• Haywood Baptist Association

DOM/Mission Strategist Search Committee Recommendation

Dear Pastors and Churches of the Haywood Baptist Association,

With great humility and dependence on the Lord, your Search Committee, along with your Associational Officers, will unanimously recommend Rev. Dennis Thurman to serve as our next Director of Missions/Associational Mission Strategist at our Association Annual Meeting on Monday, October 26 at First Baptist Lake Junaluska.

The Lord has blessed Bro. Dennis with an extensive range of fruitful ministry experience that fits Haywood County well. His heart for helping pastors, mentoring the next generation, strengthening churches, and fulfilling the Great Commission together make him an ideal candidate. He has displayed a clear and compelling vision and a fervent passion for ministry in every meeting we have had together. He has a servant’s heart and Kingdom mindset and believes that by working cooperatively together every church can flourish in the ministry of the gospel. Bro. Dennis holds the inerrant, infallible Word of God as the ultimate authority for all of life both inside and outside of the church, and he still believes that the gospel is wholly sufficient in the reconciliation of man to God and to one another.

A brief biographical sketch of Bro. Dennis is below. We believe he will serve all of us well as we fulfill the Great Commission together, and we challenge all our pastors and churches to rally around this new opportunity to support and serve Haywood County through this cooperative community of the Haywood Baptist Association.

Please make plans to join us at First Baptist Lake Junaluska for the Haywood Baptist Association Annual Meeting on Monday, October 26th. Registration and worship begins at 6:30pm. The meeting will officially kickoff at 7pm. Social distancing and Covid-19 measures will be in place.

We can do more together than we can apart. Let’s pull together and watch what God will do!

In Full Dependence on Jesus,

Rev. Jason Miller, Chairman

Rev. Dan Page

Rev. Josh Evans

Bro. Cloyes Starnes

Bro. Denton Ashe


Family Life

Married once on 8/24/74 to the former Marilyn Crayton.  Five children: Christopher, age 42, married to the former Amber Warren; Kasey, 40, married to Jeff Frady; Kelly, 37, married to Logan Phillips; Caleb, 31; Corey, 23;

13 grandchildren (one of those now in heaven).


Graduate of A.C. Reynolds High School, Asheville, N.C., 1973.

Graduate of Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, Hendersonville, N.C., 1978.

Sunday School Leadership Diploma for General Officers, 1987.

Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, Luther Rice Seminary, 1988.

Certified Interim Pastor in Thom Rainer’s Interim Pastor University, January 2020.

Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, December 2020.

Pastoral Experience

Cane River Baptist Church, Burnsville, N.C. 1/1/78 - 7/5/81.

Oak Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C. 7/12/81 - 3/1/85.

Centerview Baptist Church, Belmont, N.C. 3/1/85 - 7/31/91.

Sugarfork Baptist Church, Franklin, N.C. 8/1/91 - 6/25/95.

Pole Creek Baptist Church, Candler, N.C. 6/26/95 - present.

(Associate Pastor/Min.Ed. from 6/95-9/97; elected Senior Pastor 10/97; Completing leadership transition away from serving as Senior Pastor in December 2020.)

Denominational Service

I have served in numerous capacities in Associational work and in the State Convention including Chairman of the Biblical Recorder Board of Directors and Sunday School Consultant for Region 9.  I have served on Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute Board of Directors and the Southern Baptist Convention as a Member of the Committee on Nominations, 2010.

Mission Experience

I have been on mission trips to Brazil, India, and Albania. I have been on radio and TV sharing the Gospel.  I have also done mission trips to Fort Wayne, Indiana; Montgomery, West Virginia; Wise, Virginia; and Vermont. I employ social media to share the Gospel.

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