WHEATLEY, Ky. (KT) – Michael David knew there was a call on him to one day become a pastor but the timing never seemed quite right.
The struggle, as they say, was real.
“I always felt like, at some point, I’d serve as a pastor,” he said. “I first started feeling it about 10 years ago. I thought it would be when I retired. I work for the state so I was going to be relatively young – less than 50 – when I retired.”
David was a Gideon and he did pulpit supply for his church, Dallasburg Baptist, when the pastor was on vacation or had to be away. He was also an involved deacon where he had earned the respect and love of the church’s members. But taking over a pastorate wasn’t working out how he imagined it.
“I always felt the call and it never worked out,” he said.
When the Dallasburg pastor left in March 2020, David’s name quickly came to the top as a candidate. Except, he said, the timing still wasn’t right.
“Our church followed the process and initially came to me first and asked if I was interested,” he said. “I was still two years away from retiring from the state. This is when I was really feeling the conviction. Is it a smart financial move to say no to a pension I’d worked 25 years for? I do feel I will answer this call someday but the timing doesn’t seem right.”
The church continued on with the process of finding a pastor while David continued to fill the pulpit and shepherd the church through the COVID pandemic.
“They found a candidate and called him in,” David said. “This time it really hit me hard. I was talking with my wife and told her I was feeling something different. She said, ‘What do you mean?’ I told her I felt like a real shepherd now. I felt like whoever they bring in won’t treat the church like I would. That’s when I felt the conviction hard. I made a mistake (not accepting).”
The first candidate didn’t feel a call to Dallasburg, and a second candidate was called in a different direction. All signs were pointing back to David and he knew it.
“They came back to meet and I said let’s take some baby steps in that direction,” David said. “I sat down with the church committee and they felt good about it. I’m leaving this Friday, my last day at work. I’ll be in full-time vocation as the pastor.”
The entire process took more than a year and a half from the time the previous pastor resigned, and that gave David enough time to get in his 25 years to receive the state pension. He worked as a forensic scientist for the Kentucky State Police, a supervisor position that would bode well for leading a church.
God’s perfect timing had allowed David to not only answer the call but provide for his family financially.
“It couldn’t have worked out better,” he said. “I wish I was mature enough to fully grasp this. We get in the way so often. His timing is amazing and He works out everything so perfectly.”
David is diving in and excited to be leading the church in the capacity as pastor.
“This church is an amazing group of men and women,” he said. “They are very loving, very giving. They mean more to me than a lot of my blood family does. They are brothers and sisters in Christ and are focused on Christ. We can do great things for the Lord together.”
David’s ordination service last week was a celebration that included some leaders in the Kentucky Baptist Convention like Executive Director-Treasurer Dr. Todd Gray, regional consultant Andy McDonald and other pastors from the Ten Mile Association.
Dressed for success?
“I tell you what was amazing, my wife, God bless her, she’s right about almost everything,” he said. “She said, ‘I think you need to wear your suit to the ordination.’ I said, ‘Really, I don’t think this will be anything extraordinary.’ But when I saw these heavyweights from the KBC come, I knew she was right. I was so honored to have those guys there. What a blessing.”
David made a profession of faith at a younger age when he was living in Georgia, but he admits to having a crisis of faith after entering college as professors challenged that part of his life.
“I entered into college, being in the science program, and was told a lot of stuff, like I was crazy for believing as I did,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘These people are a lot smarter than me. Are they right?’ It encouraged me to read my Bible more and find out for myself. Because of those struggles, I became more rooted in God’s word. It helped me to grow my faith.”
It also allowed him to defend his beliefs with professors, which led to him being asked to leave one class. “All that did was drive me back into God’s word,” he said. David was not backing down about his faith, what he believed and why he believed it.
“Pray hard for our young people who leave home to go to school,” he said. “They are headed to a hostile environment. We need to do a better job with them. We haven’t set them up to explain things. I lived that. It’s part of my testimony.”
'He is genuine, the real deal'
Brad Banks, the pastor of nearby First Baptist Church in Owenton, gave the ordination message.
“Michael has a very consistent testimony in our communities,” Banks said. "He is steadfast in his faith and exemplary in his practice. He was the kind of member and deacon that every pastor is encouraged and blessed to have. In many ways, he met all the requirements to be a pastor rather than a deacon due to his teaching ability.”
Banks also served with David in the local Gideon camp.
“His wife and two daughters are a sweet testimony to his faithful, loving leadership as a husband and father. He is just the genuine, real deal.”
David, wife Melissa and daughters, Merideth and Molly, feel God has perfectly timed them to be at Dallasburg Baptist for such a time as this.