After decades of praying, growing and seeking the Lord’s will, the Worcester (Massachusetts) church joyfully appointed three elders on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.

Originally planned for 2020 but delayed by the pandemic, these appointments mark another milestone in the Worcester Church ’s history, which began in the mid-1980s as a Bible Talk, then grew to a house church and then a region of the Boston Church, before becoming its own congregation in 2003.

As part of its appointment process, the Worcester Church studied out what the Bible says about elders and invited several elders and their wives from the Boston, Freedom Point, Pioneer Valley and Ocean State churches to teach on different aspects of eldership. The lessons highlighted the roles and qualifications of elders, the dynamics of leadership and specific responsibilities of elders. Members were encouraged throughout the process to ask questions and to bring forward any concerns they might have.

Boston Church elder Mark Buchholz led the appointment of lead evangelist Tom Caswell, as well as Gerry Brady and Dr. Chris Charon with elder couples from all over New England in attendance. Their wives, Sydney Caswell, Paula Brady and Michelle Charon were honored as well, and presented with a Bible and flowers.

Mark reminded the church that it is the Holy Spirit who appoints the elders.

“As we allow the Holy Spirit to appoint these men, let us honor God as we honor them,” he said.

To each elder, Mark gave a charge from 1 Peter 5:2: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing.”

“This is a real step forward in the maturing of the Worcester Church,” Tom said. “We are prayerful that we will be appointing more elders in the future as well.”

These appointments bring to fulfillment a 2007 vision that Wyndham Shaw had for Worcester, when he counseled Tom to appoint men to the church’s leadership team who could one day become elders.

“The Worcester Church is so grateful for all of the support from the New England family of churches,” Tom said. “All of them have played a vital role in helping the Worcester Church get to this historic day.”