During a special-called meeting held Tuesday, March 26, the N.C. Baptist Executive Committee unanimously approved recommendations to fill two leadership roles on the state convention staff, helping provide increased support and alignment in key ministry areas.

The Executive Committee (EC) of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s board of directors unanimously approved recommendations to fill two leadership roles on the state convention staff that will help provide increased support and alignment in key ministry areas.

During a special-called meeting held Tuesday, March 26, by video conference, the EC voted to approve Drew Dabbs as discipleship strategist and next generation ministries coordinator and Terry Long as church health and revitalization coordinator. Both positions will be part of the N.C. Baptist Ministry Strategies group, which is led by Brian Upshaw.

Dabbs will join the N.C. Baptist staff after serving on the pastoral team at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi, since 2011. Throughout his tenure at Morrison Heights, Dabbs has worked with college students, first as associate college minister and most recently as the church’s minister to college students since 2014. 

In his new role with the state convention, Dabbs will provide supervision and oversight to N.C. Baptists’ children, student and collegiate ministries, which will align to focus ministry to the next generation. Dabbs will begin his new role on the N.C. Baptist staff on May 13.

Long currently serves as the state convention’s church health and revitalization strategist, a position he’s held since joining the N.C. Baptist staff in April 2020. Prior to joining the state convention, Long served as senior pastor of West Burnsville Baptist Church in western North Carolina, and he has served for more than two decades in vocational ministry overall.

In his new role, Long will provide supervision and oversight to N.C. Baptists’ church revitalization ministry, pastoral leadership and the worship and music ministry. Long will begin his new responsibilities effective April 1.

Convention leaders said the moves will provide increased and enhanced support and alignment for the church revitalization and next-gen ministries as they serve churches, pastors and ministry leaders across the state.

The moves will also allow Upshaw to provide more strategic leadership to the state convention’s overarching missions and ministry efforts. In addition to serving as director of the N.C. Baptist Ministry Strategies group, Upshaw holds a dual role as the state convention’s associate executive director-treasurer.

“This move is strategic not just for the Ministry Strategies group, but also for the overall organization,” said Todd Unzicker, N.C. Baptists’ executive director-treasurer. “This will also free Brian up to help me out more and continue to work with our staff on a day-to-day basis.”

In addition to conducting business between regular meetings of the board of directors as outlined by the state convention’s articles and bylaws, the Executive Committee also acts as the convention’s personnel committee.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the N.C. Baptist board of directors is May 20-21.