Saxon to lead new Shepherd Team for SCBaptists

Brian Saxon, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Lancaster, will begin duties May 15 as team leader for South Carolina Baptists’ new Shepherd Team.

“This new Shepherd Team will come alongside pastors in the Palmetto State to strengthen and sharpen them in their calling,” said Tony Wolfe, executive director-treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, in announcing the newest ministry assignment April 8. The Shepherd Team will join the five other SCBaptist ministry teams: Strong, Serve, Send, Share and Start.

“Healthy churches are led by healthy pastors,” Wolfe said. “While convention staff has done a marvelous job engaging pastors for decades, the creation of the new Shepherd Team allows us to pull our focus more tightly on pastor leadership and pastor care, in concert with the excellent work we see in SCBaptist associations across the state.”

As team leader, Saxon will supervise convention personnel and strategies related to pastoral leadership, care, networking, and development. Among his responsibilities will be young pastor engagement, church revitalization efforts, co-vocational pastor resourcing, mentorships, pastor and wife ministries, and interim and church transition strategies.

Having served as a pastor in the state for more than 25 years, Saxon said he has seen the need to better equip and care for pastors. 

“Pastoring in today’s culture is not an easy task,” Saxon said. “Pastors deal with issues that were not even on our radar when I entered into ministry,” he said. “Pastoral burnout and stress are ever-increasing, and I believe this ministry can help pastors create healthy boundaries in their ministry.”

Noting that church revitalization falls under the team’s assignment, Saxon added, “I look forward to working with churches and assisting them in reaching their community. I hope that in the coming years, we can increase our engagement with our churches that have been undergoing years of decline”

Saxon also is excited about the opportunity to invest in future pastors. “We need to create a culture within our state of calling out the called,” he said. “As the Shepherd Team leader, it will be rewarding to work with our pastors, associational missions strategists, colleges, seminaries, and Baptist collegiate ministries to identify and train our future leaders.”

During the search process for the new team leader, which began last fall, SCBC leadership considered 11 candidates from six states, representing three ethnicities and a wide range of experience.

“Brian’s candidacy quickly rose to the top as the man who was clearly called, qualified, and capable of leading this new season of pastor engagement for SCBaptists,” Wolfe said. “Every step of the search process confirmed God’s providential hand in Brian’s candidacy, and our leadership team could not be more excited about him joining the work.

“Brian’s heart for biblical, effective, passionate pastoral ministry is pure. And his excitement for multiplying that joy through this new work is compelling,” Wolfe said.

“I love the church and pastors, so it excites me to work alongside them to grow God’s kingdom,” Saxon said. “I can’t wait to see what the Lord does in the years ahead as God allows me to invest in pastors and churches.”

Prior to Lancaster Second, Saxon served on pastoral staffs at churches in Greenwood and Belton. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served on various committees and boards for the SCBC and local associations.

He and his wife, Lesley, have two adult daughters, Andrea and Abigail.