John L. Sorrells has been called by Camden's First Baptist Church as its new Senior Pastor, and his first official Sunday in the pulpit will be July 15.
Pastor Sorrells was previously Senior Pastor at Crosspoint Baptist Church in Sumter, SC. He was recommended to Camden's First Baptist congregation by its search committee to replace Rev. Bruce Hancock who retired last year after 25 years as the church's Senior Pastor.
"We believe that God has equipped and gifted John and is calling him to pastor First Baptist Church. His gifts and experiences will be valuable in leading our congregation," said Kevin Flowers, Pastor Search Committee Chairperson.
Pastor Sorrells, who has both a B.A. and M.Ed. from Furman University, as well as a Master's plus 30 hours from the University of South Carolina, also completed two years of study at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC.
Pastor Sorrells and his family lived in Camden from 1988-1998 and were all active members of Camden's First Baptist Church. During those years, he was a social studies teacher and assistant football and basketball coach at Camden High School where he started the CHS chapter of FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 1995, he was named Kershaw County Teacher of the Year. Prior to and during his time in Camden, Pastor Sorrells was active in several positions of youth ministry.
Following his years in Camden, Pastor Sorrells and his family lived in Spartanburg, SC from 1998 to 2008. During that time he continued to teach and coach until 2003 when he became Associate Minister to Students at Spartanburg's First Baptist Church, a position he held for five years. In 2008, he was called to Crosspoint Baptist Church in Sumter where he has served as Senior Pastor for 10 years.
"John loves the Lord and his life has been devoted to sharing that love with others," said
Billy Ammons, a member of Camden's First Baptist Church and a former Camden High School colleague of Sorrells. "John felt the Lord leading him out of the education field and into full time ministry. I know that he is loved and respected in his current church, and I am sure the Sorrells will be a blessing to our church."
Pastor Sorrells and his wife Tina, who celebrated their 30th anniversary last year, were newlyweds when they first came to Camden in 1988. Their three children who are now young adults were all born in Camden. "It is very humbling to return to a church home that invested in our marriage and family," said Pastor Sorrells.