From left to right: Dallas White, Kenneth Aycock, Matthew Gibbs, and Ray Sullivan.
DULUTH — The Church Strengthening team of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board recently added four names to its Discipleship group.
Ray Sullivan III will be the consultant for the Southeast region on a full-time basis. In the Northeast region, Kenneth Aycock will fill the role part-time in addition to his duties as discipleship pastor at Hopewell Baptist Church in Gainesville. Matthew Gibbs will also hold a part-time position as consultant in the East Central region while continuing as minister of education and evangelism at Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, a position he’s held for 11 years. Dallas White, senior pastor of The Grove Church in Acworth, will be a statewide small groups discipleship consultant on a part-time basis.
Fulfilling the mission of the church
The former pastor of Reidsville Baptist and First Baptist Cordele, Sullivan has also served as executive vice president at Brewton-Parker College. He is a graduate of Southern Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Spirituality. Currently he is in the writing stage for his Doctor of Ministry degree at Southeastern Seminary.
“Ray is a South Georgia guy!” declared Scott Sullivan, Georgia Baptist Discipleship catalyst. “Most of his ministry has been spent pastoring churches in this part of the state. He is passionate about discipleship, pastors, and churches.
“In his free time, Ray loves to spend time in the outdoors, especially on the waters of the Georgia coast. He is excited about serving South Georgia pastors and being a resource for their churches.”
Aycock is a graduate of New Orleans Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity in Christian Education. As someone trained in teaching how Scripture is sharp and cuts to the point, for the last 15 years he’s led Sunday School leadership conferences for Georgia Baptists.
“I’m excited about this new opportunity to serve in northeast Georgia,” he said. “I believe the mission of the church is best accomplished in the context of small groups. I look forward to partnering with churches in Northeast Ga to help them implement a Discipleship strategy.”
Bringing experience among discipleship settings
Before coming to Georgia, Gibbs served churches in Florida, North Carolina, and most recently in Indiana in various roles including student ministry, music, education, senior adults, and Christian school leadership. A graduate of Southeastern Seminary, he has also trained pastors in Kenya and Peru.
“Matthew has a passion for seeing churches reach their full potential through discipleship ministries that reach people with the gospel and help them to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus,” Scott Sullivan noted. “He has served in various ministry roles including student ministry, music, education, senior adults and Christian school leadership.”
When White was called as senior pastor at Piney Grove Baptist – now The Grove – the church had baptized no adults the previous four years, was missing its budget by $40,000, and had struggled to reach younger families in a congregation with an average age close to 70.
However, over the last two years, 22 of the 25 individuals baptized were over 18 years old. It also went over its budget by $80,000, established partnerships among churches outside of the Southeast as well as international missionaries, and welcomed 75 new members to its congregation along with five new staff members.
“I am passionate about helping people discover the joy of knowing Jesus and joining Him in His mission of making disciples,” White said. “It’s a privilege to serve Georgia Baptist brothers and sisters to this end!”
Scott Barkley serves as editor of The Christian Index.