Cameron McGill, president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), told the Biblical Recorder he will not run for a second term when the convention meets in November.
BSC file photo
Cameron McGill, center, Joel Stephens, left, and J.D. Grant, right, have announced their plans for this year’s officer elections for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
“This convention has been very, very good to me. I love what we are doing in this state,” he said. “But there is a time to run and a time to go home. It’s time to go home. This is what I must do.”
The president, as well as other convention officers, are elected each year for a one-year term, but are eligible to serve one additional year, if elected by the messengers at the annual meeting.
McGill, who served one year as second vice president and two years as first vice president, said, “I love being the president of this convention. I love the convention’s leadership and direction. It is an honor to preach in churches and associations.
“Everything within me wants to finish what I started [with a second term], but I feel I have finished,” he said. “I was elected for one term.”
Emphasizing there is “nothing wrong” and no problems that led to this decision, McGill said the priority of his family and the demands of serving two churches led him to decline serving another year as president.
“Two of my four children are rising seniors – one in high school, one in college – and there is so much I would miss,” he added.
He said a lot of prayer, as well as the counsel of his wife and close friends, confirmed his decision to not serve a second term.
For 17 years McGill has served as pastor of Dublin First Baptist Church. On April 20, 2014, the church launched a second campus at White Lake, called The Lake Church.
White Lake is a resort community 17 miles from Dublin. After meeting in temporary facilities for three years, the church is in the process of building a permanent worship facility. He preaches in both locations each Sunday.
McGill and his wife, Tiffany, want to remain actively involved with North Carolina Baptists. He previously served two terms on the BSC’s board of directors. Tiffany is currently serving on the board of directors and serves on many BSC mission partnership teams including New York and Moldova.
Stephens seeks second term in office
Joel Stephens, first vice president of BSC, told the Biblical Recorder he will not seek the office of president, but will continue to serve in his current role, if elected.
In 2017 Stephens was called to serve as pastor of Wakefield Central Baptist Church in Zebulon. He previously served as pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in Westfield for 15 years.
Rick Speas, pastor of Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, will place Stephens before the convention again this year. Speas said he was “very honored” to nominate Stephens last year and honored to do it again this November.
“Joel has served North Carolina Baptists with excellence and distinction as the second vice president for two years and as our first vice president over the past year,” Speas said.
“Joel is a man who is deeply committed to the Lord Jesus, to the Word of God and to prayer. He is a servant leader with a Kingdom vision.”
Stephens served on BSC’s board of directors from 2007-2010. He is a founding faculty member of the Roma Bible Institute, a school established by N.C. pastors to train Roma pastors in Hungary, Romania and Ukraine. His previous church, Westfield, gives 11 percent of their budget to missions through the Cooperative Program (CP). The church where he now serves, Wakefield Central, gave more than 10 percent through CP last year.
Stephens received his master of divinity and a doctor of ministry degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He served a term on the BSC Board of Directors, the executive committee and chaired the Committee on Convention Meetings.
When asked if he plans to run for president in the future, Stephens said, “My desire is to continue to serve the convention for another year as vice president, but at this time and at this season in my life and ministry, with the responsibilities of a new church and my commitment to my wife and four children, I do not feel I can give the presidency the adequate time and commitment it deserves.
“I am absolutely committed to helping the convention in any way I can. I am 100 percent in support of the leadership of the convention, the vision of the convention, the direction of the convention. I want to lend whatever aid I can supply, and whatever is most beneficial for the convention and ultimately for the Kingdom.”
Grant will seek second term
James Dillard “J.D.” Grant was elected second vice president of BSC at last November’s annual meeting after an unannounced nomination from the floor. He told the Biblical Recorder he plans to seek a second term this year.
Grant is pastor of Scotts Creek Baptist Church in Sylva. The church designates 10 percent of its annual budget to missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program.
He is a graduate of Fruitland Baptist Bible College and Western Carolina University. He holds a master of divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Grant served in a variety of roles at Fruitland including professor, vice president of academic affairs and vice president of development before retiring in 2014. He continues to serve as a part-time professor.
Grant has served on the Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Committees and as a trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources. He and his wife, Judy, have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Perry Brindley, director of missions for Buncombe Baptist Association, nominated Grant last year and plans to nominate him again in November.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – What are you looking for in a BSC president? What qualifications do you think are important to consider? Let us know. Email [email protected].)