Say Thank You to Rick & Nancy

Click below to record a 2-minute video to thank Rick and Nancy Shonkwiler for their season of ministry at WOCC over the last 10 years! Just click “Record Video” below and follow the prompts to record from your webcam or phone.


On Sunday November 3, an important announcement was shared with our White Oak family. If you were present you had the opportunity to hear Rick Shonkwiler announce his retirement from full time ministry effective May 31st, 2020. Nearly two years ago Rick approached the elders about his desire to retire sometime in 2020. Rick and the elders began praying, studying, and planning for this transition. Together, Rick and the elders developed a process and time frame based on some shared goals: We desired for Rick to finish strong, we wanted Rick to see Cannonball through its fruition, and we wanted to lay the ground work for the next leader to start strong. We used the process and goals to identify the next senior minister.

We are excited and honored to announce that the elders have called Nathan Hinkle to be our next senior minister. Nathan has served White Oak for the last 17 years, seven years in student ministry and ten years as our Ross campus pastor. We feel God has been uniquely preparing Nathan for his new role as senior minister. Over the years, we have seen him develop strong leadership skills that will serve White Oak well.

If you are like us, you have mixed emotions about this news. We have a sense of excitement for Rick and Nancy as they take this next step in their lives, but also a sense of sadness that our relationship with a good friend, pastor, mentor and brother and sister in Christ will be different. We also have a sense of excitement and anticipation for Nathan’s leadership as senior minister, but at the same time know that our relationship with Nathan and Denise may look a little different. We want you to know we understand and are praying for each of you.

We have included some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with this letter. We hope it answers many of your questions and provides additional information for you to learn more. If you have more questions, please take advantage of the meeting times to discuss them with us. You can also contact us via email at

Over the next several months we will celebrate! We will celebrate Rick and Nancy. We will celebrate Nathan and Denise. But most of all we will celebrate God and all He has done and will do as we continue to jump in and make waves!

Thank you for your partnership,
The WOCC Elders:
Rick Barnett
Josh Feiser
Tom Flischel
Lloyd Hamilton
Bill Haussler
Steve Lane
Fred Mabry
Ed Walton
Dave Wilmore
Mike Wodke

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How did this come about?
In late 2017, Rick Shonkwiler approached the elders about his desire to retire from White Oak Christian Church in 2020. After much reading, discussing, and praying, the elders along with Rick, developed a process and timeframe to help Rick finish strong. Rick will retire from WOCC on May 31, 2020.

How will this transition affect White Oak?
This is a defining moment for Rick and Nathan and the next chapter in the long history of WOCC. As with any transition, some change is inevitable. But our commitment to be a transforming community that engages the lost, makes disciples, and shows compassion will stay the same. We will continue to love God and love people and do everything we can to bring honor and glory to Jesus. This deliberate succession process was developed and implemented specifically to make the transition as smooth, seamless, and relational as possible.

How did the elders determine Nathan Hinkle was the next Senior Minister of WOCC?
The elders and Rick first began by reading, praying, and talking with other churches that have recently had a senior minister retire. We wanted to gather as many “lessons learned” as possible.

We also had robust discussion and more prayer about whether to look outside of WOCC for a new Senior Minister. We ultimately discerned that the next Senior Minister was already on staff – Nathan Hinkle.

The elders met with Nathan and his wife, Denise, multiple times over the course of the last year to discuss this role. After these discussions, the elders were convinced that Nathan has the right experience and the calling to lead WOCC as its next Senior Minister.

What will Rick and Nancy do after?
Rick and Nancy will continue to worship at WOCC, and both will continue to serve in volunteer roles. They may take some time to off to enjoy some travel and adjust, but we look forward to worshiping with them at either Ross or at Colerain very soon.

Rick has a heart for ministry and for the local church. After the transition of leadership at WOCC, Rick will become the part-time Director of the Career Services Initiative for the Center for Church Leadership (CCL), a non-profit ministry devoted to local church leaders, both vocational and volunteer. CCL has its ministry “hub” in Cincinnati.

Will Nathan and Denise and the family move to Colerain?
No. Once Nathan becomes Senior Minister, he, Denise, and the kids will remain in Ross. Because of Nathan’s new responsibilities, he will spend more time at Colerain, but we expect that he and the family will continue to be at the Ross campus most Sundays.

Will Nathan continue to be the Ross Campus Pastor?
No. Being Senior Minister and Campus Pastor is a lot of work for one person. The elders believe there is value in having Campus Pastors allocated and committed to the needs of their community. For that reason, we will be hiring a new Campus Pastor for the Ross campus. The elders are praying about the next Campus Pastor at Ross, taking active steps and asking that you join us in prayer. We hope to announce that person in the very near future.

Will Kevin Smith’s role change as a result of this transition?
No. The elders believe there is value in having Campus Pastors allocated and committed to the needs of their communities. Kevin will continue as the campus pastor at Colerain. We appreciate and look forward to Kevin’s continued leadership.

What happens next?
Six months seems like a long time, but it will go very fast. We are in the process of developing a schedule of events that will be on the church website:

We will keep the website up to date with the transition schedule, the affirmation process, and celebration details for Rick and Nancy and Nathan and Denise. Check the website often. If you do not have access to the internet, or prefer to have copies of the information, please contact the church office at 513-385-0425.

We will update the congregation through the InFocus with Rick and in the program for Sunday worship services. If you do not currently receive the weekly InFocus with Rick, you can sign up at

How does this transition impact CANNONBALL?
This transition does not change the generosity journey we are all on. We are in the final stretch, and now more than ever is the opportunity for each of us to Finish Strong in our CANNONBALL commitment. Through your continued generosity, you can help WOCC be in a strong position of growth as Nathan assumes the Senior Minister role. We look forward to celebrating God’s faithfulness with you in May 2020 at the culmination of Cannonball.

How can we be involved?
First and foremost, please pray. Pray for Rick and Nancy. Pray for Nathan and Denise. Pray for WOCC. Our desire is to follow God’s plans to continue to grow communities where people are becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus.

Plan to join us for celebration events in the spring of 2020 as we honor Rick and Nancy’s long-term commitment and leadership at WOCC. Look for more information on our website as details become more definitive.

What if I have more questions?
We invite you to stop by between or after services on Sunday, November 10 or November 17 to ask questions of our elders. They will be available in room 220 at the Colerain Campus and Room 401 at the Ross campus. You can also contact our current elders by emailing