Word just came to me that BO Baker has gone to be with the Lord. BO Baker, so named because his initials were B. O., was a wonderful evangelistic pastor. He and his brother, Dick Baker, did some of the finest work in evangelism that I have ever seen. Once when I was pastor in Kingsville, Texas. Dr. Baker asked me where I would like to serve in the future. I told him that I could not imagine being called to one of the large churches in Texas. I said that I had not had a good opportunity to gain a doctor’s degree largely because I had chosen to go to South Texas which had no schools granting upper level theological degrees. He thought about that and told me that not every church would allow that to be a determining factor. He said that there were still churches that understood that only God can make a minister. Education is good, but the anointing of God is more important. He prayed with me and encouraged me. He also blessed FBC Kingsville with a great week of revival.
Just Before BO left, he gave me a book. It was one he had written. Dr. Baker wrote quite a few. Inside the book he wrote these words, “Keep your head high and your knees bent. You are just the kind of pastor our churches so desperately need.” Those words went deep into my soul. Please know that I do not feel worthy of such high praise from such a wonderful man, but I long to be what BO Baker thought he saw. What did he mean? Let me see if I can identify the qualities.
Humility – We who pastor are servants of God and servants of his people. We are to be approachable and available. We are not above work. We are not CEOs. We are servants.
Passion – We who pastor need to be on fire for God.
Personal Evangelists – If we won’t share the gospel in the neighborhood we have no right to share it from the pulpit.
Focused on Christ – He is the hope of the world. We must keep our eyes on Him.
Men of the Word – Our messages must reveal a firm and faithful grasp of Scripture.
Leadership – Pastors must be men of vision who communicate a God given plan.
Loving – People never care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Of course there is more, these are just a few things that I think BO had in mind. I think this because he modeled these characteristics and many more. I wept as I remembered the loving encouragement he showed me when I labored in obscurity in South Texas. Farewell my mentor and friend. I will see you on the other side.