About Me


“Know who you are. Defend what you believe.”

Stephen Cutchins

Dr. Stephen Cutchins is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church North Augusta and serves on the Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry with an emphasis in Christian Apologetics, which he teaches at Fruitland Baptist Bible College in North Carolina. Dr. Cutchins also serves as Advisory Board Chairman and Principal Consultant with the Pastor Pairing Division of Dwight Whitworth & Company, based in Tennessee.


“I think very highly of Stephen as a scholar, a person, and in church ministry. He is extremely talented and a devoted Christian.”

DR. Norman Geisler 
AUTHOR, PROFESSOR, AND MENTOR

_DSC5976Stephen is completing the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies program at Dallas Baptist University with a dual concentration in Higher Education and Ministry. He is the author of “Prove It – Defend the Christian Faith,” co-author of “Green Hearts – God’s Goodness in the Worst of Times,” and a contributing author for the 2016 Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook. Stephen’s first book, Prove It, is now available as an online course. Dr. Cutchins is a Christian leader who helps curious and growing people answer hard questions about life, leadership, and learning so they can know who they are and defend what they believe.


“Stephen Cutchins explains simply what we need to know.”

DR. THOMAS L. CONSTABLE, SENIOR PROFESSOR EMERITUS 
DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Stephen currently lives in the home of the Masters Golf Tournament, Augusta, GA, with his wife, Wendy, and his two daughters, Madelyn and Sarah. His hobbies include running, golfing, and traveling. He has completed three marathons as well as numerous half marathons. His passions are spending time with his family, teaching the Word of God, making disciples, and talking to people about God’s amazing grace.

In 2020, Stephen and his wife Wendy launched a collaborative blog committed to posting relatable content to help curious and growing people answer hard questions about life, leadership, and learning. Stephen and Wendy are certified facilitators of the Prepare/Enrich marriage assessment tool. Dr. Cutchins also has additional training and certification in biblical counseling from the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).


BACKGROUND

094Stephen was born in Atlanta, GA. After graduating from high school, he earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Music Education from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Before becoming a Pastor, he was a Band Director for the Fort Mill School District in South Carolina and served as a part-time church music director. He was very active as a freelance trumpet player/instructor in the Charlotte, NC area during that time. He also served as the adjunct trumpet professor at Wingate University in Wingate, NC.

In 2008, Dr. Cutchins completed a Master of Arts in Religion degree at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC, where he went on to complete his Doctorate of Ministry degree in 2012. Dr. Cutchins now serves on the Board of Trustees for Southern Evangelical Seminary. While attending Seminary in the evenings, Stephen served at Grace Life Church of Pineville, where he was both licensed and ordained to the ministry. During his nine-year tenure at Grace Life Church, he held the positions of Worship Pastor, Elder, Youth Pastor, and Pastoral Director of the Grace Life Academy.


“We are proud to have Dr. Cutchins as an SES alumnus.”

DR. RICHARD LAND, PRESIDENT EMERITUS
SOUTHERN EVANGELICAL SEMINARY

In 2012, Dr. Cutchins moved to the Asheville, NC area to serve as the Pastor of Worship at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, NC. At FBC Hendersonville, he oversaw a team of over 100 volunteers and staff to lead three weekly worship services (traditional, contemporary, and blended) for a congregation of around 1500. While there, he also began teaching both on-campus and online classes for Fruitland Baptist Bible College and  continued doctoral studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching New Testament and Homiletic classes, Dr. Cutchins taught the first Christian Apologetics courses at Fruitland Baptist Bible College in 2014. Since then, he has continued as a member of the Fruitland Baptist Bible College online teaching faculty.


“Prove It is a foundational text for the apologetics courses at Fruitland.”

DR. DAVID B. HORTON, PRESIDENT 
FRUITLAND BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE

02sharpenIn 2015, Stephen joined the Executive Team at Hyde Park Baptist Church of Austin, TX. During his time there, he planned and led worship for a weekly televised worship service and supervised a team of worship leaders and technology teams to lead seven weekly worship services on multiple campuses and venues. Dr. Cutchins also taught and preached on Sunday mornings and during mid-week services. His book on apologetics, Prove It, was published during his time in Austin, TX. In addition, Stephen planned and led a two-day regional Apologetics Conference with over 500 participants in collaboration with Southern Evangelical Seminary. While in Austin, Stephen was accepted into the Ph.D. program at Dallas Baptist University.


“When the first edition of Prove It was published in 2015, we gave away a few thousand copies as our gift to everyone on Easter Sunday. Our people loved it.”

DR. J. KIE BOWMAN, SENIOR PASTOR 
HYDE PARK BAPTIST CHURCH | AUSTIN, TX
President | Southern Baptists of Texas Convention

Stephen first joined the team at First Baptist Church of North Augusta as Pastor of Discipleship. In 2017, his volunteer teams achieved the highest Sunday School attendance (1073) in over five years. Not long after he arrived at FBCNA, the Senior Pastor position became vacant. After serving as the Interim Pastor for three months, Stephen was named Senior Pastor of FBCNA in October of 2017. Since then, he has provided pastoral leadership for this congregation of over 3000 members and a staff of over 90 full-time/part-time team members.



During his first three years as Senior Pastor, over 300 people became members or were baptized at FBCNA. Stephen also oversaw the highest year of revenue (4.2 million) in over 100 years of church history and led two campaigns to reduce debt from $5 million to less than $800,000. As a result, under his leadership, FBCNA secured enough financial commitments from its membership to be debt-free for the first time since the 1980s by 2022.

In 2020, Stephen guided his church through a sixth-month COVID-19 closing of campus (March-August of 2020). During this time, he led his team to launch a new Digital Campus, which included four unique Online Worship Gathering broadcasts each week. In the Fall of 2020, FBCNA experienced a 72% return rate for on-campus attendance. The national average was 36% at the time. That momentum allowed the ministry to accelerate, and annual contributions exceeded expenses. By the end of 2020, the church had a surplus of revenue over expenses and experienced a 62% increase in online giving over the previous year. In addition, over $475,000.00 in additional contributions were received and applied to debt reduction in 2020, which exceeded 2019 contributions by more than $30,000.00. In the first quarter of 2021, the Digital Campus of FBCNA hit a record-breaking number, having reached over 100,000 people.



As of 2021, Stephen has preached verse-by-verse and passage-by-passage through 14 books of the Bible (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, James, Jude, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Proverbs, Nehemiah, The Gospel of John, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter) as the Senior Pastor at FBCNA. In the Fall of 2021, he began a year long preaching series in the book of Acts.


“Stephen is one of the most gifted, creative, and versatile young men I have ever been acquainted with. He is a people-person, a great family man, and a leader with a servant heart.”

Dr. Ken Hemphill, Former President
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

Recent Posts

SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH


Have you ever considered the simple truth that all you have to offer is YOU? If that is true, what are you offering? Is what you offer to those around you full of exhaustion and anxiety, or are you serving up your best?
 
Too often, daily tasks like sleeping enough, eating well, exercising regularly, connecting with people we love, engaging with meaningful hobbies, and making time for personal reflection take a back seat to the busyness of life. Why is that? Why do we sometimes feel we must constantly work and help others?
 
Jack Nevison did a study that showed 50 hours on the job yielded only 37 hours of productivity. However, if you raised it to 55 hours on the job, it caused a drop to only 30 hours of useful work. When we push past 50 hours in a week, we don’t get more done.
 
To make a difference, you must take care of yourself. You are all you have to offer. If we don’t get this, we will burn out and quit before completing the work God has for us. Self-care drives success and significance. So let’s explore the topic of “rest” and take note that even God rested after all of His work. 
 
“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
 

FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER

1) Rest in the right order. 

How many of us always thought our day started in the morning? Let’s take a look at the creation story, as we see how God began each day in the evening, not the morning.

When God created the days, we find these words in Genesis: “So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5 NKJV). 

This pattern repeats as God continues to create on each successive day. “So the evening and the morning were the second day” (Genesis 1:8 NKJV). 

As we see here, your day does not begin when you get up. It starts when you go to sleep. Rest begins your new day, not coffee. 

God began each day in the evening, not the morning. So should we. 

2) Rest in the right rhythm.

Mother Theresa said, “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” Resting is more than just a matter of convenience; it is a matter of obedience. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. (Exodus 20:8-9)

However, to obey God in rest, we have to repent of people-pleasing! There is no rest without repentance. Repentance is simply changing your mind to follow God’s plan for you instead of people’s plans for you. 

There are three fundamental ways people express their plans for you. Each of these levels has an increasing intensity and will require a higher level of assertiveness in your response.

LEVEL 1 – DESIRE: This is when people have the desire for you to do something or be at something. You can look at this as “wow, that’s nice they want me to be involved.” They give you room to say yes or no, and if you say no, they won’t get mad.

LEVEL 2 – EXPECTATION: At this level, people expect you to do things they think should be done. If you say no, they get mad. But just remember, to say yes to the right things, you will need to say no to the wrong things. 

LEVEL 3 – DEMAND: Sometimes, people forcibly try to make you do something that will take you outside of the will of God. Demanding people are dangerous people, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Limit your exposure to these types of people, and be prepared to set up healthy and firm boundaries. 

Confession: Over the years, I have allowed expectations from people in my life to override God’s plan for rest. Let me invite you to join me in saying, as of today that ends.

3) Rest allows for physical recovery.

You need rest to be at your best because rest allows time for God to restore your passion. Self-care also fuels creativity. God rests first, then He works, and it’s a beautiful model to follow. 

The Bible teaches that those who do not work are lazy. However, the Bible says that those who do not rest are disobedient.

4) Rest allows your soul to catch up with you.

 Over the summer, I went on a month-long sabbatical where I disconnected from social media, the phone, email, and daily tasks that compete for my attention. Slowly as I let go of work, my soul began to catch up, and refreshment and happiness filled my heart. A key component to rest is contentment. It was so good for my soul to spend uninterrupted time with my family finding contentment in the simple things. 

Contentment is being satisfied with what you already have.

As we learn in Ecclesiastes 3, there is a “time for everything,” and the sabbatical proved to be my time for a soul revival and refreshing. I’ve noticed that the first place people tend to cut is self-care because it seems like an unnecessary luxury. But we can see above that sacrificing rest is not God’s desire or command for us. So if you are looking for a breakthrough, you may need to take a break. 

TRUTH: GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN OUR REST

So which one of these everyday tasks do you need to reassess to be at your best?

  • Sleeping enough
  • Eating well
  • Exercising regularly
  • Connecting with people we love
  • Engaging with meaningful hobbies
  • Making time for personal reflection

If you’re unsure what you need to adjust, spend time with your Heavenly Father and ask Him. Remember, it is NOT selfish to rest. You are all you have to offer, which should be your best, and that can only happen if you rest.


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