Jeff Morgan new pastor at Milledgeville's First Baptist Church


MILLEDGEVILLE, GA – Jeff Morgan became the interim pastor of Milledgeville’s First Baptist Church in July of last year. After 12 months of loving the people and faithfully preaching the Word the church’s pastor search committee recommended Morgan as the new senior pastor and the church voted to call him to that role on August 6, 2023.

From the beginning of the interim, Morgan was blessed by the kindness of the people in the church. He commented, “I lost my brother and stepfather this past year and the compassion the church showed me and my family was truly affirming.  I learned very quickly that this was a congregation that cared.”

“I also observed that the people were truly concerned about their church and wanted it to do well. Like any church they had some challenging issues, but that did not stop them from serving the Lord. As those issues were addressed, love ruled out, and the concerns were resolved through a deliberate and cooperative process flavored with Christian grace and gentleness. I realized then that they wanted their church to make a difference in their city.”

Years ago, Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife of 63 years was asked if she and her husband agreed on everything. She replied, “No, if two people agree on everything one of them is unnecessary.”

Yet, God’s Word says in Amos 3:3: “Can two walk together except they be agreed?”

Sometimes there is a delicate balance required to maintain a happy, convivial, and productive relationship and Pastor Morgan and the dear people of First Baptist Milledgeville have found it; and the future looks incredibly bright for what could become one of the flagship churches of our Georgia Baptist Convention.

“The first thing I asked the church to do was to pray together on Wednesday nights,” Morgan stated. “We have continued that emphasis for a year now and I am convinced that the unity experienced and their faithfulness in attendance have been instrumental in the church being able to move forward. There is much to do, but it all begins and continues with prayer.”

Morgan explained, “After I arrived several lay leaders shared their hearts on the state of the church, but I could not have done anything without the leadership of Ike Thomas, the chairman of the deacons, and Ronny Simpson, who succeeded him in that role.  We began to do some soul searching and dialogue. Everyone I talked to was so kind and sincerely wanted the church to be healthy. I soon discovered that the church’s greatest asset was their love for the Lord and each other. I am honored to be able to serve as the pastor of this church.

“Deacon Chairman Simpson led multiple crucial meetings to answer the question, ‘What kind of church are we going to be?’ Even when precious church members disagreed on some issues, charity and civility dominated the discussions. Everyone had the same goal – to be a church that glorified God and proclaimed the Gospel. I was blessed and encouraged to see the way the church members were dealing with the issues and working together.”

Thomas expressed delight in having Morgan as his pastor and commented, “I told our new pastor that he would be the youngest person in the church, but he is a man of God who truly cares for people, preaches the Word of God with authority, is extremely knowledgeable, and knows how to work with people and get things done.”

Simpson added, “We are thrilled that Jeff Morgan is our pastor. He is God’s man for this important time in the life of our church. We have already begun to grow during the interim period, but I feel confident that a wonderful future lies ahead for our church.”

Milledgeville is the home of Georgia College and State University with over 5,500 undergraduate students; and while multiple churches in the city are seeking to reach out to the students, Morgan is contemplating how First Baptist Church can make an eternal impact on those young adults who will become future leaders in our state and nation.

Morgan is optimistic about the future of the church, and remarked, “We have a lot of talented people including musicians and some great volunteers who help around the church. Our worship director is doing a fine job and deserves a lot of credit in creating a worshipful atmosphere. The church secretary has been the catalyst who has stabilized the ministry of the church for years – truly an unsung hero. She deserves a lot of credit for the church’s spirit.”

Madelyn Wright is that secretary and she declared, “I was sold on Jeff Morgan from the beginning. He is the epitome of a Christian man, has a joyful countenance, and a great sense of humor. He is easy to talk to and has a great vision for our church.”

Morgan continued, “While I think the church has tremendous potential, at some point potential must be turned into reality.  I like a ‘Psalm One’ model of ministry where a church (its people) grows like a tree planted by streams of water.  It will bear fruit in season. It reminds me of the fact that Paul planted, and Apollos watered, but God made it grow.  We all have a part in God’s plan.  When a church is biblically healthy, it will grow.”

Jo Ellen Waller, who was the chair of the Search Committee, emphasized, “Pastor Morgan understood as the interim pastor he would not be considered as a candidate for full-time pastor, but as the church grieved with him and his family over the loss of loved ones, as we heard him preach and observed his demeanor and kindness to our congregation it became obvious that he was God’s man for our church. The congregation’s growing love and appreciation for him is what initiated our decision to call him as our pastor.

Prior to his call to serve as interim pastor of First Baptist Milledgeville Dr. Morgan served as pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Yatesville for 25 years. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, and a Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff Morgan and his wife, Claire, have seven children and three grandchildren.