As we look to the future, we give thanks for the past, and we root ourselves in the God who not only holds and sustains us, but who invites us to dream new dreams!  

In light of our Senior Pastor Daniel Harrell's news that he will be leaving Colonial to become editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, and knowing that there are many short and longer term recommendations and decisions to be made, the Moderators and the Church council respectfully ask for your prayer for our church and its future.  We will keep you updated with the most recent conversations and decisions on this webpage.  Please check back periodically for more information.

Recent Update:

Senior Minister Process Update

Now that Daniel Harrell has officially concluded his tenure as our Senior Minister, the Council is meeting in January to finalize the next steps in the process for identifying the next Senior Minister. We remain committed to keeping you informed as the process unfolds. 

  • With the pastoral transition underway, we have identified the need for some new positions on our staff. We are thrilled to welcome Christian Collins Winn as our Interim Teaching Minister and Trev Erickson as our Communications Manager as well as 3 part-time positions with Tony Jones as the Confirmation Pastor, Mark Patrick as the Care Pastor, and Paul Bertelson as the Missions Director.
  • One-on-One Ministers will be available in the prayer chapel after the service for prayer. 

Dear Beloved Congregation,

As most of you know, Daniel Harrell, our Senior Pastor, has announced his resignation effective Dec 31, 2019 and on Jan 1st, 2020 will become Editor-in-Chief of Christianity Today, perhaps the most respected brand in Christian media. They will now be blessed with his writing skills, knowledge of theology and love of Jesus. Daniel will work from home and telecommute to CT’s Chicago headquarters until he and Violet move to Chicago in the summer following the end of Violet’s school year. Thankfully, Daniel gave adequate notice of his departure so that we can not only find time to say our loving goodbyes to him and Violet but also begin to plan for a transition to new leadership.

Because we feel we need to keep moving forward and make decisions for the future, your Church Council has decided to transition Staff leadership now to a leader who is currently on Pastoral Staff and will be in place in the coming years as well. With that thought guiding us, Council unanimously voted to name Jeff Lindsay as Acting Lead Minister.

Most recently, Jeff provided needed leadership while Daniel was on extended leave due to the illness and death of his dear wife Dawn. Jeff’s thirty-five year tenure as a Pastor at Colonial, his loving heart and his knowledge of each departmental function made for a very steady hand at the tiller during Daniel’s leave.  With that recent history in mind, and with Daniel’s blessing, Jeff will become Acting Lead Minister effective October 28th, 2019 and he will serve in that role until further notice. In that role he will assume leadership of both the Pastoral and Operations staff of the Church. Daniel will continue to preach through Christmas and will perform other non-administrative pastoral duties as well.  

In closing, our goal as Council has been to be God-honoring in this transition. Therefore, we want to do what is best for you, our wonderful congregation, Daniel and Violet as they begin a new season in their lives and what exemplifies Christian love in the process.

Please stay tuned for additional transition updates as the future events unfold.  You can find the most recent information on our website at

In Christ's love, 

Pat Peterson, Moderator
John Seaberg, Vice-Moderator
The Colonial Church Council