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 degree 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 regularly posting relatable content to help curious and growing people answer hard questions about life, leadership, and learning.


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. While attending Seminary in the evenings, Dr. Cutchins 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 
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. In addition to teaching New Testament and Homiletic classes, Dr. Cutchins taught the first Christian Apologetics courses at Fruitland Baptist Bible College in 2014.


“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

Stephen first joined the team at First Baptist Church of North Augusta as Pastor of Discipleship. In 2017, Stephen led his volunteer teams to achieve 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 4000 members and staff of over 75 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 $6 million to below $1.1 million. Under his leadership, FBCNA secured enough financial commitments from their 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.



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) since becoming the Senior Pastor at FBCNA.


“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

Spiritual Narcissism



Have you ever met a spiritual narcissist?

Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s idealized self-image and attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

Doing all the religious and right things often gives us a feeling of self-importance. As a result, all the praise and the admiration from others can spin out of control very quickly if we aren’t walking in humility. As Christians, we are IN CHRIST!

It’s not about us … but sometimes we like to make it all about US.

When we do that, we trick ourselves into thinking that we don’t need God’s grace and that we can do it without God’s help. This is called works-based salvation. Works-based salvation is a type of spiritual narcissism that can lead to anxiety, loss of important relationships, and eventually lead to burnout.

Narcissism is the reliance on self or knowledge rather than reliance on God and the Holy Spirit.

Self-righteousness is like a bottomless cup; you can pour and pour, you will never be able to fill it. Why? Because pouring yourself into yourself adds nothing to you.

NOTHING + NOTHING always = NOTHING!

Instead, we should accept God’s righteousness rather than trying to accumulate our own. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tell us, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

If we are to be transformed into Christ’s image we have to take off the mask of self-righteousness and allow the Spirit to lead us.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~Paul~

Ephesians 2:8-10 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. In just three verses, Paul delivers a powerful message in eleven keywords and phrases. Let’s break it down together:

1. GRACE: By grace, we have the riches of His grace that we could never earn or keep. His Grace is His free gift and His free power available to you as heirs to the Kingdom. So, REJOICE in that!

2. FAITH: The way we receive our salvation is through faith. Faith is not a “work”, it could never be a “work.” It does not merit salvation; it is only the means by which one accepts God’s free gift of salvation.

3. NOT US: There is nothing we could have done or ever could do to receive Him. We need Jesus, even to accept Jesus. He pursues us and calls to us and at the divine moment He set for us, we hear his call and even then we rely on Him to hear about His gift and promise for us.

4. GOD’S GIFT: When a person puts out their hand to take a gift someone else offers, they are doing nothing to earn or deserve that gift. The giver gets credit for the gift, not the receiver. Likewise, faith is the same way.

5. NOT WORKS: Are you trying to work your way into God’s favor, or worse, a never-ending cycle of approval from people? You may even try to stay busy to avoid having to deal with some areas of healing God wants to walk you through. You can do a lot of “right” things, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s THE “God thing” for your life.

6. NO ONE CAN BOAST: All the glory will go to God for accomplishing salvation. As Jesus so graciously reminds us in John 14:6, “I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s impossible for anyone else to be able to provide salvation.

7. HIS ARTWORK: Rather than salvation being a masterpiece that we have produced, believers are a masterpiece that God has produced. Even though we are all being conformed to His image and walking the same journey through sanctification, we are all different works of art.

8. CREATED IN CHRIST: As a master worker, God has created us in Christ Jesus. It is the kind of work only HE can do. “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song.”

9. FOR GOOD WORKS: Good works are not the roots from which salvation grows but the fruit God intends it to bear. When you are led by the Spirit, your tree will be filled with good fruit. 

10. GOD PREPARED WORKS: God knew the plans for our life before the creation of the Earth. Nothing surprises Him, even when we try to take matters into our own hands.

11. WALK IN THEM: God orders our steps and has prepared them beforehand. We should go to Him and seeking His plan for our works. Everything we do for the Kingdom should be us walking out God’s plan for our lives, rather than the works we think we should do.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you trying to do it by yourself? 
  • Have you allowed spiritual narcissism to drive your motivation?

If you have, it’s ok, there is a solution. Seek His face, spend some time in the Secret Place with the Father and ask Him to show you what He wants you doing.

Don’t become a spiritual narcissist!

Let Jesus drive!


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