Following a special-called Church Business Meeting on Sunday, Trinity Baptist Church Texarkana today announced the members have approved Dr. Terry Carter to provide leadership to the church during the interim period as senior pastor.
The announcement came after the church accepted the resignation of Senior Pastor Andy Coats in May of this year and then completed the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s SmartStart Interim program while searching for a full-time pastor to fill an interim leadership role for the church.
Dr. Carter was nominated by both the church’s Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) and the Deacon Body after going through a selection process that included multiple interviews and the opportunity to preach several times before the congregation.
As interim senior pastor, Dr. Carter will be responsible for shepherding the church until a permanent Senior Pastor is identified and hired. He will lead the congregation in Sunday morning worship services, oversee any Sunday and Wednesday afternoon church services and programs on an as-needed basis, and meet with the Deacon Body on a regular basis.
Dr. Carter has been married to his wife, Kathy, for 50 years, and credits her as a strong supporter behind the ministry work they have been able to do during that time period, including pastoring on the mission field in Wiesbaden, Germany for seven years.
“I am excited about being part of the leadership team at Trinity Baptist Church through this important time of transition as their interim Senior Pastor. Trinity sits strategically on the west side of Texarkana as a church with wonderful opportunities to minister to the community and the city. It is my desire and prayer to help Trinity reach its potential and extend God’s kingdom as we work together to be a vital church body at a time when so many in the immediate area and the world need spiritual direction and a relationship with the living God,” said Dr. Carter.
Carter has served as the interim pastor in 27 churches in Arkansas, Texas, and Europe. He currently serves as Vaught Professor of Christian Ministries and Director Horne Center Christian Ministries at Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, a position he will continue to hold. He will also bring to this interim role more than three decades of experience in Christian higher education, preparing students to become pastors. As part of his academic career, Dr. Carter has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles including Preaching God’s Word, which is used as a textbook at OBU, and Telling God’s Story: The Biblical Narrative from Beginning to End. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Howard Payne University and his master’s degree and PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife for 50 years, and they have one daughter, Tilly, who is married to Brent and three grandchildren, Carter, Nora and Lawson who live in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We are very blessed to have Dr. Carter’s expertise and leadership on staff during our interim period,” said Marcus Bellamy, executive pastor at Trinity Baptist Church.
“The ALT looked at several highly qualified candidates. We agreed Dr. Carter was the best man to lead Trinity through this time because he’d been interim pastor 27 times before us. It is his goal to prepare us for the next pastor God has for us. We are looking forward to Dr. Carter’s leadership”, added Doug Huett, Chair of the ALT at Trinity Baptist Church.
The church anticipates Dr. Carter will serve in this role over the next four to 18 months as the search for a long-term senior pastor gets underway. The congregation prayed over its newly formed Search Committee during Sunday’s service. In addition to his interim role as senior pastor, Dr. Carter will also serve as a consultant for the Search Committee as they begin this next phase of our search process.