Church honors retired ministry workers, gives to Mission:Dignity

By Pat Centner | Jul 5, 2023

Retired pastors, their wives, and state and associational workers were recently honored by First Baptist Church, Sun City West, for their more than 700 years of combined service in ministry. Front row: Loretta Hornecker (seated), Lois Smith, Carolyn McElreath, Trudy Williamson, Nancy Jakes, Paul Barnes, Nancy Miller, Ruth Wood, Chuck Morrison, Ruth Lewis Morrison. Back row: Aaron Meraz, Ron Hornecker, Joel McElreath, Scott Williamson, David Jakes, Glenn Saul, Doyle Miller, Pat Centner, Truett Baker, Kirby Kennedy.

Sunday, June 25, was a red-letter day for a special group of retirees at First Baptist Church, Sun City West. Thirty members of the church, including retired pastors, their wives, and state and associational staff members were recognized and honored during morning worship for their many years of service to the Lord.

Kirby Kennedy, senior pastor, thanked each person for their faithfulness to God’s calling and pointed out that First Baptist, Sun City West, is especially blessed to have so many ministry workers with such longtime devotion to God’s work. He noted those honored had served a combined total of more than 700 years in ministry and are still serving in various capacities in the church today.

The church’s congregation expressed appreciation for the honorees by giving them a heart-felt standing ovation. Following worship, a catered luncheon was held for the group and each person received a gift.

A nice tie-in to the appreciation service was the fact that June 25 was also Mission:Dignity Sunday in Southern Baptist churches across the nation. Mission:Dignity, a ministry of GuideStone, helps support retired Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows who are in critical financial need.

First Baptist was honored to have Aaron Meraz, director of Mission:Dignity, as the morning worship speaker.

Using donations secured from churches across the nation, Mission:Dignity stands “in the gap” and gives 100% of every dollar raised to those who are struggling. Last year, more than 2,800 individuals received assistance.

“It was a meaningful day,” Kennedy said. “We were blessed to honor those in our church who have given their lives in service to God, while also encouraging our congregation to support Mission:Dignity and help precious saints who are struggling financially.”

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