“I think very highly of Stephen as a scholar, a person, and in church ministry. He is extremely talented and a devoted Christian.”
Dr. Stephen 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. He serves as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church North Augusta. As a member of the Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, he is the Chairman of the Priority Advance Committee. Dr. Cutchins holds a Doctorate of Ministry with an emphasis in Christian Apologetics, which he teaches at Fruitland Baptist Bible College in North Carolina.
In 2022, Dr. Cutchins began coaching pastors from around the country as a Pastoral Leadership Development Coach for the North American Mission Board’s Leadership Institute for Pastors. He also teaches pastoral leadership at the seminary and doctoral levels for Southern Evangelical Seminary, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. Stephen also serves as Advisory Board Chairman and Principal Consultant with Dwight Whitworth & Company, based in Tennessee. Additionally, as a Full Focus Planner Certified Pro, Dr. Cutchins is authorized by Michael Hyatt & Company to lead training events and offer consulting on business productivity, goal setting and achievement, and personal productivity.
Dr. Stephen Cutchins
Stephen 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 and co-author of Green Hearts – God’s Goodness in the Worst of Times. Stephen’s first book, Prove It, is now available as an online course. It is also used as a textbook in Universities, Bible Colleges, and Seminaries in North Carolina, Texas, and California. He is a contributing author for the 2016 Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook with general editor Dr. Ken Hemphill and the 2023 Everyday Joy and Peace: MyDaily® Devotional with general editor Dr. O.S. Hawkins.
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 segment with relatable content to help curious and growing people answer hard questions about life, leadership, and learning. The impact was significant, with 14,225 views and 12,238 audio downloads in the first 90 days. 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).
Stephen 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.
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.
In 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.
Stephen’s Current Ministry
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 $500,000. 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, reaching over 100,000 people.
Dr. Cutchins has also led his church to grow the largest Weekday Education program in the state of South Carolina. During his tenure, the enrollment for this program has more than doubled from 150 families enrolled in 2016 to over 300 enrolled in the program at the end of 2021. That same year, the overall revenue for First Baptist Church had increased to over $4.4 million. As of 2022, 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 two-year-long preaching series in the book of Acts. Over the 2021-2022 school year, FBCNA experienced a 25% increase in attendance and baptized people of all ages. During just the 2nd quarter of 2022, 43 people, including 15 teenagers, were baptized. In March of 2022, Dr. Cutchins also led his church to host the Stand Reason Youth Apologetics conference, which had over 700 students in attendance from 12 different states. The summer of 2022 culminated with over 350 kids and more than 100 volunteers coming together for Vacation Bible School, which resulted in dozens of kids expressing interest in becoming Christians and being baptized.
“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.”
“Prove It is a foundational text for the apologetics courses at Fruitland.”
“We are proud to have Dr. Cutchins as an SES alumnus.”
“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.”