WARNER ROBINS — Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia, was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Secretary of Agriculture for the United States. On Sunday evening, July 9, Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins commissioned Sonny and Mary Perdue as missionaries to Washington, D.C.
The Perdues are members of Second Baptist where their son, Jim, serves as pastor of the strong, influential church. He stated that the commissioning ceremony was held to recognize his parents for the “mission” they are undertaking as they embark to serve the nation.
Missionaries are often thought of as those who go to the far-flung corners of the earth to spread the Gospel, but the Kingdom of God would be mightily advanced if every church member became a missionary in his/her sphere of influence. The Second Baptist pastor expressed delight in commissioning his parents, explaining that Washington needs more missionaries.
As part of the ceremony, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee addressed the hundreds of people gathered for the ceremony and remarked, “I’m ecstatic that my good friend and the longtime governor of Georgia is now the Secretary of Agriculture in the Trump administration.
“I don’t believe the president could have picked anyone in American who is better fitted and able to do this job than Sonny Perdue – someone who has worked in agriculture all his life, somebody who understands the issues, but somebody who is a true statesman and who knows how to get things done and knows how to get them done right. Sonny Perdue is the perfect choice.”
Pastor Benny Tate of Rock Springs Church in Milner, a longtime friend of the Perdues, spoke and commented, “I commend Sonny and Mary Perdue for not following a road map [to retirement], but following a relationship and wanting to please the Lord."
"The only reason for power is to empower. The only reason God promotes us is to put us in a position so we can help other people, and I know that’s what Sonny Perdue will do. He will take that position and use it to help other people.”
Johnny Hunt, pastor of Woodstock’s First Baptist Church and the Perdues pastor during their tenure in the Governor’s mansion, also spoke at the commissioning service. Hunt stated, “We have identified 400 leaders in the Bible. Only 80 of those 400 leaders finished well – only 20 percent.
“Fifty percent of the men who go for theological education in our denomination will never enter a ministry position. Only 10 percent of the ministers in America will actually retire doing what God called them to do. So, if someone will stay the course I want to know all I can about their spiritual virtues and characteristics.”
Hunt then delineated the five characteristics of those who finished well. Those characteristics are (1) humility, (2) intimacy with God, (3) obedience, (4) faith, and (5) the ability to receive counsel. The Woodstock pastor intimated that Perdue possessed those characteristics and stated, “One reason I feel so encouraged about this country and its leadership is because one of the people who sits on the cabinet with President Trump I know knows God.”
At the conclusion of the service pastors, deacons, and church leaders gathered around the Perdues. Jim Perdue prayed for his parents: “I thank You for Mom and Dad, for their faithfulness and their example. I thank You for the joy in the journey of taking steps of faith no matter what; and I thank You that You have missionaries in Washington, D.C. ... I pray that You would use Mom and Dad in significant Kingdom ways to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We, the body of Christ, send out Sonny and Mary Perdue to be missionaries in this next endeavor... Lead them, guide them, and protect them ... and may their theme continue to be ‘I’d rather have Jesus.’ We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
The commissioning service for the Perdues was inspiring and challenging to all in attendance, but Georgia Baptists can celebrate the fact that we have a political insider in Washington who can influence the nation’s president and the policies of our government with his steadfast faith and unwavering commitment to God’s Word. Sonny and Mary Perdue deserve the prayers of all Georgia Baptists as well as the intercessions of faithful believers across the width and breadth of our land.