The search is over at Longboat Island Chapel.
Nearly one year after the resignation of the Rev. Kenneth Gill, the chapel’s board of trustees has voted to accept a search committee’s proposal to hire the Rev. Dr. Vincent Carroll for the position of senior minister.
Carroll has been a guest minister at the chapel for several Sunday services in past months and currently serves as summer pastor at The Little Stone Church on Mackinac Island, Mich. He and his wife, Molly, live in Sarasota.
Carroll served for 27 years in the Navy Chaplain Corps with tours in Vietnam, the Carrier Lexington and Battleship New Jersey, and has also preached at Camp David. He held the post of senior chaplain both for Naval forces in Europe and at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to a news release.
Prior to his military service, he was assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church, in Rochester, Minn.
The congregation is expected to officially vote to accept Carroll for the position at the chapel’s annual meeting Jan. 13, following Sunday services.
Gill served the congregation for 12 years.
He and the chapel’s board reached what was described as a “separation agreement” last January amid a growing schism within the congregation in which some board members had questioned his leadership.
Gill has since formed a congregation, the New Village Chapel, which meets for services in Sarasota.
Following Gill’s resignation, the chapel faced a challenge in searching for a new minister. Because it’s an interfaith congregation, it lacked the formal hierarchy of many denominations.
The congregation consulted with the International Council of Community Churches to determine how to proceed. It formed a nine-member Pastoral Search Committee, which distributed a questionnaire to congregants asking what qualities they sought in a new senior minister.
Responses suggested that members wanted a pastor who would deliver a high-quality sermon each week and also ranked qualities such as leadership and inspiration as high priorities.
Since Gill’s resignation, guest ministers have led Sunday services.