Gary Hollingsworth, executive director-treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, has announced his plans to retire. He shared the announcement April 26 during the SCBC Executive Board meeting in Columbia.
His official retirement date will be April 30, 2023, The Baptist Courier reported.
“From a ministry perspective, this timing is critical,” Hollingsworth said. “God has assembled an incredible team of men and women who serve on the convention staff. I feel confident they will continue to do the necessary work to see every church advance and every life saturated with the hope of the gospel.”
The SCBC is in the process of clarifying its mission, vision, strategy and ministry metrics through a three-year consult with Denominee, a nationally respected consulting ministry, The Courier reported. As a result, Hollingsworth said he should either “commit to stay another five to 10 years to see this strategy into the next phase or decide this would be the time for a new leader to step in and be a part of that journey from the beginning.”
Hollingsworth and his wife, Gwen, plan to be closer to aging in-laws, children and grandchildren in retirement. After 47 years in full-time ministry, the couple also looks forward to volunteer opportunities with no intention of “retiring from ministry.”
According to the Standing Rules of the SCBC Executive Board, the board chairman is charged with assembling the executive director-treasurer search team consisting of current members of the board. Chairman Steve Hogg will begin this process immediately.
Of Hollingsworth’s service, Hogg said, “You’ve done many good things in your role as leader. Historically, you’ve led us through healing into a place of trust for a positive direction for the future. God has used you in a remarkable way.”
Hollingsworth has served as executive director since Jan. 13, 2016. He came to South Carolina from Arkansas, where he had been serving as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock since 2007. He previously served as senior director of cultural evangelism at the North American Mission Board and as a pastor in Alabama.
“I pledge to work hard in the next 12 months to do everything possible to ensure the convention is prepared for a transition of leadership,” Hollingsworth told board members. “God already knows who that next leader will be.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by South Carolina Baptist Convention communications team and published by The Baptist Courier, news service of the SCBC.