Beech Haven Baptist Church calls Dr. Rob Tims as pastor


ATHENS, Ga. — Beech Haven Baptist Church, a beautiful white church with a towering steeple on Broad Street in Athens, has called a new pastor. The church affirmed the call of Dr. Rob Tims as senior pastor on June 25, 2023, and he will preach his first sermon as pastor on August 6.

In a recent conversation with Dr. Tims, he gave every evidence of being an engaging, personable, and compassionate person with a great sense of God’s calling upon his life.

Dr. Tims has degrees from Furman University, Samford University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his pastoral background, he has worked for Lifeway Christian Resources as a manager over ongoing curriculum since 2012. He is the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt.

The new Beech Haven pastor is married to Holly Tims, a certified biblical counselor, and they have four children, Trey (19), Jonathan (17), Abigail (10), and Luke (8).

Robert Sinyard, the chairman of the Pastor Search Team at Beech Haven admitted to not having any experience in seeking a new pastor and relying on the Christian search firm Shepherds Staff to provide guidance and assistance.

Ryan Cook was the contact person for the Beech Haven search team. He explained, “The heart of Shepherd Staff is to partner with churches and pastors to find the absolute best match for the needs of the local church. We invest significant time in building relationships and getting to know the specific church and their culture and needs, as well as building partnerships with pastors and learning their passions and calling. We come alongside churches and search committees to provide staff consulting and guidance throughout the entire vetting and hiring process.”

Sinyard expressed delight that Shepherd Staff connected them with Dr. Tims, stating, “Rob is a rare combination of both intelligence and humility. This has given him the ability to take complex issues and distill them to their essence. He reads voraciously, has a quick wit and is easy to approach. Most importantly, he loves Jesus Christ and desires to do His will. We feel very fortunate to have Rob and his family accepting the call to lead our church.

Jean Henninger, also a member of the search team commented, “Several things stood out to me during the interview process with Rob.  One of these is his desire to fight for 'gospel-centrality' and bring the Word of God to bear on the lives of those he shepherds, not only as a teacher/preacher, but also in leading, counseling, and ministering to the flock entrusted to him.

“Rob strikes me as a humble intellectual who can easily relate to others as he exudes joy as a believer and follower of Jesus. Holly is a delight and appears to be a great partner with Rob in the ministries the Lord has provided them. 

In her concluding remarks, Henninger stated, “Rob and Holly both have said they welcome the opportunities and the challenges that ministering in a college town like Athens presents. We are grateful to God for sending us the entire Tims family and are very excited about serving together with them to grow God’s kingdom in Athens and beyond.”