An unusual anniversary

October 2010 - Cover Story
by Lori Hatcher

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October 2010 - Cover Story

Ordinarily, one wouldn’t notice an anniversary of 31 years, five months, and 29 days. Yet on April 18, 2010, John R. “Dick” Lincoln, pastor of Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, received a standing ovation from his congregation in honor of this unusual anniversary. Four days earlier, his ministry had just drawn even with that of Shandon’s longest-serving minister, Rev. F. Clyde Helms. Founded in 1907, Shandon Baptist saw four pastors in its first 18 years. For the next 82 years, reports the church publication SBC Today, only three pastors were called: Reverend Helms (1925 – 1956), Dr. Enoch C. Brown (1957 – 1977), and Dr. Lincoln (1978 – present). “Seven pastors in 103 years is probably unusual,” reads the publication, “but three pastors in 82 years is truly remarkable.”
Lincoln admits to being “surprised and pleased” by the length of his pastorate. He began his ministry at Shandon shortly before his 31st birthday, hoping his stay would be long. “It’s hard to follow two people who were here 32 years and 20 years without thinking, ‘I can do that too.’ And, I do like the notion of staying. I always have, but it wasn’t something that I had a right to expect.”

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