by Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – Truett-McConnell College President, Dr. Emir Caner, announced the addition of Dr. David Drake as the school’s first Director of Church Relations beginning, July 2015.

Before introducing Drake in the March 27 Board of Trustees meeting, Caner shared how God pricked his heart on an issue to give back to the church. “It’s not the job of the church to serve the college,” Caner said. “It’s the job of the college to serve the church.”

In his new position, Drake’s main purpose is to reach out to the 3,600 Georgia Baptist pastors who need encouragement. “It’s a time in which pastors are beyond stressed out and need encouragement,” Caner said.

Caner noted several ministries where pastors can go as a city of refuge, but none that serve to provide a simple time away to breathe. “We want to be able to give them just a time away,” Caner said. “Sometimes those in ministry just need a few days as a respite with wives and families and we want to make this available to pastors.”

The pastors will be given lodging for their time on campus and access to the dining hall when it is open, Caner shared. TMC will be a place where they can come and rest and not have to worry about anything else. A place where they can be alone with God and work on whatever they need to.

A Barnabas for TMC

An Arkansas native, Drake and his family moved to Atlanta at the age of sixteen. “My world dramatically changed as I was introduced to much of what the world was experiencing in the late 60’s and early 70’s,” Drake shared. “However, at eighteen, I had a wonderful ‘Prodigal Son’ experience in which I came back to my Heavenly Father whom I had drifted away from for years.”

As a Pastor for over 30 years, Drake is excited about the next chapter in his life. The circumstances leading Drake to Truett-McConnell have been nothing short of God’s hand working in his life.

“The Church Relations position has been my heart for ministry for some time,” Drake said. “God has ‘wired’ me to give myself away, especially in the area of encouraging pastors and church leaders.”

“The heart of the President for those in pastoral ministry, and the challenges they face, spoke to me and have created within me an even greater passion for this work.”

The student body at Truett-McConnell is largely church oriented. With the efforts of Drake’s role as Director of Church Relations, he hopes to reach out to pastors who’ve been huge supporters in the spiritual pathways of TMC students.

“I have a heart to connect with those pastors and be an encourager to them, as they have been to the students here at TMC,” Drake said. “I am praying through ways we can stay in touch with those who have touched the lives of the TMC family.”

The vision of the Church Relations position is to hopefully provide a way for the college to serve the churches. Caner told Drake: “Just be a Barnabas!”

Referencing Acts 11:23, Drake shared that: “Barnabas went to the leaders and people of the church in Antioch and ‘with resolute heart, encouraged them to remain true to the Lord.’ I pray my involvement in the Church Relations position will assist many on their spiritual

Drake and his wife Marilyn have been married for over 40 years; they have two sons and are the proud grandparents of three.


Jenny is the Content Manager for TMC.

Return to News Archive