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Executive Board Welcomes Wolfe, Thanks Hollingsworth

Executive Board Welcomes Wolfe, Thanks Hollingsworth

Executive Board Welcomes Wolfe, Thanks Hollingsworth

The Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention met to conduct business and share ministry updates on April 25 in Columbia. Board members welcomed newly-elected Executive Director-Treasurer Dr. Tony Wolfe and celebrated outgoing EDT Dr. Gary Hollingsworth, who officially retires on April 30. In his first address to the board, Wolfe thanked them for serving as messengers of the churches.

“When the churches get the win, Christ gets the glory,” Wolfe said. “What we do in South Carolina is also a biblically-effective model of cooperative ministry.”

Wolfe further invited board members to engage with SC Baptist staff, saying “Our goal is transparency because we want you to have confidence.” He encouraged members to always advocate for churches and advance the gospel in their daily lives because SC Baptists are “uniquely positioned by God to work together to reach our neighbors and the nations for Christ,” Wolfe said.

The board heard a report from Budget, Finance & Audit Committee Chair Talmadge Tobias, who said that annual audits made on the convention and several institutions were clean. He noted that Cooperative Program giving is five percent below giving from this time last year and three percent under budget, and said the committee will continue to monitor giving as it works to finalize the 2024 ministry plan budget.

During the BF&A report, the board also approved a motion to create a scholarship fund to sponsor reduced group travel expenses to Israel for SC Baptist pastors and their wives. A limited number of trips will soon be offered by an outside tour company, and this scholarship will only be available to individuals participating in the tour who have never traveled to the Holy Land. The board affirmed the funding as a reflection of the convention’s commitment to relationship building, and recognizing the experience’s potential to affect a pastor’s impact in the local church.

In other committee news, Kingdom Advancement Committee Chair Doug Mize shared ministry celebrations including Cooperative Program giving stories, ethnic church plants, and updates from associations. Priority Advancement Committee Chair Stephen Cutchins reported that his team continues to move forward with the planning framework and noted areas where God is at work in South Carolina such as through Heart4Schools. Operations Committee Chair Tim Coker announced the approval of fund requests his committee received from five different ministry areas.  

Several ministry partners greeted the board, including North Greenville University President Gene Fant who said while SC Baptist institutions are faced with a variety of “outside voices and unelected regulators,” they are “blessed to be in alignment with the gospel itself that unifies us.” Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries President & CEO Dr. Danny Nicholson reported that the organization is three years into its Decade of Dreams emphasis, is working to secure a Charleston location, and announced a bluegrass festival fundraising event.

The board recognized Charleston Southern University President Dondi Costin, who will become the new president of Liberty University. Costin thanked the board for welcoming him during his time at Charleston Southern and said the convention has “the healthiest, most talented, and educated staff. This has been a joy in all kinds of ways.”

Since beginning her role in January, SC Woman’s Missionary Union Executive Director-Treasurer Jess Archer told board members two additional consultants have joined the WMU staff in their work to “make disciples of Jesus who live on mission.” She thanked the board for their churches’ faithful giving to state missions and support of SC WMU ministries and announced plans for increased social media presence and a new website launch. 

“We define missions as – ‘the work of God through the Church, by which the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared in word and deed to all people in the earth,’” Archer said. “It is a privilege to be in SC Baptist churches to share what SC WMU is about.”

Board members also heard inspiring stories of life change through SC Baptist ministries from Chief Strategic Officer Lee Clamp. “We are in the life-saving and church-advancing business. These stories represent an incredible staff of missionaries that steward moments, map plans for churches to advance, and help pastors climb the mountain God has invited them to climb,” he said.

President Albert Allen invited the board to attend the 2023 Annual Meeting on November 13-14 at Shandon Baptist in Columbia. Under the missional theme “Let’s Go,” Allen said participants will be able to connect with national and international missions partners and join a special focus on reaching Asia-Pacific Rim people groups.

The executive board reconvenes on Oct. 3 in Columbia.

  • Julia Bell

    Julia Bell

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