North Central Ohio District Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, January 21, 2018

District Superintendent Transition Process




It is with great joy that we announce the appointment of Rev. Wendell D. Brown as the fifth district superintendent for the North Central Ohio District Church of the Nazarene.

Rev. Brown comes to us having been a senior pastor at 3 growing churches varying in size from 20 to 1,000; every church he pastored has more than doubled in size under his leadership. He currently serves as lead pastor of Heritage Church of the Nazarene (South Central Ohio District) with campuses in Circleville, Waverly, and a newly opened campus in Chillicothe. Under his leadership Heritage has grown from a church of 440 to a church of 1,000 in morning worship attendance. More importantly God has used Heritage Church to reach over 1,800 people to have a first time relationship with Jesus Christ over the last 8 years and many others to experience heart holiness as they surrender to Christ. 

Rev. Brown previously served at Jason Chapel (MidSouth District) and Huntsville Calvary (Alabama North District). Rev. Brown was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 2003 on the Alabama North District, and has over 22 years’ experience in ministry as a youth pastor and senior pastor. He is married to Tammi and they have four children: Emma, Abigail, Grace and Christian. 

Regarding the appointment, Rev. Brown stated, “Throughout the years, North Central Ohio has been blessed with tremendous district leadership and fantastic pastors. It is truly a blessing to have an opportunity to serve with such talented and committed people. We believe that God has put us together ‘for a time such as this’ and are trusting that He will lead us to reach the lost with His love. We have both an immense responsibility and an exciting opportunity to share His love with the world. May God give us wisdom for the task at hand and use each of our 63 churches in 22 counties to share His love with the world. I look forward to meeting each of you and laboring with you to bring glory to God. I am excited to be a part NCO’s rich history.”


Rev. Brown will transition to this new assignment on September 18th. Details regarding the transition will be communicated to pastors/churches on the district. The North Central Ohio District Advisory Committee thanks you for your patience and prayers during this process and implores you to pray for the Brown family in the days ahead. If you wish to contact Rev. Brown, his district email address is (set to activate September 1).



Update as of July 20, 2017

The District Advisory Committee (DAC) received this update from Dr. Graves on 7/20/17:

I felt checked to move on from Pastor Barber so let the matter 'rest' for a week. On Wednesday, I contacted Sam to see if he had received any prodding from the Lord towards NCO. Unfortunately for the people of Ohio, the answer was a confirmation of their call to Lenexa and their congregation there. Pastor Sam asked me to again thank the NCO district for their faith and confidence in he and Jill and asked that everyone pray for them and their ministry.

I have placed some calls to some others as a result of my meeting with the DAC and further discussions with my brethren after the close of assembly. I have yet heard back from all. I do feel certain that within the next two weeks an interview can be arranged with a candidate. (My schedule has me in West Virginia the week of July 31-August 3.) Please continue to pray for me, the BGS, your DAC and the one the Lord is preparing to be of service to your fine district.

Thanks again for the love and hospitality you showed Sharon and I during assembly. We loved reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.

 We will continue to send updates as they are available.  Please continue to pray on each 5th (5th, 15th, 25th) for our fifth DS!


Update as of May 15, 2017

The District Advisory Council met May 11th and made significant progress in our deliberations concerning the upcoming District Superintendent election to be held at District Assembly this coming July. The Lord was present in our discussion and we are grateful for your ongoing prayers and the overarching unity He allowed us to achieve. Our next meeting will June 2nd.


Update as of April 26, 2017

On Thursday, April 20th, the North Central Ohio District Advisory Committee (DAC) met with Dr. Bob Broadbooks, regional director for USA/Canada, to review nominations for our next district superintendent.

This, as you can imagine, was no easy task. We began the meeting with a concentrated prayer time;  this has become our custom as a DAC and helps to clear our minds and to seek God's direction. Dr. Broadbooks read to us the district profile drafted in February with input from various district group meetings and surveys. He presented us with information containing each nominee's background, experience and endorsements from those who had nominated him or her. We then took time to read and pray again. After some hours of discussion, voting, paring and more discussion, the DAC arrived at a list of candidates to send on to the Board of General Superintendents (BGS) for their review and approval. As with any nomination committee, the broader level of the BGS's experience and perspective will help guide us to find the Lord's new shepherd for this district.

On May 11th, the DAC will convene again to further discuss our nominees. We covet your prayers. As you know, we have called for the fifth day of each month to be a day set aside for concentrated prayer for our fifth district superintendent. This could not be more timely in the months of May and June.  

Thank you in advance,

NCO District Advisory Committee


Update as of March 27, 2017

It's been awhile since we updated you on the search process for our new district pastor but your District Advisory Committee (DAC) has been hard at work. No doubt you've seen some of those results: the job and district profile documents we sent our in February as a result of the material we gathered in January; we met on February 23rd and agreed to send out the call for nominations on March 3rd; we met again on March 15th and devoted the majority of that meeting to prayer -  What a difference that prayer meeting made...and... glory to God!

The nomination period ended last Friday, March 23rd. For the next several weeks, the USA/Canada Regional Office at the Global Ministry Center in Lenexa will be collecting information on all nominated individuals. Dr. Bob Broadbooks, regional director for USA/Canada, continues to give us helpful guidance under the direction of Dr. David Graves, our jurisdictional general superintendent. They continue to stress this is the district's decision...ultimately God's of course; Dr. Graves and Dr. Broadbooks have been very supportive.

The DAC will next meet on April 20th to verify each candidate and match their qualifications against our profile; that continues to be our act as a nominating committee for our assembly.

In a letter we received, an individual wrote, "I did want to take the opportunity to thank the committee for this outstanding work. I freely confess that my great fear was as we entered into this selection process we would forget we were the Body of Christ and chose instead to use a business model to do our work. I was extremely encouraged at the Wooster area gathering to see both an administrative AND prayer component to the selection process." This letter went on to say, "the five descriptors of the district superintendent are EXCELLENT!! They are Christian descriptors that parallel the lifestyle of the Great Shepherd. I'm constantly reminded of a statement by one of my seminary professors...Jesus is a shepherd, not a herdsman...He leads instead of drives."

Please continue to join your DAC in prayer as we seek to identify our new shepherd.

Lenten blessing on you and your church,

District Advisory Committee 


Update as of March 2, 2017

The District Advisory Council (DAC) of the North Central Ohio District Church of the Nazarene would like to announce a call for nominations for the position of District Superintendent. Our current district pastor, Steve Ward, is retiring from the position at our July assembly. He and Thais will be deeply missed; his humble servant leadership has produced ten quality years of service to our district. We salute them and thank them both of the years of commitment to the NCO district.

Click here for two documents:

1.            The profile of our district that was developed through a variety of means. We held three area focus group meetings composed of 89 people representing 31 churches, an online survey of our district pastors both active and retired with 55 responses, and a survey sent to all church board secretaries for discussion during their January board meetings which produced 104 responses from 26 churches. 

2.            Additionally, the DAC utilized the responses to build a position profile to be used as nominations are reviewed.

All nominations will be screened and vetted for adherence to both the position profile and the Board of General Superintendents' directive that we search for one 'whose ministerial record demonstrates an emphasis on growth, missional effectiveness, evidence of denominational loyalty and fiscal responsibility.'

Logic tells us the wider we cast our net, the stronger the possibility exists we will gather more candidates. We believe the Lord is already preparing our next district leader for us. It is our prayer, and one we certainly hope you'll join us in praying, that this process will bring us together in His divine will, providence, and timing.

Please submit all nominations by March 24, with a brief explanation as to why you are nominating this person, to Austin Swallow at

Blessings to you and yours during this Lenten season,

District Advisory Committee


Update as of January 24, 2017

Pastors and Church Board Secretaries:

The search committee for our new district pastor desires to keep the district informed on our progress. Please pass this information on to all interested parties. It will also be posted on the district website and our prayer Facebook page.

The District Advisory Committee (DAC) has adopted the following timeline:

January            Input Gathering

February          Profile for candidate and SWOT document written and approved by DAC

                        Call for nominations

March              DAC meeting to consider nominations

April                DAC meeting to consider candidates to interview

May                 Candidate conversations

June                 DAC meeting to consider finalists for position

July 10th          Assembly to vote to hear DAC recommendation

We thank everyone who participated at one of the three area focus group meetings conducted at Wooster, Bedford and Bucyrus. There were 42 churches represented and just over 100 people attended. We also thank the church boards who took the time at their January meetings to discuss the qualities they would like to see in a new district pastor. Furthermore, we appreciate laity and ministers who have taken the time to fill out surveys.

The District Pastor Search Process Committee will review all feedback and compile a one page profile reflecting the characteristics and qualities desired in our new leader. The committee will also use the gathered information to develop a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for our candidates. Once these documents are approved by the DAC, an announcement for the position will be posted (target date of February 24).

The committee continues to be in conversation with Dr. Bob Broadbooks, regional coordinator for USA/Canada who is our liaison and guide in this process. He reminded us the district leadership remains 'in charge' of the process. Nominations are open to all...both on our district and off. It is the DAC's charge and challenge to consider each nomination, verify the candidates and narrow down the list according to our profile.

Please continue to pray the Lord will direct us all to the fifth district pastor for the North Central Ohio district. If you have any comments or questions, we'd love to hear them.

District Pastor Search Process Committee

Deb Heller, Craig Lamos, Mike Legg, Ernie Ley and Austin Swallow





December 15, 2016


Our District Pastor Steve Ward will be retiring at assembly in July 2017.  Per Manual, the District Advisory Committee (DAC) is working with denominational leadership to ensure a smooth transition and election of a new district superintendent. 


We value your prayers and encourage you to mark the 5th of each month as a day of prayer for our 5th DS.


As we move forward in this process, we are seeking as much input from ministers and church leaders as possible.  We sincerely desire to involve the district family and are committed to an open process. To that end, we hope you will complete this short survey to assess our district:


We are also hosting area meetings for pastors, staff, and church leaders to receive input and facilitate the transition.  You are invited to attend. Meetings will be held:

Saturday, January, 7, at Wooster Church

Saturday, January, 14, 9:30-11:00am at Bedford Church, 365 Center Rd., Bedford, OH

Saturday, January, 14, 9:30-11:00am at Bucyrus Church, 2165 St. Rt. 4, Bucyrus, OH


Thank you for your involvement and prayers.


District Pastor Transition Process Team

(Deb Heller, Craig Lamos, Mike Legg, Ernie Ley, Austin Swallow)









This preliminary survey was sent to Pastors and Church Board Secretaries 12/7/2016

Church leaders and members, click here for a hard copy.

Pastors and Pastoral Staff, please complete this online version: this will allow us to differentiate feedback from ministers and laity. Thank you.)