Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, called Wolfe “a giant in the faith.” “He was always faithful in preaching the gospel,” Lance said. “He had an enormous influence over young pastors, and he multiplied his ministry through them.”
Throughout his ministry, Wolfe was active in Southern Baptist Convention life. He has served in key roles, including chair of the SBC Executive Committee, president of the SBC Pastors Conference and as a trustee of the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). In 1994 he was nominated for SBC president.
Wolfe’s work began during his freshman year at the University of South Carolina in Columbia when he was called to ministry. He immediately began serving in small churches surrounding the university and went on to complete his master of divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity from Mobile College (now the University of Mobile).
Wolfe’s pastoral career took him from a series of churches in North Carolina, Texas, Georgia and his native South Carolina to Alabama. In 25 years as pastor of Cottage Hill Baptist, he saw attendance grow from 800 to 2,800 and 5,500 baptisms.
David Bullock, senior pastor at Luke 4:18 Fellowship, said Wolfe’s ministry spanned more than 63 years.
“Only heaven knows all the souls that were impacted through his committed service and proclamation of the Word of God,” Bullock wrote on the church’s website. “Throughout his ministry, he discipled many Christian leaders and followers of Christ. We are all closer to the Lord today as a result of his dedication.”