A Giant Among Men: Apostle Simmons Gives Lesson In Succession Planning

Apostle Norbert E. Simmons

A Giant Among Men: Apostle Simmons Gives Lesson In Succession Planning

Apostle Norbert E Simmons is known to many as A Giant Among Men. The most recent confirmation that Apostle Simmons stands head and shoulder above many was his appointment of Dr. Aaron McNair, II as his successor as Senior Pastor of Deeper Life Church Ministries (DLCM), 900 Eleventh Street, Goldsboro, NC. This was done not because Apostle Simmons was tired, sick, or ineffective. This Giant Among Men made the decision to name his successor because it was time.  On February, 16, 2020, Apostle Norbert Simmons passed the sword that hung on the wall in his church office to the current Senior Pastor, Dr. Aaron McNair, II with these words, “ Don’t be afraid to rebuke, be unselfish in your leadership, don’t be selfish with your love…love the people and they will love you back…Wow, this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I feel good about it because I know it’s going to be in good hands. I release my duties as Senior Pastor of Deeper Life Church Ministries into the hands of you my son, Pastor Aaron McNair, Jr. and to you Lady McNair….First Lady and I release our responsibilities into your hands.”

Receiving the baton was a surprise. “I am a 7th generation preacher,” said Aaron McNair, II, DLCM Senior Pastor. “I was already the pastor of Mt. Moriah Community Church in Raleigh. Little did I know that God also had plans for me to succeed this Giant Among Men, Apostle Simmons, at Deeper Life Church Ministries. I am truly honored and humbled by this assignment. I know that to whom much is given, much is required.”

First Lady Gwen Simmons stated that she is privileged and honored to have been by his side, having a close view about how he feels and thinks about doing ministry. His retirement has meant that we have more time together. I’m really going to enjoy my time with him just to do whatever we decide to do. However, I am certain that while he has retired as senior pastor, he has not retired from ministry.”

DLCM’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Victor Boykin “I have found Apostle Simmons to be a true man of God. Always teaching, preaching, saving souls while being first partaker and living by the word of God. His teaching and preaching have shaped me into a better husband, father, and man of God.

LaVone Hicks has been a member under the pastorship of Apostle Simmons for forty years. “I only know Apostle Simmons as a man of integrity, despite challenges, when others went low, he kept the high roll. He is truly a man of God.

Apostle Norbert Simmons and First Lady Gwen Simmons.

Apostle Simmons message to pastors is to prepare for retirement and know when it’s time. If you are in God’s time, it will be a sweet transition. If you are confused, it’s not of God. Seek someone who will leave the ministry better than they found it and that the ministry will thrive and grow. Retire while you are on top. Don’t stay in the pulpit so long that you tear down what you built up. My successor can do just that. I am happy with my choice.

This Giant Among Men has a message for every believer. ”I want to encourage those doing ministry to stay focused, don’t be distracted by popularity, success or anything ungodly. Your integrity will cause people to trust you and to receive from you what God has placed in you. You don’t want to just preach and teach the word; but you want to live the word. People would rather see a sermon than hear a sermon. If you are a leader in ministry, always be first partaker of what you are asking those who are following you to do. Always remember the greatest of all gifts is love. Treat everyone with respect. Treat everybody right and you will have great success.”

Norbert Simmons was born to the late Levancie and Georgie Lena Jones Simmons in Mt. Olive, NC, March 29, 1949. He graduated from Carver High School and serves as the National Champlain of Carver HS Alumni. . Apostle Simmons received a MA and Doctorate from North Carolina College of Theology (NCCT), Wilmington, NC. He has also served as on board of directors of NCCT. After being born again in the year of 1974, he soon became a renowned evangelist and later a pastor and founder. He remodeled two churches and build three new churches from the ground. DLCM, the last church built from the ground,  began with nine members has grown to as many as 2000 members at one point in its history. The current location is over 52000 square feet, totally equipped for ministry.”  The church thrived under his leadership and now the sword has been passed to his current successor, Aaron McNair, II.