Church name: First Baptist Church Palo Pinto
Address, phone number: 234 S. Fourth Ave., P.O. Box 249, Palo Pinto, TX 76484
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Pastor: Donald McCaig, six months.
Family: wife, Taylor McCaig
Public contact information (phone, e-mail): (325) 998-0919, FBCPaloPinto@gmail.com.
Number of church members: 200-plus members, 50-75 average Sunday service attendance.
Educational background: graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Studies with a specialization in Practical Theology.
When/where ordained and current license (if applicable): licensed March 31, 2004. Ordained Sept. 30, 2007, both from Waller Baptist Church.
Where was your first pastorship? Rolling Acres Baptist Church.
When, where and how did you come to first accept Jesus Christ? I accepted Jesus as my savior when I was 12 years old at a youth group retreat in Somerville, Texas. I grew up in church and was always as active as I could be, but my youth pastor challenged my youth group one night with the difference between knowing about Jesus and actually knowing him as Lord. Right then and there I was struck with a desire to know Jesus as a person, not just a character in a story. I was blessed enough to have my father lead me through the prayer of salvation, as well as have my older sister there for support and my best friend receive Christ at the exact same time.
Why did you decide to follow a calling into ministry? By the age of 17 I had all but stopped going to church. I was living a life that God wasn’t particularly proud of and I didn’t want to go to church and become convicted of my life choices. I fortunately never got into too much trouble, but I certainly wasn’t fulfilling my promises to God. In January of 2003 my youth group was having a special event known as a “D-Now”. My friends and youth pastor all but physically drug me to the event. Once there I heard the voice of God clearly ask, “Will you choose Me, or will you choose you? You can’t have both.” When God presents you with an ultimatum it is very difficult to ignore it. So, with the obedience of some specific things He also asked me to do He again spoke to me and said, “Now I know I can trust you.” That was when I felt a pull into vocational ministry.
What modern day authors, philosophers or theologians inspire you most? Why? The modern day preachers/teachers that inspire me are Duane Sheriff because of his ability to teach and give insight into the Scriptures; Bill Johnson because of his unyielding call for the faith of the believer; Paul Washer for his passion to see the lost truly transformed into Jesus’ image; and Joseph Prince for his ability to communicate the power of the cross with simplicity and fire.
How would you describe your approach as a pastor, church and religious leader? My approach as a minister would probably be best described as first a teacher. There are several great ways to pastor a church, but what I find inspires me the most is to teach people the promises and power associated with being a believer so that they can enhance their own relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the best way to say it would be that I prefer teaching people how to fish, rather than giving them fish. Of course living by example is the best way to teach, but once people start to understand that ministers don’t possess any special market on God, and that they can be just as effective as the best man or woman of God is what really makes me excited.
Where do you find the most gratification as leader of your congregation? The most gratifying part of being a minister is when you can see the change of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. Sometimes it is a long process to see change, but every now and then it seems a light switch goes off in someone and they have a new, deeper understanding of God and life as a Christian that will forever change them. Those moments of growth and freedom are priceless.
How do you approach and teach the Scriptures? I approach the Scriptures with the understanding that they are always right. Often I find people trying to force Scripture to fit around their own experiences or preconceived notions and then wonder why they aren’t as connected to God as they should be. Our thoughts and experiences don’t interpret the Bible; the Bible interprets our thoughts and experiences. So, because of my passion for the word of God I base every lesson, sermon, counseling session, etc. on as much Scripture as possible, and I teach my church to try and do the exact same thing. There are very few problems in this world that God hasn’t already addressed if just knew where to look.
What is most important about selecting a church home? I find the four most important things for anyone to consider when choosing a church home are: 1) do you agree theologically (views on baptism, liturgy, discipleship, etc.; 2) do you agree with the vision of the church (i.e. large vs. small, traditional worship vs. contemporary worship, etc.); 3) do you feel that you can become involved with the people of the church (church is more than keeping pews warm. It’s about connecting with people and God); and 4) do you feel God has called you there.