Transitions Are His Specialty

Terry Shanahan has navigated many transitions during his career and he quickly smiles when he recounts God’s faithfulness through them all.

Terry was born in Michigan and raised in Florida. He then attended college in Colorado and New Hampshire which led to a career in sales management. In mid-life, he was called to full-time ministry and graduated from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Then, as an ordained minister in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC), he served as pastor in churches in Nottingham and Rye, New Hampshire.

Now, after fifteen years serving as the CCCC Northeast Regional Pastor, Terry is transitioning to retirement in October.

In his role as Northeast Regional Pastor, he has overseen 108 churches in New England. Eighteen of those churches are over 300 years old and still preaching the Gospel. In the past two years, Terry has guided twenty-seven churches through the difficulty of pastoral transition. Change is never easy. On average, new pastor searches take about fifteen months and require a lot of prayerful listening before offering guidance.

Terry also sits on the Board of Directors for Vision New England, IPM Interim Ministries, and Overseed. For thirteen years, he shared his insights, regional perspective, and connections with the Overseed team, helping to shape this revitalization ministry to meet the evolving needs of pastors across New England.

In his role with CCCC leadership, Terry is part of the Conference Care Committee that supports pastors and churches that are struggling. Their goal is to restore pastors to ministry and offer preventative care before it’s too late and clergy step away from ministry all together. He said, “we want to be in pastors’ lives to offer guidance before they burnout.”

Terry is committed to fostering community pastor groups and ensuring that all pastors have a mentor. Pastoring can be lonely and belonging to a like-minded group of minsters is life-giving. Terry has assisted regional fellowships for CCCC pastors across New England and organizes pastor/spouse retreats to connect couples serving in ministry. He understands from experience the need to spur on one another.

Overseed Field Director and retired CCCC senior pastor Jack Daniel commented “I always respected Terry for his shepherd’s heart. He knew the pastors in his jurisdiction and cared for them. I’m sure his days and weeks were filled with a steady stream of Pastor/Church problems, but he never seemed rattled or discouraged. He has a big capacity for handling the stress and chaos of church dynamics and always remains calm in the storm, and this has a calming effect on those around him. I will certainly miss him, and I wish him God’s blessing in retirement.”

Terry said he “appreciates the ways Overseed coaches come alongside pastors, often in ways that haven’t been accomplished elsewhere.” He applauds the intentionality of the pastor cohorts focused on helping pastors and churches thrive. He said “everyone talks about revitalization, but Overseed put flesh on it. Overseed has a strategy to accomplish revitalization!”

He has been married to Karlotta for 50 years. In their retirement, they hope to spend more time with their two children and granddaughter. As they transition to retirement, they want balance in work, leisure, and servanthood. Terry wants to continue encouraging young pastors and, at age 76 plans to continue hosting a pastor group at his home. He is “energized by encouraging others, shepherding them through seasons of change and transition. It’s life-giving!”

Overseed President Jim Harrell said “Terry has been such a blessing to Overseed! His wisdom, experience, kingdom mindset, and love for Jesus have made us a better organization. We will miss his insight on the Board, but thankfully, he is only a phone call away.”

close slider

    Sign up for our newsletter

    We promise not to spam you!

    Are you a Pastor: