MBC’s Decker goes back to pulpit at First Warsaw
JEFFERSON CITY – When Danny Decker felt the Lord calling him into the ministry as a sophomore in high school, he had no idea it would mean wielding a chainsaw or directing a mobile kitchen capable of preparing 25,000 hot meals a day. But for the past five years, that was part of Decker’s ministry as he served as men’s ministry and missions specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). More recently he headed up the state’s Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) corps.
“At the time, I understood that call to mean a preaching or teaching role,” he said. “That was the road I thought I would go. I didn’t understand where that would take me, but God has been good and gracious to this little country boy who was told he was too stupid to go to college.”
Now, three degrees (with honors) later, Decker has returned to his first calling to pastor First Baptist Church, Warsaw, effective Jan. 22. Rick Seaton, pastor of First Baptist Church in Kahoka, assumed the men’s ministry/missions and disaster relief duties
Although Decker said God’s call to Warsaw is clear, he will miss working on the state level.
“I’ve enjoyed building a lot of good, strong relationships with some wonderful Christians in this state and across the country and even around the world,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed this ministry; helping people and working with them and seeing them grow and develop as leaders.”
Although Decker has dedicated himself to reaching Missouri’s men these past five years, he’s the first to point out the task is far from finished.
“The greatest need in our churches and across the church in general is for men to be discipled,” he said. “I’m not talking about sitting through a discipleship class, I’m talking about a mentoring ministry that encourages pastors and lay leaders that are stronger, mature leaders in the church to mentor men and develop them into dedicated followers of Jesus Christ.”
Decker’s ministry has extended far beyond Missouri, to the central European nation of Romania. Decker has been there twice to work with seminary students in the populous northern city of Oradea.
“They truly came alive as they realized their potential to share the Gospel. That was a tremendous blessing and adventure.”
Last year, the leadership of the various Disaster Relief units was centralized and Decker, who has been trained by the North American Mission Board as an incident commander (or White Hat) and has been called out to countless disasters, took the reins of DR work in Missouri. Whether it was helping out in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or organizing chainsaw crews to remove limbs downed by tornadoes or ice storms in Missouri, he’s been right in the thick of things. Although he is now going to focus on pastoring, Decker said he would still be involved with disaster relief as he is needed.
“It’s been good to see many people come to saving faith through this ministry,” he said. “I’ve watched as their lives have been transformed. God has used it to expand me and show me the hands-on, practical aspect of our Christian faith. If we don’t put it into practice, then we really don’t understand it.”