Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, celebrated his fifth anniversary in September. Jones and his wife, Pam, are former Southern Baptist missionaries to Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala. He also served as a director of missions in Iowa where he was heavily involved in disaster relief work. Since coming to Tennessee, TBC DR teams have responded to 78 disasters, which accounts for 32 percent of the total 247 responses made since TBDR was formed in 1978.
Trinity Baptist Church, Jonesborough, recently called Chris McDonald as minister of music. He has a bachelor of church music degree from Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, and a master of church music degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. He and his wife, Hope, have two children. The church also called Amy Herington as children’s ministry coordinator. She has a bachelor of arts in biblical studies from Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, James, have three children.
First Baptist Church, Nolensville, has called Ken Polk as interim pastor.
Larry Pollard recently was ordained as a deacon at First Baptist Church, Dresden.
Charles Grant has been named executive director of African American relations and mobilization at the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. In a partnership jointly funded by the EC and the North American Mission Board, Grant will work to equip and mobilize African American churches and to engage potential new churches. He formerly served at LifeWay Christian Resources and was a new church catalyst for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Caylors Chapel Baptist Church, Townsend, has called Justin Sutton as pastor.
Austin Davis has been called as pastor of Smoky View Baptist Church, Maryville. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children.
Chris Kelly, executive vice president and general counsel for the Tennessee Baptist Foundation for the past six years, resigned, effective Sept. 1. He is taking a position with Argent Trust Management in Nashville.
Willie Tate, wife of Fred Tate, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, Maryville, died recently of COVID-19.
Southern Baptist Theological Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., will sponsor a “Caring Well During COVID” live conversation on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The session will focus on how pastors can help parents and families during COVID. For information, contact Paul Akin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Column: Lonnie Wilkey
A faithful servant
Longtime Tennessee Baptist pastor Guy Milam died peacefully at his home in Seymour on Sept. 2 after an extended illness. He was 85.
I knew Bro. Guy for about 32 of his 61 years in ministry. In the 1980s through the 2000s, Bro. Guy was outspoken in the “Battle for the Bible” in the Southern Baptist Convention and he was one of the conservative leaders/voices in Tennessee.
Bro. Guy would tell you what he thought, and we talked fairly often in those years. What I appreciated most about Bro. Guy was that though he might let you know when he was not pleased with something in the paper, he would also thank me for what he liked or thought needed to be said. Theologically, we were on the same page but we didn’t always agree on the content of the paper.
But, despite the times we disagreed (and it was not very often), we forged a lifelong friendship that continued until Jesus called him home a few weeks ago. We had a mutual respect for each other and loved each other as Christian brothers.
Guy Milam was a good man who loved the Lord he served so faithfully. Only God knows how many people he impacted not only directly but indirectly as well during his 61 years of ministry. Bro. Guy had a burden for lost people and he led countless people to the Lord. Many of them would later lead others to God as well.
One of his best known converts was former Carson-Newman University football coach Ken Sparks, who no doubt, greeted Milam at heaven’s gate. Milam led Sparks to the Lord as a young man while he was a pastor in Knoxville. Sparks later would lead hundreds upon hundreds of athletes to the Lord while at Carson-Newman.
One of the speakers at his funeral service on Sept. 6 was longtime friend and pastor Charles Bailey. He noted that Bro. Guy was a man of God who was faithful to the end. He wrote a tribute to his friend that he shared in closing.
In that tribute, Bailey observed, “The Bible teaches, if possible, live peaceably with all men. Guy tried. It just wasn’t possible, now and then.”
He went on to add that Bro. Guy was like a toasted marshmallow — “he was crusty on the outside but he had a soft heart.”
That described Bro. Guy in a nutshell. He called me just a few weeks before his death. He knew his days on earth were numbered and he wanted to say goodbye. I will cherish my last conversation with him and we prayed together before we hung up. It was an honor and privilege to call him friend and Christian brother.