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MEET THE SHEPHERD STAFF TEAM

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GREG ALLEN

PRESIDENT

EXECUTIVE SEARCH CONSULTANT

Greg Allen is the President of The Shepherd’s Staff, a retained executive search firm based in Texas that helps churches attract, engage and select key staff members and while helping pastors across the country more successfully connect with churches as they navigate their ministry careers.

He and his team have facilitated hundreds of staff searches while interacting with thousands of pastors in the process over the last seventeen years. Greg has particular expertise in coaching for more effective interviews, and he has a heart to help leaders as they explore possibilities for ministry employment.

Greg’s search background includes training and success with the largest executive search firm in Dallas. His church background includes several years as a part-time worship pastor and an elder in a local church. He and his wife Marla love spending time with their large family of seven kids and four grandkids.

BRIAN CODAY

SR. VICE PRESIDENT

SR. SEARCH CONSULTANT

Brian is a 30 year ministry veteran that has served churches in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Delaware. While most of his ministry involvement has been as an active Student Ministry Pastor, he has also had the title/responsibilities of Associate Pastor, Pastor of Assimilation, Executive Pastor, and Intentional Interim Pastor. Many of these situations were dual roles while he was a Student Ministry Pastor – Brian has always enjoyed staying very busy and wearing many ‘hats’!

 

Brian served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the National Network of Youth Ministries for 6 years and coordinated nearly 250 youth ministry network gatherings in a densely populated 8-state region. He was also a mentor/coach with LEAD222.

 

Brian’s wide range of experience has allowed him to help many churches discover exceptional candidates for their staff team. He is able to quickly determine the unique ‘DNA’ of both client churches and potential candidates.

Brian and his wife, Jill, are now empty-nesting near family in their new location in Nashville, TN.

Greg Bowlus

SR. SEARCH CONSULTANT

 

Greg grew up in Tampa, Florida in a Christian home where his dad was a Minister of Music and professional gospel musician. He has served in full time worship and music ministry in the local church for over 30 years. Over that time he has served in congregations of 50 to several thousand and of varying denominations and nondenominational churches as well.
 
Greg had his first introduction to a church staffing firm and the process in 2003 when contacted about a position that they were recruiting for. Not long after this, he met Greg Allen, President of our firm, when he called him about a different opportunity. Over the course of the next decade, he and Greg Allen continued to stay in touch and eventually they began a conversation about him joining The Shepherd’s Staff team. In the fall of 2011, Greg found himself at a crossroad and reached out to Greg Allen in the hopes that he would find clarity in his decision to continue serving the local church, and if so, in what capacity he might do so. By the Fall of 2013, he began working as a Search Consultant with our firm and married his wife Shelly.
 
Greg and Shelly reside in Florence, SC where they are largely empty nesting. They love to travel and spend time with family. They enjoy doing anything and everything together.
 
Greg is grateful to be serving in his sweet spot, and he looks forward to assisting churches and staff discover and thrive in theirs as well.

Ryan Cook

SEARCH CONSULTANT

Ryan has been a part of church life for over 30 years. Whether it was attending as a child with his family, serving and participating as a teenager, volunteering as a student and young adult, or serving full-time on a church staff for 16 years. He brings a wealth and variety of experience to the Shepherd’s Staff team. Growing up in Houston, TX, Ryan also spent time in Oklahoma and Colorado, being a part of a wide range of churches.

 

In Texas, Ryan has spent the last 13 years serving on 2 large church staffs as a Student Pastor. Most recently, he has invested 3 years as a Campus Pastor launching a multi-site location. As a youth pastor, his experience includes multiple churches with extremely large student ministries.

 

Ryan’s experience in hiring and leading teams, as well as his passion for the local church, add significant value to his role with Shepherd’s Staff. His heart is to partner with churches across the country to discover the best possible candidates for their teams and communities.

 

Ryan and his wife, Ashlie, have 3 amazing children all under the age of 10. Life is busy, but this new season of ministry has been great!

MIKE DAVIS

SEARCH CONSULTANT

Mike has over 30 years of ministry experience and loves seeing the Lord use people in special ways. Twenty plus years of his experience was in student ministry in Texas and Alabama. He also pastored a church for ten years in the Houston area.

For the past several years, Mike and his wife Michelle have owned a business and serve in teaching and leading capacity in their local church. Through their involvement in the church’s small group ministry they became great friends with Brian and Jill Coday. Mike and Brian had many conversations about Shepherd Staff and the help that this firm offers. Eventually, they realized it would be a great fit for Mike and he joined the team.

Mike loves to work with wood and ride his motorcycle. Sports are also a passion for him and since his running days have taken a toll on his knees, golf is a great fit now. He loves the outdoors and traveling with his sweetheart. Together he and Michelle have a passion to love people well through business and life.

Sarah Hermanson

SEARCH CONSULTANT

Sarah has 24 years of experience as an executive recruiter and The Shepherd’s Staff is excited to add her expertise to the team.  Sarah has worked with many industries to help them find individuals whom are not just qualified but mostly importantly individuals who will culturally thrive.  She has a strong faith foundation and seeks to build genuine relationships, provide insight and coaching to help churches and individuals follow the Lord’s leading.

 

Sarah and The Shepherd’s Staff met in 2018 when she was an integral part of the search committee for a Lead Pastor search at her home church. Sarah’s recruiting experience and her commitment to the integrity of the search enabled her to fill an important liaison role between The Shepherd’s Staff and her church. As this search successfully came to a close, The Shepherd’s Staff began to consider the idea of Sarah joining the team at some point in the future. Through prayer, discernment, and conversation, the timing became clear in June of 2020.

 

Sarah is active in her church participating in prayer groups, women’s ministry, worship team and community outreach initiatives.  Sarah is married to Scott and they have 5 kids – Riley (24), Reese (18), Max (18), Zach (16) and Makala (15). They are active in their family’s pumpkin farm, enjoy fishing and being outdoors and traveling to new destinations.

JUSTIN LANDIS

SEARCH CONSULTANT

Justin has over 15 years experience serving on different ministry teams in various church positions. He has served in both lay and vocational leadership. Justin has experienced many different levels of ministry leadership from church maintenance, to co-leading a church as the primary teaching pastor. Over the past 10 years Justin’s focus in ministry has been Worship and Youth Ministries.
 
Justin is a musician, an author, and has led a group of adults and students through an 18 month film development process. This process culminated in a Dove approved, nationally distributed full length feature film titled “Two Steps from Hope.” Of which, Justin acted as the Producer, Screenplay Writer, and Editor. Currently, Justin is mentoring other pastors in the area, and assisting area churches in Worship Ministry and Pulpit fill.
Justin’s many experiences give him the ability to relate to different aspects of the ministry, as well as interpret and understand multiple viewpoints of church leadership. He uses his experiences to help create stories that encapsulate the ideas of others and communicate them to the public in creative and passionate ways. Justin enjoys the company of others, and has a heart to use his gifts to create environments where Ministry leaders can thrive.
Justin and his bride, Brittney have three children, and enjoy spending time together doing outdoor activities. Justin and his family currently live in the small town of Berne, Indiana, and enjoy the simplicity of small town living.

Buck Webb

SEARCH CONSULTANT

Buck has more than 25 years of hands-on ministry experience serving churches in Washington, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, and Iowa. They have ranged in size from fifty to several thousand. His primary responsibilities and roles have been in Next Gen Ministry serving students, children, and parents but has been a part of multiple executive teams. He has a passion for small groups and helping churches determine and develop systems and structures.
 
Buck’s broad experiences allow him to understand a variety of contexts and settings that are unique to each church. Having lead and hired staffed in growing churches, he brings years of expertise in helping churches and candidates find the right fit.
 
Buck and his wife Beth have four amazing kids and are in the process of adopting two more. They currently reside in the Des Monies area and love to watch college football (Go Hogs!).

search associates

BYRON BURNS

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Byron has been in church ministry for over 20 years and brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience to our team. He received his B.A. in Music and Worship Arts from Hope University in Fullerton, CA. Byron then spent some time traveling as a Christian artist and performed with numerous musicians, worship leaders, and groups, such as Paul Baloche, Tommy Walker, Larnelle Harris, Maranatha Music, Promise Keepers, and Gospel Music workshops.

In time, Byron’s love for worship leading and church ministry drew him into full-time pastoral leadership. He has served in numerous churches of differing denominations, sizes, and cultures and has been instrumental in helping churches across the county grow and expand their ministries. He has also coached and mentored many leaders within the sphere of worship, tech and creative arts. This experience has uniquely positioned him with the ability to understand the needs of the local church as well as assist candidates in finding an exceptional ministry fit.

 

Byron has been married to his beautiful wife Brenda for 21 wonderful years and has two beautifully talented daughters, Anya and Alexis. They currently attend and serve their local church in Akron, Oh.

Joe Camp

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Joe has more than 10 years of hands-on ministry experience serving churches in Ohio and Iowa. They have ranged in size from one hundred to a couple thousand. His primary responsibilities and roles have been in Student Ministry serving students, Campus Pastor, and currently Teaching Pastor at theStone Church in Manchester, Iowa. He has a passion to see everyone empowered and equipped for the work of the Gospel.
 
Joe’s leadership experiences and education allow him to understand a variety of contexts that are unique to the organizational needs of the church. Having lead and hired staffing in growing churches, he brings years of experience in helping churches and candidates understand the importance of healthy church culture.
 
Joe and his wife Michelle have two amazing kids. They currently reside in the Manchester area and love to watch college football, especially THE Ohio State University.

WADE COLLIER

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Wade is a native Texan with 15 years of ministry experience. From  working for one of the largest churches in the nation, as well as serving a  key role in a re-plant of a church from the ground up, he has experienced  all seasons and growth points of churches. 

Throughout his time on church staff, Wade has lead Student, Mission and  Recreation Ministries, overseen administrative and pastoral staff, headed  up multiple staffing initiatives and overseen building projects and  contracts. Having been fully immersed in all aspects of the church,  partnered with his deep love for the local church, allow him a thorough  understanding of how to meet the need of filling leadership positions.  

Wade, his wife, Sally and their two children (& two rowdy boxers!) live  outside of Houston, where their life is full of sports, camping, road trips, all  things Texas A&M and movie nights. Wade serves his local church as a  Lay Pastor, student ministry volunteer and adult small group leader.


Douglas Hallam

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Douglas grew up in church ministry in a family of pastors and ministers. He knows church life from the inside out having always been around church staff. Douglas has a 24 year career in church ministry as member on staff at churches in deep east Texas, the DFW metroplex, and the Austin, Texas, suburb of Round Rock.

He has experience in almost every area of staff leadership including Children’s & Student ministries, worship ministry, communications, adult discipleship, administration, and executive leadership.

Most recently, Douglas held a staff position in Round Rock at a 15-year-old church plant where he was the founding Worship and Communications Pastor and transitioned along with the growing congregation to become the Executive Pastor as the church grew. Douglas grew the church leadership; recruiting and hiring many of the near 20 team members on staff. In addition to ministry background, Douglas is experienced in church planting, fundraising campaigns, building projects, finance, and operational strategy.

Douglas is married to his amazing wife, Darin, and the two have four wonderful children ages 8 to 16: Kinsey, Taggart, Chord, and Topher. 

GAIL KERSTETTER

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Gail comes to the Shepherds Staff with over 40 years of music ministry experience.
She grew up in a small church where great importance was placed on music and was allowed to participate in “big church” at a very young age. She began putting groups together in her early teens, writing and arranging songs for them.
Her love for the church and Christian music was the calling behind securing a Sacred Music degree.
She has traveled in several trios full time throughout her career in Itinerate concert ministries crossing many denominations.
She has served as worship leader and director at several churches with graded music programs in PA, NC, CA, AL and SC.
In 2012, she began a music ministry with a collegiate team to the military; specifically those going through basic training at bases in the southeast. This ministry expanded to ministering to our deployed troops and their families in Germany and Italy in 2015 and 2017.
She and her husband love to travel, try new foods and vacation in warm places with palm trees and crashing waves!

Bo Patterson

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Bo has over 15 years of church experience working at three of the largest churches in America. After graduating from Baylor University with a Bachelors in Management and Marketing, he began work at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX.

Prestonwood is Bo’s “home” church and he grew up there for 30 years. He led the Young Singles and College Ministry for 6 years before moving into other age-graded ministries. Bo also helped develop Prestonwood’s curriculum, oversaw their membership process, and helped oversee church-wide projects.

Bo continued exploring how the church could reach more people while also seeing each person deepen their love for Christ. He became the Connect Pastor at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, TX and oversaw children, student, and adult ministries of over 2,300 people. During this time, he saw the great need for qualified and excited staff. As he began to oversee more staff he realized how much better ministry was when the right person was in the right spot.

Bo and his family felt the desire to move back to the metroplex and recently they have become a part of the Lakepointe family in Rockwall, Texas. He is the Next Step Pastor and oversees spiritual decisions, baptisms, host teams, and the Next Step membership class. His passion to see the right people in the right spot has grown and so Bo joined the Shepherd Staff team in the Fall of 2020.

Bo and his wife, Carrie, have 2 wonderful children, Zane and Lily. As a family they love playing or watching games, enjoy trying out food all over the metroplex, and having fun to the extreme.

JAKE RHOADS

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

The firstborn of a full-time pastor, Jake’s whole life has been spent in ministry. Having served in several churches in a variety of capacities, he has additionally engaged in multiple leadership opportunities. Through being inundated in the world of the church, Jake has gained a personal and ever-expanding understanding of the way God works through His people. Earning his undergraduate degree at Wheaton College, Jake anxiously awaited a call to full-time ministry like many of his family members. However, when the Lord spoke through Daniel 12, Jake was called to a deeper state of faith and to look beyond his preconceived expectations. Through this, God eventually directed Jake to The Shepherd’s Staff, wherein the union of his background in ministry and vocational interest in consulting and management took place. Having previously used his experiences with Christian organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, Worldview Academy, and Wheaton College, Jake continually strives to learn more about how we as God’s children can live out the faith well. 

Jake is currently an associate for The Shepherd’s Staff, lives in Wheaton, Illinois, and is an attendee of two churches in the Chicagoland area: Wellspring Alliance Church and Chicago Tabernacle. He is a diehard Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs fan, is constantly pursuing a deeper understanding of art that speaks truth, and has developed a newfound love for tennis. 

Josh Sims

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Josh began serving in ministry in Fresno, CA in 2008. Since then, he’s led various ministries including worship, children’s, youth, young adults, and a small church plant in Central Pennsylvania. Currently, he serves as the Youth Pastor at Sent Church in Plano, TX.

 

Josh has 4 years of experience in executive search, with marketplace clients in the industrial automation and engineering space. He’s helped military veterans, college grads, and seasoned professionals continue to move forward in their careers. Josh loves partnering with leaders to provide solutions to some of their biggest talent challenges.

 

What motivates Josh most in life is his love for Jesus, his amazing wife Stefanie, and his 6 marvelous children. Josh believes that his kids are his greatest legacy.

Darrell Whipple

SEARCH ASSOCIATE

Darrell started in Executive Recruiting 17 years ago.  In 2006, when The Shepherd’s Staff was started, he was the first person that was recruited to be part of the team with the two company founders.   

 

Darrell has worked with churches coast to coast in finding the right staff that “fit” their team.   He has been part of searches for churches as diverse as Lakewood Church in Houston, TX to First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.  Darrell is exceptional at making new relationships with candidates and coaching them through the process of “finding God’s will”.  Because Darrell has been an ordained pastor for over 30 years, he is passionate about working with client churches.  

 

Darrell is currently the Executive Pastor at a large multi-site church in Atlanta, GA.  He oversees 2 large campuses and 110 employees.   He is still on staff with The Shepherd’s Staff doing consulting.  

 

Darrell has been married to Dr. Shelly Whipple for 30 years.  They have 6 kids.  The oldest are their birth kids: Mikhalya (25) and McKenna (23).  They also have 4 foster kids they hope to adopt, a boy and girl set of twins that are 3 years old and their two brothers that are twins that are 20 months old.

Central Services

Brittney

MARKETING & RESEARCH

 

Derek

MARKETING TEAM

Jill

MARKETING & RESEARCH TEAM DIRECTOR

MARLA

FINANCE