As we reached the end of an era 5/8/2018 I reflected on the senior pastors my family has known, loved and been thankful for since we moved to FBC in April 1965. I was amazed at the closeness of the starting age range for each of the Senior Pastors or Co-pastors. Two were at age 38, one each at 42, 45 and 48 or a range of 38-48.
Dr. Homer Lindsay Sr. [1940-1973 as pastor and then co-pastor, died in 1981] He was a great pastor and leader. When he came in 1940 he was 38 years old and came to church that had lost it’s educational building in a mortgage foreclosure and had the distinction of having the largest debt in the Southern Baptist convention. The only building FBC owned was the Hobson Auditorium without any educational space. He preached “debt free in 43”. That became a reality during WW II and FBC has had no debt since then. On a personal note when he was 71 in 1975 he and his wife came to our house for dinner. He got down on the floor and played with our children Linda and David, age 7 & 9 at the time.
Dr. Homer Lindsay Jr. [1969-2000 co-pastor, pastor and co-pastor, died in February 2000] was 42 years old when he came in 1969. He was a great evangelistic preacher and leader. He led Sunday School growth from about 1,000 in 1969 to over 6,500 in 1992. On a personal note Dr. Lindsay Jr and Dr. Vines trusted me as Chairman of the Deacons 5 years between 1983 & 1999. I also served as a member of the finance committee about 20 years from 1972-1999. On Christmas Eve in 1972 Dr. Lindsay brought a dachshund puppy to our house with a ribbon for Linda and David. [For more details on Dr. Lindsay Jr. and an interview with Dr. Vines click here.]
Dr. Jerry Vines [1982-2006 as co-pastor and then Pastor] was 45 when he came to FBC. He was a good preacher who started the First Baptist annual Pastor’s conference in 1985. He was a very active leader in the Southern Baptist Convention resurgence to return the SBC to a firm belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, beginning before coming as co-pastor. He was SBC president 1988-1990 while at FBC. For personal note see above.
Dr. Mac Brunson [Senior Pastor April 2006 at age 48 – October 2017, then co-pastor until May 2018] is one the best preachers in the SBC. He led in starting the First Baptist Academy and began satellite churches in Nocatee, Ortega, and UNF. One of the best things he did was bring Dr. Heath Lambert to FBC as co-pastor.
On a personal note he encouraged me: in One2Won Discipleship, ask me to help select men to give their discipling testimonies on Wednesday night in September for several years, have a One2Won booth at the pastors conference, help produce a One2Won Discipleship Book for women with the permission of the author Joe White and ask me to chair a FBC Vision committee 2011- 2012. He baptized our granddaughter Lanier Lineberger as the 102nd person baptized on a Sunday night in 2006. Dr. Brunson dedicated our grandsons William in 2008 and Dawson in 2011. Their father David Luke served as chairman of the deacons in 2016.
Dr. Heath Lambert [Pastor 2016-October 2017, then co-pastor until May 2018 & now sole Senior Pastor, age 38] Dr. Lambert is a good preacher with a heart for winning Jacksonville for Jesus. He is a good administrator, open and willing to listen to input. His first ministry priority is FBC. On a personal note he reminds me of Dr. Lindsay Jr. but with a more open personality. I look forward to serving God under the leadership of God’s man Dr. Lambert the rest of my life.
Henry Luke May 13, 2018