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From Harlem to Mississippi: 5 Inspiring Church Leaders You Need to Know This Week

Factory or horseback, bivocational pastor thrives

The Baptist Press this week chronicled the inspiring ministry of Don Mayberry, a bivocational pastor in Augusta, Kansas, who spends three 10-hour days a week working as BG Products’ chaplain in three different plants while also pastoring Three Wooden Crosses or 3WC.

“It sounds like a lot of work but I love it,” Mayberry says. “It’s the Lord. He put these two jobs together that I just love.”

Mayberry is one of many bivocational pastors serving in Kansas and Nebraska. According to David Manner, the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists associate executive director, 279 bivocational pastors (60 percent of pastorates) serve throughout the two-state area in their convention.

Mayberry’s impact is evident wherever he goes. And the fact that he’s bivocational isn’t lost on the people he’s trying to reach. One 3WC member extends an invitation to 3WC’s church services with this message about their pastor: “You’ll feel comfortable. He’s just a regular guy like us. He works two jobs, too.”

Lee May

Ex-DeKalb CEO Lee May, now a pastor, pays lunch bills at 4 schools

MyAJC.com from The Atlanta Journal Constitution highlighted the inspiring gift that Pastor Lee May led his DeKalb County church to give.

After preaching a sermon on generosity, May said, “I just wanted to show the congregation generosity not just in words, but in actions—tangible, creative ways to be generous. And not just to get something in return.”

So the Transforming Faith Church, where May is lead pastor, donated $1,316 in December to pay off student lunch balances at four local elementary schools. The entire debt for lunch balances in the DeKalb County School District’s elementary schools at the time was $26,000.

May posted a video on Facebook asking others to help eliminate the student debt. He also set up a GoFundMe page seeking contributions and had sought out local businesses to donate funds as well.

The GoFundMe Page states this: We want our children to be able to focus on learning without wondering about what they will eat for lunch. When a child’s lunch balance is overdrawn, in most cases that child will not have the option to choose from the main lunch menu, but will have to eat a different meal (for some schools it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, for others it may be a peanut butter sandwich). Imagine the possible embarrassment for that child whose classmates are aware that they do not have money on their lunch account.

These five inspiring church leaders caught our attention as God’s servants who go above and beyond. They’re making a BIG difference where God has placed them. And for that, we celebrate them this week!

For more inspiring stories about church leaders who are making a difference, go to churchleaders.com.