Dawson’s Dr. Gary Fenton: A New Role of Service
After more than 25 years as Senior Pastor at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Dr. Gary Fenton has pegged August 28, 2016 to be the final day of his preaching responsibilities at the church. However, his heart for ministry in the Magic City will continue. “My father told me being called into ministry doesn’t have to be a job or position, it is a way of life for the rest of your life,” Fenton said. He plans to continue to follow God’s calling for ministry in Birmingham but part time and at a slower pace so he will have time to see his daughters at their churches. “All three of my daughters are active in church and I want to see them participate in and around their church homes,” Fenton said adding he also wants to pursue speaking and writing on the subject of leadership.
The church is often referred to as the Dawson Family of Faith because of the emphasis Dr. Fenton puts on family and relationships. Fenton recalls one of the best moments he experienced while serving at Dawson occurred on one of the most tragic days in our country’s history, September 11, 2001. Dr. Fenton and Dawson decided to keep the doors of the church open all night long for people to come pray. “People came from all over the city to pray for families of the victims and pray for our country,” Fenton said.
During Fenton’s tenure at Dawson, the church has not only grown in size, but its members have also made an impact in the Birmingham community and around the globe. The church membership of 4800 has produced 46 mission teams consisting of 600-plus short term and long term missions in 10 countries across the world and given three million dollars directly to missions over the past 12 months. As Dr. Fenton moves to his next stage of ministry, he leaves Dawson equipped to reach even more people for Christ than ever before. The church will be hosting special worship services in his and Mrs. Fenton’s honor on August 21 and August 28, www.dawsonchurch.org.