Rev. Diane Badger
I have always been Baptist; I cannot imagine being anything but Baptist. After a summer spent reading Baptist History and polity, I discovered I held Baptist beliefs way down in my soul. Those beliefs have led me on some very different and exciting faith journeys. I learned that it was not my will, but God’s will I was to follow.
This small Baptist Church in Southeastern Massachusetts called me to be their pastor. “Not funny, God”, I said. “This is not where I was going with my ministry; And now what?” After six years pastoring the Community Baptist Church of Marion, I retired following cardiac surgery. “Not funny, God”, I said. “I did what you said. And now what?”
I started working with small churches on their finances and administration an area of ministry to which I had felt originally called, “Not funny God, now what?” One ministry leads to another as God sent me out to serve.
I served my association for over twenty years as clerk and then treasurer, I developed an interest in Baptist roots as I wondered how this Baptist religion all started. Beyond Roger Williams (my 13th great grandfather) I knew very little. Now my bookcase swells with books and articles about Samuel Stillman, Alvah Hovey, Hezekiah Smith, John Leland, Emma Jane Parks (First Woman ordained by the Massachusetts Baptist Convention in 1919) and many, many more. My computer holds an encyclopedia of information about historic pastors and Baptist churches in Massachusetts. I share my findings on a facebook page, “These People Called Baptist.” The more I learn the more I realize how much of our history is being lost to the mists of time. I have learned as I walk through this crazy life of ministry, that it is best to be amused and let God decide the “Now what?”