Executive Director Transition

Sustainable ministry is a relay race.  Time and time again we see this in the Bible.  Moses passed the baton to Joshua, Elijah passed the baton to Elisha, Jesus passed the baton to his disciples, Paul passed the baton to Timothy, and so many more.  Every leader passes the baton to another leader or the ministry dies when they do.

It is with sorrow and joyful anticipation that we at Third Street Education Center have reached the time to pass the baton.  This transition is with sorrow because Walter Strathy will be leaving staff on October 31st.

Here are a few words from Walter:

“The Bible says for every time there is a season.  For the past few months, I have been sensing my season at Third Street was coming to an end.  What an amazing ride it’s been.  It has been such a privilege to be able to witness the hand of God during these past five years.  I can’t even describe my gratitude for the trust you all have bestowed on me to steward this ministry.

I believe the right people are in place to continue to lead God’s mission at Third Street.  I will do everything I can to support a smooth transition and won’t be too far away to pitch in when appropriate.

There is no doubt that the Gospel has the power to transform a generation.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to see that first hand.”

Just like Moses was called by God to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt, Walter was called to the specific purpose of starting this ministry.

Just like Joshua was called to lead the people into the promised land, I have been called to lead Third Street Education Center toward the vision God has given us.

Effective October 1st, I, (Nathan White) am the new Executive Director of Third Street Education Center.  As I step into this new role, I am humbled, excited, nervous, and overwhelmed with a sense of peace and confidence that God called me here to this time and place. 

It is no mistake that 5 years ago on November 1, 2012, Walter started this job and only 2 weeks later, my wife Michal and I closed on a house only four blocks away from the center.  God had called Michal and I to move into the neighborhood before we even knew what was happening at Third Street.  From November 2012 – June 2016, I volunteered at Third Street, and God began to grow my heart for our city, our community, and our people.  In May of 2015, I felt the Lord call me to leave my work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at ECU after replanting the ministry and serving joyfully for 7 years.  In July of 2015, I told my supervisor that I would be leaving staff at the end of the coming school year.  That very same afternoon, I stopped by Third Street and found myself in a conversation with Walter, sharing with him that I would be leaving staff in a year and was asking the Lord if He was calling me to Third Street.  This next moment I remember like it happened 10 minutes ago: Walter looked me in the eye and said, “I think the Holy Spirit is up to something because a week ago I told someone that I needed a replacement soon, someone like Nathan White.”   I almost walked out of the room.  I thought this was something too big for me.  How could I follow in the footsteps of Walter Strathy?

Fast-forward to June 2016.  After a year of confirming that the Lord was calling me here, I started serving as Community Impact Director at Third Street.  A few months later, conversations about me stepping into the role of Executive Director in the future had ramped up.  I remember standing in my kitchen wrestling with the call to this.  I finally told the Lord, “Okay, I will say yes to this, but I really need you to be with me.”  To which the Lord responded with what seemed like a bellowing chuckle, “Nathan, Of course I will be with you!”

Since then I have been drawn to the story of Joshua.  Joshua was a man whom God called to lead in a time of growth for the nation of Israel.  Joshua would lead the Israelites across the Jordan river.  Joshua would lead them to take down the walls of Jericho.  Joshua would go on to defeat a total of 31 kings.  Yet, in the beginning the Lord repeatedly told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous…I will not leave you nor forsake you.”  Sounds a lot like, “Nathan, Of course I will be with you!”

Over the next couple of months, we will be rolling out more communication about my story, Walter’s story, and ultimately God’s story of transforming generations by the power of the Gospel.

Stay tuned.