Thank you for your interest in St. John’s Baptist Church and the search for our next Minister for Worship and Music. St. John’s is located in the historic Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte and is a progressive, service-oriented congregation committed to the principles of inclusion and openness to all who seek to be a child of God. We are affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the NC Council of Churches. We welcome all those interested in applying, regardless of denominational affiliation.

We are seeking candidates called to ministry through worship and music in a progressive and inclusive setting as part of our ministerial staff. If you or someone you know would be interested in applying, we invite you to learn more about the position, our church, and its ministries below and throughout our website. Those interested in applying, or who may have questions, should contact our search team at SearchTeam@sjcharlotte.org.

If you would like to be considered for the position, please provide the following to the email address above:

  • A cover letter.
  • A resume reflecting your educational and professional experience; and
  • A video response not to exceed three (3) minutes, responding to one of the two following prompts:**
    • Describe a time when you felt God guiding you to ministry through music and worship; or,
    • How do worship and music connect the church to our work in the community?

**In the event video files exceed attachment limits, please provide a link to your video response on any video hosting or file storage website you prefer (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.).

To ensure full review of your application please submit all requested material by August 11, 2023.

Upon receipt of the items above, we will acknowledge receipt of your application and keep you apprised as we review and begin scheduling interviews.

The Position

The Worship and Music Ministry of St. John’s has flourished for decades under the capable leadership of many gifted music leaders. As we reflect on our 100-year history and heritage, we also look forward to the future of St. John’s and the worship and music ministry that will continue to add richly to the worship and family life experiences of our congregation.

Important themes inherent in our worship and music ministry include:

  • Creative and integrated worship planning, with sound theological foundation.
  • Appreciation and incorporation of various music styles, instruments and vocalists into traditional worship as well as other venues.
  • Chancel Choir that appreciates challenging works, diverse musical styles and intentional engagement of current and new choir members.
  • Coordination of Youth and Children’s choir programming that educates, encourages and celebrates diverse gifts and styles. Uses instruments, technology and enthusiasm to engage youth and children…current and prospective participants.
  • St. John’s Academy of the Arts community music and arts programs that leverage our facility and provide opportunity for connecting with prospective guests and members.

We seek a Worship and Music Minister to:

  • Provide full-time leadership to the areas of focus described above, in combination with targeted use of part-time resources to supplement instrumentalists and children’s programming as necessary. The position oversees several part time music staff: Academy of Music director, handbell director, children’s choir director, organists, accompanists, and other paid or volunteer roles as needed to support music and worship programming.
  • Bring thoughtful leadership and insight to worship planning, musical education and spiritual growth through music, supported by the candidate’s theological education and experiences.
  • Lead varied and engaging worship experiences, adapting words or music for worship as needed, balancing traditional and modern elements, guiding worship for all including some who are new or unaccustomed to our service. Our music resources include a LeTourneau organ commissioned in 2008, a carillon, a chancel choir, an adult handbell choir, and children’s and youth choirs.
  • Use strong musicality to understand and leverage the roles of choral groups, soloists/ensembles and instrumentalists to bring varied and quality approaches, with emphasis on engaging children and youth in music programs and education.
  • Ensure effective collaboration and flexibility in programming through positive relationships and skilled communication with staff, lay leaders and families.
  • Engage choir members and musicians at all levels to produce quality music in an environment that is affirming and motivating.
  • Maintain community and local arts connections to support community use of St. John’s facilities and for St. John’s religious and secular programming. One example is an annual live radio broadcast of ”Lessons and Carols from St. John’s” from our sanctuary in coordination WDAV Public Radio.
  • Engage ecumenically with other churches / faith groups in Charlotte.
  • Maintain self-direction for focus areas where the church needs attention and support, including worship teams, worship planning, and equipping and training leaders.
  • Oversee the technology related to worship services and other church programming, training and supervising lay leaders to accomplish this.

Where We’ve Been: A Brief History

A meeting of some 200 worshipers to organize St. John’s Baptist Church occurred on March 26, 1922. This meeting was the culmination of gatherings, prayer groups, and conferences of Baptists concerned with the progress of their denomination in what was then eastern suburban Charlotte, an area that was fast growing. Over the century since that time, the congregation has grown and become a strong progressive voice in the city.

Our Current Demographics

Age Range Number % of Total

  • Preschool 32, 6%
  • Elementary 20, 4%
  • Youth 38, 7%
  • 20s 31, 6%
  • 30s 35, 7%
  • 40s 33, 6%
  • 50s 40, 8%
  • 60s 81, 15%
  • 70s 93, 18%
  • 80s 61, 12%
  • 90s 24, 5%
  • Neighbors 37, 7%
  • 525 100%

Where We Are Going

St. John’s is a leadership church in central Charlotte. As we begin our second century of ministry in 2023, we are excited about our future opportunities to impact the Queen City with God’s Good News. Our strong orientation of servanthood and active faith is supported by worship that is both participative and reverent; by a renewed focus on spiritual growth and learning; and by intentional expressions of compassionate care. We are expanding our efforts of outreach and creating new pathways of connecting our message with the residents of metro Charlotte. Because our message is inclusive and ecumenical, our members are drawn from the entire metro Charlotte region.

Factors such as affordability, ease of commute, ability to connect with other parts of the world, a thriving arts and science community, professional sports, and a talented, diverse labor force encourage financial investment in the region, new businesses, quality employees, and employment opportunities. Charlotte is the second largest banking center in the U.S. and has grown and changed dramatically in the last half-century. No longer do employees turn out the lights and leave the city center when the workday ends. Tourists, people from around the region, and Charlotteans crowd the streets in the evenings and on weekends, to enjoy world-class events, entertainment, and restaurants.

When St. John’s was founded in 1922, the church was considered an outreach ministry to the developing Elizabeth and Myers Park neighborhoods. According to local historian Dr. Dan Morrill, both were among the most fashionable of Charlotte’s new residential areas. Charlotte’s growth in the past century has been exponential, from a population of 46,338 in 1920 to an estimated 885,663 in 2023. The current population of Mecklenburg County is estimated to be 1,174,237. The estimated population of the Charlotte metropolitan statistical area is 2,660,329.

St. John’s remains in its original location, which is now considered center city. It is located in the Elizabeth neighborhood, an area rapidly growing and diversifying. Throughout its history, members have come from both the immediate neighborhood and the surrounding metro area. Currently members live not only in the immediate area but also in communities in Lake Norman, Union County, Gaston County, and upper South Carolina. The congregation is committed to reaching out to neighbors in Elizabeth and beyond. St. John’s strives to identify and address the physical and spiritual needs of the community.

In the first quarter of the 21st century, St. John’s has recognized a new local community which has grown up rapidly within a three-mile radius of the church. This area not only includes Elizabeth but also newly built Center City residences housing large numbers of urban dwellers. Currently there are 99,459 people residing in 44,241 households in the defined area, and that number is projected to increase over the next five years. According to a 2010 report by Percepts, a leading provider of demographic data to faith institutions, individuals 49 years old and younger make up 75 percent of the population. Diversity is the foremost characteristic of this community. Racial/ethnic diversity is evident: the white and African American populations are almost equally represented, with approximately 43 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Hispanics and other minorities comprise the remaining 16 percent. The 2010 Percepts demographic study found the lifestyle group of Ethnic and Urban Diversity to be the largest of the area, with 38.8 percent of the population. The Young and Coming group follows closely with 35.8 percent. Affluent Families (11 percent) and Middle American Families (9.8 percent) round out the four largest lifestyle groups within St. John’s local community. The variety of lifestyles, wide range of income levels, high numbers of nontraditional families, above aver number of rental dwellings, and the above average number of economically struggling households present special opportunities and challenges. The nearby neighbors provide St. John’s a source of new and unique talents.

In the current planning document, which defines St. John’s core values, the congregation declared its continuing commitment to local service:

We are a servant Church with a primary focus on local community outreach and missions. While we will serve God’s children as God leads us, we recognize that as a center-city community of faith, we have a special responsibility to see opportunities that will address the unmet social and spiritual needs of communities and individuals within central Charlotte.

In addition, St. John’s embraces the wide range of diversity in the local community:

We are committed to the principles of inclusion and openness to all who seek the be a Child of God. We will not allow discrimination in our membership policy against anyone because of race, gender, sexual orientation, station in life, or previous religious affiliation. We have settled this position as policy and embrace it fully.

Throughout its history, St. John’s has maintained a commitment to strengthening relationships with our neighbors and the larger community of faith. The congregation and staff have examined and take these relationships seriously.

Who We Are

Our Structure and Leadership

Leadership at St. John’s starts with the congregation – we are all participants in God’s servant church. The people of St. John’s work with our equipping ministers and administrative staff to guide the church in its ministries.

The congregation ordains a Diaconate, setting apart deacons as servant leaders of the church. Each year, the congregation elects a slate of sixteen members to serve three-year terms as deacons. The forty-eight deacons are divided among three panels according to their skills and interests: Administrative, covering Finance, Human Resources, etc.; Ministries, covering Outreach, Education, Worship, etc.; and Pastoral, covering Congregational Care, Relationship Building, etc. The three panels work collaboratively and in conjunction with the Church Council (comprised of the officers of the three panels and the Chair of the Diaconate) to determine, initiate, and support the various ministries and actions of St. John’s Baptist Church.

The Diaconate and the Church Council appoint small groups to accomplish the objectives of the church. Standing resource teams administer the ongoing needs of the church, such as the Finance Resource Team, the Personnel Resource Team, the Worship Resource Team, and the Mission Resource Team, to list several examples. Short-term task forces approach projects for finite time periods, such as the current search task force seeking new ministry staff. Members of our ministry staff serve as liaisons to the deacon panels, resource teams, and task forces to ensure that the congregation and staff work together to achieve the church’s objectives.

Our Connections

St. John’s is a Baptist community of faith. Our congregation treasures the distinctive qualities that have characterized Baptists throughout history, including the sanctity of each individual’s personal relationship with God, the autonomy of the local church, and the separation of church and state. St. John’s takes pride in its affiliation with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Alliance of Baptists. Nonetheless, loyalty to denomination is secondary to the higher authority of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

St. John’s has never depended upon denominational formalities to form connections with the outside world. Partnerships that shape St. John’s identity in the community have traditionally begun with the passions of a few inspired members and grown into church-wide priorities. This person-to-person approach to connections has led to an eclectic mix of missions and partnerships, but the unique passion behind each relationship provides depth and meaning. Examples of connections at St. John’s include:

  • Active involvement in local missions, including Crisis Assistance Ministry, Mecklenburg Ministries, Hope Chapel, and Room in the Inn.
  • Nonprofit and charitable organizations that make use of our facilities, including Church World Services, Shepherd’s Center, Charlotte Family Housing, Right Moves for Youth, St. John’s Weekday School, and others.
  • Community and neighborhood groups, like the Elizabeth Community Association, Novant-Presbyterian Hospital, and other arts, education, and neighborhood groups that regularly use the facility.
  • Partnership in the Elizabeth Communities of Faith, a cross-denominational group of Elizabeth neighborhood churches plus the chaplaincy groups of the local hospitals.