EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR-TREASURERSEARCH OVERVIEW
The executive director-treasurer search committee has recommended Todd Unzicker as the next leader of the state convention. This page offers information on the full search process.
The search committee tasked with finding the next executive director-treasurer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina announced on March 29 that Todd Unzicker is their recommended candidate. The search committee plans to formally recommend Unzicker to lead North Carolina Baptists in a special called meeting of the board of directors on Friday, April 16 at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro. Read more.
Search Committee Statement
The search committee released the following statement regarding their recommendation of Todd Unzicker as the next executive director-treasurer. Full statement.
Duties of the Executive Director-Treasurer
The executive director-treasurer serves as the chief executive officer of the convention, the chief professional adviser of the convention, the board of directors and its committees, and one of the denomination’s spiritual leaders, providing statewide guidance and inspiration.
The committee developed the following candidate profile which outlined the qualities and characteristics that the next executive director-treasurer should possess.
“The ideal EDT candidate demonstrates faithful commitment to the absolute authority of the Bible, as well as a faithful walk with God that is reflected in his character, integrity, wisdom and prayer habits. His ministry values must exemplify a clear vision for the Great Commission and a record of leadership that will motivate North Carolina Baptists to reach all generations and all ethnicities represented in the state. His commitment to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Cooperative Program and the mission offerings of the SBC and BSCNC must be unquestionable.”
EDT Search Timeline
Baptist State Convention of North Carolina bylaws stipulate that the executive director-treasurer must be elected at an annual meeting or special called meeting of the convention, based upon a nomination from the board of directors for consideration. The following timeline provides an overview of how the search committee arrived at its recommendation to the board of directors.
May 19, 2020
Milton A. Hollifield Jr. announces his plans to retire as executive-director treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina effective Feb. 28, 2021.
July 16, 2020
During a meeting of the convention’s board of directors, then board president Melanie Wallace names a nine-member search committee charged with recommending the state’s next executive director-treasurer. Noah Crowe, pastor of Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church in Murphy, was appointed committee chairman.
July 23, 2020
In his first public comments since being named search committee chairman, Noah Crowe said he was working to schedule an initial meeting of the committee, and he urged North Carolina Baptists to be prayerful and patient as the process gets underway. A special email address was also established for individuals to submit candidate recommendations.
Aug. 3, 2020
The search committee holds its first meeting at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro. The initial meeting focused on prayer and committee members getting acquainted with one another. Committee member Allan Blume, longtime pastor and former editor of the Biblical Recorder, was named vice chairman of the committee. Pam Young, a former state convention staff member, was named recording secretary.
Aug. 17, 2020
The search committee meets and develops a candidate profile, which specifies that the ideal candidate should demonstrate a “faithful commitment to the absolute authority of the Bible, as well as a faithful walk with God that is reflected in his character, wisdom and prayer habits.” Devotion to missions, diversity, Cooperative Program support and other values are also emphasized.
Aug. 31, 2020
The search committee meets via video conference call. In a subsequent interview, chairman Noah Crowe says he is “very pleased” with the number and quality of candidates who have been recommended to date. Crowe encourages feedback from pastors, laity, associational leaders and others about “what is needed in the next executive director-treasurer.” Crowe also says that the state convention’s “Seven Pillars for Ministry” will help guide the committee as it conducts its work.
Sept. 28, 2020
With the Sept. 30 deadline for individuals to recommend candidates approaching, the committee meets and encourages continued feedback from N.C. Baptists related to what qualities the next executive director-treasurer should possess. Chairman Noah Crowe says the committee sent letters to associational mission strategists across the state to solicit feedback on what they want to see in a convention leader.
Sept. 30, 2020
The deadline for individuals to recommend candidates to the committee passes.
Oct. 19, 2020
The search committee meets and spends time reviewing and praying over materials submitted from candidates. In a subsequent interview, chairman Noah Crowe says the committee has received “wonderful feedback” from N.C. Baptists. Based on that feedback, Crowe says the committee is seeking a visionary, forward-thinking leader who emphasizes missions and engaging the diversity of cultures across the state among other qualities.
Nov. 9, 2020
The search committee meets and spends time narrowing down the list of recommended candidates and prayerfully discussing each one. In a subsequent interview, chairman Noah Crowe reiterates the need for a “visionary” leader who supports the Cooperative Program, connects with people, engages the next generation of leaders and utilizes technology among other qualities.
Nov. 10, 2020
In his final address to messengers as executive director-treasurer at the state convention’s annual meeting, Milton A. Hollifield Jr. encourages N.C. Baptists to “continue to cooperate together” in missions and ministry. Hollifield also thanked N.C. Baptists for their prayers and support during his tenure as executive director-treasurer.
Nov. 23, 2020
The search committee meets and discusses potential questions to ask candidates during interviews and other related matters.
Dec. 7, 2020
The search committee meets and in a subsequent interview, chairman Noah Crowe says the committee has narrowed the list of candidates to a “very small number” and will soon enter the interview phase of the search process. Crowe says the committee would not conduct any more media interviews related to the search process due to the “confidential” nature of the interview phase of the search. Crowe also asks for continued prayers by N.C. Baptists for the search process.
Feb. 16, 2021
In a brief update to the state convention’s board of directors, search committee chairman Noah Crowe reports that the committee is close to recommending a candidate for consideration as the next executive director-treasurer (EDT). The board also elects longtime convention staff member Brian Upshaw to serve as the interim executive director-treasurer following Milton A. Hollifield Jr.’s retirement until a permanent EDT is elected. In his final address to the board as EDT, Hollifield encourages N.C. Baptists to continue to support the work of the convention and its next leader.
Feb. 28, 2021
Hollifield retires as executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
March 1, 2021
Brian Upshaw begins serving as interim executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
March 4, 2021
During a regularly scheduled meeting of the state convention’s executive committee held via video conference call, Noah Crowe reports that the search committee is “moving closer” to presenting a final candidate to the board of directors “very soon.”
March 29, 2021
The search committee announces that Todd Unzicker, chief of staff at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, is their recommended candidate to serve as the next executive director-treasurer. A special meeting of the board of directors is called for April 16 to consider the search committee’s recommendation.
1830-1836: John Armstrong
1837-1843: William H. Jordan
1844: S.J. Wheeler
1845-1847: J.J. Finch
1848: J.J. James
1849: William A. Shaw
1850-1852: John H. Lacey
1853: A. McDowell
1854: T.S. Yarborough
1855-1856: W.M. Wingate
1857: T.E. Skinner
1858-1859: A.J. Emerson
1860: B.F. Marable
1862-1865: N.B. Cobb
1866-1869: W.T. Walters
1870-1873: J.D. Hufham
1874-1877: J.B. Richardson
1878-1887: John E. Ray
1888-1894: Columbus Durham
1895-1899: John E. White
1900-1914: Livingston Johnson
1915-1919: Walter N. Johnson
1920-1931: Charles E. Maddry
1932-1959: Maloy A. “M.A.” Huggins
1959-1963: Douglas M. Branch
1963: Claude F. Gaddy
1964-1975: W. Perry Crouch
1976-1983: Cecil A. Ray
1984-1997: Roy Smith
1998-2005: James H. Royston
2006-2021: Milton A. Hollifield Jr.
Notes: In 1926, the title of Corresponding Secretary changed to General Secretary. In 1932, the state convention’s constitution provided that the General Secretary may be elected as Treasurer at the discretion of the convention. In 1986, the title of General Secretary-Treasurer was changed to Executive Director-Treasurer.
Sources: “A History of North Carolina Baptists 1727-1932” by M.A. Huggins. Baptist State Convention of North Carolina & Biblical Recorder archives.
Noah Crowe (Chairman)
Intentional Interim Pastor
Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church, Murphy
Noah Crowe serves as the intentional interim pastor at Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church in Murphy. Noah has been involved in a variety of missions and ministry efforts in western North Carolina and beyond. He previously served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Robbinsville for 16 years. A graduate of Fruitland Baptist Bible College, Noah currently serves on the Baptist state convention’s board of directors and executive committee. Noah and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. Noah is also an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Green Pines Baptist Church, Knightdale
Jarrod Scott has served as lead pastor of Green Pines Baptist Church in Knightdale since 2005. In addition to his preaching and teaching ministry, Jarrod has led or participated in mission trips around the world. He previously served on the Baptist state convention’s board of directors from 2010-2013 and on the executive committee from 2011-2013. Jarrod is a graduate of Appalachian State University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Julie, have four children.
Beulaville Baptist Church
Beth Wooten is an elementary school teacher and an active member of Beulaville Baptist Church, where her husband, Bartley serves as pastor. Beth serves in various church ministries and has participated in several mission trips. She previously served on Baptist state convention’s Committee on Nominations, and she currently serves as a trustee at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Beth graduated from Furman University with a degree in education. Her father, Bill Mackey, served as executive-director treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention for 13 years before his retirement in 2011. The Wootens have three children and enjoy spending time together.
K. Allan Blume (Vice Chairman)
Transitional Interim Pastor
Pittsboro Baptist Church
K. Allan Blume has devoted more than 50 years of total ministry in Baptist life. He retired in May 2019 as editor and president of the Biblical Recorder and remains active in Baptist life. Allan currently serves as interim pastor of Pittsboro Baptist Church. He served three years as president of the Baptist state convention’s board of directors and participated in multiple committees and trustee boards of the Southern Baptist Convention. Allan and his wife, Pam, are members of First Baptist Church of Cary. The Blumes have one adult son.
Buies Creek First Baptist Church
Mike Sowers has served as pastor of Buies Creek First Baptist Church since 2017. Before coming to Buies Creek, Mike served as a consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and as pastor and youth minister. Mike teaches missions and church planting at Fruitland Baptist Bible College’s North Roanoke satellite campus. He is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro and Campbell University. Mike met his wife Sara while he was serving in the Coast Guard in Sara’s hometown of Kodiak, Alaska. The Sowers have two children.
Multiply Community Church, Monroe
Quintell Hill serves as lead pastor of Multiply Community Church in Monroe, a church he planted in 2019. Quintell accepted Christ at age 15 and answered a call to ministry at age 17. He is a graduate of the University of Mobile in Mobile, Ala., and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Quintell and his wife, Christie, have two children that God blessed them with through the gift of adoption. Quintell enjoys hunting, fishing, sports and spending time with his family.
Salem Baptist Church, Dobson
Jennifer Thoppil is an active member of Salem Baptist Church in Dobson and has participated in several mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Trinidad. She has also served on the Baptist state convention’s Committee on Nominations. Thoppil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and works as a registered nurse. Her husband, Cecil, is a medical doctor, and the Thoppils have two children. Jennifer enjoys spending time with the Lord through Bible study and prayer. She also enjoys reading, traveling, teaching and showing hospitality.
Mercy Hill Church, Greensboro
Andrew Hopper serves as lead pastor of Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro, a church he planted in 2012 with a core team of 30 people. By God’s grace, the church has experienced rapid growth and established a sending culture. Andrew graduated from North Greenville University in Greenville, S.C., where he played football. He also graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Andrew currently serves on the Baptist state convention’s board of directors. He and his wife, Anna, have four children.
Parkwood Baptist Church, Gastonia
Don Warren is a retired textile executive and civic leader who has played an active role in N.C. Baptist life. A longtime member of Parkwood Baptist Church in Gastonia, Don has served as deacon chairman, elder and Sunday School teacher. He also served as president of the Baptist state convention’s board of directors and on the board of the Biblical Recorder. Don also served on the Greater Gaston Baptist Association’s finance committee. As a strong supporter of missions and other civic causes, Don has received numerous honors for his philanthropy and service. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have been married for more than 66 years.
To assist the churches in their divinely appointed mission.
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