Q&A with South Carolina Pastor Brad Atkins, who helped lead a dying church to vibrant new life.
Q&A ABOUT BEING A PASTOR & THE PUBLIC SQUARE
You are a pastor who is active in the public square. How did that come about? Has this always been the case?
No, I was brought up believing in the separation of church and state – as currently talked about by people and pastors. The idea that you can’t preach anything about political issues or get involved with policy issues.
In January 2008, doctors found a cyst at the base of my brain – about the size of a baseball. The first thing I thought was that I had a tumorous cancer – but it was just a cyst that I needed surgery to take out. The surgery went fine, but when I was in the hospital, I contracted spinal meningitis and spent the whole month of February in the hospital.
It was my “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” moment in my life. I went in at 240 pounds and came out at 198. And it is amazing how close you get to Jesus when you come close to meeting Jesus.
Fast forward to November of that year. I attended the annual meeting of our Baptist state convention – something I rarely did before that. I was pastoring my church, just doing my thing. The pastor at the meeting preached a sermon that just impacted me like you wouldn’t believe. I really got convicted that if I was going to be a pastor of a Southern Baptist church, I needed to know what’s going on in the Southern Baptist Convention…