Introducing Austin Almaguer
From the Pastor Search Team
The Pastor Search Team is pleased to present an overview of our search and introduce the pastoral candidate who emerged from the process. Having received more than 200 resumes for the senior pastor position, we had many good candidates, making it difficult to choose among them. As we gradually narrowed the list – through Skype interviews, listening to sermons online, contacting references, and exploring church and seminary websites – we were left with ten candidates who stood out for us as a possible match for VBC.
Austin Almaguer was one of those ten who stayed on our top-choice list. Through our Skype interviews with him, we found him to be engaging, genuine, and extremely well-prepared for our questions. We liked him a lot! We began to hear, from members of the larger Baptist faith community, that Austin was one of the most promising young pastors in the country. We asked ourselves, “Would he want to come to VBC after being a Pastoral Resident in a much larger downtown church in Dallas?” But Austin continued to be interested in VBC, just as we were interested in him.
In working together for the past year and a half, the Search Team discovered that among the six of us, we hold many different viewpoints and considered that a strength. And so we anticipated and prepared for a difference of opinion when it came to selecting our top candidates. Remarkably, we agreed on the candidates to keep or let go, and even more remarkably, we ALL agreed that out of all the candidates, Austin Almaguer has the most potential and capacity for being the pastoral leader VBC needs at this time. This of course we realized was in fact not remarkable at all, as we felt strongly led by the Holy Spirit throughout this entire process. We acknowledged that it could not have happened the way it did without the Spirit’s presence with us and work through us.
When several of us on the Team visited Austin at his church in Dallas, the sense of connection between us was striking for all present. From that weekend, as we experienced his pastoral presence and ability as a leader and preacher, and in the weeks ahead, when Austin visited with us in Vienna, we became clear about the decision to move forward with our recommendation of Austin Almaguer as our next pastor.
- He has a reputation for being a strong, innovative, and visionary leader.
- He is a gifted preacher who has a solid theological foundation.
- His faith is strong and sure, and his interpretations are relevant to our lives today.
- His pastoral care comes through in the intentional way he listens to everyone who speaks with him.
- He enjoys and connects with people and is excited about the potential of the VBC faith community for being God’s presence in the world.
These are just some of Austin’s outstanding qualities. As for the others, well, you will just have to get to know him for yourself. We think you will be energized by his personality, comforted by his caring presence, and delighted with his preaching.
We are immensely grateful to every one of you who offered prayers for the Search Team during this long and sometimes exhausting process. We could not have accomplished our mission without your prayers, your concern, your input, and your questions. We are humbled by your trust in us to identify this outstanding candidate for you.
We formally recommend, unanimously, the calling of Austin Almaguer to be the next pastor at Vienna Baptist Church.
The VBC Pastor Search Team
Carla Toenniessen, Chair
Ward Kay, Vice Chair
Kira West, Secretary