In retirement Weaver changing positions at First Valdosta, but continuing 46-year ministry


family, Mac Weaver, Valdosta, retirement, education Mac and Judy Weaver pose with their children and grandchildren July 30 at First Baptist Valdosta following a celebration service of Mac's 46 years as minister of education. In addition to their grandchildren singing the call to worship, the couple's son Joel, at far left, preached the message. MIKE CHAPMAN/FBCV

family, Mac Weaver, Valdosta, retirement, education Chuck Owens, senior pastor of First Baptist Valdosta, prepares to present a plaque of appreciation to Mac and Judy Weaver, July 30, 2017. MIKE CHAPMAN/FBCV

VALDOSTA — First Baptist Church members here recently celebrated Mac Weaver's 46 years as minister of education. However, retirement doesn't mean Weaver is going anywhere. In fact, he'll soon move into another role at the church. 

An Alabama native, Weaver joined the church as minister of education on March 24, 1971. Previously, he'd served churches as a youth and recreation director as well as in education. On moving to Georgia, the Southern Seminary graduate proceeded to utilize his Master's in Religious Education degree in Valdosta over the next five decades.

During that time, Weaver taught Sunday School, newlywed classes, and courses on discipleship. In addition, he led prayer services and senior adult trips. Most recently he's been active in organizing annual conferences focusing on missions. Alongside his wife, Judy, the couple took to also coordinating numerous marriage conferences. 

Beginning in 1986, Weaver led First Baptist Valdosta's missions program in sending teams to Africa and 12 countries, including Venezuela, Belgium, Jamaica, Thailand, Israel, and China. Domestically, mission trips took groups to several states as far northeast as Massachusetts and west to Wyoming. Weaver will maintain that presence at the church in October when he transitions to missions pastor, a part-time position.

family, Mac Weaver, Valdosta, retirement, education The congregation at First Baptist Church in Valdosta gather on July 30 to honor Mac Weaver's 46 years as minister of education. MIKE CHAPMAN/FBCV

Community involvement

Weaver's presence in the Valdosta community garnered recognition over the years. The chaplain for Valdosta High's basketball and football teams also coached football, baseball, girls' softball, and basketball for the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA. Those roles, plus contributions as a former board member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, led to Mayor James H. Rainwater proclaiming June 3, 2001 as Mac Weaver Day.

First Baptist Valdosta honored Weaver on Aug. 26, 2007 by dedicating its newly-renovated adult education building to the former president of the Georgia Baptist Religious Educators Association. On July 30, the church held a retirement celebration service in his honor in anticipation of his return in an official capacity this fall. 

education, longevity, missions, retirement, Valdosta