EDITORIAL: Retirement of Jimmy Dale Patterson is a huge loss indeed

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Dr. Patterson and his wife, Amy, at their home in Newnan.


Dr. Jimmy Dale Patterson is one of the finest pastors you could ever meet, so news of his retirement from First Baptist Church in Newnan is rather jolting. Losing such a fine preacher and teacher of God’s Word from the pulpit is a great loss indeed.

The story of Dr. Patterson’s retirement after 40 years of ministry was chronicled in a Q&A with The Christian Index a few days ago. He had stepped on a finishing nail last October, causing an infection that he continues to battle all these months later.

Dr. Patterson said the nail had initially caused only a small puncture wound on the bottom of his foot, but, being a diabetic, he knew there could potentially be complications. He sought medical treatment immediately, but the wound just wouldn’t heal.

In January, the infection just exploded in his foot. The skin turned black. A surgeon cut away the dead and infected flesh. The wound was left open to heal from the inside out. He and his wife, Amy, have had to consider all the potential outcomes, including death if the infection continued to spread. Listen to what Dr. Patterson said about this uncertain time in his life:

“It was an opportunity for me to draw closer to Christ and more deeply know him.”

The months of wrestling with a life-threatening infection have been a time of spiritual growth that has given him insights that may prove helpful to others facing health issues. He said he learned to focus on God, not the situation. He cites the biblical call to run with patience the race that is set before us, understanding that “God has marked our track. He has laid it in front of us, knowing every twist and turn we will encounter. Therefore, instead of being distracted by our difficulties, we should fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Let’s join Dr. Patterson’s church family in praying for his restored health.

First Baptist Newnan, jimmy patterson, retirement

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