Gary Furr, pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church for more than 27 years, announced his retirement Jan. 10.
“The time has come for me to give way to another leader,” he said, adding that he had initially planned to announce his retirement in 2020 but then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. “The church is healthy and strong. We have an online ministry that didn’t exist (before the pandemic) … and we ended this financial year in fantastic shape thanks to our staff, our people and our faithfulness to God.”
Furr told the congregation that “with a great deal of gratitude and thanks” he would serve his last day as their pastor Feb. 28. He and his wife, Vickie, plan to continue to serve as members of Vestavia Hills Baptist.
Jennifer Jaquess, chair of the church’s personnel committee, said Furr’s “incredible spirit and tremendous gifts have made all the difference in so many of our lives and countless others beyond the congregation.”
Before coming to Birmingham, Furr served as pastor of churches in Georgia and Texas. His total pastoral ministry has spanned 41 years.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College (now University) in Jefferson City, Tennessee; a master’s degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina; and a doctorate from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
He also is a graduate of the Academy for Spiritual Formation through Upper Room Ministries, and a graduate of the inaugural class of Leadership Vestavia Hills. Furr has served on the coordinating council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, on the executive board of the Birmingham Baptist Association and on the board of directors of Baptist Health System.
Furr also is a conference speaker and a published author. He has served as an adjunct professor at Samford University and Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham. He also founded the Alabama Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children, a faith-based, nonprofit organization of health care professionals, educators and community leaders advocating for the health care of children in underserved areas of Alabama.
For more information, visit http://www.vhbc.com. To watch his retirement announcement, visit https://youtu.be/bvfwLmfKivs.
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