February 11, 2018
BBA’s Mike McLemore dies at 69 after serious illness
Mike McLemore, executive director of Birmingham Baptist Association and former longtime pastor of Lakeside Baptist Church, Birmingham, died Feb. 10 after a serious illness. He was 69.
McLemore had served at the helm of BBA since 2007. Before that he had served Lakeside Baptist since 1983.
Throughout his pastoral ministry, McLemore served at many levels of Alabama Baptist and Southern Baptist life. He served as president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention from 2000 to 2002, having served as first vice president from 1999 to 2000.
He also served on The Alabama Baptist (TAB) board of directors for 20 consecutive years, serving as board chairman for two years and was chairman of the board’s search committee when Bob Terry was elected editor in 1995.
Gary Fenton, longtime friend of McLemore and fellow pastor within Birmingham Association, also served with him for several years on the TAB board.
“He loved The Alabama Baptist,” Fenton said. “He really believed in it and enjoyed serving on the board. … Mike also was a calming presence as chairman of the board in the late 1990s. He ministered to the Terry family during the tragedy of Bob’s first wife, Eleanor, dying from complications following an automobile accident in South Africa and Bob sustaining serious injuries.
“In all his roles, he was truly a denominational statesman who made unity within the body of Christ a priority,” he added. “His kindness brought kindness out of others.”
Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said McLemore’s years of service as president “demonstrated his statesmanlike leadership” in many ways.
“Mike served with excellence in the local church as pastor, in the Birmingham Association as executive director and in state convention life as both first vice president and president,” he said. “He was an exemplary family man who loved his wife, Wanda, and their three children.”
Lance said he first met McLemore when the two were in seminary. “We became close friends and throughout the years he has been there for me,” he said. “He was more than just a colleague, he was a confidant. I will miss my special friend in the days to come.”
McLemore was a trustee of the North American Mission Board at the time of his death.
He held a bachelor’s degree from Samford University in Birmingham, a master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the University of Mobile. McLemore served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1973.
He is survived by his wife, Wanda; three children; and six grandchildren. (TAB)