Retiring GABC pastor reflects on ministry, plans to continue even away from pulpit


TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - About a year ago Pastor David Dykes at Green Acres Baptist Church began conversations about retirement and when a good time would be. He recently announced that he’ll be retiring on August 31, 2021.

On March 1, Pastor David Dykes marked 30 years of preaching, teaching, and leading Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. In all this time, Dykes says some of the moments that stand out most are from mission projects.

“I remember in the mid 1990s, we took a lot of people over to Crimea, former Soviet Union, to assist the struggling Baptist churches there, so we were involved there for a number of years,” Dykes said. “Twenty years ago we started working with a city in China, developing a partnership with them to go over and try to improve the life of those people there, and we worked on some exchanges between Tyler and the city in China, and today it’s one of our sister cities.”

Dykes said he primarily preaches and teaches on Sundays and Wednesdays, but it’s important to him to work outside the church as well.

“I’m a chaplain for the Smith County Sheriff’s Department. I’ve served on the boards of PATH and Mother Frances Foundation, Red Cross, Baptist Child and Family Services, which is Breckenridge Village,” Dykes said. “I think every pastor who does a good job is not just working in the church, he’s also trying to make a difference in the community.”

His accomplishments don’t end there. Dykes said he’s written about one book a year for the last 25 years, and plans to continue writing when he retires. Some of the topics include, “The world travel that I’ve been involved in. I’ve written three novels and they’re all set in different parts of the world,” Dykes said. “Mostly in Israel, because I’ve been to Israel 30 times. So I love to write about that part of the world and the people and other places.”

Dykes said being the pastor at Green Acres is more of a joy than a job.

“Everybody loves each other, plus we love the community and our church has always been really involved in meeting the needs of people in the community,” he said. “So it’s just a lot of fun to be a part of a congregation like that.”

Dykes said he’ll continue doing ministry.

“I’ll still be involved in some kind of ministry, I’m just retiring from being the senior pastor here,” he said. “But I’ll never stop doing ministry until the Lord takes me home.”

Dykes said he and his wife plan to stay in Tyler where their daughters and grandchildren are.

He said a committee of six people will recommend Green Acres’ next pastor.

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