Return engagement: Jaggers is pastor at Cape church for second time in his life

Sunday, February 13, 2011
Dr. Dean Jaggers is senior pastor of First General Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau.

The Rev. Dean Jaggers is the pastor at First General Baptist Church of Cape Girardeau for the second time in his life. After having served the church from 1977 to 1980, Jaggers and his wife, Hazel, received a call in 2007 asking them to return. "We were semiretired living in the Tampa, Fla., area when the call came," Jaggers said. Deacon Jerry Wilson told Jaggers the church needed an interim pastor. Jaggers and Hazel decided, after much prayer and consideration, that it was God's will for them to return to Cape Girardeau. A few months after returning, the church asked them to serve indefinitely, and they accepted. Jaggers said the church is growing "numerically, spiritually and with a passion to evangelistically reach more unchurched folks in the Cape Girardeau area."

Question: When and how did you decide that being a pastor was for you?

Answer: My father was a minister and pastor in Kentucky. I grew up in church where my family and I (eight children in all) always participated, mostly in music during my early years. I have always loved the church and still believe it to be the greatest institution on earth outside the family. God called me into the ministry at a very early age, 18. In the mid-'50s, after graduating from college and serving our country in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot in Korea, I returned home to Kentucky with my family (we have four sons). In 1960, I succeeded my father as pastor of the State Street General Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky. Ever since then, I have served bivocationally or as full-time pastor, now more than 51 years. There is no greater calling or honor.

Q: How do you hope to help people in your role at the church?

A: To inspire people to be all they can be for God, their family and others.

Q: Where do you find strength and support to minister and help others?

A: As the psalmist David said, "My help comes from the Lord." Also, I receive great strength from the leadership and the laity of this wonderful fellowship.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: My greatest reward is witnessing people accept Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives and being discipled by the ministries of our church. Personally, to minister to hurting people and caring for folks in nursing homes and hospitals is very rewarding.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish at First General Baptist Church?

A: In September of 2010, after more than three years in planning and preparation, our church launched a new contemporary ministry at the Osage Centre. Our traditional-blended services are conducted on the main campus at 10 a.m. At 11:15, the Vantage Point service is lead by Associate Pastor Josh Trotter. Our goal is to reach more people for Jesus Christ in both venues.

Q: What do you hope people take away from a visit to your church?

A: The love of Jesus Christ and a sincere welcome to return.

Q: What's your favorite verse and why?

A: One of my many favorite Scriptures is Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Life is hard and many unfortunate things happen to all of us, so it is great to know that, if we trust God, he will take care of every situation and that it will ultimately turn out good. I truly believe that.

Q: What events does your church have coming up?

A: Many fellowship events and outreach activities in the community. In our GB Mission One theme for 2011, this is the year of prayer, fasting and reconciliation, we will be observing 40 days of prayer beginning Ash Wednesday, March 9, through Easter Sunday.

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