Dennis Foust became Senior Minister of St. John’s in August, 2011. He has served congregations, as both a pastor and an associate pastor, in Birmingham, AL; Atlanta, GA; Chattanooga, TN; San Antonio, TX; and Louisville, KY.
Dennis’ family lineage traces through Alamance County, North Carolina, dating to the early 1700s. The oldest child of a Baptist pastor, Dennis grew up in western Kentucky, southern Indiana, Little Rock, Arkansas and Kansas City, Missouri. Majoring in religion at Oakland City University, he focused in the areas of biblical studies, theological foundations and pastoral leadership. While earning his masters and doctorate, at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (when it was a seminary), he studied congregational life and leadership. He has pursued continuing education at Harvard University, Wake Forest University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has enjoyed ministry trips to Mexico, Israel, England, Morocco, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Namibia.
Dennis has served in numerous roles in Baptist, ecumenical, interfaith and community leadership. He has traveled the nation exploring interfaith initiatives and the impact of increased religious pluralism. He is committed to helping Baptists live by the historic principles of congregational autonomy, religious freedom, Church-State separation and soul competence. He enjoys writing and has published articles in the areas of Biblical studies, missional church praxis, congregational leadership and offered contributions to books helping adults apply spiritual principles to life issues such as peacemaking and ministry in daily life. He has spoken in congregations in twenty states, taught courses in biblical studies, church leadership and mission in seminaries and universities and was the founding design editor of Formations for Adults, a spiritual formation resource for adults. Currently, he serves locally on the Board of Directors for Mecklenburg Ministries (MeckMIN), Charlotte’s interfaith and ecumenical network; is a Trustee of the Ministering to Ministers Foundation, the only ecumenical organization in the USA focused on caring for professional ministers who are forced out of their ministry roles by congregations; and serves on the Global Commission for Interfaith Relations through Baptist World Alliance.
Along the way, Dennis enjoys conversations with friends, reading, walking, writing, storytelling, mentoring young leaders, browsing used bookstores and golf. A huge baseball fan, he has attended baseball games in all thirty major league ballparks and is thankful that his mother did not throw away his baseball cards from the 1960s. Dennis’ wife, Paula, manages The Memory Center of Charlotte, which cares for adults living with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers and families. When possible, Dennis and Paula enjoy traveling to new places, time in the mountains or at the beach, puzzle building, movies, exploring North Carolina and being with their three adult children and their families.