Brian Hemphill, longtime staff member and the current assistant director of the N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell, will assume the role of the assembly’s director effective June 1.
Rick Holbrook, left, is leaving the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell in Brian Hemphill’s hands. “Brian understands what makes Fort Caswell unique and why it is a special place for North Carolina Baptists,” said Milton A. Hollifield Jr., Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s executive director-treasurer.
The staff change will take place following the retirement of Rick Holbrook, who has served as Caswell’s director for the past 32 years. Holbrook is retiring May 31.
Hemphill’s promotion follows 24 years of full-time service in various roles at Fort Caswell. During his time at Caswell, Hemphill has served as a summer staffer, summer staff coordinator, director of guest services and programs and, most recently, assistant director.
“I am extremely honored and excited to be offered this opportunity,” Hemphill said. “Fort Caswell has been such a special place to me and my entire family. Over the years and through each of my experiences here, one thing has remained true – God works in and through the lives of groups and individuals who come through these gates.”
Caswell has always played a significant role in Hemphill’s life, even before he became a staff member. Hemphill’s father and grandfather both came to Caswell regularly, and Hemphill remembers making his first trip to Caswell with his family as a young boy.
Hemphill has witnessed first-hand how God has moved in his life and the lives of others through Caswell’s ministries. He grew up seeing the lives of the youth in his church transformed after visiting Caswell, and Caswell is where Hemphill answered a call to full-time ministry.
Those experiences with his family, church and staff members have prepared him to follow in Holbrook’s footsteps as director, Hemphill said.
“Rick has been a great mentor and example for me during all my years at Caswell,” Hemphill said. “The joy and passion he has for working in the ministry of Fort Caswell is contagious. He has always been supportive and encouraging of new ideas and programs that has allowed the ministry here to grow.”
John Butler, executive leader for business services at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) whose office oversees Caswell and the BSC’s other camps and conference centers, said Hemphill was a natural choice to succeed Holbrook.
“Brian is passionate about Caswell, and he is more than prepared to take on the task of serving as the assembly’s director,” Butler said. “It is our joy to see Brian continue the work that God has set out for him through this new role.”
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, shared Butler’s sentiments.
“Church leaders who have taken groups to Caswell through the years will recognize Brian’s ability to help create an atmosphere and an environment for God to work in the lives of all who attend ministry events there,” Hollifield said. “Brian understands what makes Fort Caswell unique and why it is a special place for North Carolina Baptists. Brian’s experience in all aspects of Caswell’s operations along with his strong passion for ministry make him well prepared to assume this new leadership role.”
Hemphill is a native of Thomasville, and with his wife, Heather, they have three sons. The Hemphills are active members of Beach Road Baptist Church in Southport.