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Local church pays homage to pastors
Pastor Appreciation 2 es
Roger Williams, interim pastor at Cumming Baptist Church, takes prayer requests as he leads a meeting Wednesday evening. - photo by Emily Saunders
Cumming Baptist Church will give special thanks today for 10 years of pastors and a place of worship.

In special services today, the church will pay homage to five current and former pastors. Cumming Baptist Church was officially constituted on Oct. 11, 1998.

“We decided to do two things at once,” said Glenn Sanders, chairman of the church’s publicity committee.

“We’re giving them ornaments during the service and then afterwards we’re having a banquet at our family life center, where we’ll have baskets sitting out for people to leave cards of appreciation and money if they want to.”

October is Clergy Appreciation Month, an annual effort to honor pastors for their contributions to the church family and acknowledge the unique pressures facing religious leaders.

“Being a pastor could be an impossible job,” said deacon board member John McGriff.

“A true pastor is just that — it’s a calling. It’s really assuming everybody else’s problems as well as struggling with your own too ... Most of us out in the secular world are looking to better ourselves first and sometimes not thinking about the other person.”

Current pastors include Mark Wood, associate pastor and minister of music who has served at Cumming Baptist since 1999; Chad Ireland, associate pastor to students, and Roger Williams, interim pastor.

Former pastors being honored include Ken Neibel, the church’s first pastor, who served from January 1999 through August 2001; Mark Harrison who served as a senior pastor from August 2002 to June 2008, when he moved to North Carolina to be a mission pastor and Thomas Wright, past interim pastor who served from September 2001 to July 2002.

The special service will begin at 10:50 a.m. today at the church, 115 Church St. in Cumming. For more information, contact (770) 205-6699 or go online at