By Sharon Mager
On Sept. 13, North Point Baptist Church (NPBC) in Baltimore installed Tennessee native John Argo as their senior pastor at a special service.
Growing up in a Christian home and attending Southern Baptist Churches, Argo heard the Gospel early in his life, made a profession of faith as a young child, and affirmed it as a youth. “I went through the process of growing and had to go through the decision times – choosing to live for the world or for Him,” Argo said.
As a senior in high school, Argo felt God leading him to share Christ with a particular classmate. Though an introvert by nature, Argo responded, “I will do whatever You want me to do.” Referring to God, Argo laughed and said, “I think He took it literally!” God continued to lead Argo and provided the education and training to prepare him for ministry.
Argo attended Memphis State University at Techwood Village where he became involved with the Baptist Student Union (BSU). He eventually became the Tennessee State BSU president and the Memphis State BSU President.
“God grew me tremendously (through BSU),” Argo said. He added that service in collegiate ministry helped him to step into leadership, through travel with an evangelism team and participation in BSU mission trips. He served three times on mission teams in Venezuela, learned Spanish as a result, and then majored in both Spanish and business administration.
Though he served with the BSU and at his church in various ways, Argo wasn’t interested in vocational ministry. “I had no desire to go to seminary or work at a church,” he admitted. But God had other plans. While working with a BSU team in Memphis on spring break, Argo began to question if he was accurately teaching the Word of God. That doubt prompted him to enroll in Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Along with his seminary studies, he did student ministry in Half Moon Bay and worked with the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at Stanford University. He chose to stay in California as he enjoyed the area and the work in his church’s ministries to men and students. It was also during this part of his life that a friend arranged an email introduction to his wife, Christina. Interestingly, she lived across the country in Washington, D.C. But the two quickly bonded.
“Christina and I didn’t meet until I was 39 and she was 36,” John said, adding that it was God’s perfect timing. John shared that Christina became a Christian later in life. Though she had basic knowledge about Christianity, Christina began searching for deep spiritual answers following the events of 9/11. A friend invited her to Maclean Bible Church in Virginia, where she accepted Christ as her Savior and began taking seminary classes.
John and Christina have been married for 14 years and have three children — 11-year-old Knox, 9-year-old C.J., and 2-year-old Oaklyn.
God has used the couple in various ways over the years. John served as an associate pastor at Valley Bible Church in Pleasanton, California. He was a vice-principal, taught in Christian schools, and served in student ministries at Stanford University. He also was a life coach and public speaker in Dallas and even a correctional officer, which he said gives him plenty of stories to draw from for sermons.
The family came to NPBC as a result of a recommendation. A friend from BSM, who had John had met over 30 years ago, grew up attending NBC and alerted John to the opening. It was a good match, and the transition happened quickly.
Now John and Christina are working toward getting to know and love the congregation, preaching the Word of God, and loving the community. “They (the congregation) are tremendous and want to see God,” John said. As they reach out to the community, John said, “We want to see and be seen.” His family is already involved in local athletic programs, taking walks through the neighborhood, frequenting the same stores, and intentionally developing patterns.
“It is very different from California or Memphis,” John said. There’s a different culture to learn. The family is excited to explore and start this new chapter of their lives with their new church family.