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Gateway’s Pastoral Succession Plan

Succession Timeline

Letters From Our Leaders

Hear from our leaders how God has guided this process.

An Invitation From Our Pastors

Messages From Our Pastors

Message from Karl Schad

Message from Josh Huckabay

Message from Josh Huckabay and Karl Schad

Frequently Asked Questions

Why succession now?

We believe that God has placed this transition on Karl’s heart, and now God has brought the right fit along in His time to take up the mantle Karl has carried. Both Karl and the Elders are in agreement that Josh is the natural successor for Karl, based on his heart for connections and his ability to lead those around him.

Why Josh and Andrea?

Josh demonstrates observable leadership on every level, with volunteers, colleagues, administrators, community leaders, and members. He shepherds with care and authentic investment in our church family — with a desire to honor Christ and help this congregation to fully flourish. We’ve seen him up close and he has modeled Christ in an exceptional fashion.

Will Karl and Carie be leaving Gateway? What will happen to them?

No – the plan calls for a long, thoughtful transition of responsibilities, a sabbatical for the Schads, followed by a new role for Karl at Gateway as the Missions & Outreach Pastor.

What’s happening to the Worship Ministry?

Gateway’s worship ministry is an integral part of our church, and we desire for that ministry to have a successful leadership transition as well. A search for a new worship pastor will begin as soon as possible, and until a new leader is found, Pastor Josh will continue to lead the ministry, with help from guest worship leaders.

What is co-pastoring?

Pastor Karl and Pastor Josh will work through an apprenticeship model to initiate the transition. Karl will serve as the Primary Senior Pastor from Jan–Jun, 2025. Josh will serve as the Primary Senior Pastor from Jul–Dec, with Karl serving as a mentor in the co-pastor role. Beginning in Jan 2026, Pastor Karl will take a 6-month sabbatical and Pastor Josh will be the Senior Pastor. In July 2026, Karl will return and serve as the Outreach Pastor to support the vision and leadership of our new Senior Pastor. 

What is Josh’s favorite pie?

A passion for chocolate pie is a prerequisite for consideration to be the Senior Pastor at Gateway.

What can I do to support the transition?

Review the resources on this transition page for further information. Pray for God’s continued blessing and unity. Attend the town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 30 to share any questions or concerns. Participate in the congregational vote of affirmation, which will open on April 28 and run through May 3. The results will be announced Sunday, May 5.

Where do I go if I have more questions?

Please reach out to Gateway’s Elder Board: Bill Bensinger, Mike Biggs, B.J. Browning, Josh Gillespie, Erik Lohrke, Stephen Ryan, Karl Schad, and Bjorn Thommesen.  

You can reach them by email at:

In addition, the transition advisory team would be happy to talk with you. Transition Team (in addition to the Schads and Huckabays): Jared and Katie Kendrick, Mike and Jenni Biggs, Josh and Kelly Gillespie, Jeremy Cowan.

What Are Our Next Steps?

Keep praying.