While growing up, McDonald’s had a promotional campaign for its new Big Mac sandwich. If you could say “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun” in under 2 seconds, McDonald’s would give you a free Big Mac. I ate well until the promo was cancelled. But what was this special sauce? It turns out that the ingredient that made the Big Mac stand out among the fast-food competition was a sauce similar to Thousand Island dressing. This condiment not been previously associated with hamburgers and was the special sauce that made the Big Mac a hit.
Baptist Homes special sauce is our campus pastors. When Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries acquired the campus in Independence, worship services under the previous ownership been stopped for nearly 18 months due to visitor restrictions. At Baptist Homes, our campus pastors were able to provide soul care and worship services for our residents throughout the pandemic.
According to Church Relations Specialist Spencer Hutson, “Our campus pastors live out the gospel daily in their care, preaching and teaching. They have decades of experience of faithful service and we are blessed that God called them to serve with Baptist Homes. They are purveyors of hope and kindness when those things seem scarce.” That service includes pastoral support to residents and their families. In addition, campus pastors serve as chaplains to the staff and as conduits to our resident’s local church.
Ron Mackey, Vice President for Community Engagement, tells the story of his father’s heart attack that rendered him unable to care for his wife. The Mackey’s are unique in that they had owned and operated ten nursing homes in Oklahoma. When it was clear that they would need additional care, Mr. Mackey turned to his wife and said, “If we go to the Baptist Home, we will be able to worship together again each week.” For many Christians, the inability to worship weekly with other believers is one of the greatest loses of aging.
Our campus pastors are seasoned ministers with exceptional credentials. Most are graduates of one of our six SBC seminaries, holding graduate or post-graduate degrees. Some bring over 40 years of pastoral leadership to the role. All, without exception, are committed to the Baptist Faith & Message and members of MBC churches. These men are compassionate, caring and called to this ministry.
Almost every one of our campus pastors can tell a story of a resident whose spiritual birth took place while a resident. These campus pastors also encourage lifelong discipleship. This value was illustrated in the November 2020 edition of our newsletter in the article, “Why Am I Still Here” about one of our residents being used by God to lead a visiting therapist to faith in Christ.
Ron Mackey sums up the Baptist Homes difference. “In most Long Term Care facilities the focus is exclusively upon managing the physical health of the resident. While good food, a nice place to live and pleasant people to care for the aging is good, the elderly are not just physical beings. We are all spiritual beings created in the image of God. Caring for the spiritual needs of our residents is one of the most vital aspects and unique differences of the Baptist Homes. Our Campus pastors are the leaders of that spiritual care as they lead our staff to provide soul care for our aging loved ones.” A biblically informed worldview coupled with Christlike care. That is the Baptist Homes’ difference.