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EDITORIAL: Message to Pastor Jack Lee upon his retirement: Job well done, brother

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Pastor Jack Lee is shown here baptizing Thomas Swilley at Altamaha Baptist Church. Lee is retiring as the church’s pastor at the end of July.

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Wayne County has been described as a bit of heaven on earth. The people are friendly. The countryside is beautiful. Myrtle blossoms add splashes of white and pink to all the greenery this time of year.

That’s what Roger Alford, editor of The Christian Index, had to say about the place where Pastor Jack Lee has ministered for nearly four decades.

Alford also pointed out that it is a largely rural county, especially the portion around Madray Springs where Lee has served as pastor of Altamaha Baptist Church for the past 20 years.

So, here’s the deal: In one of Georgia’s least-populated communities, the Lord has used Lee to build a church so extraordinary that locals refer to it as the miracle of Madray Springs. By sheer dimensions, the church looks like it belongs in a major city. The towering steeple rises above nearby trees. The building is expansive.

Now, Lee is retiring. Not because he wants to. He has inoperable cancer. Doctors say he may have a year, possibly two. He, of course, leans on the truth that he has always preached: that the Lord, not the doctors, will determine the length of his days.

Despite his prognosis, Lee is inspiring everyone around him with his steadfast courage and his unshakable faith. This pastor trusts fully in the Lord.

“I believe God can heal, but I know I’m ready for whatever he brings my way,” Lee said. “I think it’s sometimes an even stronger faith to say, ‘I’m ready to go, and if it’s His will, it’s His will.’ That’s not a lack of faith. That’s true faith. That’s what it means to trust God.”

Alford asked Lee what he hopes people might say about him when he wraps up his pastorate on the last Sunday of this month. Lee paused and considered his answer for a moment, then said, “I hope they’d say, job well done.”

On behalf of all those whose lives you’ve touched, Pastor Lee, let us be the first say:

Job well done.


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