As you might have heard, this past Sunday we announced a strategic addition to the RCC leadership team! Lemanuel (Manny) Williams is joining our team as the Director of Discipleship! As many of you know, we started this search prayerfully a couple of years ago. While there were many great candidates, we didn’t find the guy we believed God was leading us to hire. Rather than hire someone just to hire someone, we opted to continue to prayerfully search. Finally, several months ago, we connected up with Manny and began the process that led us to this announcement.
As Manny makes his transition into the RCC family this summer, we thought it’d be helpful to send a little more info about him.
Who is Manny?
Manny currently lives in Rocky Mount where he is the Director of Operation at Peacemakers, a local non-profit organization. Peacemakers serves an under resourced community with the mission of empowering members of the neighborhood. Through community development and programs members of the community develop the knowledge and skills necessary to lead sustainable and successful lives. Lemanuel’s role is to oversee all community service programs and events, create policy, conduct staff meetings and training, and maintain the maintenance of facility. He also has served as a pastoral intern at Redeemer the past four and a half years. His role as an intern is to oversee the connections and missions area and serve in various pastoral duties (e.g. membership interviews, hospital visits, preaching). Currently, he is a Hunt Scholar at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is finishing his M.Div. When he isn’t working, doing school work, or attending to the needs of the church, he spends his time reading, writing, attempting carpentry, being a music junkie, playing ball (football and basketball), watching NFL (New England Patriots fan) and the NBA (Boston Celtics fan), eating good food (Soul food and Italian are favorites), and enjoying good company and conversation.
How did we hear about Manny?
We heard about Manny in an unlikely way. Manny didn’t reach out to us like so many did. In fact, he didn’t know that we were looking to make this hire. We reached out to him after a casual conversation between Josh Wester, RCC’s director of ministries, and Jed, our lead pastor. Josh and Manny are friends, having served together in the same church in NC. And one night, Josh was telling Jed some good news he was excited about in Manny’s life. After Jed asked Josh about Manny, they both thought that he might be the guy RCC has been looking to hire.
What was the hiring process like?
The process began with several phone interviews, video interviews, personality and strength tests. After getting past this point, we invited him to visit RCC. We had two in person visits. During each of these visits, Manny spent time with the staff, elders, leaders in areas he’d work with primarily, and went to a couple of Redemption groups. Along the way, the leadership reached out to people that knew and served with Manny for their perspective as well. We also went through a number of exercises that required Manny to do things that this role would require. These “case studies” gave us a good chance to see if Manny had skills necessary for the role, not just the resume. Finally, as we evaluated Manny we made sure that he fit the “staff values” that believe are necessary to be a team player at RCC. As we concluded this process, listening to everyone involved, we believe that Manny will be a great fit!
What will he do?
As one of two full-time staff members (the other being the lead pastor), Manny will work closely with Jed and the rest of the staff. As Director of Discipleship, he’ll focus on improving our ability to connect people to Jesus, the church, and his mission. That means he’ll focus primarily on the Connection ministry, Missions ministry, and Pastoral ministry. He’ll also be present to help with the Student leadership team and the wide range of things that come up.
When will he start?
Manny will be present most of the Sundays this summer, starting with this weekend. But he won’t start working full-time until the end of August. Why the delay? He is about to start the most intense program that Peacemakers offers. It is the kind of program that requires a good deal of planning throughout the year and an “all hands on deck” mentality when it arrives. Manny wanted to make sure that he left in a way that didn’t hurt this important ministry. We believe, with him, that this is the right thing to do. Fortunately, he is able to begin the process of engaging with RCC by coming to RCC about 3 weekends a month until he moves here. So there will be great opportunities to connect with him. Also, he’ll preach a couple of times at RCC this summer.
How can you reach him?
How can you best help Manny and RCC with this transition?
Please pray! We believe that the Enemy wants to keep us from taking a kingdom advancing step like this. Please pray with us! Also, please do your best to make him feel welcomed. We want to be a church that feels like home for everyone, so let’s do our best to make that true for him. Finally, if you aren’t serving at RCC, but are willing to jump in, this is a great time as we take these strategic next steps at RCC!