October 31, 2014 marked Sonny's retirement from pastoral ministry. After a banking and hospital administration career, God called he and his wife, Harriet to church ministry.
Sonny has been privileged to serve four great congregations---Woodland Baptist Church (Wake Forest, NC), First Baptist Church of Goose Creek (Goose Creek, SC), Hampton Heights Baptist Church (Greenville, SC), and Northwood Baptist Church, (North Charleston, SC).
There was also a time as Director of Pastoral Ministries at the South Carolina Baptist Convention. During his service with the SCBC he was an intentional interim or transitional pastor in eight congregations.
Sonny and his wife have been married for forty-seven years and have been blessed with wonderful children; Elizabeth (Liz) Carpenter, who is married to Scott and mother of John Lewis and Laura, and Brian, who was married to Katherine before he was killed in 2011.
Sonny graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina with a B.S. in Business Administration (1971), He completed the M.Div. with languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (1982), and the Doctor of Ministry in Christian leadership at SEBTS (1990).
Sonny was elected and served as President of the South Carolina Baptist Convention 2011. Over the years he has served as trustee of the Baptist Courier, The Baptist Foundation of South Carolina, Charleston Southern University, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the Spring, 2017 semester, he began as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Christian Studies at Charleston Southern University. Since retirement, he has coached pastors and assisted many churches through his book and website, FinishPeriod.com which provides encouragement for those tempted to quit.