David Mills called as new pastor at Beallwood Baptist Church in Columbus


COLUMBUS, GA – On Sunday, David Mills preached a sermon in view of a call to Beallwood Baptist Church in Columbus, and the congregation voted unanimously for him to be their senior pastor beginning next Sunday.

Mills will succeed Billy Duncan who served the church for 21 years.

One of the attractive features of the Beallwood Church to Mills and his wife, Michelle, is the love they have had for their former pastor and the love he had for them. It became obvious to the Mills during the interaction with the pastor search team that the church valued the role of pastor and had a history of loving and respecting the God-called leader of the church.

“I am downright intimidated to follow Billy Duncan,” Mills said. “His gifts were super gifts, and his impact was long, broad, and deep. I have had to tell the Lord, ‘Lord, I am not Billy Duncan.’ Fortunately, Billy is easy to honor. It is much easier to follow an honorable pastor. I learned that at Beech Haven when I followed the highly esteemed 31-year ministry of Stewart Simms. Billy has already reached out to me to offer his help in any way I need it. I imagine he and I will talk and fellowship often. I can learn so much from him.”

Mills said he and wife were impressed with the search team, the lay leaders and church members.

“Their biblical knowledge, love, and concern for the community and world impressed us most favorably from the start,” he said. “During the course of our discussions, I was blessed to learn of Beallwood’s commitment to missions. This appears in her history of mission trips to Mexico and her substantial giving to Lottie Moon and the Cooperative Program. They set a goal of raising at least an annual salary for Lottie Moon, and they often exceed that goal. In addition, they give eleven percent to the Cooperative Program.

Columbus is the second largest city in Georgia and the home of the 6th largest military base in the nation. Mills sees the large population as an asset.

“To use the military as a metaphor, Columbus is a ‘target rich environment,’” he said. “Another positive feature is Beallwood’s location. The church is near the geographic center of the city and at one of the busiest intersections in Columbus. Most everyone in the county and adjoining counties can reach Beallwood in 10 to 15 minutes.

“Another advantage involves the spiritual condition of the area. I pastored across the river at Ladonia Baptist Church in the early 2000s and found the area to be the warmest place spiritually to do ministry. The challenges in Columbus are like other cities with older urban neighborhoods. In Columbus, however, we are blessed to have effective city leadership. “

Mills has had a wealth of experience as a pastor, a missionary for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, an author, and as an evangelist. He avows that his ministry has been blessed and sustained by his knowledge of Jeremiah’s prayer, “Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heavens and earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee” (32:17).

Mills said his ministry experiences have increased his faith

“I have witnessed God break loose in revival and restoration in the most impossible of circumstances,” he said. “These experiences have also made me intensely people focused, especially when it comes to lost people. One evangelistic pastor said years ago, ‘The Christian among us that struggles the most is still miles ahead of the average lost person.’ It is hard for us to be Christians on our way to heaven. Being lost on our way to hell is worse.”

Beallwood’s new pastor is committed to do whatever it takes to build “Great Commissionaries” – church members who love, embody, and cherish the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). They model Christ’s lordship, make disciples by evangelism, mark new converts by baptism, mature members with teaching and mentorship, and mobilize everyone to share the Gospel.”

Mills said his wife, who he points to as his greatest earthly asset, also has a heart for Columbus and for serving at Beallwood.

“She is excited,” he said. “She simply wants the opportunity to love people tell people about Jesus, critique my sermons, and play ‘hostess to the world.’

Michelle, a native of Maryville, Tenn., graduated from Maryville College with a Bachelor of Arts in American sign language. She has worked in the public school system with deaf and preschool children with hearing deficiencies. In that role she has provided DHH preschool children with their first language. She found it deeply satisfying to observe the progress they made as they gained the ability to communicate as well as anyone would like to see a preschool child converse. She is eager to launch a sign language ministry at Beallwood if the need arises.

In Mills, Beallwood gets a pastor with a PhD and a specialization in Christian missions, a man with a cornucopia of experience, a genuine Christian gentleman and a man who loves the Lord, his wife and family, the church and the lost.