Ragsdale celebrates 20 years at Mount Zion Churchcomment (0)
February 19, 2009
Garry Ragsdale preached his first sermon at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Alexandria, 20 years ago. And he hasn’t stopped since. So Feb. 1, the Calhoun Baptist Association congregation celebrated its pastor’s years of service.
Under Ragsdale’s leadership, the church has grown both literally and spiritually, with new and larger facilities to accommodate the people who crowd into its classrooms each week. The church has gone from 60 in Sunday School in 1989 to 600 currently.
Ragsdale attributes the exponential growth of the church to personal evangelism.
“The church has an evangelistic heart,” he said. Evangelism is carried out through the church’s television ministry and Evangelism Explosion program in addition to partnerships the church has developed in Uganda and Puerto Rico.
“God chose him to be the right person for this church at the right time,” said Tim Wells, minister of education and administration at the church.
Wells, like many members of the church staff, was led to Christ by Ragsdale and baptized at Mount Zion Baptist.
“One of my greatest joys is seeing ministers and missionaries coming out of this church,” Ragsdale said.
As part of the anniversary celebration, Ragsdale’s former pastor, Jim Knight, preached the two services. That afternoon, the church hosted a reception at Jacksonville State University’s Leon Cole Auditorium. The church presented Ragsdale with a new car for his anniversary.