By now, many of you are aware of my plans to retire from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina on Feb. 28, 2021. I made this announcement during a recent executive committee meeting, and I also shared the details with our convention staff and the full board of directors. Now I share my thoughts with the broader North Carolina Baptist family.
It has been a privilege to work for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina since June 1, 1993. North Carolina Baptists honored me 14 years ago when you asked me to lead the work of this great convention of Baptist churches and associations as the 14th executive director-treasurer.
Over this span of time, we have seen our majestic and holy God do some amazing things as we have cooperated, labored and prayed together. I give all glory and praise to God for what He has chosen to do through us.
In 1976, I resigned from secular work to become a married student at Mars Hill College (now university) after God called me to be a minister of the gospel while Gloria and I lived in Asheville. Throughout my spiritual pilgrimage, God has always given me clear guidance in where He wanted me to serve.
Just as clearly as I sensed God’s leadership to accept the position as your state evangelism director 27 years ago and then to become your executive director in 2006, now He is leading me to retire from this leadership role in February next year.
As I have prayed over a period of several months, searched the scriptures and waited on God to reveal His will to me, I became convinced this move is the right decision for Gloria and me. I have immensely enjoyed my work with you, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead North Carolina Baptists. I make this announcement now to provide ample time for this convention to elect the next executive director-treasurer, perhaps even before I depart.
I am not leaving the ministry when I retire from this position, but it will be different. Following Jesus is not what I do, it is who I am. So I will continue to follow His plan knowing that I will make mistakes along the way, but never forgetting that He is a God of grace and mercy.
I do not intend to pursue full-time employment. Gloria and I look forward to spending more time with our extended family in western North Carolina.
We especially look forward to investing more time with our two grandsons and their parents. We want to invest more time in giving of ourselves to those boys and teaching them truths God taught us when other people invested in us.
Wherever we are, I know there will be Baptist churches that need help and people who need to know Jesus.
Knowing that I am being used by Him is my greatest joy in life.
I am thankful for the work of the pastors, leaders and laity of the churches that make up this convention. I appreciate the encouragement and support you have given me and the prayers you have prayed on behalf of our convention and also for Gloria and me. Serving as your executive director-treasurer is one of the most fulfilling, rewarding and humbling experiences in my vocational career.
I hope you know how much Gloria and I both value and love the Baptist churches and people of this convention. Gloria has faithfully driven thousands upon thousands of miles from Manteo to Murphy as we have worshipped in Baptist churches and associations in all shapes and sizes.
I have always delighted in thanking the people and the pastors for trusting this convention and the Southern Baptist Convention with a portion of their mission dollars. I delight in telling them how their giving to missions through the Cooperative Program is helping reach people with the story of Jesus in North Carolina, North America and in countries around the world.
I wish for you the very best in future years. I pray that individuals and churches will strive to become the strongest force in the history of this convention for reaching people with the message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and help them grow in that eternal relationship.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…. for your fellowship in the gospel” – Philippians 1:3-5.