A Nashville-area megachurch pastor has announced plans to depart as senior pastor and, starting next year, lead an affiliated church-planting and resource network.
Mike Glenn, senior pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church — a prominent multi-site Southern Baptist congregation with about 12,000 members — made the announcement on Sunday during a service and a video released the same day.
“At the end of 2023, I will step down as senior pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church,” said Glenn following his Sunday sermon. “I’m doing this because no one loves you more than I do, and it’s just time.”
Addressing the church, Glenn underlined that no concerns precipitated the change. “This is my decision,” he said. “No one has said anything, or hinted anything, or pressured me about anything. We’ve been working with the trustees for years, knowing that this time of transition would come.”
Joey Moss, chairman of the church’s board of trustees, affirmed that Glenn and the board have planned the transition over the past year.
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In January 2024, Glenn said he plans to become executive director of Engage Church Network, a church-planting and resource network based at Brentwood Baptist. The nascent group plans to build on their history of launching churches, partnering with others, and community outreach.
Glenn has served as senior pastor since 1991. He succeeded longtime Brentwood Baptist minister Bill Wilson, who became pastor shortly after the church was founded in 1968.
Glenn and his wife, Jeannie, have two sons and became grandparents in recent years. Glenn has authored two books and frequently blogs, including guest posts on The Jesus Creed.
According to the church’s website, Brentwood Baptist has an annual budget of $30 million.
Plans to move ahead, multiply
Moss stated that the church bylaws — available on the church’s website — proscribe their senior pastor search process moving forward. “I’ll step back, and some other young whippersnapper will come in and take us into the future that God has for us,” said Glenn.
On Sunday, the church published a webpage with details of the process, including members of the search committee and details of the church membership vote to come in future months.
Since 2010, Brentwood Baptist has established seven regional campuses of the church. According to the church’s website, four of these churches were launched by associate pastors of Brentwood and three reflect Brentwood Baptist partnering with existing churches.
Each campus “has the flexibility to contextualize ministry to its unique community under the leadership of its own campus pastor,” the church states.
“More than anything these last few years, I have loved working with our campus pastors,” said Glenn in the video announcement. “It’s time for me to do that throughout Middle Tennessee.”
Regarding plans for Engage Church Network, trustee chairman Moss said it enables their congregation “to reach out and multiply in ways that we have previously not been able to do.”
“Mike is the perfect person to cast vision for that, to lead that.”
“It is out of a position of health and strength that we know this is the time,” Moss concluded. “The Lord’s in it (and) we’ve walked through this together.”
Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.