David Sharpton, referred to as the cowboy evangelist in this article, raises Angus cattle on his Commerce, Ga. farm. COURTESY/David Sharpton
MAYSVILLE – C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” David Sharpton has never viewed Christianity as moderately important. In fact, he is one of the most excited Christians one could ever meet; and his passion for souls has been the hallmark of his ministry for 37 years.
He recently announced his retirement from vocational ministry at Maysville Baptist Church, but those who know him are fully aware that he will not stop serving the Lord nor the Maysville Church he has served faithfully for more than a decade. During his ministry at Maysville he has served as minister of education, minister of evangelism, men’s minister, associate pastor and executive pastor and has occasionally fulfilled several of those roles at the same time.
He explained, “I believe that when God calls you it is for a lifetime, not for a salary. When I began my ministry at both Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula and Maysville Baptist Church, it was on a volunteer basis. When the opportunity arose for a ministry position God allowed me to accept it. God has been faithful to provide much ministry for us and I believe He has much more ahead for us. He has never quit on me and I won’t quit on Him.”
Sharpton added, “As a child I experienced rejection from my dad. After years of striving to find acceptance my self-worth and purpose for life had hit rock bottom, but when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior all of that changed. I suddenly realized, for the very first time, the acceptance I had been longing for. God forgave me. He accepted me and loved me for me!
“As a result of my salvation, I want everyone to experience the love of God and the purpose that He has for their life. The desire that God gave me for the lost led me back to my mom and dad. I had the joy and honor to share Christ with them and they both accepted Him as their Savior. I also had the privilege of baptizing both of them.”
Sharpton’s evangelism initiatives are widely known throughout our Baptist denomination. Among those witnessing strategies are: -Men’s Ministry (Outdoor men’s Ministry), Annual Wild Game Dinner, Pastor’s Fish Fry, Annual Bow Shoot, Deer Camp Meeting, mid-week Bible study, door to door surveys, Annual Dove Shoot, evangelism training, FAITH Evangelism (30 sessions), One Day Soul Winning Workshop, SOS (Steps of Salvation) and revivals. Sharpton has proven that intentional evangelism works and often results in many being saved.
“We have been commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to go and make disciples and then teach them to observe all the God has commanded,” declared Sharpton. “For these things to take place believers must be surrendered to the will of God and empowered by the Spirit of God. When we experience a personal revival God will give us a broken heart for the lost and set us afire with the Gospel; and we are not to back up or shut up but speak up until we are called up.”
Sharpton continued, “I have often said that the Lord speaks audibly through my wife, Donna. We have been praying and seeking God’s face on the subject of retirement for about 18 months. We both share a passion for the ministry of serving others. Neither of us wants to step away from this ministry, but we both knew that it was time for me to step away from the day-to-day responsibilities of being on the church staff. We are not leaving our church. We love our church! We both are excited to see what God has in-store for us.”
On April 11, 2021, Maysville Pastor Shane Roberson and the church recognized Sharpton for his long and productive ministry. Roberson read a document that explained that the honoree had ministered for “13,505 sunrises and sunsets with early morning studying, reading, meditating on the powerful, infallible, inerrant Word of God.’
Those years have been marked by “countless Sunday School lessons taught, intercessory prayers for family and others, hundreds of sermons preached, and the Gospel invitation consistently given.”
The document noted that Sharpton has been “a faithful servant to the Lord and a friend to many with untold numbers coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.”
Larry Wynn, former pastor of the Hebron Church where Sharpton faithfully served for many years communicated via video at the recognition service, saying, “David, you have given yourself unselfishly and tirelessly to the Lord Jesus. Your preaching has always been tied to the Scripture and applicable to your hearers. But you may be best known for your fearless witness for Christ. Many will be in heaven because you loved them enough to tell them how to be saved.”
Sharpton avows, “It has been easy to lead our church in evangelism, because the members are constantly challenged to exemplify ‘Loving God, Loving others and Serving the World.” He continues to direct the men’s ministry and teach a young adult Sunday School class. Donna will continue in the role she loves as children’s Sunday School director.
In addition to continuing to serve Christ through the Maysville Church Sharpton explained, “Since I began my ministry opportunities at Maysville Baptist Church, Donna, our son Daniel and I have run a Black Angus cattle farm.” So, not all of the cowboys are in Texas.
The cowboy evangelist added, “Our farm is in Commerce, GA and we are so fortunate that our children and grandchildren live on the farm with us – that includes our oldest son Jeremy, his wife Melissa and their children Raegan and Henry, our middle son Daniel, his wife Whitney and their children Brynn and Briggs and our youngest son John Mark, his wife Chaning and their daughters Margo and Landry.”
Sharpton concluded, “My plans include spending a great deal of time with our children and grandchildren. We plan to be present for their high school graduations, golf tournaments, horse shows, cattle shows, dance recitals and school programs. I also plan to get in some fishing with my sons. Donna and I also look forward to doing some traveling together.
David and Donna Sharpton obviously already understand that the best part of retirement is going to be spending time with the grandchildren and continuing to give back to the Lord.