South Carolina pastor to lead missions emphasis Tuesday
JEFFERSON CITY—Born in Atlanta, Michael S. Hamlet was destined to be a man called of the Lord to do kingdom work.
On Oct. 30, at 6:35 p.m., Hamlet will give the missions report as a special guest of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Partnership Missions staff at the annual meeting at Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach.
Upon graduating from high school he went to Furman University, the oldest, largest, and most selective private institution in South Carolina, just on the outskirts of Greenville. After graduating in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in business, he felt God’s call to become involved in the ministry and the following year he was ordained at White Oaks Baptist Church. In light of this, Hamlet began working toward his master’s degree in divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
In 1975 he graduated, and he decided to continue his education at a 12-year-old university named Charleston Southern. He earned a doctor of divinity degree from what has become one of South Carolina’s largest accredited, independent universities. It is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the university has a reputation for promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment.
In the midst of pursuing these degrees Hamlet met Laura Lister, and on July 23, 1977, just two years after his graduation from Southern Seminary, they were married. Before receiving his doctorate degree, Hamlet was already well on his way to active ministerial service as from July 1975 to July 1978 he served as the campus and activities minister of First Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C.
Hamlet then felt God’s call to move to Houston, Texas, where he served as associate pastor of Second Baptist Church from 1978-1984. It was here where God blessed the couple with their first child, Andrew. The Lord later blessed them with a second child, Allison.
Houston was not his final destination. In 1985, he was called to be senior pastor of First Baptist Church in North Spartanburg, S.C. He has served there ever since, becoming vice chairman of incorporators of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in 1996-1997. He also served as president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention over that same time span.
The church has led the state of South Carolina in baptisms for many years and is a “pilot church” for the International Mission Board (IMB) partnership with Global Focus. The church is one of four teaching churches used as a model for “Empowering Kingdom Growth,” a strategic plan for church growth in South Carolina.