By Staff, Baptist Message
[img_assist|nid=7367|title=Duane McDaniel|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=68|height=100]NEW ORLEANS – Duane McDaniel, Executive Director of the New Orleans Baptist Association, died May 30 after suffering a massive stroke on May 21. He was 54 years old.
McDaniel is survived by his wife, Kathleen; four children, Mallory, 15; Matthew, 14; Keanu, 8; and Abby, 7; his mother, Margie McDaniel of McComb, Miss.; three brothers and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. McDaniel was the son of the Percy Carl McDaniel, who predeceased him by 20 years.
During his not-quite-two-years at the helm of the urban Baptist association this is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, McDaniel set in place what he called “a holistic missional strategy for glorifying God by proclaiming the gospel in word and deed,” said Jack Hunter of the associational staff.
It was a three-pronged strategy involving compassions ministries, church planting and church health. Gospel-centered compassion ministries included Christian community health centers, volunteer urban mission projects, home repair projects, ministries to the homeless and more.
“Compassion ministries and church planting were Duane’s heart,” said Hunter, President of New Orleans Baptist Ministries, the compassion ministries arm of New Orleans Baptist Association. “He loved the lost and he loved the needy; he loved New Orleans.”
It was need that led McDaniel to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He brought the church he pastored, Hawaii Kai Church in Honolulu, Hawaii, to New Orleans several times to help in recovery efforts.
“The need and the opportunity for the gospel began to grow in his heart, and that was the beginning of God moving him to New Orleans,” Hunter said. “He was a dear friend. We were fortunate to have someone of Duane’s intellect and energy to give leadership to the work. He will be sorely missed.”
Even as McDaniel established relationships with leaders from the Louisiana Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board, as well as with leaders from New Orleans Baptist Association, he began work on what today is called the Christ Community Health Services-NOLA.
Another project McDaniel was working on was Cross of Christ, a quality, durable, volunteer center for people who want to do ministry in an urban environment.
McDaniel also built a network of church planters starting new works in the greater New Orleans area and provided opportunities for them to engage with each other.
“Duane’s heart was reaching the lost with the gospel, and developing sustainable multiplying churches,” Hunter said. “He was committed to church planting and he loved church planters. He was committed to this strategy and he kept us focused on compassions ministries, church planting and church health.
“I wish he could have seen more of the fruit of his labor,” Hunter said. “This strategy was a major accomplishment, as were the support and cooperation Duane received from the LBC and NAMB.”
McDaniel graduated from Bossier High School in 1975, Louisiana State University in 1981, and with a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 1986, and a doctor of ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2005.
Duane came to faith in Christ while in high school through the witness of Christian friends. He met Major Ian Thomas, an inspirational Christian writer and speaker, when a senior in high school. Major Thomas provided a scholarship for Duane to attend Capenwray Bible College in England upon his graduation from high school.
Upon completion of his course of study, Duane traveled with Major Thomas throughout Europe and the Americas for a year as he shared the gospel with audiences large and small. During these formative years, Duane developed a high appreciation for the proclamation of the gospel, and for the breath and diversity of the Kingdom of Christ.
He served University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge as its Youth Minister while a student at LSU, and he later served churches in McComb and Jackson, Miss., before becoming the Associate Pastor at Ingleside Baptist Church in Macon, Ga. It was in Macon that Duane met and married Kathleen Honeycutt. He next was Senior Pastor of Windsor Forest Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga.
McDaniel was senior pastor of Hawaii Kai Church in Honolulu, Hawaii, from May 2001 to June 2009. In July 2009, McDaniel became Executive Director of the New Orleans Baptist Association, the former “BAGNO” – Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.
The funeral is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at First Baptist Church of New Orleans, with David Crosby, pastor of First New Orleans, and Fred Luter Jr., pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans officiating. A reception in the church fellowship hall is to follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites people to consider the Kathleen McDaniel Children Education Fund. Donations can be made online on http://mcdaniel.chipin.com/mcdaniel-kids-education-fund.