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Twenty-Two Years Young and Strong

Tom Harris, Executive Director, Interim Pastor Ministries Twenty-two years ago, in 1990, IPM was birthed in the minds and hearts of seven District Leaders of
the Evangelical Free Church. These DSs saw the need for competent interim pastors to solve serious problems in churches before the arrival of a new pastor. One of these DSs was Turner Tallaksen. After praying with his wife Doris, Turner resigned, took early Social Security, and moved to Rogers, Arkansas and began his first interim pastorate. Seven months later four other churches were in need of an interim pastor and asked for Turners services. He then began to recruit other retired pastors and they began serving in interim ministries. The organization continued to expand and, by 1995, IPM had a membership of twenty-three pastors with sixteen men serving churches. After serving in five interim ministries, Turner became the first IPM Executive Director. During this time incorporation papers were filed, 501C3 status was approved, by-laws were written, and the first Board of Directors was chosen. Under Turners leadership the organization grew to over 100 pastors and the home office staff was enlarged with the addition of Rev. Carl Backie as Associate Director in 2002. After directing the organization for 15 years, Turner retired and Dr. Arnold Conrad was selected as the next Executive Director. Under Arnie and Carls leadership, IPM expanded with a new Interim Pastor Training Manual and Event, an annual continuing education Summit for interims and wives and over 140 interims who were in membership. On December 31, 2011, both our Executive Director and Associate Director retired. During 2012, the Board of IPM conducted a national search for a new Executive Director. I heard of the need, sought counsel and submitted my resume. About this time last year, I was selected as the third Executive Director of IPM. It has been a good first 10 months. We have trained 47 pastors at our Introduction to Interim Ministry Orientation. In June we had 90 interims and wives attend our Summit Conference with noted author and church renewal, Dr. David Miles, delivering powerful teachings. This summer we placed 21 interims into churches in 90 days and then about a month ago I had the most pleasant surprise. We stopped to count how many churches we are currently serving and we discovered that we are at an all time high. We currently have 50 interims serving 50 churches. Wow. For this growth, I am thankful. Interim Pastor Ministries is a growing ministry because it is meeting a real need in the body of Christ. There is a growing awareness that the time between pastors is a pivotal time in the life of the church and that the wise stewardship of this time is a golden opportunity for a trained interim to prepare a church for optimal ministry and a bright future. It is also a growing ministry because of a twenty-two year track record, a wonderful Board of Directors and a strong staff of competent, Christ-like and credentialed interim pastors. They are ones who the hands and feet of Interim Pastor Ministries. As we soon enter 2013, I am confidant that our best days are not in the rear view mirror, but in the windshield. I am confidant that God has a bright future for IPM if we will work hard, maintain integrity, depend totally on the Lord and continue to recruit and train fine interim pastors. I anticipate a wonderful 2013! Thank you for your support and prayers as we go forth! IPM IMPACT November, 2012