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Search for new rector at St. Paul’s to start soon

The search committee to find a new rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church should form in the next few weeks.

Bill Gamble, senior warden for the church, said it is too early to tell where the committee might start looking for a replacement.

Gamble is responsible for putting the committee together and said once candidates are named, their identities will remain confidential. Gamble himself won’t know.

“It’s wide open. I wouldn’t want to exclude someone anywhere in the country,” Gamble said.

The Diocese of Alabama has recommended a consultant from Birmingham to provide the church with help in the process.

The new rector will replace the Rev. Polk Van Zandt, who left St. Paul’s in November after eight years with the church. Diocese policy dictates a new rector cannot be named sooner than a year.

The church will complete a parish profile before the search begins. Members of the congregation will have the opportunity to share their ideas about their goals and needs. The committee will use that information to key in on candidates.

Gamble doesn’t anticipate any dramatic changes in terms of the personality the parishioners will want to lead St. Paul’s.

“The makeup of the church is somewhat different,” Gamble said. “I don’t want to pre-judge what the members of the church might say, but I think they might want to keep on doing what we’ve been doing.”