Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Buckhead recently voted unanimously to call Dr. James Neil (Dock) Hollingsworth, Jr. as its seventh pastor. Hollingsworth’s first Sunday in the pulpit of the 159-year-old Peachtree Road church will be Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.
When Hollingsworth came to Second-Ponce de Leon as interim preacher 15 months ago, he did not anticipate eventually serving as senior pastor. He had served as interim pastor at nine different congregations over the past 12 years.
Hollingsworth also worked at Mercer University’s Macon and Atlanta campuses for the past 18 years. He was Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Leadership and Supervised Ministry at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology. He was also Executive Director for The Center for Teaching Churches. Prior to his time at Mercer, Hollingsworth served in churches in North Carolina and Georgia.
“I fully thought I would retire at McAfee but the energy and possibility of this place has captured my imagination, and by God’s grace it would not let me go,” said Hollingsworth of Second-Ponce de Leon.
As a teen growing up in the Atlanta area, Hollingsworth attended special events at Second-Ponce de Leon with his high school friends. While at Mercer University for his undergraduate work, several of his college friends attended Second-Ponce de Leon. Hollingsworth received his M. Div. degree from The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. In 2008, he completed the DMin program at McAfee.
Hollingsworth serves on the board of the Lord’s Day Alliance of North America and The Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. He and his wife of 29 years, Melissa, are the parents of adult twins. Their daughter, Haley, is married to Chris Clement and they live in Chicago. Their son, Brendan, works with Marriott in Macon.
Second-Ponce de Leon worship services are held at 11 a.m. on Sundays in the Sanctuary. The church engages in community outreach through hands-on missions work, a fitness facility and a preschool. For additional information, visit the Second-Ponce de Leon Web site at www.spdl.org.