MINT HILL, NC – For one of Mint Hill’s oldest establishments, the new year is bringing fresh direction and a renewed passion. Wilson Grove Baptist Church (WGBC) welcomed Pastor Tony Carter to its pulpit on October 31, 2022, and congregants could not be more excited. As they look towards their plans for the 2023 year and beyond, WGBC hopes to be a “lighthouse” in the Mint Hill community.
Although his most recent pulpit was in Hilda, SC, Pastor Carter is actually from North Carolina. “I’m happy to be back in the area,” Carter says, “and to be leading WGBC to fulfill Christ’s call to us from Colossians 3, ‘to do everything, in both word and deed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.’”
Chairman of the Deacon Board at WGBC John Phillips says finding Pastor Tony Carter was a gift from God. “We know the legacy that our church has,” explains Phillips. “I’ve been attending since I was eight years old. Members of my family have been there since the turn of the century. And most of the current attendees have similar stories. So when we started looking for a new pastor, we knew we needed someone who could understand our history but also be looking toward our future. And Tony has a great eye and vision for the future of WGBC.”
“A lighthouse calls out to ships that are in distress,” Carter explains. “That is what Christians are trying to do. We want to bring people into the safe harbor that is created through Jesus Christ. We want to reach the unchurched and unseen people within the radius of our buiding and do what we can to bring them, not into a religion, but into a relationship.”
WGBC has always had a name for supporting the community. They have community events at Easter and Christmas, host a Fall Festival, volunteer both locally and within the greater Charlotte area, and run a VBS program every summer. Carter says they want to continue to expand their outreach, and they are looking for more ways to do that.
“I truly believe every family needs a church home,” says Carter. “We need to go outside the doors to exemplify who Jesus was by doing what He did during His time on this earth. We need to build one-on-one relationships with folks so we can meet their emotional, physical, financial, and most importantly, spiritual needs. It is important the Christians remember the church is not the building – it is the people.”
For Phillips, Carter is one of the best preachers he’s seen in the WGBC pulpit. He hopes that the new preacher’s passion and presence will encourage people to try Wilson Grove Baptist Church. “He’s a guy who loves people. He’s dynamic and cares about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. I guess it just boils down to this,” John Phillips smiles, “we’ve got a new guy and ya’ll should come to WGBC and hear him.”