Newly Appointed NextGen Regional Executive Director

Craig Hardinger has been a pastor since 1982, and is currently the Lead Pastor at Arcade Church in Sacramento, CA. He has a heart for all to hear and understand the truth of the gospel. His powerful preaching makes plain the deep truths of God’s word. Craig desires to equip people to become disciple-makers.

 He holds a B.S. from Corban University, an M.Div. from Golden Gate Theological Seminary, as well as a D. Min. from Bakke University. He is also a practicing biblical counselor, certified through ACBC.

 Craig and his lovely wife Debbie have been married since 1981 are the proud parents to Scott and his wife Steph, grandparents to Silas, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first granddaughter. He is an avid cyclist and enjoys reading and roasting coffee in his free time.

Message From David Hong NextGen Board Search Chairman

"Whenever we get to be a part of something where we clearly see God's hand having gone before us, it's fun to be a part of the process.  

 When our NextGen board first heard from David Whitaker that he would be resigning his role as Regional Executive Director to accept the national leadership role for CBAmerica, we were at once excited for David, confident of the strategic guidance he could provide to the national team, but immediately also aware that his would be big shoes to fill in finding our next regional leader.  David's visionary and steady hand at the helm has laid a great foundation for our current health and direction.

 But even as that first announcement settled in, our collective attention turned to Craig Hardinger, president of our board and lead pastor of Arcade Church in Sacramento.  With Craig's deep involvement in the leadership of our region and his "boots on the ground" role as lead pastor of Arcade, we immediately sensed that God had prepared Craig for our need of a regional director.  With one voice we asked Craig to prayerfully consider taking on our region's leadership.

 Over the next few weeks, Craig had the opportunity to pray with his wife, Debbie, confer with his church elder team and take a realistic look at what the new responsibilities would require.  All of this with an eye to God's leading,  so when the board extended an official call for Craig to come on as our executive director, Craig gave us the thumbs up (with humble acknowledgement), and we gratefully welcomed him, recognizing God's preparation and involvement all along the way.  What a delight to be involved where we have seen God's good hand going ahead to prepare the way!

On behalf of your regional NextGen board as search team chairman, I'm excited to commend Craig Hardinger to you as our next Executive Regional Director.  Let's stand with him in prayer and partnership to see what God may be pleased to do as we together continue to work for the glory of Jesus and the advancement of His church in our Northern California/Nevada region.

 With thanksgiving,

Dave Hong
NextGen Board Search Chairman

Letter From David Whitaker

Dear NextGen Family,

 It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter. After having served over eight years as the Executive Director of NextGen Churches (DBA, Conservative Baptist Association of Northern California), I have officially offered my resignation as your Regional Executive Director (RED) to the NextGen board.

 The reason for this decision is that at the recent meeting of the CBAmerica Board, January 29-30, held in Laguna Beach, CA, I was offered, and I accepted their appointment to be the President of CBAmerica, overseeing its nine regions, effective immediately. With the blessing of the elders of Morgan Hill Bible Church, I will continue as their lead pastor, but will need to step down from my role as the RED of NextGen for this new role.

 This is a new position for CBAmerica described as follows: “In recognition of the covenantal commitment of CBA, the President shall serve the member networks, facilitating national vision, coordinating and managing the network of national resources and services; he shall be a part of the selection process for any new Executive Director of a member network; he shall facilitate the expansion of CBA into more networks.” I will also serve on each region’s board as a voting member.

 This new opportunity was communicated to the NextGen board in our January meeting, ahead of my appointment by CBA. The NG board set up a search team and today has appointed Dr. Craig Hardinger, lead pastor at Arcade Church in Sacramento, as the new Regional Executive Director for NextGen. I’m excited for NextGen, because I believe Craig will continue to build on and expand the work of our NextGen community in Northern California and Nevada. There will be a time of transition over the next few months, but Craig will be starting immediately.

 While I look forward to the opportunities of my new role, I’m also somewhat heavy of heart to be stepping down as the RED of NextGen. It has been such a wonderful opportunity and journey and has been an incredible privilege to serve with you. We’ve seen our region go from difficult days to now beginning to mature into health. We’ve seen churches planted, a leadership development partnership with Western, and relationships between pastors and churches developed. We are even seeing a new auditorium being built at Silver Spur, as the camp is making good strides to standing on its own.

 None of this could have happened without the staff, board and pastors who have prayed, given guidance and supported me over these years. I take heart in the fact that in my new role, I will continue to serve along with you as a member of the board as well as working directly with your new RED. I believe the best days for NextGen are still in its future. I’m so thankful for the trust you put in me and am honored to have served along with you, over these eight years.

 May the Lord richly bless you as you continue to “empower churches and their leaders to discover and achieve their God given mission.”


Dr. David Whitaker

Regional Executive Director, NextGen