I read an article this week about one of our Kentucky pastors, Tim Morgan, who is doing a great job leading Silent Run Baptist Church in rural Hopkins County. It reminded me yet again of the incredible group of men whom God has called to serve as pastors in the 2,400 Kentucky Baptist churches.
Tim served 24 years in the U.S. Army, primarily as a helicopter pilot ferreting Navy Seals and Delta Force soldiers into hotspots around the world. He retired from the military in 2012, and, a year later, turned his attention to serving the bride of Christ.
The article pointed out that Tim has brought the same courage and tenacity to his ministry that he was decorated for as a soldier.
We have wonderful pastors across our state, and Tim is certainly one of them. He loves the Lord, the Lord’s church, and has a passion to see the lost saved.
His job as a special ops pilot found him in some of the most dangerous war zones on the planet, but Tim realizes that the battle for souls has even greater risks and consequences, and he approaches his work as a pastor-evangelist with even more courage and conviction.
I am humbled as I reflect on the commitment of all Kentucky Baptist pastors. They have devoted themselves to serving Christ in an all-out push to take the gospel into their local communities, their state, their nation and the world. And the results are remarkable.
“We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Last year, for example, these men baptized 13,681 new believers. That’s more than twice the number of people who live in cities like Leitchfield, Princeton, Monticello, Pikeville or Russellville.
Those yearly baptism totals add up quickly. In fact, since 2005, Kentucky Baptist churches have reported 183,059 baptisms. For perspective, that’s roughly three times the number of people living in major Kentucky cities like Bowling Green and Owensboro.
These men are faithful to the Great Commission, realizing the battle for souls is one that comes with great risks and greater rewards. I consider it a great honor to work alongside these great men who approach their work with incredible courage and conviction. Working cooperatively, we’re able to advance the gospel in ways that we could never do alone.
The day in which we’re living is a difficult one for ministry. Yet, Kentucky Baptists are partnering with their counterparts across the Southern Baptist Convention and accomplishing great things. The SBC numbers is excess of 15.2 million people in more than 47,000 churches.
Last year, we baptized more than 280,000 new believers globally. That’s more than 500 baptisms every Sunday, given that most baptisms are conducted on Sunday.
Kentucky pastors are steadfast in their service, and I’m thankful for their faithfulness. These men truly are “special forces” that God is using to reach the world with the gospel.