After more than 50 years in ministry, George Bullard, who has been a pastor, church planter and church strategist, among other roles, will retire as executive director of the Columbia Metro Baptist Association in Columbia, South Carolina.
And he looks forward to what God will do next.
With an official retirement date of June 30, Bullard said this summer he will complete 54 years of vocational ministry, having started at age 18 in a part-time church staff position while in college.
He said part of his retirement plans include just settling down with his family.
“My wife and I will also celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary,” he noted. “We wish to spend more time together, with family, to travel and to have a simpler schedule.”
Bullard added that although retirement will bring some calm, he also has plans.
‘Mentoring and writing’
“The theme for my retirement time is ‘forth-telling innovation,’ which I will seek to do through my mentoring and writing,” Bullard explained. “One focus is on Baptist associations and other local denominational dimensions, plus regional and national denominations of less than 500 congregations.
“Many have limited resources and need help in strategically focusing their efforts for Kingdom progress rather than institutionalizing and experiencing diminishing effectiveness.”
Bullard is no stranger to working with churches, and in the last five years at CMBA he has participated in leadership development, church merger discussions, strategic planning and church planting guidance.
Through more than 50 years of ministry Bullard has had many memorable experiences, including the opportunity to travel and get to know Baptist leaders all over the world through missions partnerships; and through 20 years of work with the Baptist World Alliance, through which he has had the opportunity to speak with and coach many leaders.
“[Plus] the time I spent traveling for the former Home Mission Board to the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the USA as the designer and implementer of a strategic emphasis known as Mega Focus Cities, which is the strategy for large urban areas for Southern Baptists for the decade of the 1980s.”
He acknowledged people he’s had the opportunity to meet and minister with.
“I have learned so much from so many,” he noted. “The last 12 months have been tough for me as five of my closest colleagues have died. While they were all older than me, it still affects me to think about the fragility of life.
“This is part of what makes me feel good about retiring and focusing on ministry at a different pace that will allow for more family time.”
Bullard said he has clearly seen God’s hand in his ministry over the years.
“I experienced God’s voice guiding every step of my ministry,” he recalled. “Every vocational move of my ministry was because of what I needed to learn to better serve as part of God’s empowering of the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment.
“Moves also took me to places where I needed to contribute what I was learning so the ministry of many could be more vital and vibrant. God has allowed me the opportunity to train many people in areas of church planting, congregational revitalization and the ministry of Baptist associations and state conventions.”
As June 30 approaches, Bullard said his desire is that God continue to make an impact through him.
“I want to provide mentoring through conversations with people in various stages of ministry to help them leap forward in their ministry excellence,” he explained. “Also, I want to write several books — seven is my goal — to share what I have learned over my decades of ministry that can be helpful and inspiring to others.”
He already has written several books including “FaithSoaring Churches” and “Every Congregation Needs a Little Conflict.”