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June-July 2016


Hidden Heroes


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Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.


Leader Profile


Melvin Worthington

Leadership involves routines and disciplines. Most great leaders follow a strict regimen that helps prepare them for the unpredictable. While interviewing Dr. Worthington, several habits surfaced: a weekly date with his wife Anne, a detailed routine of quiet-time, and daily feedings of cattle, llamas, donkeys, and a horse.

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Worthington transitioned from his role as executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists to co-pastor Liberty FWB Church in Ayden, North Carolina, the city where he was born and raised. Dr. Worthington feels there is no higher position in the denomination than pastoring, that national agencies exist to serve and unite the efforts of local churches.

Melvin grew up in a Christian home, where his parents served their church and community. After coming to know Christ at age 16, Melvin graduated high school, attended Asbury University, answered the call to preach as a sophomore, and began to sing with the Musical Messengers. He humbly shared, “I am still amazed that God called me.” Since that call many years ago, a denomination, a church, and now the state of North Carolina have benefitted from his leadership.

When asked what leadership looks like on state and local levels compared to a national agency role, Dr. Worthington did not hesitate, “I believe it is my responsibility to participate in the district, state, as well as, the national level. Attending and serving in the district and state brings insight and understanding to dealing with issues that arise in the national association.”

When asked what people most misunderstand about him, he reluctantly muses, “Perhaps they misunderstand that I am not very emotional, and they conclude I am uninterested or do not care. As my daddy always taught me, one does not need excessive emotionalism. I have always believed deep water runs quiet, and shallow water makes lots of noise.”

Dr. Worthington, you are a great leader!


Get to Know Dr. Worthington

What is an ideal date for you and Anne? We enjoy eating out once each week at Mayflower or Chico’s.

Where are your kids in life right now? Lydia Anne Selitto teaches first grade in Sparta, New Jersey. Daniel Edward Worthington works for the University of Illinois at the Abraham Lincoln library in Springfield, Illinois.

One indulgence: Chocolate/Peanut M&Ms

Do you exercise? How and what do you do? I play golf. I walk on the farm.

Who’s your favorite author? Albert Barnes

What books are you reading right now? The Biblical Illustrator and Matthew Poole

What are your top three books of all time? (other than the Bible)

Fully Furnished by F. E. Marsh

Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon

Commentary on the Scriptures by Albert Barnes


Why Free Will Baptist? This is simple: I believe Free Will Baptist doctrine and Free Will Baptist church polity. If I did not embrace the precepts, principles, philosophy, and polity of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. I would seek another denomination.

Paper or Plastic Questions:

  • Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction

  • Music or talk radio? Music

  • Sushi or burger? Burger

  • Facebook, email, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or texting? Email

  • Tie or no tie? Tie

  • Mac or PC? PC

©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists