Succession FAQ's


In the spring of 2016, The Creek began the process of searching for our next lead pastor. Since that time, we’ve seen God move in incredible ways and we’d like to share some of the details of the journey.

To begin, we thank God, who has led, blessed, and ordained this process. We thank Him for bringing Dan and Keren Hamel to our church, for revealing His plan with incredible clarity, and for knitting the elders, staff, and people of the Creek together throughout this entire process.

Succession Timeline

April 2016
The Creek began an extensive, nationwide search for our next lead pastor (See the search page to learn about the criteria and process for selecting the candidate)

February 2017
Dan Hamel accepted the position.

April 2017
Dan and his wife, Keren, moved to Indianapolis.

May 2017
Dan joined our staff and began building relationships and assuming leadership and preaching responsibilities.

April 2018
Gary announced the official date of succession—April 28, 2019.

May 2018
Dan was affirmed as an elder.

September 2018
Dan has assumed lead pastor responsibility for the staff.

January 1, 2019
Dan has assumed lead pastor responsibilities for The Creek.

April 28, 2019
Gary resigned and Dan has become the new lead pastor. Watch the celebration of that transition.


This process and timeline has been developed for many reasons:

  • To allow Dan ample opportunity to develop relationships within the church.

  • To allow the people of the church plenty of time to get to know their new lead pastor.

  • To allow for the gradual transition of both leadership and preaching responsibilities in order to maintain unity and consistency as a church.

  • To allow Gary and Dan to deepen in their relationship and for Gary to impart wisdom and mentorship to Dan.


How will this transition affect The Creek?

Like with any transition, some change is inevitable. But our commitment as a church to be a transforming community that engages the lost, makes disciples, and shows compassion will stay the same. We will continue to love God and love people and do everything we can to bring honor and glory to Jesus. This deliberate succession process was developed and implemented specifically to make the transition as smooth, seamless, and relational as possible. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us below.


Gary and Dan discuss the timeline for succession as it stands April 2018.

What will Gary do when the transition is complete?

After the transition of leadership on April 28, 2019, Gary will become the executive director of E2: Effective Elders, a non-profit ministry devoted to the equipping of Elders across the country and around the world, which Gary co-founded several years ago. Gary and Leah will continue to worship at The Creek and will both continue to serve in volunteer roles. For more details, watch this video.






Do you have a question about succession? We'd love to hear it.

Name *