First Baptist Church Decatur calls David Gushee as Interim Pastor
On September 21 the FBCD Personnel Committee shared the news with the congregation that Rev. Dr. David Gushee will be assuming the Interim Pastor position beginning on October 16, 2016. Following is an excerpt from their letter to the congregation, and their introduction of David Gushee.
Announcement of Interim Pastor (excerpt of letter to the Congregation)
We welcome Dr. David Gushee as the Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church Decatur. David has been a pillar of our lay-led church for the past 9 1/2 years. From the dynamic Bible seeking community he has fostered in the Seeking the Kingdom Sunday morning class to his sermons in these times of transition, David portrays his heart for Jesus on a daily basis to FBCD. “Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus” is how David wants to lead and preach in the coming months, as in past months. He wants to build unity by calling us to the very core of our identity and commitment as followers of Jesus. David wants to promote a balanced approach that takes seriously both internal and external needs. He wants to see that needs of the existing flock of First Baptist Church Decatur are met, and met well; he wants to grow the church spiritually and numerically; and he wants us collectively to serve the community and world in Christ’s name. He is committed to excellence so that everything we do, we do well, in Christ’s name and for his sake.
Introducing David Gushee
Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University, where he teaches on both the Atlanta and Macon campuses. He was educated at the College of William & Mary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Union Seminary in New York, where he earned his Ph.D. in Christian ethics.
David came to Mercer (and to First Baptist Church Decatur) in the summer of 2007, after eleven years teaching at Union University and, before that, three years at Southern Baptist Seminary. David is the author or editor of 21 books in his field of Christian ethics, and is considered one of the leading religion scholars and Christian ethicists in America. He is President-Elect of the Society of Christian Ethics and Vice-President of the American Academy of Religion. His award-winning blog appears weekly at Religion News Service.
David was converted at 16 in a Southern Baptist congregation near his home in Vienna, Virginia. He sensed a call to ministry from very early after his conversion and pursued that call through ministry service and studies at Southern Seminary. While pursuing his education he served as a children’s minister and youth minister, and was ordained at Walnut Hills Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1987. During his time in west Tennessee at Union University he served for a number of years as a co-pastor of a team-led, seeker-oriented Baptist church.
David has been married to Jeanie for 32 years. They are blessed to have all three of their children—Holly, David, and Marie—living near them in Atlanta, along with a son-in-law Jonathan and grandson Jonah. FBCD member Lynnie Grant (David’s mother-in-law) and sister Kate live with David and Jeanie in their Atlanta home, along with their regal cat Noah. David is a rabid fan of the Atlanta Braves, who receive periodic mention in his sermons.
First Baptist Church Decatur