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Underwood pastor McDaniel retires after 25 yearscomment (0)

March 31, 2011

In the early 1980s, Donnie McDaniel, a deacon at Underwood Baptist Church, Florence, helped the church call a pastor. But he never imagined God would later call him to lead the Colbert-Lauderdale Baptist Association church.

The pastor McDaniel helped call retired after two years. McDaniel was still a deacon and again served on the pastor search committee.

“I was [working] at Reynolds Metals in Muscle Shoals and was praying, ‘God, you gotta send us a man [to lead the church],’ and He said in my heart, ‘You’re the man,’” McDaniel said.

Weeks after feeling called, Underwood Baptist called him to the pulpit. He joyfully accepted and shared his heart about God’s call.

On March 6, the church honored McDaniel for nearly 25 years of faithful leadership and said farewell as he retired for health reasons.  

The two-hour tribute to McDaniel included special guests from various places such as Honduras, where he has served on missions trips.

McDaniel was saved at a 1973 revival at Underwood led by Evangelist Junior Hill; met his wife, Carolyn, there; was married and served as a deacon there; and finally became pastor March 23, 1986.

A graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., with a bachelor of science in religion, McDaniel led the church to reach many milestones. The staff grew from one pastor to several part-time and full-time staff members serving in the areas of student, senior adult, worship and other ministries. He baptized 1,212 believers during his ministry.

“The 25 years have been a God thing, and it has been unbelievable what He did. I give Him all the credit for it,” McDaniel said.

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