Dr. Tony Wolfe Named SCBaptist Executive Director-Treasurer-Elect
Dr. Tony Wolfe was approved as the next Executive Director-Treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention by messengers to a special called meeting held Monday, March 20, at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia. His work will begin as Executive Director-Treasurer-Elect on April 1, ahead of the official retirement of current Executive Director-Treasurer Dr. Gary Hollingsworth, effective April 30, 2023. Regional opportunities were provided for SC Baptist church leaders and members to meet Dr. Wolfe and his family ahead of the special called meeting.
Saying the search committee was “100 percent unified” in their recommendation, Chair Ian Geimer told messengers the group conducted a rigorous selection process that included interviewing Executive Director-Treasurers from around the country regarding their work, and strategic planning that revealed “the best of the best” in applicants and candidates for consideration. Geimer said the committee’s work led them to five finalists, and interviews with them continued as late as January 2023.
“Dr. Tony Wolfe emerged as the front-runner for this position. We believe his qualifications begin with his love for Jesus,” Geimer said. “This love is best exemplified through his dedication as a godly husband and father, his humble nature, and an unrelenting desire to only go where God calls him.”
Additionally, Geimer acknowledged God’s guiding of the committee to Dr. Wolfe as the candidate-elect. “I stand here on behalf of your search committee and with great confidence that God is calling Dr. Tony Wolfe as your next Executive Director-Treasurer of South Carolina.”
Dr. Wolfe agreed, telling messengers that following his first interview with the search committee, he confided to his wife that he was “convinced something special was happening here. I told Vanessa that night that God might be calling us to South Carolina.”
Dr. Wolfe called the convention staff “stellar, the momentum is electric, and the future here is compelling. But I would not be here today, even after all of that, if I was not convinced of God’s call in my life. I firmly believe that God has called us to steward this season together – to reach the lost in South Carolina with the gospel, disciple them in faith, and mobilize them to share.”
Messengers heard Dr. Wolfe’s plan for his first six months to be spent meeting people, asking questions, and working to build trust. “In order to lead you in this position, I need healthy relationships and context to lead moving forward,” he said.
Additionally, Dr. Wolfe shared five priorities that define him, and that will receive his full attention as Executive Director-Treasurer:
1. Fervent prayer. “I am at my best before people when I’m on my knees before God. Prayer is the program, not a part of the program. Let’s call on God to move in us, among us, and through us like He never has before.”
2. Biblical integrity. “I live and lead in wisdom when I’m faithful to God’s word. We don’t have to agree on every interpretation, but we do have to stand committed to the bible’s authority and inerrancy.”
3. Missional priority. “The message is urgent, and time is short. The message of the gospel isn’t complicated, but it’s urgent. God has entrusted 5.3 million South Carolinians and 8 billion image-bearers living around the world to us to share the gospel with.”
4. Everyday excellence. “How I do anything is how I do everything. I want to do all things for the glory of God. Christ is worthy of excellence in my everything.”
5. Cooperative disposition. “I am better when we are together. South Carolina Baptists can show our larger denominational family and the community at large that our general disposition is toward cooperation, not against it. I want to be predisposed toward cooperation, and I pray you’ll join me there in the sweet spot of Great Commission cooperation.”
Dr. Wolfe has been the Associate Executive Director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention since 2017. His more than 23 years of ministry experience also includes serving Southern Baptist churches in Texas and Louisiana as a pastor, interim pastor, worship leader, Christian educator, denominational leader, and pastoral counselor. Dr. Wolfe holds degrees from Lamar University, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently in the final stages of earning a Ph.D. in Evangelism and Missions.
Married since 2001, Dr. Wolfe and his wife Vanessa have two sons. Aaron is a high school junior, and Ethan is a youth pastor in Oklahoma and is engaged to be married this summer.