Church Relations

The Church Relations position at Truett McConnell University has one priority in mind, to be a ‘Barnabas’ (an encourager) in the lives of pastors and those in vocational Christian ministry. Acts 11 reveals the account of the sending of Barnabas to Antioch by the church leaders in Jerusalem. Verse 23 states: “And when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord.”

It is our goal to build relationships for the purpose of:

  • Affirming God’s call to ministry through personal encounters.
  • Being open to his presence through praying for one another.
  • Committing our ways to Him and trusting Him daily to empower us with His Spirit.
  • Delighting ourselves in the Lord, resting in Him and waiting patiently as His will unfolds in our lives.
  • Dr. Emir Caner, President of Truett McConnell University states that “Our churches do not exist to serve Truett McConnell University but Truett McConnell University exists to serve our churches.” It is to that end and for that purpose that the Director of Church Relations is to faithfully engage pastors and those in vocational ministry, building lasting relationships and encouraging them along their ministry pathway.

Director of Church Relations

Dr. David DrakeDr. David Drake came on staff with Truett McConnell University in July, 2015. In his position, his ministry is to focus on building relationships with pastors, churches and associations throughout the Georgia Baptist family. In the attempt to serve over 3,600 Georgia Baptist Churches in Georgia, the task of the Director of Church Relations will first and foremost be “To be a Barnabas,” an encourager.

Dr. Drake is a graduate from the Criswell College in Dallas, Texas (1978), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (1981), and Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Ga. (1989). He has pastored for over 30 years in churches in Texas, Florida and Georgia.

A message from Dr. Drake:

“Ministry in today’s culture can be a great challenge for anyone. As unsettling as that may sound, the rewards and encouragement received through a ministry to others is invaluable. Seeing lives change is worth more than any difficulty we may face. Peaks and valleys seem too often to be the theme song of today’s pastoral ministry. Life and it’s various issues whether in ministry or not was never meant to be perfect, just lived! Trust me, the apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:29: ‘For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for His sake.’ Though your steps may take you into some precarious times and places, be assured the Lord is with you.”

“As I see the Church Relations position playing out, it is ‘boots on the ground’ engaging pastors and churches on the front lines of their lives and ministries. It is iron sharpening iron, connecting with them in love. The Lord Jesus said: ‘By this shall all men know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.’ What is the old adage? ‘People don’t care that you know until they know that you care!’ Pastors, all over Georgia and perhaps the Southeast, from the Church Relations office of TMU will know that we care as we come to them as an encourager.”

David Drake's signature

Contact

Feel free to contact Dr. David Drake in the office of Church Relations at Truett McConnell University if we can assist you in any way.

Our direct number is 706-865-2134, ext. 3702 or you can email him at ddrake@truett.edu. If you are planning to come to North Georgia, please be our guest on campus.

Danny Watters Retreat and Renewal Center

Pastors provide comfort in our time of need. How do we provide that support and care for them? For Truett McConnell University, The Danny E. Watters Retreat and Renewal Center is an investment in the overall health and spiritual growth of our pastors. Your participation will help make this vision become a reality for not only Georgia pastors but pastors everywhere. The goal of $1M is within reach, and with God’s faithfulness and your stewardship, we can build and fulfill the purpose of this retreat. With your donation of any amount, we can provide a place of rest for our pastors and their families. Please consider giving today so we can start building tomorrow.

Learn more about the Danny Watters Retreat and Renewal Center.

Resources

There are many books published every year dealing with the reality of the down, defeated and discouraged pastor.

  • Your Pastor is an Endangered Species by H.B. London
  • Leading on Empty by Wayne Corderio
  • Letters to a Devastated Christian by Gene Edwards
  • A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness by Gene Edwards
  • Crucified by Christians by Gene Edwards
  • Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
  • The Peacemaking Pastor: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Church Conflict by Alfred Poirier
  • The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande
  • Pastoral Leadership is…How to Shepherd God’s People with Passion and Confidence by Dave Earley
  • The Pastor in Prayer by Charles Spurgeon