Matt Metzger Called as Blackhawk’s Next Senior Pastor

It is with great excitement that we share that Matt Metzger has been called to serve as the next Senior Pastor of Blackhawk Church! At the March 8, 2020 congregational meeting, members expressed overwhelming support for this unanimous recommendation by the Elder Board. Matt has now entered into a strategic mentoring process with Pastor Chris Dolson to help ensure a smooth leadership transition, culminating July 1, 2021. We thank God for placing Matt and Rachel in our midst, for preparing them for this moment in time, and for the Lord’s good plans for the future of Blackhawk Church.

After more than 25 years of leadership, Chris Dolson has announced that he will retire from his role as Senior Pastor of Blackhawk Church, effective summer 2021.

Pastor Chris, his wife Becky, and the Elder Board proactively planned his succession over the course of several years. In January 2020, the Elders unanimously recommended to the membership that Matt Metzger, Lead Pastor of Blackhawk Downtown, transition to the role of Senior Pastor.

Chris continues to serve as Senior Pastor in the meantime and has entered into a more strategic mentoring process with Matt to fully prepare for succession. The plan is for Charles Yu to move into the role of Lead Teaching Pastor under Matt’s leadership.
After stepping away for a six month period, Chris will be returning to Blackhawk staff part-time under Matt’s leadership as Pastor Emeritus, working predominantly with the teaching team on the behind the scenes work of putting together series and mentoring younger teachers.

We are grateful to have this time of leadership transition with him. We celebrate his tremendous impact on Blackhawk and Madison and look forward to that continuing in the future. As a church, we embrace a bright future together as we continue to build a community that follows Christ in order to reach our community and the world with Jesus’ love.

A Conversation Between Chris and Matt

Pastor Chris and Matt reflect on ministry together over the years and discuss the leadership transition plan.

A Conversation with Matt and Rachel

Pastor Matt and Rachel share their story, about serving together, and their prayer for Blackhawk’s future.


Prior to the vote, we hosted three Q&A sessions. The goals were to help our church family to learn more about this leadership transition, get to know Pastor Chris and Becky, Pastor Matt and Rachel, and Pastor Charles and Serena better, in addition to answering questions. While these sessions are completed, questions may still be sent by email to communications@blackhawkchurch.org.

You May Be Wondering

How did the decision for this leadership transition come about?

Is there more to the story?

Tell us more about Pastor Matt...

Why a succession plan rather than an external search?

Tell us about the vote...

What is the plan for Downtown?

Tell us about Pastor Charles’ new role…

About Matt Metzger

Matt grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, while his wife Rachel grew up in Madison – attending Blackhawk Church from a very young age. They met at Wheaton College in Illinois, got married at Blackhawk in 1994, and then worked together in youth ministry at Matt’s home church in Ft. Lauderdale. Before moving to Madison, they served for three years at Peak 3, a high adventure ministry in Colorado.

Matt joined the Blackhawk staff in September 2000 as the College and Young Adult Pastor and began his role as Lead Pastor of Blackhawk Downtown in 2010. Matt will enter the role of Senior Pastor in July 2021. Rachel is on staff part time with the Weddings and Marriage Ministry. They enjoy using their gym membership, as well as staying active through doubles beach volleyball, wake surfing, and hiking. Matt and Rachel are both big fans of UW sports. They love spending time with their daughters Hannah and Leah, but also look forward to starting a new adventure together as empty nesters this fall.

About Charles Yu

Charles spent his early childhood in Taiwan and immigrated with his family to Southern California when he was ten. At UC Berkeley, he met his wife Serena and received a B.S. in electrical engineering. As they sojourned in Vancouver, British Columbia, Charles got his Master of Divinity at Regent College and worked as a minister to Chinese-Canadian college students. After moving to Madison in 1997, Charles  began attending Blackhawk and received his Ph.D. in Hebrew and Semitics (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) at UW-Madison.

Before coming on staff with Blackhawk Church, Charles enjoyed a teaching ministry with InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries as a Campus Theologian. Serena currently teaches English in the Madison school district. They have two daughters, Kirstin and Nikki. In his spare time, Charles enjoys reading books on military history and barbecuing in the backyard.

The future is bright at Blackhawk. We honor Pastor Chris’ 25 years of devotion and look forward to God’s continued blessings in the months and years ahead.
For more information, email communications@blackhawkchurch.org.

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