top of page


Succession Announcement

On May 21, 2023, Pastor McKenzie announced Pastor Ephraim as his successor and they both shared the very interesting, God-ordained journey that brought them to this point.

Succession Update

On May 21, 2023, Pastor McKenzie and Pastor Ephraim gave an update on some of the things being considered and worked on.

3.10.24 Succession Update.png

We plan to have another in person meeting where questions can be asked. Until then we have provided answers to some key questions below. You can also feel free to submit a question now for us to answer directly, live or add to the FAQs below. 

  • Why is Pastor McKenzie transitioning?
    During the summer and late fall of 2022, through various life situations and a lot of prayer, God began to make clear to Pastor and Sister Sherren that his time as Lead Pastor was ending. It has become abundantly clear that the grace to serve in this capacity is lifting, and the time to consider transition is now.
  • How was Pastor McKenzie’s successor chosen?
    As the McKenzies began to pray about what Pastor Mac was experiencing, and feeling like it may be time for him to step down, they sought the council and professional aid of two separate people. Neither of them knew Ephraim, but both talked to them about the consideration of him being Pastor Mac’s successor. In the first consultation, though it was no reflection of the respect he had for Ephraim's ministry capability, Pastor was generally dismissive of the idea. However, by the second conversation a month or so later, something unlocked. While on his own journey, little did Pastor Mac know that God had been walking Ephraim into this same realization using a separate group of people and circumstances. So he and Shani were a bit surprised when Sister Sherren and Pastor Mac approached them to talk about it, as it confirmed what they had been sensing. Following conversation and much prayer about what they should do next, the McKenzies had conversations with the Elders, Executive Committee, and even received counsel from Godly leaders outside of Unity. Each step or conversation confirmed that God had chosen Pastor Ephraim as the successor. Now it was simply up to them to follow the direction that He had made clear.
  • What about Pastor Vernon? Was he considered?
    Pastor Vernon was a vital part of confirming that God has selected Pastor Ephraim as the next Lead Pastor. Although Pastor Mac and Sister Sherren had a strong sense of what the Lord was saying, they could not move forward without first speaking with the Davises. So as a fleece, they asked Pastor Vernon if he had a desire to become Lead Pastor if the position became available. Before Pastor Mac could even complete the sentence, Pastor Vernon interrupted with a resounding “No!” He had been praying through how to talk to Pastor Mac about some direction he felt from God. He explained that, though he plans to continue in ministry at Unity, the Lord is also leading him and Sister Kim into some other things to create Kingdom impact. He added that the 15 to 20 year vision God has requires someone from the next generation. Upon hearing what God was showing the McKenzies, he was elated and confirmed that he also believed that Pastor Ephraim is that person.
  • Was Pastor Ephraim selected because he is Pastor McKenzie's son?
    No. Even though Pastor McKenzie and Sister Sherren have been blessed by the skill, ministry capacity, heart to serve and passion for God that Ephraim has shown, neither of them had thought of him in this way until the two consultations mentioned in question. They believe that from the circumstances surrounding Ephraim's birth, to the 15 years he spent away and his return to State College, God knew what He wanted. He has been working His plan to lead Unity to this moment and beyond.
  • When is the succession happening?
    No date has been set yet, but it could possibly be as soon as the next 12-18 months. (answered Fall 2023)
  • What is being done to make this a successful transition?
    This is the first time our church is getting the opportunity to make the succession journey purpose and in favorable conditions. So, along with sharing with the Elders, Executive Committee, and seeking council from local church leaders, we have enlisted the help of an expert leader from outside of the area. He is a man of high character with many years in pastoral ministry, oversight over churches internationally, and experience in helping churches through the succession process. He is walking with our leaders through the process of transition and providing guidance in the creation of the succession plan.
  • What do Pastor Mac and Sister Sherren plan to do after the succession - at Unity or otherwise?
    They are praying about the next chapter of their lives and service to God. They consider Unity their home and want to be available to serve in any way that Lord would have Pastor Ephraim to ask. Their greatest hope is to be able to spend more meaningful time together enjoying the Lord and each other.
  • Pastor Ephraim will become Lead Pastor, will Shani have an official title or role?
    Shani, or Sister Shani. Although Shani will walk and serve alongside Pastor Ephraim as he leads Unity, she will not step into any “official” role. She also does not prefer the term “first lady.” Instead of inferring a title, Ephraim & Shani prefer any title or position be grown into organically, over time, as the Lord reveals. While they definitely understand titles may get expressed out of endearment, ie. “pastor Shani” “lady Shani,” Shani will not have an official title. So, for now, Shani or Sister Shani is just fine.
  • What will become of the Executive Pastor position currently filled by Pastor Ephraim?
    This is one of the things being considered within the succession process. This will be decided with input from the Executive Committee and Elders. Once things are finalized, the way forward will be reflected on this page and communicated to the congregation.

Click the question or the arrow to see the answer

We plan to have another in person meeting where questions can be asked. Until then, feel free to submit your question and we will do our best to answer it directly, live or add to the FAQs. 

Succession Announcement

On May 21, 2023, Pastor McKenzie announced Pastor Ephraim as his successor and they both shared the very interesting, God-ordained journey that brought them to this point.

bottom of page