By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – A long-time Louisiana Baptist pastor who moved out of state in 1996 has returned as the new director of missions for the Big Creek and the CENLA Baptist associations.
Daryl Stagg, who is a native of Tioga, has served in the Midwest for the last two decades, but he said the allure of coming back to Louisiana proved too enticing to ignore.
“I got to a point where I was tired of the heat and moved to a colder climate,” quipped Stagg. “Now being older you get tired of shoveling snow and battling ice on the streets. Coming home and seeing the pine trees and having a lot longer climate is a blessing. I look forward to being around my family, my children and grandchildren.”
He began his work as director of missions on Sept. 1.
CALL TO MINISTRY
Stagg repented for salvation and was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Pineville when he was nine years old. Eleven years later, he accepted a call to vocational ministry when he was a summer missionary in Bangladesh.
During the years that followed, Stagg served as pastor of the Bayou des Glaises Baptist Church in Moreauville, Fellowship Baptist Church in Converse, First Baptist Church in Calhoun, and Fellowship Baptist Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
After 19 years of serving churches, Stagg was called to serve as director of missions for the Lake County Baptist Association in Waukegan, Illinois, and later for the Harmony Baptist Association in Sedalia, Missouri. He also served as a church planter in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
PASSION & VISION
Stagg’s vision is three-fold: He will focus on church revitalization, church planting and leadership development.
“All three play a part together in helping the association advance the Gospel in the local area,” Stagg said.
“Church planting is especially important because new churches have a higher rate of evangelism and winning souls than longer established churches,” he told the Baptist Message. “Sometimes churches reach a plateau and are stuck and need to be revitalized. I’d like to help revitalize those churches and help them have a fresh vision that results in greater ministry impact. Also, we need leaders to accomplish that. We need new leaders as older pastors are retiring. We need more pastors to take their places and lead those churches.”
Stagg will serve an association that has been newly formed from the merger of the Central Louisiana and North Rapides associations. Messengers for each voted for the measure during separate meetings March 15.
Big Creek Baptist Association considered joining the other two associations, but opted to maintain their long-time status as Grant Parish’s Big Creek Baptist Association. Though it will remain a separate association, those churches will continue to share the director of missions with CENLA Baptist Association.
The CENLA Baptist Association will finalize a constitution and bylaws during its annual meeting Oct. 25 at Philadelphia Baptist Church Horseshoe Drive in Alexandria. The new association is made up of more than 60 churches.
The merger marks the end of a process of meetings that began in April 2017, when Robert Daniel announced his upcoming retirement effective October 31, 2017, as director of missions of Big Creek, Central Louisiana and North Rapides associations. Daniel remained as interim director of missions to assist in the transition of the newly elected leader Daryl Stagg.
Stagg said by unifying into one association, they will be in position to add their strengths together to better evangelize, educate and minister to all of Rapides Parish.
“I am excited to serve the pastors and churches in the two associations,” Stagg said. “I look forward to seeing growth in the Kingdom of God as we make disciples together.”