Log in Subscribe

Latest in People and Places: Georgia Baptists hike Katahdin


A group of Georgia Baptists section-hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail in September, ending at Mount Katahdin on the northernmost point of the trail. Minister and Georgia Baptist historian Charles Jones, standing at sign, finished the hike with Donnie Pickering, on left in the photo at right, and David Tolbert, both deacons at Beech Haven Baptist Church in Athens. CHARLES JONES/Special


Longtime Georgia Baptist pastor Alton Burrell died Oct. 9. He was 71.

Burrell, who was born in Clarkesville, was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the South Carolina and Georgia National Guards. He was ordained by Clarkesville Baptist Church in 1980 and went on to serve as pastor of Hollywood Baptist Church in Clarkesville, Crossroads Baptist in Carnesville; and Ball Ground First Baptist in Ball Ground. Burrell was interim pastor at Carnesville Baptist Church and last preached at Shiloh Baptist Church in Toccoa.

A Boy Scout in his youth, Burrell remained active in the Scouts as an adult through being a Cub Scout Master as well as Boy Scout Master. He also served as a chaplain and firefighter at Deep Creek-Habersham County Fire Department and Carnesville Fire Department. He also was a chaplain for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.

He is survived by his wife, Florrie Gail Carter Burrell, of Carnesville, a daughter, Leigh Whitlock, also of Carnesville, son Jason Burrell, of Demorest, and seven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Lift Worship Church Local Missions, P.O. Box 361, Carnesville, GA 30521. Services were held Oct. 9 at Toccoa Creek Baptist Church with his son-in-law, Rev. Joey Whitlock, and Bill Thomas officiating.

Former WMU Executive Board member Jeannine Wootan, of Suwanee, died Sept. 10. She was 87.

Jeannine Wootan

A native of Waco, Texas, Wootan was raised by a Baptist pastor and served alongside her husband Harry, also a Baptist pastor, for many years. During that ministry she was a homemaker, piano teacher, choir director, church pianist and organist, and taught English as a second language to non-native speakers. In addition, she volunteered with Georgia Baptist WMU and went on mission trips to Liberia, Ivory Coast, Alaska, France, Germany, Costa Rica, Venezuela, South Korea, and Panama.

Wootan was preceded in death by her husband. Survivors include children Harry P. Wootan, III, of Pelham, Ala., Janis Cornelia Wootan Batson, of Lawrenceville, John Wootan, of Tyrone, and Daniel Wootan, of Atlanta, as well as six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was buried Sept. 13 in Rock Baptist Church Cemetery in Rex. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made for the Wootan Memorial Missions Fund, c/o Georgia Baptist Foundation, 6405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097. 

Ken Ross, pastor of Milner Baptist Church, died Oct. 19. He was 72.

Ken Ross

Ross’ most recent tenure at Milner was his second, having served as pastor there in the 70s. The Seminole County native led at several churches over his 47-year ministry in addition to serving as president of the Georgia Baptist Pastors Conference, chairman of the Board of Directors for The Christian Index, on the boards of two Georgia Colleges, and as a member of various Georgia Baptist Convention committees. Ross and his ministry at Milner were featured in an August 2016 article in The Index.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Donna; two daughters, Tina Ross Mann, of Newnan, and Kelley Ross Jenkins, of Sharpsburg; a brother, Jerome, of Donalsonville; and three grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Oct. 29 at Milner Baptist Church at noon, with Rev. Bobby Boswell officiating. Interment will follow at the Milner Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Milner Baptist Church. 

Pastor Craig Stone of Hi Roc Baptist Church in Conyers died Sept. 21. He was 57.

Craig Stone

Stone was a four-year letterman for the University of Georgia football team and part of the 1980 National Champions before going on to being regarded as a highly-respected umpire, particularly in fast-pitch softball. From September 2001 to May 2003 he served as minister of youth and education at First Baptist Rincon before answering a call to First Baptist Grayson. There, he was business administrator and minister of education from 2003 to 2015, also accepting the role of Sunday School director in 2009. He had served as pastor of Hi Rock since September 2015.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Stone continued to serve as an umpire assigner and evaluator. Chemo treatments, he determined, required a stop at The Varsity for a frosted orange and a post-victory treat leaving Athens afforded a stop at the Watkinsville Dairy Queen for a blizzard.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Jenni, and sons Ryan, of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and Seth, of Delray Beach, Fla.; his parents, Brenda and Alan Russell, of Loganville; sister, Carol Taylor, of Leesburg; and two granddaughters.

Services were held Sept. 25 at Bethlehem Church in Bethlehem with his sons, who are both pastors, and Pastor Tim Brogan officiating. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to a local church or the Hartman Fund at UGA in memory of Larry Craig Stone. 


First Baptist Church in Nashville held homecoming services Oct. 14 with Stan Nix as special speaker. A covered dish lunch followed morning worship.


Daryl Summey

On Sept. 13 Eastman First Baptist Church celebrated the 20th anniversary of Daryl Summey as youth pastor. The church estimates thousands of students and hundreds of parents impacted during Summey’s time at the church. First Baptist held a reception in Summey’s honor Sept. 16. 

Mark Williams was recently honored by First Baptist Church in Waycross on Oct. 24 for 27 years of service. Williams’ tenure at the church was previously noted in a Christian Index article.


Ken Peek was ordained as a deacon at Jefferson Avenue Baptist Church in East Point on Aug. 26.

First Baptist in Waycross recently ordained Jamie Abrams as a deacon. The church also installed the following as active deacons: Kevin Barnes, Tommy Hatcher, Tony Hendrix, Chris Rolison, Keith Crummey, Heath Wainright, Tommy Tapley, John Malmborg, Dewey Newman, Bo Griffin, Tommy Doss, Wade Dye, Jamie Bruner, and Buster Tyre.

Conyers, Eastman, Milner, Nashville, Waycross


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here