NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., June 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On Sunday, June 5, 2022, Jason T. Smith was called to become Pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, in Newport Beach, CA. After an 11-month nation-wide search process, the nine-member St. Andrew's Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) evaluated well over 100 candidates, and unanimously presented Jason T. Smith to the congregation as their selected candidate. After Jason delivered his candidate sermon Sunday morning, a congregational meeting took place and members of the church overwhelmingly voted in favor to call Jason as their new Pastor. Jason T. Smith succeeds Gary J. Watkins, who has served as Transitional Pastor since Chap Clark's retirement from St. Andrew's last fall.
Jason T. Smith comes to St. Andrew's after spending 15 years pastoring the congregation of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he served as a Life Groups Director, Campus Pastor, and Lead Pastor of Direction, and helped develop two church plants and facilitated the leadership teams for six Forest Hill campuses.
Regarding the experience Sunday and the call to St. Andrew's, Jason felt "overwhelmed and overjoyed." He continued, "Today was amazing. This congregation has been one of the most welcoming, gracious, warm places I've ever seen." With a rich, 75-year history, St. Andrew's is known for its hospitality as the Smith family experienced. The church campus is located between two neighborhoods, Ensign Intermediate School and Newport Harbor High School, and many students, families, and individuals of all ages step foot onto the campus to enjoy community and life with one another on a daily basis.
Jason, Jessica, and their three daughters—Savannah, Eden, and Charlotte—look forward to building a new life in Southern California. Jason is excited about two things in particular, "I think what I'm most excited about," he says, "is finding where God has been working through St. Andrew's in the community. You can see evidence of it, and you can see how poised this church is. Getting to discern that together is beyond exciting to Jessica and me." Anticipating a significant change in weather and culture, the second exciting factor for Jason is, "learning how to be a Californian!"
Gary J. Watkins, Transitional Pastor at St. Andrew's, states, "I'm excited for St. Andrew's. God has called Jason, a man with a pastor's heart who loves Jesus, with great experience, to lead the church into the future." In a video message sent to the St. Andrew's congregation and community, Jason says in regards to his start date, "We should be joining you in a couple months, and we're so looking forward to it. We will be praying for you, and ask you to pray for us. We can't wait to start out this very next chapter with you."
For more information on Jason T. Smith and St. Andrew's, visit www.sapres.org, or contact Jon Batarse, 949.574.2291.
About St. Andrew's Church of Newport Beach, CA
St. Andrew's has been in the Newport Beach community for 75 years. St. Andrew's is located at 600 St. Andrews Road, Newport Beach, CA 92663. www.sapres.org 949.574.2291.
View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jason-t-smith-called-as-pastor-of-st-andrews-presbyterian-church-newport-beach-california-301563215.html
SOURCE ST. ANDREW'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH