beginning of this process we sought counsel from and received training from the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB) and conducted the congregational survey. These have helped guide us as we proceed in the decisions we make. Diligently seeking God’s perfect will is our deepest desire.

We meet almost weekly and we begin each of these meetings with much prayer and Scripture reading, as well as ending the meetings with prayer.

At any point in the process below, for many different reasons, we make the decision to either proceed or not; or the candidate themselves may withdraw their name from consideration. Decisions are only made when there is unity and always agreed upon unanimously. We have
looked at many great candidates and godly men; however, only one of these is God’s choice.
Below are the steps we take and each of these is bathed in prayer and seeking God’s will:

  1. Review the resume
  2. Watch and/or listen to sermons
  3. Send the candidate a questionnaire to complete
  4. Conduct a phone interview
  5. Research the candidate and his current church (i.e., get information from the candidate’s state mission board)
  6. Visit the candidate’s church
  7. Do reference checks
  8. Meet with the candidate and his spouse – both sides have many questions that are asked and many topics that are discussed
  9. Do background checks
  10. Additional meetings as needed with the candidate/spouse to discuss details. Much information about our church and our community has been compiled to share when we get to this point.
  11. Put together a package with advice from the Personnel and Finance Teams
  12. Make an offer
  13. Set up a time for the candidate to come meet with staff, deacons, the congregation and preach on a Sunday morning

After the church votes to call and the candidate accepts, will come much work in preparing our new Senior Pastor and his family, as well as the church, for this transition. We are so grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve on this team and thank you for your continued
prayers, patience and participation, as well as encouragement and support.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

“At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen”. Isaiah 60:22b (NLT)

August 27, 2018

Dear Church Family,

It is an honor to serve our church body during this season of transition. We humbly ask that you continue to join us in seeking the Lord’s guidance as we move forward.

We wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update and share what we have been doing and what will be happening next. Since the time the church elected our team, we have spent a great deal of time in prayer seeking the face of the Lord and asking Him to lead us, to guide our thoughts, and allow us all to be of one heart and one mind in each decision.

  1. We elected officers at our initial meeting and then developed a plan for how to proceed.
  2. In the following weeks, we received training from the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board and began to implement the initial phases of that plan.
  3. We developed a congregational survey that was distributed over the course of a couple of weeks.
  4. Using the data collected from the congregational survey, we created a system for evaluating resumes and sermons.
  5. Then we began praying over each of the 100+ resumes that have been submitted. We have spent many hours studying resumes and watching sermons of the candidates. We have sought guidance from outside sources who have extensive knowledge in these areas.
  6. At this time, we are in the process of narrowing the list of potential candidates until the Lord leads us to which candidate He would have us engage in the next steps of this process. At that time, we will proceed with checking references, further viewing of sermon recordings, and planning an initial meeting with the team.

Please plan to participate in the next step of this process. The Pastor Search Team has planned 24 hours of continual prayer from 6:00 PM on Friday, September 7 thru 6:00 PM on Saturday, September 8. We appreciate your patience over the last few months, as we wait for the Lord to lead us. Psalm 25:5 “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Together in His Service,
Pastor Search Team

May 31, 2018

Dear Church Family,

Thank you for praying for the Pastor Search Team as we begin moving forward in the process of selecting a new pastor. The team has met twice in the last few weeks and began our first meeting with praying together and seeking the Lord’s guidance as we determine what our next steps should be.

We understand the great responsibility that has been entrusted to us by the church and would like to take the opportunity to ask for your suggestions and recommendations regarding the next pastor. We have developed a survey that will help us to better determine what specific characteristics, gifts, skills, etc. we should consider during the selection process. The survey will be available in two different formats, but we ask that you only complete the survey one time – either electronically or on paper. Paper copies of the survey will be available in Small Groups and in both lobby areas beginning this Sunday, June 3, 2018. These surveys may be submitted in your small group or in the collection boxes mounted on the walls throughout the building. The link to the digital version of the survey is available at Please make every effort to complete and submit the survey by Sunday, June 10, 2018.

We as a church family have been challenged with three P’s during this season of transition. Prayer – please continue to pray for the search team, the new pastor and his family, and for our church family to remain faithful to the Lord throughout this season. Patience – please know that we are committed to waiting for the Lord’s timing as we trust Him to lead us through this process. Participation – please prayerfully consider the questions on the survey and use this opportunity to share your thoughts.

Together In His Service,
Pastor Search Team
Gary Behler, Jay Clements, Mike Eidson, Karenn Hall, George Hubbuch, Rick Milliken, Mike Owen, Dana Parker, and Martha Payne

March 8, 2018

Dear Bayside Family,

Thank you for prayerfully considering and nominating your fellow church members to serve on the Pastor Search Team. Nominations will continue to be accepted in the wooden box at the front of the Sanctuary until 8:00 pm on Sunday, March 11, 2018. The deacons have begun the process of contacting all nominees who appear to meet the qualifications which are listed on the nomination forms. Due to the large number of nominees, it has become apparent that the deacons are going to need additional time to meet with and interview each of the willing nominees. For this reason, voting for the Pastor Search Team will need to be postponed until that process can be completed. The names of qualified and willing nominees which will appear on the Pastor Search Team ballot will be published at least one week before the church will vote. Please continue to pray, seeking the Lord’s guidance as for which (7) persons He is leading you to vote.

We have had a couple of small adjustments to the Special Guest Schedule for the next several weeks:

  • Sunday, March 11 AM – John Powers | Sunday, March 11 PM – John Powers
  • Sunday, March 18 AM – John Powers | Sunday, March 18 PM – John Powers
  • Sunday, March 25 AM – Eric Dill Sunday, March 25 PM – Bayside Game Night* *(Look for information about Bayside Game Night in the bulletin and announcement video)
  • Sunday, April 1 AM – Roc Collins Easter – No PM Activities
  • Sunday, April 8 AM – Steve Pearson | Sunday, April 8 PM – Steve Pearson
  • Sunday, April 15 AM – Steve Pearson | Sunday, April 15 PM – Steve Pearson

We greatly appreciate your patience and prayer throughout this season of transition and strongly encourage you to continue praying for the Pastor Search Team, the Deacons, the Personnel Team, the Staff, and our Church Family. If you have not had the opportunity to pick up a Prayer Guide, please pick one up from the counter in the lobby or one of the entrances to the Sanctuary. Each group of people has a list of things that we can pray about as well as Scripture to read so that we can pray God’s Word together.

In His Service,

Deacon Officers and Personnel Team

March 1, 2018

Dear Church Family,

Thank you for continuing to pray for the Deacons, Personnel Team, and Staff. We have developed a Prayer Guide which provides several specific ways to pray for groups and people serving our church through this transition. Each of the ways to pray is accompanied by Scripture. The Prayer Guides will be available at the entrances to the Sanctuary on Sunday morning. Please know that you are always welcome to come and pray in the Sanctuary during office hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the church office.

This Sunday, March 4, 2018, church members will have the opportunity to begin nominating fellow church members to serve on the Pastor Search Team. Please be in prayer, seeking the Lord’s guidance as to whom He would have you nominate to serve in this capacity. Nomination forms will be available at the entrances to the Sanctuary beginning this Sunday morning and should be returned to the wooden box at the front of the Sanctuary no later than 8:00 pm on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

Nomination forms will only be considered if they are: a) completed in full, b) submitted by a church member, and c) that the nominee is also a church member. The active deacons and church staff will investigate the nominees to see if they are qualified and willing to serve. ALL willing and qualified nominees will be placed on the ballot which will be published on Sunday, March 18, 2018 to allow the church body to prayerfully consider for which seven (7) persons the Lord leads you to vote. There will be a Special Called Business Meeting to allow for this vote during the morning services on Sunday, March 25, 2018. The Pastor Search Team will be established on that day.


  • Must be a male or female member of Bayside Baptist Church for a minimum of one year
  • Must be spiritually mature (post High School and at least 18 years of age or older) – respected by those whom they are to serve and having personal integrity
  • Must believe in and adhere to the Church Covenant and Articles of Faith of Bayside Baptist Church
  • Must be active in Small Group and Worship
  • Must be an active giver / regular tither to Bayside Baptist Church
  • Staff members are not eligible to serve but their spouses or other family members would be eligible to serve on the Pastor Search Team
  • Both Deacons and members of the Personnel Team would be eligible to serve on the Pastor Search TeamIn His Service,Bayside Baptist Church Deacons and Personnel Team

February 12, 2017

Dear Church Family,
Thank you for being a part of the Celebration Send-Off for the Stitts Family this past weekend. We know their family thoroughly appreciated the love and support that was shown to them. In his sermon, Pastor Eric gave us three challenges for the days ahead. First, to walk by faith. Bayside has a rich history of moving forward in faith according to 2 Corinthians 5:7. Second, to keep fishing. In Matthew 4, Jesus said to ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ We need to continue to share the gospel and point people to Christ both here in Chattanooga and around the world. Third, to be steadfast. 1 Corinthians 15:58 teaches us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. This is not a season to quit, but rather to continue in the ministry that the Lord has entrusted to us.

The Deacons, Personnel Team, and Ministerial Staff are praying regularly to seek the Lord’s guidance and meeting to discuss plans for leading the church through the process ahead. We wanted to take this opportunity to share the roles of these groups and how they have already begun to work together during this season of transition.

– The Deacons are working toward outlining and clarifying the process of establishing a ‘Pastor Search Team’ as well as working with the personnel team and staff representatives to develop a timeline for this process. This process will be outlined and introduced on Sunday morning, February 25.
– The Personnel Team is currently working to develop a schedule of preaching for the next few months. *Please note that Eric Dill will be preaching for the next two Sundays, February 18 and February 25. Additional information will be announced as it becomes available.
– Ministerial Staff members will continue the day to day functions of the church. They will continue to visit those in the hospital, be available to pray or counsel with members, as well as maintaining the regular ministries of the church.

We ask that you continue to pray for our church in the days ahead. Please pray that our Bayside family will be of one heart and one mind (Acts 4:32). Also, begin seeking the Lord as to who you should nominate to serve as a part of the ‘Pastor Search Team’, and pray for wisdom and discernment for the Deacons, Personnel Team, and Ministerial Staff as well.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday morning for Small Group at 9:00 am followed by Worship at 10:15 am.

In Christ,
Bayside Baptist Church Deacons and Personnel Team

February 7, 2018

Dear Bayside Family,
Many of you were here with us for worship on Sunday morning, February 4, 2018, as Pastor Eric Stitts shared that the Lord has called him to serve as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Daytona Beach Florida. Eric came to Bayside to lead the Student Ministry eighteen years ago and then fourteen years ago, the church voted to call him as our Senior Pastor. We are extremely thankful for the love they have shared with us and eagerly anticipate what God has planned for our church family. Many of you have asked how you can be involved in what happens next.
First, you can pray. Pray for our Staff, Deacons, and the Personnel Team as we continue the ongoing ministries of Bayside and develop plans for the days ahead. Pray for Eric, Amy, John Robert, Emily, Mary Beth, and Matthew as they move to Florida and begin the work that God has for them there. Pray for Mrs. Lillian as she begins the process of preparing to join them in Florida. Pray that the Lord will lead us to the next pastor that He will call to minister here among our church family.
Second, please join us in sharing our love and appreciation with the Stitts Family. We have planned a special Celebration Send-Off on Sunday, February 11, from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm in the Worship Center. We hope that you will take the time to share your memories and how much they mean to you. A special space will be available to leave them cards or gifts that you might wish to bring.
In the coming weeks, you will receive additional mailings that will include specific ways to pray for our church as well as information and updates about the process to begin searching for a new pastor.

In His Service,
Bayside Baptist Church Deacons and Personnel Team