Denomination: United Church of Christ (Faithful and Welcoming Churches)
Weekly Attendance: 600 (post-Covid)
Location: Hickory, North Carolina
The Role: Senior Pastor
Meet Corinth Reformed Church:
Corinth Reformed Church is nestled in Hickory, NC, a small and vibrant town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was founded in 1869 and has a long history of faithful witness in the Hickory community. The current senior pastor, Bob Thompson, who was raised and educated with an evangelical worldview, was called into the United Church of Christ along with his wife, Linda. They married shortly after graduation from what is now Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. Bob later earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from CIU and a Doctorate in Ministry (D.Min.) from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte). The Thompsons and Corinth have continued their affiliation and engagement with the United Church of Christ as initiators and leaders of Faithful and Welcoming Churches, a small network of UCC clergy and churches who consider themselves ECOT (evangelical, conservative, orthodox, or traditional).
Note: for more information about the UCC and Corinth’s unique place within that denomination visit: https://corinthtoday.org/about-us/ucc/
Corinth offers three Sunday morning worship services (traditional, contemporary, and blended), and a generationally diverse church family. The campus is debt-free, including a Gothic-style sanctuary that was built in 1959 that seats 500-550 and a contemporary worship space completed in 2012 seating about 400 that doubles as a fellowship space. The campus has ample space for Sunday School and other spiritual formations for all ages including a former private home renovated into a variety of adult small group spaces. The church invested more than $2 million in 2019 to renovate the R.A. Colby pipe organ and add audio-visual upgrades.
Eight full-time professional staff and four full-time support staff are joined by 20 part-time staff to serve the congregation and operate a weekday Preschool. The polity is presbyterian, with 20 Consistory members elected by the congregation. They include Elders who partner with the pastors for spiritual support and care, Deacons who oversee the finances, board chairs whose teams initiate programs and missions, and the senior pastor. The congregation has enjoyed a long period of stability and impact in the community and designates at least 15% of its general budget to local and international mission partnerships.
The Senior Pastor, Bob Thompson, is planning to retire in the last half of 2023 or early 2024. The church is looking for the person God is calling to work alongside him and the CRC team for a short season before assuming the title and responsibilities of Senior Pastor, Corinth Reformed Church. The formal call from the congregation will precede the new pastor’s relocation to Hickory.
About the Senior Pastor:
Corinth Reformed church is seeking a dynamic, gospel-focused Pastor to succeed Pastor Bob Thompson in a seamless transition. Ideally, once selected, the new Pastor will co-pastor alongside the current Pastor for a short season and will then take over as Senior Pastor upon Bob Thompson’s retirement. The Senior Pastor's primary role is to provide spiritual and administrative oversight of the congregation.
The Senior Pastor Responsibilities Include:
What You Bring:
Education & Experience
Personal Characteristics & Qualifications
What it's Like to Live in Hickory, North Carolina:
With its low cost of living, Hickory is known to be a great place to live. The area has been recently recognized as Top 100 Best Performing Cities (Milken Institute, April 2022), Top 20 Hottest Housing Markets (Realtor.com, December 2021), Top 10 Best Places to Live Near the Mountains (US News and World Report, October 2021), and is among the Best and Most Affordable Places to Live (US News and World Report, July 2021). Hickory is truly one of the best places in the nation to live, work, and retire.
Hickory is located in the Catawba River Valley enjoying four distinct seasons and a relatively temperate climate. While the city itself has a relatively small population, the metropolitan statistical area is much larger; about 350,000 residents live within 25 miles of the area. Even so, Hickory does have a small-town, suburban vibe. Here, you’ll find countless craft breweries, vintage shops, and farm-to-table restaurants in the eclectic downtown.
While there are plenty of parks, historical sites, and sporting events to keep you busy in Hickory, Charlotte and Asheville are both about an hour away by car. Within an hour’s drive, other major attractions include the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest. Overall, Hickory is a great place to call home, build a life, and raise a family.
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