The Rev. Dr. Ron McCaskill, popular former pastor of the First Baptist Church here and more recently pastor of the First Baptist Church of Donalsonville, Ga., has been meeting with a group of friends and is planning more meetings in the future.
During the past few weeks, Dr. McCaskill has led several evening sessions in homes with friends to discuss their spiritual and religious lives and needs, culminating in a brief meeting of teaching, prayer and worship this past Sunday evening.
The informal group includes about two dozen persons at present, but with others expressing interest in attending future meetings.
For the present, the group is meeting at 1433 13th Street NW, Cairo, at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening. If you wish to contact Dr. McCaskill for more information, his cell phone is 229-220-3618.
Dr. McCaskill says his vision for the new ministry here is “to draw together a group of Christians who passionately follow the teachings of Jesus Christ so they can experience what the first century church experienced.”
He says that because the disciples obeyed Jesus’ command to be his witnesses, half of the known world became Christians just 270 years after Jesus returned to Heaven.
“What would happen if today’s Christians lived at the same level of devotion as first century Christians?” Dr. McCaskill asked.
“I return to Cairo with a vision to bring the lost into a loving, saving and growing relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said.
The former First Baptist Church minister acknowledges there are many churches already in Grady County, but he says the Lord is leading him to “offer what no other church in this area offers.”
His says his ministry is an opportunity to be linked with all Baptists around the world through affiliation with the Baptist World Alliance (BWA).
“I want the people of southwest Georgia to get in on what God is doing in and through this large Baptist family and through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), Georgia’s BWA affiliate. No Baptist church in our area is affiliated with CBF. Because we will be inclusive, these Baptists will have a place to call home,” Dr. McCaskill said.
The Baptist minister believes the younger generation is “hungering for a personal connection with Jesus.”
“They want Jesus, and we will be a ‘Jesus Church’ focusing on children’s ministry. And as we focus on the children, my vision is to start a revolution in the home—a revolution that will turn the home back to God, which will be the seeds of a new direction for our country,” he said.
The McCaskill ministry will be focused on building people and not buildings.
“Jesus commanded his followers to ‘make disciples’ (Matthew 28: 19-20), and that is where we will spend our energy. Our meetings will not conflict with the usual church services, so people can stay within their current fellowships while also joining with us,” Dr. McCaskill says.
The “church” McCaskill is working with local residents to create has been named “The Summit Baptist Church” because, he says, “my heart is burning to bring people to a mountaintop experience with Jesus.”
While Dr. McCaskill is Baptist and his ministry is based on Baptist faith and doctrine he says that any one, regardless of prior and current Christian beliefs, church membership, or race are all welcome to attend the worship sessions on Sunday evenings.
“Jesus said, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’ (Luke 14:23). My goal is to help people to become the personification of Jesus’ love to all his children,” Dr. McCaskill concluded.