On May 21, 2023 Dr. Mike Harder was unanimously affirmed as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Spartanburg.
Dr. Mike Harder served as pastor of Kairos at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN. Kairos is a worship gathering focused on young adults that God has used to shape Nashville. He previously served as Senior Pastor at The Gospel Church in Nashville, which he planted in 2007. Mike completed his Ph.D. in preaching in 2022 from Southeastern Seminary, writing on the contextual preaching of Jonathan Edwards. He is the author of In Transit: What Do You Do With Your Wait?, Jaded, and Deep Faith (coming spring 2024) from Lifeway.
Mike is married to Tabitha, and they have three daughters and a son. Mike was born in Bogota, Colombia as a missionary kid, and he has a heart for preaching the Word of God, loving people, and connecting people to Jesus.
A Personal Letter from Mike & Tabitha
Dear FBS Church Family,
When I gave my life to follow Jesus, I committed to follow Him wherever He told me to go and do whatever He wanted me to do. Earlier this year, Tabitha and I felt God calling us to be open to a new chapter of ministry. We felt God leading us to be open to whatever He had in store for us. We began to pray for a people to love and to lead. Over the past months, we have been amazed at how God has brought us to you, First Baptist Spartanburg. We have fallen in love with the people of First Baptist and the city of Spartanburg. As the son of missionaries, I see the world with a missionary mentality. The mission field is not only across the ocean, but also here in Spartanburg. Our community is filled with people struggling with mental health, addiction, broken families, and shattered dreams. Many are disconnected from God or are going through a season of doubt. I believe that the local church is God’s plan to transform people and communities.
It is my conviction that the best way to change a community is through the local church. I am committed to the faithful preaching of the Word of God, authentic community, missions, and discipleship. The key to transforming a community is training and engaging God’s people to do whatever God wants them to do. The greatest resource a church has is its people. The early church transformed the ancient world because every person saw themselves as critical to reaching the world for Jesus. Many churches are filled with people who sit on the sidelines, which is a tragedy, because the fun in following Jesus is being in the game. When church members see themselves as active agents of God in their community, they transform a city. I hope First Baptist Spartanburg draws people to Christ by the way we exalt Jesus and love each other. I am humbled and grateful to be considered to serve you as pastor. Tabitha and I are looking forward to having a front-row seat to what God will do through the incredible body of believers at First Baptist Spartanburg. We anticipate that God will do great things through our church as we follow His will for our lives.
Christ is all,
Mike & Tabitha Harder
P.H.D | Applied Theology: Preaching
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Master of Divinity
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
Bachelor of Arts | Ministry
University of Northwestern