Dale Thackrah’s New Ministry Opportunity

August 24, 2017  |  Luke Simmons

In case you missed our announcement Sunday, here’s some important news you’ll want to read…

It is with a mixture of personal sadness and deep gratitude for his faithful ministry that I’m writing to let you know that Dale Thackrah has accepted a new pastoral calling at Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert.

Redeemer is a special church to me and the Gateway family, as is their Lead Pastor, Jon Benzinger. Jon and Dale have been good friends for about nine years, and Dale was a significant factor in Jon coming to Redemption Gateway, where he participated in our pastoral residency program, preached a number of times, served as an Exodus Group leader, and led our young adult ministry.

About three years ago, a struggling church came to our elders asking for help and we joyfully released Jon to serve as their interim pastor. He did an excellent job and was asked to stay as the Lead Pastor. Under Jon’s leadership, that church was “re-planted” as Redeemer and has grown from around 85 people to nearly 400 in less than three years. Redeemer now needs additional pastoral leadership and, naturally, Jon thought of his good friend Dale.

After significant prayer and discussion with Shawna, as well as seeking my input on the opportunity, Dale accepted Redeemer’s invitation to serve as their Executive Pastor. His last Sunday at Gateway will be September 10, when we will pray together as a congregation and send Dale and Shawna in this new calling. If you want, please bring a note of encouragement on that day.

As you know personally, Dale is a strong leader and a gifted counselor. He’s discerning, wise, biblically sound, courageous, and fiercely loyal to those in his ministry.

I’m personally quite sad that he will not be in my life as much as he has over the last six years, as I like him a lot and have grown through his friendship and pastoral influence. At the same time, I know that God moves people to accomplish his purposes (as we’ve seen by studying Acts), and I’m confident that the experiences and culture Dale has experienced at Gateway will be a tremendous blessing to the people of Redeemer. I’ve also been on the receiving end of strong leaders being released to join my pastoral team, and I embrace the opportunity to now be sending.

Dale and Seth Troutt (Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries) are working diligently to transition Dale’s responsibilities and active counseling relationships.

Seth and I are working closely together, with input from Dale, the pastors, and elders, to formulate longer-term plans for the ministries Dale has overseen. Please know that we remain strongly committed to providing gospel-centered biblical counseling, holistic care to hurting people, and environments where people can experience greater freedom in Jesus.

Thank you for your partnership with our church, your love and support of Dale, and your commitment to the glory of Jesus.

Because the Tomb is Empty,

Luke Simmons
Lead Pastor