George Henley told his pastor in the fall of 1950 that he felt like God was calling him into the ministry, and his pastor put him to work teaching the 10-year-old boys in the church.
The following March, he preached his first sermon. And 70 years later, he’s still going strong. He’s preached at nearly 250 churches and served as a pastor in Mississippi for 13 years, Tennessee for six and northwest Alabama for the rest of that time.
Harris Chapel Baptist Church, Cherokee, where Henley and his wife, Margaret, are members, recently honored them for their ministry.
“One of the things he said very specifically was that he could not have done it all these years without his wife — she was by his side the entire time,” said Scot Farris, interim pastor of Harris Chapel. “They’re like heroes in our church. We’re so blessed to have them. They’re an unbelievable man of God and woman of God.”
During Henley’s years in Alabama, he served as pastor of churches in Lamar, Pickens, Fayette and Colbert-Lauderdale Baptist associations. He retired from Eutaw Baptist Church, and after that served as an interim pastor of eight churches. He’s also gone on missions trips to Montana, Guatemala and Wales and served as a hospital chaplain. He still preaches regularly today.
“I’m grateful the Lord gave me the opportunity,” Henley said. “My wife and I have been married more than 65 years and she’s been with me every step of the way, serving in everything from the nursery to teaching older adults.”