Pastor Tim McCoy retires after 35 years at Ingleside


MACON, Ga. —  Dr. Tim McCoy, pastor of Ingleside Baptist Church in Macon, will celebrate his 66th birthday on June 29, just one day before his last Sunday as pastor of the dynamic and influential church he has served for 35 years.

Established on Dec. 23, 1951, with 203 founding members, Ingleside has grown to encompass a membership of more than 5,200.

Led by a dedicated team, including 10 pastors, three ministers, and 34 directors, associates, assistants, and support staff, the Ingleside leadership structure spans executive, worship arts, disciple-making, next generation, and operations teams.

McCoy has devoted himself to focusing on Biblical fundamentals in growing a great church. Those fundamentals are worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship and service. McCoy stated, “Our commitment to disciple-making has been steady and consistent over many years."

In the 35 years of McCoy’s ministry, Ingleside has seen a 350% increase in Sunday worship. McCoy’s passion for missions has resulted in several church plants. In addition to current church plants in Portland, Ore., Denver, Colo., and Atlanta, Ingleside has helped plant churches in New York City and Pittsburgh. Church members have made 250 mission trips to dozens of locations beyond Macon. The church has recorded 2,451 baptisms. And, there has been a 330% increase in church membership and a budget of $7.8 million for 2024.

McCoy explained, “God’s Word teaches us that every good thing comes from the hand of a loving God, and we just simply want to give Him the all the glory for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., has referred to McCoy as “a paragon of integrity and conviction.”

Dr. Timothy George, former president of Beeson Divinity School, described McCoy as “a wise, seasoned pastor, a faithful proclaimer of God’s Word and a tender shepherd of his flock.”

While McCoy has focused most of his attention on his beloved church, he has also served as a trustee for the International Mission Board and been available when called upon to serve Georgia Baptists. The church has welcomed fellow Baptists from across the state for two Georgia Baptist Convention annual meetings, in 2014 and 2020.

Macon physician Alex Correa cites McCoy’s humility, saying, “Accolades and attention have never been his desire. There is plenty of false humility in this world, but you will not find it in our brother and leader.”

When asked how the church had ministered to him, McCoy exclaimed, “The thing I cherish most is the quality of leadership from the first day we arrived in Macon until now. The people of Ingleside have been wonderful partners in the Gospel.”

McCoy recalled that the search team that recommended him to the church told him, “We will share your vision, give you the benefit of the doubt, and help you carry out that vision.”

As McCoy’s retirement approaches, he had some wise counsel for other pastors, declaring, “Obviously, any counsel to a fellow pastor is situation specific: age, life stage, location, and the church itself will determine how to advise pastors. However, there is foundational advice I could give to anyone who is interested.”

McCoy suggested that it would be helpful to understand his counsel by envisioning concentric circles. The early stoic philosopher Hierocles depicted the triadic structure to emphasize degrees of importance.

According to McCoy, the inner circle is the one of primary importance. He explained, “First, a personal relationship with God is preeminent. This comes before church, family, or anything else.” The Ingleside pastor was speaking of a narrowing of our interests on the things of earth and a broadening of our interests in the things of God.

McCoy continued, “Second, cultivate and deepen your relationship with your wife and children, because your traits and characteristics with the family will follow over into the church.”

“Third,” McCoy said, “the pastor must focus on his character and competence. It is good when a pastor’s heart’s desire is to receive the commendation said of King David in Psalm 78:72, ESV: ‘With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.’”

McCoy concluded, “Intentionally color the circles from the inside out and you will have good success.”

McCoy met his life partner, Beverly, when he traveled from Louisville, where he was a Ph.D. student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to Charlotte, N.C. to preach in a church without a pastor. He won the favor of the church and continued to preach as the interim pastor for six months. Beverly commented, “In God’s providence, Tim and I met and began a long-distance romance.”

Tim and Beverly, who had already graduated from Furman University, were married in 1987. She moved to Louisville and got a job working in a law firm to pay the bills. She added, “I did not have any idea that I would be a pastor’s wife. Nor did I have a clue as to the role of a pastor’s wife . . . (but) I loved Tim and would have followed him over a cliff.”

Beverly has been an integral part of Tim’s ministry as a teacher, missions volunteer, discipler and significantly engaged in the music ministry at Ingleside. 

On March 11, 2024, Ingleside announced that Dr. Justin Nalls would be the next lead pastor. Nalls has served the church as Ingleside’s middle school pastor, next generation team leader and teaching pastor.

When asked what lies ahead for the McCoys, he responded, “As we move from the fourth decade of our ministry in Macon we need to hand the leadership to the next generation. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 we are told, ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ An old preacher told me one time, ‘Once you are between two seasons, make sure the next thing is bigger than the now thing.’”

The McCoys plan to rest, then visit their daughters and their families in different parts of the country.

After that, McCoy said, “We will open our hands to the Lord and ask him, ‘What’s next?’” Wherever God leads, Dr. Tim McCoy will respond as a daring, excited, inspiring, contagiously joyful man of God.