Just two months after his controversial firing from his lead pastor role at the multi-campus Crossroads Christian Church in Indiana, Patrick Garcia re-emerged amid a standing ovation Sunday as the lead pastor of The Hills Church, created by former Crossroads leaders and members.
“Thank you so much. It is such an honor to be here. It is an honor to be a part of this family. And it doesn’t go without saying that we stand on the shoulders of so many of you including Rick and Dave and Darryl who took steps of faith early on to start this thing and so we’ve got to give credit where credit is due. And so thank you for stepping out in faith guys,” Garcia, 31, said to applause at the church Sunday.
In August, after dissension erupted at Crossroads Christian Church among members and leaders over Garcia’s firing, elders accused him of being an inexperienced power-hungry leader who wanted “complete control.”
In an interview with The Christian Post Monday, Garcia admitted to having philosophical differences about leadership and purpose with the elders at Crossroads Christian Church.
“When you get down to the heart of it that’s what it was. When you see Paul and Barnabas parting ways in Scripture, the Gospel continued to advance because Paul could be who he was and Barnabas could be who he was. Barnabas was very much an encourager. He was someone who was maybe more emotionally driven and was more sensitive to the people’s needs whereas Paul, he had some of that but his focus and purpose was different and that was an aggressive mission to turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ,” he said.
“Am I an inexperienced leader? To a degree. Yeah. I mean I’m 31 years old. I was working with guys on the Crossroads board who had been elder longer than I’ve been alive. So sure that statement is true but for leaders to get better, leaders have to be learners,” he continued.
“I have never claimed to be a perfect leader. I have made mistakes and I have flaws but I am somebody who is determined to learn from my mistakes and to be self-aware and to surround myself with a team that is smarter than me and has a different set of skillset than I do and that was one thing that really attracted me to The Hills because this is a team that I not only know and I have worked with but we complement each other fairly well and this is a team with a lot of integrity, loyalty; we’ve got each other’s backs,” he said.
In his new role at The Hills Church, Garcia has been reunited with former Crossroads pastor Rick Kyle, who was also fired, and two other pastors, Darryl Marin and David Bowersox, who resigned in protest.
Kyle, Marin and Bowersox are currently listed as teaching pastor, executive pastor of ministries and executive pastor of operations, respectively. The new congregation is now focused on sacrificing “everything” to share the Gospel, according to their mission statement.
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Source: Christian Post