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Leadership Update

Updated on November 30, 2021

Watermark Family,

Throughout the fall, we have shared that, as an Elder team, we have focused on three main priorities:

  1. Strengthening our leadership team
  2. Reengaging our Members in the life and ministry of the church
  3. Equipping our body for a changing world

In a tangible answer to our prayers, God has been kind to provide clarity and alignment for our Elder team regarding several aspects of the leadership team moving forward.

As an Elder team, we have prayerfully decided that Blake Holmes will step into the role of Lead Pastor. Blake will be responsible for leading the staff and church body in carrying out the purpose and values of the church and overseeing the church's ministries.

Blake has been effectively serving in this role for a while, and we are confident he is the man to lead the staff team and ministry teams moving forward. Blake will continue to lead the staff alongside the Dallas Leadership Team.

We also want to provide some clarity around the future of teaching here at Watermark. While Blake will teach on Sundays as part of his role as Lead Pastor, we will have two Teaching Pastors who will share the primary responsibility of teaching. We believe this will allow our body to be encouraged by a variety of voices and gifts.

We have invited John Elmore to serve as one of those Teaching Pastors. John Elmore has served our body faithfully in many capacities this past year, and we are thrilled to see how God continues to use his gifts to sharpen, encourage, and equip our body in the years to come. John will also continue to play a significant role in overseeing many of our Pastoral Care ministries.

We have also invited Timothy “TA” Ateek to join John as a Teaching Pastor. TA has been a friend and partner in ministry for years. He has served as the Executive Director at Breakaway Ministries in College Station, Texas for five years. He is a gifted teacher of God’s Word and we are excited to have him lead with us moving forward.

We are excited for what God has in store for us in 2022 and beyond, and we are so honored to be on this journey with you. We love you, church.

Gratefully,

The Watermark Elders
Todd Anders, Ben Caldwell, Mickey Friedrich, Blake Holmes, Kyle Thompson

FAQ

Who will be Watermark’s Lead Pastor?

On November 28, 2021, The Elder Team announced that Blake Holmes will serve as Watermark’s Lead Pastor. Blake will be responsible for leading the staff and church body in carrying out the purpose and values of the church and overseeing the church's ministries.

Who will teach on Sundays at Watermark?

While Blake will teach on Sundays as part of his role as Lead Pastor, we will have two Teaching Pastors who will share the primary responsibility of teaching. John Elmore and Timothy Ateek will both serve as Teaching Pastors.

What is the plan moving forward with additional Elders?

We are always looking for faithful men to add to our team. To learn more about Watermark’s Elder team and our process for adding Elders, please visit watermark.org/elders.

What is the plan for staff leadership?

Watermark is an Elder-led church. The Elders work alongside a campus leadership team. This has always been the case and will continue to be. We have a great team in place that the Elder team has high confidence and trust in.

How do these transitions align with Watermark’s governance?

Our governance has not changed. Read Watermark’s full governance statement.

What if I have additional questions about the transition?

We encourage you to refer to the statement from the Elders for the most direct information about this leadership transition. Members can reach out to their Community Group Director with additional questions.

Please direct any media inquiries to communications@watermark.org.

Archive of Past Communication

June 4, 2021 Update

Watermark Family,

We have two updates to share as you continue to pray with us as we seek to serve God and one another faithfully in this season.

The Elders have decided that during this season of rest, recovery, and healing, Todd Wagner will not be serving in the role of Elder Emeritus.

We are also grateful to share that Blake Holmes was formally installed as an Elder during services on May 23, 2021.

We are grateful to be on mission with each of you and expectant of all God will continue to do in through His church at Watermark.

Humbly,

Blake Holmes, Kyle Thompson, and Mickey Friedrich
Elders of Watermark Community Church

April 25, 2021 Update

Watermark Family,

On Sunday, April 25 we shared three significant transitions to our leadership team with our church body.

David Leventhal resigned his position as Elder and staff member on March 26. His resignation was due to an erosion of trust in Todd Wagner’s ability to lead in the role of Senior Pastor and Elder. David arrived at this decision in concert with his wife, their family, and their community group.

Separately, in the following weeks, Todd, alongside his wife, Alex, reached the conclusion that the time had come for him to step down as Senior Pastor and Elder. Todd and Alex had been seeking the Lord for over a year to discern what their next step of faithfulness would be, and through conversations with family, friends, fellow Elders and their community, God gave them clarity that now was the time for a transition. Todd submitted his resignation to the Elder team on April 17, and it was accepted on that day.

We believe both men are seeking to be faithful to the Lord and honor one another in this process. At the same time, we land at a different place than David and Todd regarding why we have arrived here. After hundreds of hours of conversations over several months, every member of the Elder team, Elder Emeritus team, and the various community groups involved all affirm these decisions.

Despite a challenging season, David and Todd are at peace with one another and will serve together on the Elder Emeritus team. We are currently processing how each person can best serve the mission in the days ahead.

Church, these last few days have been long and sad as we mourn the loss of serving alongside David and Todd as we once had. Both men have served our God and our church faithfully. However, amidst our grief we have seen clearly that God is sovereignly and providentially at work in the details of these transitions. Tangible evidence of God’s leading is the unity, alignment, and peace He has provided all those involved.

As further evidence that God has gone before us, we had been considering adding Blake Holmes to the Elder team for weeks. Before Todd resigned, we joyfully extended that invitation to Blake, and he is currently in the Elder candidate process.

Please review the video of this announcement and the FAQs below if you desire further clarity. Above all, we ask you to continue to pray for the Elder team and our church as we navigate this next season.

Our mission remains the same – to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus is the head of our church, and we exist for His glory alone (Colossians 1:18). For over 20 years, this has been God’s church, and Todd has been one of the loudest voices to teach us that the church should never be built around any one besides Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:4). We are confident we have the staff team and lay leadership in place to lead us through this next season as we continue our mission to call all people to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

For the last two decades, we have experienced a continual sense of awe at what God is doing through His people at Watermark. Every week, people are being set free from the burden of their sin, finding refuge from the storms of life, healing broken relationships, deepening their understanding of God’s Word, sacrificially giving in a way that glorifies God, and using their gifts to humbly serve others (Acts 2:42-43). We are expectant of all God will continue to do in and through this body.

Humbly,

Kyle Thompson and Mickey Friedrich
Elders of Watermark Community Church

Watch the full message from April 25, 2021