Jim Cox, pastor of Springvale Baptist Church in Bethel Baptist Association, died April 29 after a long illness. He was preceded in death by his wife, Diane, two months ago.
Thomas P “Tommy” Long, of Bainbridge, died May 10. He was 78.
A native of Bainbridge, Long received his Bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Temple Bible College and Master’s from the University of Georgia. For 58 years he had served many churches in the Bainbridge area, though the past 36 years were spent as pastor of Eldorendo Baptist Church. Long was a representative for Bowen Baptist Association to the Georgia Baptist Convention and served in various leadership positions for Baptists over the years.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Linda; children Thomas P. Long, Jr., of Jamestown, CA, Robert French Long, of Eastman, and James Hill Long, of Bainbridge; siblings Beth Starnes, of Rome, Mary Ruth Harris, of Arlington, and David French Long, Jr., of Florida; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, John Wheat Long.
Cesar Padilla, retired pastor of Templo Bautista Church in Warner Robins, died May 7. He was 81.
Padilla was born in the Great Depression, the second of seven siblings to a manual laborer and homemaker, and raised in a Christian home. At 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as an aircrew members flying reconnaissance missions in B-29 Bombers. He would later transition to being a technician for radar systems, experience that led to a 35-year stint as a radar technician for the Federal Aviation Administration.
A year after retiring in 1990, Padilla was ordained into the ministry. He served two Hispanic congregations in the 1980s in Jonesboro and Riverdale. Padilla arrived at Templo Bautista in December 2003, staying there until December 2007. He taught at Instituto Biblico Metro Sur in the former South Metro Baptist Association, now Southside Network and was the author of and it came to pass, a commentary on the book of Revelation that was printed in both English and Spanish.
Danny V. Ray, after spending 14 months serving as interim pastor of First Baptist Church in Nashville, has returned to Hospice Chaplaincy with Bethany Hospice. Bethany serves 39 counties through South Georgia. Previously, Ray was a hospice chaplain in and around Tifton for seven years and is CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) certified endorsed by the North American Mission Board and Southern Baptist Convention.