Melvin Hall came to Riley’s Creek Baptist Church in November 2005 to help an ill friend.
Hall preached for Blake Hayes, who had been diagnosed with ALS and was having trouble with his voice. Hall later became interim pastor when Hayes’ condition deteriorated further and, after Hayes’ death, became pastor.
While Hayes was ill, some church members had agreed to give extra money so the church could continue to pay his salary.
Hall went through the church files to find out what type of medical coverage his friend had. He discovered that the church had set up an account with GuideStone Financial Resources and also had taken out short-term and long-term disability insurance and life insurance for Hayes about three years before he became ill.
Between insurance, disability and Social Security payments, Hayes had enough income without the church’s emergency contribution.
Hall said when he contacted insurance agents about the coverage, they asked him when the church was going to stop paying Hayes so their company could start paying him.
“He and his family were well taken care of,” Hall said. “The burden on the church was lifted.”
Hall said Hayes couldn’t speak or move his arms but smiled at him when he told Hayes that his wife and family would be taken care of.
“To be able to do that was one of the greatest blessings of my life,” Hall said.
Hall credits Johnny Ross, the North Carolina representative for GuideStone, for helping make the church aware of programs that helped their pastor.
“That was a blessing from above,” Hall said. And now the church’s associate pastor and church secretary are clients of GuideStone.
“I think we learned a great lesson, this church did,” he said.
Hall encourages churches to contact Ross for information about how they can help their ministers.
“I really believe if pastors would wake up and churches would wake up, they wouldn’t find a better friend than Johnny Ross or a better agency than GuideStone,” he said.
Related to this story
Special series — Body parts
Did you know you have a large church staff? Your gifts through the
Cooperative Program support a staff resource at the Baptist State
Convention of North Carolina that exists to serve your church.
The Biblical Recorder continues a series — Body Parts —
featuring one of your Convention staff members, and churches which has
grown through that staff member’s ministry. Body Parts is inspired by 1
Cor. 12:12 — “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts;
and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with
Christ” (NIV). The parts of the Baptist State Convention exist to serve
This week: Johnny Ross, consultant with GuideStone Financial Resources.
Coming soon: Eddie Thompson, family ministry.
Visit Body Parts, a Biblical Recorder special series.