Planning for the future of LifePoint Church


In 1987, Joe and Tricia Duke, along with several other families, founded LifePoint Church (at the time called Carroll Community Church). Joe has faithfully served as our church’s Senior Pastor for over thirty years. Several years ago, Joe began sensing that another adventure was in his future and that his time at LifePoint would be coming to an end. In a sermon on April 11, 2021, he described some of the details of a three-year succession plan. Joe and the elders of our church are united around the process of finding the next Senior Pastor for our church.

This section of our website is devoted to keeping our church family informed about this transition. Here you’ll find lots of information related to the Sr. Pastor succession process. We’ll update this site as often as we have news to share about this significant and exciting season in the life of our church.

In our first Midweek episode in April 2021, Brad has a conversation with Joe & Tricia about the upcoming transition and what’s next.

Joe’s Succession Plan Announcement

If you missed the church service where Joe shared the details of his succession plan, watch the video to experience not only his words and heart behind this news, but to also see a recorded Zoom meeting of the elders. In that meeting they processed together more of the details of Joe’s departure and our church’s plans for the future.

Latest Updates

  • December 2021

    Wrapped up first-round interviews. Began second-round Zoom interviews with several candidates, conducted by the entire elder team.

  • November 2021

    A group of elders continued conducting first-round Zoom interviews with several candidates.

  • October 2021

    The first round of candidates are vetted through our Bluewater benchmark, with multiple candidates sourced, numerous reach-outs and several conversations. Started first-round Zoom interviews.

  • September 2021

    The Senior Pastor succession search formally begins.

    Introductory letter sent to another round of contacts.

  • June 2021

    LifePoint sends a list of over 300 possible contacts to Bluewater advisory.

    The elders establish a benchmark of qualities we’re looking for in a Sr. Pastor successor.

    Introductory letter sent to the first round of contacts.

  • April 2021

    In a sermon on April 11, Joe announces the details of a three-year succession plan. In our worship service, the elders share their perspectives through a recorded Zoom meeting.

    Joe sends a letter to our church family with information about his future departure and the succession timeline.

    LifePoint enlists the services of Bluewater Advisory to aid in the search.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will this process take?

We anticipate the search process will take up to a year, but we are more interested in finding the best candidate than we are in sticking to a strict timeline. After the new senior pastor is hired, there will be a mentoring process of up to a year where he and Joe will work in tandem.

Who is doing the search?

We’ve partnered with BlueWater Advisory, a recruiting and consulting firm based here in Maryland. Bluewater is currently developing a candidate pool.

What kind of person are you looking for?

The elder team, in conjunction with Bluewater, have developed a metric of specific criteria that strong candidates will possess. These include qualities such as leadership and a fit with LifePoint theology, among others.

What will Joe and Tricia do after LifePoint?

Joe and Tricia’s home, friends, and church family are in Maryland. They have no immediate plans to relocate. Joe will most likely continue ministry through a non-profit he hopes to start. His heartbeat is to see people understand and live out the message of grace. Presently, Joe and Tricia live equal flying and driving distance between their grandchildren who are in Colorado and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

How You Can Be Praying

Here are some things you can pray for:

  • Pray for wisdom for the Joe and the elder team as they navigate this process
  • Pray for the right candidates to be added to the pool
  • Pray for Joe & Tricia as they anticipate the next chapter of their ministry
  • Pray for unity of heart and spirit in the LifePoint family