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Wayne Hamrick: pastor, evangelist, church statesman dies April 18


Joe Westbury/Index

Wayne Hamrick, at the 2005 GBC annual meeting in Columbus where he became the first full-time evangelist elected to be state president. Georgia Baptists were already familiar with Hamrick, who served as pastor at numerous churches.

CARTERSVILLE — Wayne Hamrick, 70, passed away on April 18 at his Cartersville residence. Hamrick, who served as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention and trustee chairman at LifeWay Christian Resources, was hailed as a champion of church revitalization at his memorial service at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

The affable native of Haralson County pastored 12 churches in northwest Georgia: Pleasant Hill Baptist, Tallapoosa; Emmanuel Baptist, Tallapoosa; New Liberty Baptist, Dallas; Lime Branch Baptist, Cedartown; Piedmont Avenue Baptist, Rockmart; New Antioch Baptist, Shannon; Elizabeth Terrace Baptist, Rossville: Eureka Baptist, Carrollton; Hollywood Baptist, Rome; Fullerville Baptist, Villa Rica; New Liberty, Ringgold; and Atco Baptist, Cartersville. In 2004 he became a full-time evangelist and helped revitalize churches all over Georgia.

When certain Southern Baptist leaders decided to turn the denomination onto a more conservative course, Hamrick became the architect for the Conservative Resurgence in Georgia. His organizational ability was instrumental in developing a strategy for electing state convention officers who would use their committee appointing powers to right a state convention that many felt was listing too far to the left.

Hamrick served in many positions in the Southern Baptist Convention, Georgia Baptist Convention, and various Baptist associations. In two associations he served as moderator. On the state level he served three years as chairman of the GBC Administration Committee and one year as chairman of the Executive Committee.

He was elected and served as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention in 2005 and 2006. He served nine years as a trustee of LifeWay Christian Resources while James T. Draper was president.

At LifeWay he served as chairman of the Corporate Affairs Committee and also served three years on the Nominating Committee, one of them as chairman. In February 2004 Hamrick was elected as chairman of the LifeWay’s trustees and served in that capacity for two years. He appointed and served on the committee that elected Thom Rainer as president of the agency formerly known as the Baptist Sunday School Board.

Most recently Hamrick served as staff evangelist at New Liberty Baptist Church in Ringgold. In that role he traveled across Georgia, assisting churches in revitalizing their Sunday School organization and helping develop a plan for church renewal and revitalization.

Survivors include his wife, the former Joan King, to whom he was married on June 26, 1959; a son, Micah Hamrick, and his wife, Jody, Villa Rica; granddaughter Lindsey Hamrick Rainey and her husband Rev. Chris, North Richland Hills, TX; great granddaughter Addison “Addie” Rainey; a sister, Selma Brown, Bremen; a brother, Harold, and his wife, Barbara, Bremen; as well as nieces and nephews.

The celebration and praise service at Tabernacle Baptist Church on April included remarks by Chris Rainey, Mike Everson, Danny Watters, Danny Henson, GBC Executive Director J. Robert White, and the message from Wayne Robertson. Mike Leming, Melina Herring, and the Cleghorns provided music.