COLUMBIA, S.C. (BP) – Gary Hollingsworth, Southern Carolina Baptist Convention executive director-treasurer, has announced plans to retire on April 30, 2023. Hollingsworth shared his intentions at the state’s Executive Board meeting on April 26.
“From a ministry perspective, this timing is critical. 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,” Hollingsworth said.
The convention is currently working with the Denominee consulting firm to clarify its mission, vision, strategy and ministry metrics, according to a release from the state convention.
Hollingsworth, 64, said at this point he should “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.”
Citing their desire to be closer to aging parents, children and grandchildren, Hollingsworth said he and his wife, Gwen, made the decision for him to step away.
He says they have no intention of retiring from ministry and look forward to volunteer opportunities. Hollingsworth says he has been active in full-time Christian ministry for 47 years.
Board chair Steve Hogg said the search process will begin immediately. He commended Hollingsworth for his service to the state convention, “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 assumed the role with the state convention in January 2016. He said he plans to finish well, “I pledge to work hard in the next 12 months to do everything possible to ensure the convention is as prepared for a transition of leadership.”