Georgia Baptist Mission Board helps pastors meet medical, dental needs


MOULTRIE, Ga. – Pastor Trey Eakins felt great and thought he was perfectly healthy, but, at the urging of his wife, he went to a Georgia Baptist Mission Board health screening at Jekyll Island for a quick checkup.

The pastor of New Elm Baptist Church in Moultrie, Ga. is glad he did, because a routine EKG turned up a heart block, a slowing down or interruption of the electrical signal from the upper chambers of the heart to the lower chambers.

“I would have never known if I had not gone,” he said. “Thank God. He still does miracles.”

Such health screenings are just one of the services the state Mission Board provides for pastors and their families through its Pastor Wellness initiative.

“We do this recognizing that pastors often are busy and can neglect their health,” said Chris Reynolds, a Pastor Wellness catalyst for the Mission Board. “Many of our pastors do not have health insurance, and one of the ways we serve them is by providing health screenings and dental care.”

The Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation provides the funding for the Pastor Wellness program while also covering the cost of fully equipped medical and dental buses that travel the state providing care for pastors, their families and for church members who don’t have insurance and who don’t qualify for government healthcare.

“The support of the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation allows us to step in and meet a significant need,” Reynolds said.

Churches also partner with the healthcare and dental ministry as a ministry outreach to their communities. That allows the churches to not only meet physical needs of people in those communities but also to minister to their spiritual needs.

The Mission Board has several events scheduled for April, including a healthcare summit in the North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville on April 26. Medical professionals will be doing blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol checks that day. They’ll also be doing vision testing. In addition, the Baptist Mobile Health Unit will be on site to do dental work on April 25 and 26.

The Mission Board’s Pastor Wellness team also has events scheduled this month that will focus on spiritual wellbeing.

Re:Tool, a one-day day of encouragement for pastors is set for April 25 at First Baptist Church of Richmond Hill. Jim Shaddix, a professor from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, will be the guest speaker at the event that will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. His topic will be how to preach expository messages that lead to spiritual decisions.

Re:Charge, a time of worship, dialogue and encouragement, is set for April 28 at First Baptist Church in Moultrie.

Cascade Hills Baptist Church Pastor Emeritus Bill Purvis will be the speaker. Purvis leads BP Leadership, a mentoring program designed to help church leaders grow into the people God intended them to be. Lee Hill, music minister at First Baptist Moultrie and a worship consultant with the Mission Board, will lead in worship.

A regional event for pastors’ wives, called Gathering Together, is set for April 30 at Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah. The event is a time of spiritual refreshing for pastors’ wives.