When Dr. Whitson arrived at First Baptist Church of Indian Trail on April 1, 1983, roughly 170 people were in attendance. Thirty-nine years later, he leads a multi-campus church where over 3,200 regularly participate in services. “Preacher Mike”, as he is affectionately known, has seen membership increase from 400 to more than 7,300. First Baptist Church, under his pastorate, has baptized 7,128. Nearly 100 people are serving in vocational ministry today who have been ordained under his leadership.
With God’s blessing and Dr. Whitson’s leadership, First Baptist Church Indian Trail has two established campuses that have about 200 people faithfully involved in those locations. One is our East Campus located in Marshville, NC with the other being Restoration Church located in Indian Land, SC.
He founded a Christian school at the church in 1992. Today, Metrolina Christian Academy is a thriving student body of 1,477 and is one of the largest private schools in North Carolina. MCA has given out over eight million dollars in scholarships, and has graduates attending colleges all over the United States as well as some being appointed to the United States Naval Academy at West Point.
Aside from his preaching ministry, Preacher Mike’s current focus is the establishment and growth of Cameron’s House of Hope. Cameron’s House of Hope was established in memory of Dr. Whitson’s grandson, Cameron Whitson, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2021. Food, clothing, tutoring, counseling, and encouragement are provided to children of drug addicts who are often times overlooked in our society. Support is also given to the caregivers of these children if needed.
Dr. Whitson is a former President of the North Carolina Baptist Pastors Conference. On behalf of the North American Mission Board, he has headed a major church planting effort in Portland, Oregon.
Though he has led ministry efforts around the world, he would quickly tell you that his most important ministry is his family. He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, the former Kathy Williams, for over 52 years. They have two children and five grandchildren.
AA Degree, North Greenville Junior College
BA Degree, Furman University
Erskine Theological Seminary
Received Honorary Doctorate of Christian Leadership, North Greenville University
Received Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, Liberty University
River Falls Baptist Church, Marietta, SC, 1976-1979
Groveland Baptist Church, Taylors, SC, 1979-1983
First Baptist Church of Indian Trail, Indian Trail, NC, 1983-Present