Rural Route Heroes: Part 3

This is Fred. . .  uh, I mean Dr. Fred Shackelford.184

He spent thousands of dollars, a kidney, and one big toe to pay for his education at Union University and at Southern Seminary.  It would have cost him an arm and a leg, but he had some scholarship money.  He worked very hard and spent years to obtain that Doctor of Ministry hanging on his wall.   He can, and has, finished triathlons faster than 99.9% of all Southern Baptist Pastors.  He is smart, young, and upwardly mobile.  The Southern Baptist Convention is his to conquer.  You might think that he is the pastor of First Baptist Megaville. . . right?  Wrong!  There is nothing wrong with Mega churches if you are into that sort of thing.  Fred, rather, is investing himself, his family, his education, his time, his energy, and his passion at Springhill Baptist Church in Rural Henry County TN.183

Fred, like many of us, had doubts at first about coming to a rural setting, but in the end saw that God was leading the way to a Rural Route.  Fred and his wife Jennifer had a list of “what if” questions that needed to be answered about God’s assignment for them, but in the end had to (insert old Baptist Hymn here) trust and obey

The Western District Baptist Association, Henry County, The Tennessee Baptist Convention, and Spring Hill Baptist Church are all glad that Fred was obedient to God’s calling.  He is truly gifted and is the REAL DEAL.  Fred is one of my Rural Route Heroes because he represents, what I pray, is a trend toward more young, gifted, passionate, Doctors of Ministry behind rural pulpits.  I genuinely appreciate Fred and Jennifer for their sacrificial obedience to God’s call.  Fred could preach anywhere and sound heroic.  What makes him a hero though is simple obedience.  Pray for them as they continue to minister at Springhill Baptist Church.

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 4:00 am  Comments (3)  


  1. I also meant to say that Fred has been at Springhill for 4 1/2 years.

  2. Waddey,

    I’m really enjoying this blog. Keep up the good work.


  3. Thanks David. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

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