Transition Update from the Leadership Council

Times of transition can be unsettling with many questions still to be answered.  But they can also be rich times of trusting in God and watching his plans and provision unfold.  Let us look to the future together with hope and confidence that God has great things in store for First Baptist Church.


Update September 19, 2019

Jesus was up to something good when He established the first Baptist church in Wilmington over 200 years ago. He has empowered it and guided it through great days of celebration and lean times of uncertainty, times when our lights shined bright and when the steeple laid in the street. First Baptist Church has always been the Bride of Christ and always will.
After meetings that involved significant times of consideration, conversation and prayer, the Leadership Council of our current congregation believe Jesus is leading us to hire a Facilitator to help prepare our church for our next Pastor and assist the Pastor Selection Committee, that the church will choose to represent us. That being the case, the Leadership Council has unanimously approved the following recommendation that was approved unanimously by the Deacons. However, it is the congregation that makes the final decision on this recommendation and plan going further.
Therefore, per the by-laws of our church, we will have a called business meeting on Sunday, October 6 at 10:00 am in the sanctuary for the purpose of formally presenting the following recommendation to be voted on by the church. Members of the Leadership Council will entertain questions and provide clarification as needed and prefer to do so prior to the business meeting.

Update August 13, 2019

Your Leadership Council is hard at work getting ready for our upcoming transition as a congregation when Matt Cook steps down as our Senior Pastor on August 30.

What you can expect over the next several months.

  • SAYING GOODBYE TO THE COOK FAMILY – For the remainder of August, our main focus is on the Cook family, thanking Matt, Allyson, Nathaniel and Caroline for all that they have brought to the life of our congregation and wishing them well in their new calling.  A Drop In Reception for the Cooks will be on August 25 from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Activities Center.
  • SPIRITUAL PREPARATION – 40 Days of Purpose begins on September 8.  This time of spiritual preparation is designed to focus our attention as a congregation on who we are called to be as the church and to listen for how God might be wanting to shape us and the mission for which God has created us.
  • IDENTIFYING TRANSITIONAL LEADERSHIP – During any interim, the daily work of the church continues while, at the same time, we are afforded the opportunity to take a fresh look at who we are as a congregation and where God is leading us into the future that He has created.  The Leadership Council is working on determining what type of transitional leadership will be the most helpful, both for daily operations and continuity in the pulpit, as well as for expertise as we seek clarity in congregational identity  – who we are and what is needed in our next pastor – and guidance in the process of pastor selection.
  • PASTOR SEARCH TEAM – Under our Constitution, the Diaconate is charged with identifying a Pastor Search Team representative of the congregation. The Diaconate will take on that work and will make a recommendation to the congregation when they have finished that process.

Times of transition can be unsettling with many questions still to be answered.  But they can also be rich times of trusting in God and watching his plans and provision unfold.  Let us look to the future together with hope and confidence that God has great things in store for First Baptist Church.


Update July 15, 2019

On Sunday, July 14th, Dr. Matt Cook shared with the congregation that he will be resigning as our Senior Pastor.  His last day will be August 30th.  Matt shared a letter at the conclusion of both services on Sunday, expressing his thoughts about his tenure at FBC and describing the new calling that he and Allyson believe God has placed on their lives.

He has accepted a position as the Assistant Director of the Center for Healthy Churches and will assist churches across the country in defining and clarifying their purpose in response to God’s call.  We encourage all of the congregation to let Matt, Allyson, and their children know how much they have been appreciated in service to our Christian community here at First Baptist Church and to wish them well as they respond to God’s call to a new ministry.

Click HERE to read a copy of the letter

The Leadership Council has begun a discussion on transition planning to include a spiritual preparation time through the study of the 40 Days of Purpose to begin in September, identification and selection of an interim Senior Pastor, and identification and selection of a Senior Pastor Search Committee.  Our discussions and preparations are in the beginning stages and will include a plan to seek congregational input and plans for open communications.  More to come…

Click HERE for 2019 Leadership Council