Hickory Grove pastor retires
Hickory Grove Baptist Church
November 22, 2010

Hickory Grove pastor retires

Hickory Grove pastor retires
Hickory Grove Baptist Church
November 22, 2010

CHARLOTTE — Joe B. Brown,

pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church for 26 years, announced on Sunday,

November 21 that he will step aside from all duties as senior pastor at Hickory

Grove Baptist Church on December 31, 2010.

“Under God’s leadership and

guidance, I have come to realize it is time for me to step away from my beloved

Hickory Grove Baptist Church” Brown said, “However, let me be clear, this is

not a retirement from the calling God has placed on my life to preach the

gospel of Jesus Christ. If I may use an old naval term, it is a redeployment to

different ports of call where I will continue to faithfully deposit His

precious cargo.”

Brown recalls moving to

Charlotte to begin his ministry at Hickory Grove in 1984, “The Charlotte

skyline loomed large on the horizon as we came up I-77 that Saturday night, and

I knew my life was changed forever.”

Joe Brown

Under Brown’s leadership,

the church expanded its membership from 2,155 in 1984 to 16,827 in 2010, making

Hickory Grove Baptist Church one of the largest Southern Baptist churches in

the Carolinas, baptizing upwards of 8,000 since 1984.

The ministerial staff grew

from four full time ministers in 1984 to 25 current full time ministers as of

November 2010. The church entered into four building campaigns that expanded

the church facilities to more than 120 acres and 600,000 square feet

encompassing all three of its campuses that provide seven Sunday morning

worship services.

Brown’s evangelical passion

manifested into an award winning television ministry, “Challenge for Living,”

from 1991-2010; opened the doors of Hickory Grove Baptist Christian School in

the Fall of 1995 that has a current enrollment of 985 K-12 students for the

2010-2011 academic year; and pioneered Hickory Grove’s multi-campus initiative

opening the church’s North Campus in 1995 and its Latin American Campus in

1998, which is currently one of the largest Latin American Baptist

congregations in the state of North Carolina.

Brown’s plans include

spending time with family, including his four grandchildren, traveling the

world through missions, and guest speaking in various church pulpits.

“With me

I take memories of miracles, of which many of you have been a part” Brown says,

“You will always be in my heart and my prayer is for God’s continued blessing

on your lives, and Hickory Grove Baptist Church.”

Clint Pressley was called as

co-pastor in February. Pressley will fulfill all pulpit responsibilities at the

main and north campuses.

For more information and to

watch a video by Brown, visit DiscoverHickoryGrove.org.