PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (KT) – Appalachian Pastor Tim Searcy wants to call Kentucky Baptists back to humility if he’s elected KBC president at the organization’s annual meeting at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville on Nov. 13.
“I am appalled at the level of self-promotion within Southern Baptist life,” he said. “While working on a sermon from John 3 recently I was reminded of his words, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The longer I lead, the more I understand that I should be encouraging people to follow Christ, not me. Only Jesus can save. It is His church, not mine. I am simply the friend of the groom who rejoices when the Bride is faithful. I really have nothing to say except what comes from above as revealed in His Word. People do not need to hear from me, they need a word from Jesus. The ‘I thinks’ and the ‘I believes’ need to change to God’s Word says.’”
Searcy, the Allen Baptist Church pastor who has a broad range of ministry experience that includes international missions and Christian higher education, is expected to be nominated by Fitzpatrick First Baptist Church Pastor Tommy Reed.
“The Lord has taken this man all over the world to share the gospel,” Reed said. “He has a vast knowledge that crosses so many bounds. He could do whatever he wants to do, but he chose to come to the mountains to serve as pastor. He is not living his life for himself; he is living it for Him.”
Searcy has a Ph.D. in Christian education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also received his educational doctorate and master’s degree in religious education. He also has bachelor’s degrees from Lincoln Memorial University and Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. His affiliation with Baptist institutions date back to his teenage years, having graduated high school from Oneida Baptist Institute in southeastern Kentucky.
The church Searcy has served the past three years gives approximately 1.5 percent of its undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program. Last year, the church gave $4,200 from undesignated receipts totaling $290,000, according to Southern Baptist Convention records. The church gave approximately $7,000 more through KBC and SBC missions offerings. Total Great Commission giving, Searcy said, totaled $27,874 or 9.6 percent, last year. That includes mission trips by his church to Brazil and Swaziland.
Allen Baptist’s average worship attendance for the past three years ranged from 220 to 230. The church reported 69 baptisms since Searcy arrived at Allen three years ago.
In ministry since 1975, Searcy has served as a youth minister, minister of music, associate pastor, pastor, missionary and church planter. He began teaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as an adjunct member of the faculty in 1989. Since then, he has served as vice president for academic affairs at Louisiana College, director of institutional effectiveness at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, associate director of the professional doctoral program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, followed by stints as director of doctoral education programs and director of institutional effectiveness for the seminary.
As pastor, Searcy served churches in Kentucky and Mississippi. He also has served as interim pastor in multiple churches in Kentucky and Louisiana. He planted Vida Nueva Baptist Church in Columbia while serving as a missionary.
Besides Columbia, Searcy has done mission work in Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Russia, Nicaragua, Nepal, Cambodia, and Cuba. His work in Cuba was with the Baptist Seminary in Havana assisting in training of teachers and developing curriculum.
“I know the kind of man Tim Searcy is,” Reed said. “He’s so personable. He’s very approachable. You would never know he has a ‘Dr.’ in front of his name just from talking with him. He’s an ‘every man.’ He can relate to those in the mountains and the hollows of eastern Kentucky. He can relate to the people in the realms of higher education. He can relate to people in the slums of New Orleans or the jungles of Columbia or the monks of Nepal. I just think, from Paducah to Pikeville, from Williamsburg to Covington, he can relate to any part of the state.”
If elected, Searcy said he would “use every opportunity given me to speak God’s truth from His Word” concerning the issue of abortion.
“I would make it very clear that this issue is not one of human choice, but of God’s truth,” he said. “I believe it is a false concept that a fetus is not a human being until viability. I believe that at the creation of the very first cell with a totally new DNA, they are new persons and they deserve every God given right due them.”