By Paul Baxley
Today we learned of the death of Dr. Doyle Sager, pastor of First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Mo., following a battle with cancer. Tonight, I invite all Cooperative Baptists to join me in offering prayers of gratitude for Doyle’s life, faith and ministry. May we also hold his wife, Janet, their children and grandchildren, and the First Baptist Church congregation in love and prayer. Doyle was a deeply committed Christian, an outstanding pastor, a mentor and friend to many colleagues. He was a leader in Baptist life in Missouri, across our Fellowship and among Baptists around the world through his commitment to the North American Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist World Alliance.
As I have served Cooperative Baptists, I have crossed paths with Doyle in meetings of our Fellowship, the North American Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist World Alliance. He was a fine contributor to CBF’s blog, and I have read and respected his regular contributions to Baptist News Global and Word & Way. I have heard so many other ministers speak of Doyle’s influence in their lives. I know and respect his courageous advocacy on many matters related to racial justice, economic justice and creation care. But I most treasure the Sunday in May 2019 when I had the opportunity to visit First Baptist Jefferson City and preach there. That day, I saw Doyle’s love for his beloved church family firsthand and their love for him. I saw the beautiful connection between Doyle and his colleagues on the church staff. I came away from that weekend knowing I had been with a pastor who was deeply committed to Christ, who loved his congregation and was genuinely energized by his ministry.
I remember the words St. Paul wrote the Corinthians so long ago: “Think of us this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of servants that they be found trustworthy.” (I Corinthians 4:1-2) Doyle was a faithful servant, a redemptive and courageous steward and absolutely trustworthy. So, we remember him tonight with love, gratitude and resurrection hope. And we pray God’s peace and comfort for Doyle’s family, his congregation and all who experienced Christ’s presence and peace through him.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.