Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, one of the largest churches in the state, has called Daniel Dickard as its next senior pastor. He comes to the church from Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., where he served for five years. He began his service at Shandon on Feb. 26.
He stated, “We believe Shandon is a great fit for the Dickard family. The more we have gotten to know the Shandon family, God has given us a great sense of peace because of common shared values, ministry priorities, doctrinal and theological convictions, congruence in philosophy, and alignment in mission.”
Dickard, who grew up in South Carolina, is a graduate of North Greenville University, where both he and his wife, Cassie, sang with Joyful Sound. He earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
“My prayer is that the people of Shandon, under the Lord’s guidance, will commit to a renewed vision to love God’s Word, reach the lost, and possess a heightened focus for the Great Commission that will begin in Columbia and extend to the nations,” he added.
He served as a dean at Southwestern and worked with youth at First Baptist Church, Dallas, and Travis Avenue Baptist Church before going to Friendly Avenue.
Dickard is the son of Wayne and Anita Dickard, husband to Cassie, and father of Conrad, Kesyd, and Carolina. His dad is a retired SCBC pastor and past president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
The senior Dickard said, “I knew Shandon was an outstanding church with a reputation for missions and evangelism. It thrilled his mother and me that God’s design for Daniel’s life included the Shandon ministry assignment.” His hope is to be able to see the grandkids more often and “occasionally hear him preach and know he is busy doing what he loves.”
David Duncan, chair of the pastor search committee, also led the congregation in the procedure for voting. After a show of hands in favor of the candidate, he invited all who were in opposition to raise their hands. After a moment he said, “Not a single uplifted hand. It is unanimous.” When Dickard and his family re-entered the auditorium, the large group that had gathered stood together as they applauded their new pastor.
His last Sunday at Friendly Avenue was Jan. 29. A reception was held for the Dickard family that afternoon. He said he stood for three and a half hours bidding farewell and shaking hands with his congregation in Greensboro.
Ed Carney, who had served as interim pastor, announced to the Shandon congregation that “the future is here.” To illustrate that point, Dickard joins Wes Church, pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbia, as two younger Columbia-area senior pastors who lead two of the state’s largest and more prominent churches.
Dickard said, “We pray that many will come to know Christ through the ministry of Shandon so that lives are transformed, homes are reached, neighborhoods are changed, and the world is influenced by the power of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word.”