AUGUSTA — William Sherrell Dunn, 87, has announced his retirement after serving 28 years on the ministerial staff of Curtis Baptist Church in Augusta. A native of Tennessee, Dunn graduated from the University of Tennessee and received his seminary training at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Sherrell has served Curtis under the ministry of four pastors: John Bryan, Mark Harris, Rusty Newman, and Mark Sterling. He was called to serve the Lord at Curtis under the pastorate of John Bryan.
Bryan recalled, “I first met Sherrell at a Waffle House during the Georgia Baptist Convention annual meeting in 1988. I was interviewing him while he was associate pastor at West Rome Baptist Church. Having become the senior pastor of Curtis at age 30, I knew I needed an experienced and wise associate. My plea for help reached out to Dr. Jerry Vines, who at that time was co-pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL, but who had served with Sherrell at West Rome Baptist Church.
“Dr. Vines wrote me a handwritten letter saying, ‘The finest man I could recommend to you is Sherrell Dunn; you would be blessed should God guide him to Augusta.’ I was blessed to serve with him until 1998 when I heard God’s call to serve a wider group of churches across the Georgia Baptist Convention as the first ministry resource consultant for East Central Georgia."
Bryan continued, “Through the years, Sherrell has been a faithful minister of God having served with multiple pastors who have been touched by his life and maturity. Sherrell’s wife, Phoebe, is his greatest strength, outside of Jesus. Her support and leadership in every church has been stellar. Truly, God anointed this couple as He appointed them as choice servants of the Lord across Georgia and beyond.”
According to Tom Lowry, Curtis’ associate pastor for missions and media, “Sherrell’s primary role at Curtis was in the area of pastoral care, but he wore many administrative and ministry leadership hats. He has worked with numerous ministries, including finance, deaf, and homebound. He preached many times during his years at Curtis, especially during interim periods.
“It is also noteworthy that Sherrell and his wife, Phoebe, have taken the lead in our prayer ministry for many years. In fact, Phoebe was instrumental in developing our Prayer Room Ministry as well as our email prayer chain. They also developed a group who pray during our worship services. They both are godly prayer warriors.”
Lowry added, “When Pastor Sherrell came to look at us and us at him, he impressed me with his ability to ‘bring peace into a room.’ He is firmly committed to the Word of God and that always informed his decisions and actions. Many times in staff meetings he would listen and then share a wise and helpful perspective.
“Over the years I also learned that he was also very skilled in dealing with difficult situations. He has an ability to be quietly firm. He also has a quick wit. He is fun to be with.
“Sherrell is deeply loved by our church. He has ministered to so many of our families through sickness and death of loved ones, and made countless hospital visits over these years. Thus he has done more funerals than probably the rest of us combined.”
Current Curtis pastor Mark Sterling summed up Dunn’s life with these succinct and poignant words, “Sherrell Dunn is a man who is passionate about loving and serving God. His love for God is not a slogan for a season, a trend for the times, but a life faithfully lived for God. Always positive, always prayerful, always proclaiming truth, Sherrell Dunn is a model of what it means to be a man of God."
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