For 50 years, Jim Garlow's call, heart and service have been to the local church, and for the last 23 years, he has served as the senior pastor of Skyline Church.
Pastor Garlow, however, is now answering a call to a national and international focus on governmental ministries and believes that our nation and all nations are poised for a touch from God. He and the church board of Skyline have been discussing and planning this transition for the past three months.
Near the end of this year, Garlow will change roles. He will step aside from the senior pastor role, but he will lead the unique ministries in governmental cities that were begun by Skyline Church in recent years. Skyline Church is setting up a new organization that consolidates these various ministries, to be led by Garlow.
Toward the end of 2018, he will shift his full-time focus to bringing "worship of the Lord and learning from the Word" to such strategic locations as the Capitol building and the various agencies in Washington, D.C. (begun in 2014) and the United Nations in New York City (begun in 2017). Garlow will continue to work with the current Skyline Church team in place in these locations, including pastor Rick Scarborough, who gives local pastoral leadership to the D.C. ministry, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has served as executive director of Skyline's ministry at the United Nations in New York City since the church birthed the ministry last year.
In addition, Garlow, along with his wife, Rosemary Schindler Garlow, will continue to co-sponsor the Bible (Tanakh) study in partnership with a Jewish organization—Israel 365—which was begun earlier this year in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem, led by Member of the Knesset Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who leads the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study. Rosemary has invested deeply in Jewish-Christian relationships, having made 66 trips to Israel, in support of Jewish Holocaust survivors and the Israeli Defense Forces.
Garlow expresses deep love and gratitude for the Skyline Church family that is truly a family to him.
"I cannot tell you how difficult it is to leave pastoral ministry to the people who I so love. They are wonderful! I will miss them so much," Garlow stated.
Pastor Garlow and his wife, Rosemary, will continue to reside most of the time in San Diego, yet New York City, Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem will become "second homes" as they attempt to bring the blessing of God to those who work in high-level political and governmental life.
"Most people go through two or three phases in their lives," Garlow said. "Moses, for example, went through three phases: the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter, a shepherd in the desert and then leading the children of Israel. My life will consist of three phases, as well: a lengthy and extended academic journey, decades of pastoring and now this third and final phase of life in the realm of the governmental. I approach this next phase of ministry with great excitement, having been privileged to encourage 'Word and worship' in governmental locations over the past four years. I am immensely grateful that the congregation of Skyline recognizes the reality of a 'governmental calling.'
"For me, that calling came at a young age. I remember the time, as a 9 year old—on Aug. 13, 1956—when I sensed that a 'governmental anointing' came upon me, although I did not know what to call it until many decades later. The ministries in Washington, D.C., and New York City have been developing and growing in recent months and years. It is so gratifying to bring worship of the Lord and the message of the love of God in these spheres. And it is such a privilege to be part of a group of Jews and Christians who meet in the Knesset in Jerusalem to study the Bible—the Tanakh—together as we learn from a rabbi who is a Member of the Israeli Parliament. What we are all experiencing is so inspiring," said Garlow.
Since the Skyline Church board has been in this process with Garlow for three months, they will be announcing the new candidate for senior pastor of Skyline Church in the coming weeks. Although the candidate's name has not yet been revealed, Garlow said, "The church congregation will be very pleased with the next pastor and will be well cared for. Skyline Church is about to experience some very exciting days."
More detailed announcements regarding the local church pastoral transition, as well as the global governmental ministries, will come in the near future, especially as Skyline Church approaches the date of the transition in late 2018.
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