Published February 12, 2004
Every year more than 100 Georgia Baptist ministers are fired from their churches. Resources are available to help ministers cope with the trauma, as well as to help them find a new job.
But often, the minister’s wife’s grief goes undetected.
“A pastor’s wife rejoices when her husband’s ministry is successful and well received, but when her husband is having a difficult time, the grief, anxiety, and pain for the pastor’s wife can be excruciating,” said J. Robert White, executive director of Georgia Baptist Convention.
Last year a new position called the ministers’ wives ministry coordinator was created to provide support and encouragement for Georgia Baptist ministers’ wives.
“Nancy Burgess, wife of Larry Burgess, served effectively as the first coordinator. Now Mary Cox, a remarkably gifted individual, has agreed to provide leadership in this ministry,” White said.
Cox, whose husband Frank Cox is pastor of North Metro First Church in Lawrenceville, was elected president of the minister’s wives group for this year. She resigned to take the coordinator’s position.
“My first task will be recruiting coordinators. Because our state is so large, I’ll be trying to get area coordinators who will help encourage and support minister’s wives,” Cox said.
She will also help plan the annual retreats and the ministers’ wives meetings at the annual state convention.
“But I’m sure my most time-consuming job will be working with ministers’ wives in crisis. We have a lot of resources available including materials and counselors and I’ll be able to help people connect with those resources,” she said.
Cox will work out of the GBC executive office, and also work closely with the church/minister relations area.
“Mary will work out of the executive office so that I can stay closely related to this ministry.” White said. “I have long felt that we need to do more for our ministers’ wives and I wish to be personally engaged in the continuing development of this strategic ministry.
“One of the finest things I’ve done over the past 11 years is to ask Robert Anderson to serve in a pastoral care capacity, ministering to Georgia Baptist ministers and their families. Likewise, Mary’s role will provide prayer support and encouragement for the wives. Their ministries will interface in order to provide a coordinated effort to care for our ministers’ families.”
Both ministries are crucial to the convention, White said.
“The church cannot be effective if the pastor, his wife and family lack the peace, confidence and joy needed for the advancement of their ministry. There has never been a doubt in my mind that this is something we must do and do to the best of our ability.”
Did you know...
Mary Cox, ministers’ wives coordinator, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at her church office at (770) 995-9055, ext. 240 or at GBC at 1 (800) RING–GBC.
The ministry of the ministers’ wives coordinator is possible because of your gifts to the Cooperative Program. Your church’s giving through the Cooperative Program is vital to the missions and ministries of the GBC and the Southern Baptist Convention.
For more information or to order free educational materials on the Cooperative Program, contact the GBC Cooperative Program office at email@example.com or (770) 936-5240 or at 1 (800) RING–GBC.
You and your church may send Cooperative Program gifts to:
Dr. J. Robert White,
Georgia Baptist Convention
2930 Flowers Rd., South
Atlanta, GA 30341-5532
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