Jay Hardwick named chief strategist for S.C. Baptist Convention

Jay Hardwick, a church-planting team leader for the South Carolina Baptist Convention for the past two years, has been named associate executive director and chief strategist for the state denomination.

Gary Hollingsworth, SCBC executive director-treasurer, said Hardwick “is the right man to lead us in the days ahead” and that his decision to promote Hardwick was “bathed in prayer.”

“With the launch of the [convention’s] Advance Strategy, I felt it was important to place someone in this role who already had a deep understanding of this strategy,” said Hollingsworth. “Having someone who was a part of its development seemed to be the best way to make sure there was no lag in continuing to move forward.”

Hardwick, a native of Columbia, joined the SCBC staff in May 2016. He was licensed and ordained to the ministry by Spring Valley Baptist Church, Columbia. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from North Greenville University and a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is pursuing a doctor of ministry degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Hardwick previously served as lead pastor/planting pastor of Awaken Church, Columbia, and lead pastor of North Rock Hill Church. He is a regular camp pastor at SummerSalt and preaches in churches across the state and region.

“I am humbled, challenged and energized by the opportunity to serve our churches and convention team in this new capacity,” said Hardwick.

He is married to Lara Beth, and they have three daughters.