PASTOR SEARCH

Dear Prospective Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the Senior Pastor position at Northminster Baptist Church. We have tried to put in one place the information we would find most relevant were we pastors ourselves considering moving to a new church and community. Read on below, and if you decide you might like to join our family of faith, contact us at pastorsearch@northminsterbaptist.org.

About Northminster Baptist Church

Northminster was founded in 1967 and recently celebrated 55 years together as a congregation. The church has a healthy mix of young and old among its roughly 700 members, with 27 families having joined the church in the last two years along with many who have worshipped at Northminster for decades.

Northminster is ecumenical, with many members coming to Northminster from other denominational backgrounds. Indeed, two of Northminster’s former senior pastors also pastored Episcopal and Methodist churches. And before Northminster had a permanent home, Temple Beth Israel allowed the church to worship in their building. Northminster has a close relationship with Beth Israel to this day.

Northminster’s governance is congregational and its worship style liturgical and reverential. But the church is flexible, having added and phased out programs over the years in response to the needs of the congregation and the vision of our pastors and leaders. For example, the church began streaming its worship services in 2018, two years pre-covid. Going back further, the church changed the format of Vacation Bible School in 2010 and began following the lectionary in 1987 during the tenure of our third senior pastor.

Northminster is fiscally sound and mission oriented. The church has no outside debt currently, has operated at a surplus more often than not over the past twenty years, and historically gives away 20-25% of its roughly $2 million annual budget. Northminster’s founders were strongly lay led and involved in the community. They didn’t want a pastor to “do church for us.” They wanted a pastor who would “worship with us.” That sense of lay leadership, community involvement, and caring for the pastor as one of us has continued to this day. In addition to establishing a generous sabbatical program decades ago for all our pastors – Senior and Associate – Northminster members are quick to help pastors find the right neighborhood and home for their families, schools for their children, and job opportunities for their spouses.

Northminster has a long tradition of excellence in the pulpit. The church has had six senior pastors in its history – Dudley Wilson, John Claypool, John Thomason, Roger Paynter, Brian Brewer, and Chuck Poole. Each left his mark on the church, and each fulfilled his pastorate in different ways. Some preferred to focus on preaching and teaching, content to allow the lay leadership to handle the administrative affairs of the church, while others drew energy from participation in the day-to-day committee work.

Northminster has been an ideologically diverse congregation since day one. In his first sermon as Northminster’s interim pastor back in 1967, Dr. Ralph Whaley offered the following advice to the young church in the form of a creed. “We agree to differ. We resolve to love. We unite to serve. If we cannot agree to differ, we have no freedom. If we do not resolve to love, we have no Christianity. If we do not unite to serve, the kingdom of God and the world will suffer.”

In short, Northminster is a family of faith that seeks to worship God, follow Jesus, and love each other.

 

About Jackson, Mississippi

The Jackson, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) consists of 591,978 persons per 2020 census data residing in the tri-county area of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin. (Northminster members come from all three counties and beyond.) In addition to serving as the state capital and center of government, Jackson is also the academic medical center for the state, with seven health science schools as well as three separate hospital systems and multiple specialty clinics. Every year young professionals and students move to Jackson, attracted not only by the academic health sciences community, but also by the five colleges and universities that call the metro area home.

Jackson has a vibrant arts scene ranging from symphony to community theatre to Broadway productions and has served as the sole host of the International Ballet Competition since its inception in 1979. Jackson has museums for children, art lovers, historians, and of course sports fans. Music and festival afficionados will enjoy the Brandon Amphitheater, St. Paddy’s Day Parade benefitting Children’s of MS Hospital, Covered, and countless other live music venues.

Jackson has the great outdoors covered as well. Home to the Barnett Reservoir and crisscrossed by the historic Natchez Trace, Jackson has miles of hiking and biking trails, and fishermen, hunters, skeet shooters, boaters, water-skiers, kayakers, canoers, horseback riders, tennis players, golfers, and others can be found outside in Jackson year-round. For those who prefer spectator sports, Jackson hosts the Sanderson Farms Championship PGA golf tournament each fall and is home to the Mississippi Braves, the Atlanta Braves AA affiliate. Jackson is also within two and a half hours of the best college baseball venues in the country, not to mention the last two College World Series champions. And college football weekends in Mississippi, like those throughout the southeast, are a spectacle to behold.

“In short, Northminster is a family of faith that seeks to worship God, follow Jesus, and love each other.”

If you decide you might like to join our family of faith, please contact us at pastorsearch@northminsterbaptist.org.