FRANKLIN — When Gary Rickman was recognized for his 50 years of service, he handled the moment in much the same manner that he has handled so many things in his ministry: With a smile on his face.
Rickman — who officially retired from full-time ministry in 2016 but has continued to serve in a variety of roles since then — was presented with a plaque and a heartfelt ovation during the TBMB’s monthly staff meeting in August.
“I can’t tell you the amount of respect I have for Gary Rickman,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, when presenting Rickman with his plaque. “It’s his steadiness, his wisdom, his experience — all of this has impacted the kingdom.”
Rickman, a graduate of Belmont University and Southeastern Seminary, was licensed to ministry in 1970, and took his first church — Burt Baptist in Woodbury — in the fall of 1973.
He later moved to North Carolina, where he pastored at Union Hope Baptist Church in Zebulon, N.C.
He then moved back to Tennessee, and served as pastor at Powell’s Chapel Baptist in Murfreesboro, followed by an eight-year tenure at Ridgeview Baptist Church in Chattanooga.
In October of 1991, he was called to begin work with the executive board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (now the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board), serving in the role of ministry coordinator.
Since his retirement in December of 2016, Rickman has continued to work with the TBMB in various roles. He currently assists with ministry needs in Harvest Field Three (which covers the greater Nashville area).
In recent years, he has also served roughly 20 different churches as interim pastor.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the Lord in some capacity until he calls home,” Rickman said. “It’s always exciting to see what comes next,” he said with a laugh. B&R