Sardis DOM says ‘we never get too old to learn’comment (0)
January 26, 2012
By Jan White
I grow old ever learning many things,” an ancient sage once said. He could have been describing James Preachers, director of missions (DOM) for Sardis Baptist Association, who received his doctor of ministry degree three years ago at age 72.
But after more than 40 years in the ministry, why did he decide to go back to school?
“I am an avid reader, and I have an insatiable desire to learn. Being in the ministry, I knew that I needed to prepare myself to the best of my ability so that I would be able to communicate the gospel and minister well-pleasing to God,” Preachers said. So he enrolled at Covington Theological Seminary in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and graduated in 2008. “Although it was challenging, I have never regretted the decision (to pursue my doctorate),” Preachers said. “My wife and children have been my greatest encouragers. Without their encouragement, support and prayers, I could not have done it.”
And he isn’t the only learned member of the family. His wife of 53 years, Jo, has earned several certificates from the Samford extension division at Coffee Baptist Center. His son, Jimmy, is a graduate of the University of Mobile and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and his daughter, Judy, is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham.
Preachers is putting his latest degree — he also has a bachelor’s from Troy State University (now Troy University) and master’s from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary — to good use as DOM and pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Coffee Springs.
“I have been privileged to serve several rural churches during my ministry. God has been good to me,” Preachers said.
“Dr. Preachers is a gracious, humble, dedicated, faithful minister of the gospel,” said Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission. “[He] has a servant’s heart and is always looking for ways to better serve his Lord, Sardis Association, his church and his community. He teaches all of us by example that throughout our lives, we should work to develop our witness, our service and our willingness to learn and grow.”
In addition to his ministry career, Preachers also worked at Fort Rucker in supply for 30 years with five maintenance contractors (Hayes International Corp., Page Aircraft Maintenance Corp., Northrop, Sikorsky and DynCorp) and in quality control as a quality deficiency reporter for 15 years. He described his career there as “a very rewarding experience.”
So what has all this experience taught him? “Someone once said, ‘The man who is too old to learn was always too old to learn.’ We never get too old to learn,” Preachers said. “There is no age limitation. If you are considering furthering your education, go for it.” (Julie Payne contributed)