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Crumpton to retire from Alabaster pastorate in his 23rd yearcomment (0)

October 23, 2003

By Linda Reach Moore

Wayne Crumpton, of First Baptist Church, Alabaster, recently announced his intent to retire from his full-time pastorate effective Dec. 31. In making his announcement to the Sunday night congregation, just a few days short of his 23rd anniversary as pastor there, “Brother Wayne,” as he is affectionately known, said, “There comes a time when you just know you need to move on to a different season in your Kingdom service, and I believe the Lord has led me to choose this particular time.”

A native of Powderly, Crumpton made his profession of faith in Christ at the age of 10. He was 18 years old when he felt God calling him into the ministry. He preached his first sermon in his home church at Powderly, where he was licensed as a minister of the gospel in September 1957. After graduating from Howard College (now Samford University) in 1961, he was called as associate pastor of South Park Baptist Church, Birmingham, where he was ordained. Here, Crumpton learned from well-seasoned minister E.E. Wells that “in order to reach people for Christ, you have to go where they are — knock on doors, and get down with them — people-to-people. That’s what I enjoy,” Crumpton said.

That’s just what he was doing one Saturday in the church parking lot playing ball with a group of RAs, when he met Carole, his future bride. She and her dad came by from another church, selling doughnuts. “Within two years,” he says, “we were engaged to be married.” Carole, who knew her calling was to be a minister’s wife, lost her battle with cancer in 1986. The two have two sons: Jeff, of Maylene; and Clay, of Alabaster.

Crumpton served one year as associate pastor at Philadelphia Baptist Church, Birmingham. Then when the church started a mission, Crumpton assumed the full-time pastorate of the newly chartered Green Valley Baptist Church and served the congregation there for 15 years.

Crumpton also continued his educational pursuits while at Green Valley, earning his master of divinity from New Orleans Seminary in 1965, followed by his doctor of ministry degree in 1978.

The Crumpton family spent three years at Old Spanish Fort Baptist Church, Spanish Fort, where he was instrumental in redirecting a stalled building program that resulted in the completion of a new sanctuary. When First Baptist, Alabaster, called him as its pastor in September 1980, Crumpton stepped right into an existing building program. Recognizing that the planned sanctuary was much too small to meet projections for even short-term growth, he immediately encouraged the church to build a bigger building. He was right. Alabaster soon became the fastest growing city in the southeast. The “people-to-people” approach Crumpton had learned from Wells worked, and membership grew to numbers nearing 2,000,

Crumpton served as president of the Birmingham Pastors Conference and president of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Alumni for the State of Alabama 1974–1975. He served on the State Executive Board and as moderator for the Shelby Baptist Association. He also served on the Alabama State Board of Missions from 1987 through 1989. Crumpton currently serves on ALCAP’s board of directors.

Does he have any future ministry plans? “I’ve just put all that in God’s hands, but I would like to be able to do some supply preaching, maybe teach a Bible study once in a while, things like that — maybe even take a little mission church somewhere,” he said with his characteristic, visionary gaze.

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