When Jay Wolf looks back over his decades at First Baptist Church, Montgomery, he sees a “beautiful panorama of God’s gracious blessings.”
Since he became pastor of First, Montgomery, in 1991, the church has added 8,000 new members, baptized 2,500, built and renovated buildings and sent many missionaries to the nations.
Over the years, Wolf has served in various leadership roles across the state convention and Southern Baptist Convention, including vice chairman of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and a trustee of the International Mission Board. Wolf also has been well known as a leader for racial reconciliation in Montgomery.
After he preached his final sermon as pastor Aug. 16, he became pastor emeritus.
“If the pastor is compared to the quarterback on the team, I’m shifting over to the coaching staff and the cheerleading squad,” he said, noting that he and his wife, Mary Ruth, plan to stay involved in the church’s ministries. That includes tutoring at-risk children in Montgomery and encouraging the church’s array of ministries around the world.
Rick Lance, SBOM executive director, said Wolf’s ministry has “reached far beyond the context of the greater Montgomery area.”
Wolf led the church to be “a mission factory” but also managed to stay a very personal pastor for the congregation, Lance said.
“Although Jay is the pastor of a large church, he has an intimate knowledge of most every member of the congregation and their families as well,” he said. “Throughout his almost 30 years as pastor of FBC Montgomery, he has baptized multiple thousands of people. Jay is an excellent personal witness, and his preaching is highly evangelistic.”