Introduction to Aaron Hinton: Recommended Candidate for Pastor

Introduction to Aaron Hinton: Recommended Candidate for Pastor

The Pastor Search Committee has recommended Aaron Hinton to serve as the next pastor of Poplar Springs Baptist Church. Aaron brings a wealth of both traditional and unique experience to this role. Please read the following information to get to know Aaron better. We look forward to hearing from him on June 4th during the 11 am worship service. This is also the official announcement that there will be a called business meeting concluding the sermon on June 4th to vote on calling Aaron to be the pastor of Poplar Springs. We hope you can join us this Saturday, June 3rd, between 2:00-4:00 for an informal reception with Aaron and his family in the Family Life Center. The Pastor Search Committee will also be there to answer any questions you may have.  If you have any questions between now and then, please feel free to reach out.

Aaron Hinton Biography

            Aaron Hinton grew up in the Baptist church as his dad and mom served in ministry for 42 years. Since 2011, he has served at Gardner-Webb University in various roles with the Advancement team in Church Relations and the Christian Service Organization.  Most recently, he held the Associate Vice President for Advancement title. Before GWU, he served as a full-time staff member at Fort Caswell for six years after working for four summers on Caswell’s Summer Staff.

            Hinton holds a BA in Communications from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling from GWU. He has preached for more than 20 churches across North Carolina and many other ministry events. Aaron has been to Tanzania in East Africa on four mission trips. He continues to work with pastors in the Baptist Convention of Tanzania. He has completed more than 40 different community development projects to help local pastors plant churches and share the gospel.

            Aaron is 40 years old and lives in Boiling Springs with his wife of 16 years, Downey, and their three children – Luke (14), James (10), and Rheece (7). The Hintons have been attending PSBC since 2016.


Relational and Collaborative Pastor with nearly 18 years of Baptist Institution Experience

  • Licensed Minister
  • Ordained Deacon
  • Possesses one unit of parish-based Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training
  • Experienced fundraiser with a demonstrated history of relationship-building and creativity
  • Successful event and staff manager

Work Experience

Gardner-Webb University

  • Associate Vice President for Advancement and Christian Service Organization, 2020-present
  • Interim Director of the Bulldog Club, 2021-2022
  • Interim Vice President for Advancement, 2020
  • Director of Advancement for Christian Service and Foundations, 2017-2020
  • Gardner-Webb University Wrestling Team Chaplain, 2015-2022
  • Director of Church Relations and the Christian Service Organization, 2011-2017

North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell

  • Marketing Coordinator/Summer Staff Assistant Coordinator, 2006-2011

Speaking Experience

  • Pulpit supply, youth, and ministry event speaker for more than 20 churches, 2004-present
  • Multiple events at Caswell, 2004-2011
  • NC Baptist Spring Fling Weekends (Caswell), 2004, 2014
  • Deep Impact Mission Camp Speaker (NC Baptist on Mission), 2014-2016, 2017, 2021
  • Gardner-Webb University Events: CSO dinners, The Gathering, Scholarship luncheons, Presidential Societies Dinner, Football President Box

Missions and International Experience

New York, Puerto Rico, Tennessee (3), Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia (led team)

Partnership with Baptist Convention of Tanzania (BCT) – East Africa

  • Four trips to Tanzania to lead bible training for pastors, preach in Maasai churches, and help lead the first-ever BCT Men’s Conference in Dodoma, Tanzania
  • Preached at Mount Meru University, formerly the East African International Baptist Seminary
  • Partnered with the leadership of BCT to complete more than 40 different community development projects
  • Hosted leadership from the BCT three times at Gardner-Webb for them to teach in the School of Divinity and meet with local churches

Community Experience

  • Greater Cleveland County Soccer Association Youth Soccer Coach, 2016-present
  • YMCA Youth Sports Coach – Basketball and Baseball, 2016-present

Highlights from Aaron’s Cover Letter

“While I feel that my God-given abilities as a pastor would match the essential functions of this vital role for the church, this is not about a matching skill set. This is a calling—a calling from God for me to apply to this church at this specific time. I am not looking to become a pastor anywhere else; I feel called to Poplar Springs and Poplar Springs alone.”

“My eighteen years of diversified work, education, and personal experience have prepared me to take on the challenges of this role. It is a unique opportunity that embodies my years in administration at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort

Caswell and my time in relationship building and fundraising in the Office of Advancement at Gardner-Webb. This role fulfills my call to full-time vocational ministry in a way that no job has before.”

“Over the last twelve years at Gardner-Webb, I have honed my abilities to build intentional relationships, facilitate a board, and encourage the philanthropic goals of both individual donors and foundations, securing more than five million dollars for the University. While being a fundraiser is certainly not the same as being a pastor, it demonstrates my ability to build genuine relationships and connect people’s passions to a mission. I am confident in my abilities to partner with, lead, and inspire the current ministry team—a team that already trusts me as a friend and a minister. While I have not been a pastor of a church, I bring a wealth of preaching and teaching experience, as well as written communication experience, from many ministry events at churches, Christian camps, and Gardner-Webb.”

“This is a calling to the here and now. Ultimately, I want to embody the words of the Gospel of John 3:30, “He must become greater, I must become less.” I want to make the name of Jesus great through the mission and ministries of Poplar Springs Baptist Church. I am ready for this role and would love the opportunity to serve my church in this way.”


Pastor Search Committee

            Clyde Buckner – Chair       

            Ava Bryson                           

            John Harmon                        

            Tara Hayes

            Clay Putnam

            Leslie Queen

The Finance & Personnel Committees have agreed to offer the salary package (salary/housing/benefits) of $84,632.92 as previously approved in the 2023 budget.