Q&A: Milton A. Hollifield Jr.

November 5, 2020

Milton A. Hollifield Jr. has served as executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) for the past 14 years, and he has served the state convention for 27 years overall. Earlier this year, Hollifield announced his plans to retire effective Feb. 28, 2021.

This year’s BSCNC annual meeting will be Hollifield’s final meeting as executive director-treasurer and will include a special celebration of his ministry. Hollifield recently took time to answer some questions about his life and ministry, which also includes service as a pastor and director of missions. Following is a transcript of that conversation that has been edited for length.

How did you arrive at your decision to retire?
“I had been praying for almost a year seeking God’s leadership about my tenure of employment with the convention because of my age. I did not take this decision lightly, nor did I make it because I wanted to resign. Instead, my desire was to walk in step with God’s plan. At the end of this journey of prayer, I became convinced that God was leading me to step down from my leadership role with the convention. When He made that clear, I announced my plans to the executive committee in May of this year.”

Those who know you won’t be surprised that you spent an extended season in prayer about your retirement because prayer is such a vital part of your life and ministry. Who instilled a passion for prayer in your life?
“I remember as a boy my parents gathering our family together every night to read the Bible and pray, so they established that foundation at an early age. My father was a Baptist minister, and I often traveled with him to different meetings and saw firsthand the importance of prayer in his own ministry. One of my former pastors, Dr. James H. Johnson, was another person who taught me so much about prayer. God actually called me into the gospel ministry while I was praying with a group of men in a cottage prayer meeting led by Dr. Johnson on a Saturday night in 1975.”

As you reflect on your time as executive director-treasurer, what have been some of the highlights for you?
“Since the beginning of my tenure as executive director-treasurer in 2006, I have stated that my desire is to see the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina become the strongest force in the history of this convention for reaching people with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By God’s grace, we are fulfilling that local and global vision. Thanks to the prayers, support and involvement of North Carolina Baptist pastors and churches, we are making good progress in our disciple-making efforts that will produce greater evangelism results here in North Carolina, in North America and around the world.

“Throughout my tenure, I have also tried to focus on things we have in common rather than focusing on our differences. I have always sought to lift up Jesus Christ and the gospel. Even though we may have differences, I have challenged North Carolina Baptists to focus on what we have in common, and that is our love and allegiance to Jesus as Savior and Lord. I have tried to emphasize the importance and magnify the value of networking through cooperative missions support by helping churches and associations work together in order to engage more people in fulfilling the Great Commission.”

What are your plans in retirement?
“Gloria and I are planning to return to the Asheville area in western North Carolina and enjoy being closer to family. That is where our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren live, but that is also where Gloria and I grew up. We still have siblings there, and all of our family is in western North Carolina, so we are looking forward to returning to that area to be closer to them.”

Is there anything you would like to say to North Carolina Baptists?
“I am so thankful to God for you. Through the years as I have traveled with Gloria across this state, visited and preached in your churches and associations, you have affirmed my leadership and told me how much you appreciate me and this convention. Of greatest importance, however, is the fact that you have told me how you prayed for me on a regular basis. Together, we have seen God work through those prayers and do some great things. This has occurred because so many people in North Carolina Baptist churches and the state convention staff were praying. What a joy it has been to serve you and to serve God with you. It’s also been an honor to lead and work with the outstanding employed staff and elected leaders of our convention.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Annual meeting attendees who wish to bring cards or mementos for Hollifield may bring them to the meeting and deposit them in designated baskets near the event entrances. This year’s annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 1-5 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Charlotte.

BSCNC Communications

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!