By Sarah Stubbs
Jon and Martha Whisnand were honored at a retirement reception hosted by First Baptist Church on June 27, 2021. Jon has served as the Associate Pastor of Worship for the past fourteen years. His retirement comes after 40+ years of ministerial service.
The Fellowship Hall was beautifully decorated with a musical theme and included mementos from Jon’s life and ministry. Delicious finger foods, fruits, and punch were available for guests to enjoy while fellowshipping. Those in attendance were treated to several songs by Jon and four other members from The SC Baptist Singing Churchmen. Special gifts of appreciation were given by the Church and by friends to Jon and Martha.
Members of the Church, former members, and friends were in attendance to express appreciation for Jon and Martha’s service to First Baptist Church. Out of town family and friends attending the retirement party included: Nina (daughter), Daniel, Rebecca and Luke Keown, Lake Park, GA; Hannah (daughter), Caroline and John Patrick Hancock, Valdosta, GA; Taunia and Kaiser Stephens, Mechanicsville, VA; Ron and Kelley Whisnand, Wetumpka, AL; Missy and Rod Stalvey and Peyton Cox, Valdosta, GA; Wayne and Peggy Galloway, Tallahassee, FL; Elmo, Landis and Tracey Phillips, Bear Creek, NC; Joy and Dannie Barbour, Tyler and Kayleigh, Shallotte, NC; Bobby and Missy Lowery, Goldsboro, NC; Stevie and Jennifer Flowers, Pastor and Mrs. Mark Meadows, Charles and Janet Taylor, Lumberton, NC.
Jon received an Associate in Fine Arts from Sandhills Community College in 1983; a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Campbell University in1985; and a Master of Arts in Church Music from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997. He began his full-time music ministry work in 1975 as a member of “The New World Singers,” a family group that traveled the east coast and Canada singing and proclaiming the gospel message of Christ. From 1982-1988, Jon served as the Music and Children and Youth Director at Cool Springs Baptist Church in Sanford, NC. He next served as Minister of Music and Youth at Antioch Baptist Church in Lumberton, NC from 1988-1997. While serving at Antioch Baptist Church, Jon was ordained into the ministry. He served as Minister of Music at Morningside and Perimeter Road Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia from 1997-2007. In 2007, he was called to serve as Associate Minister of Worship at First Baptist Church in Dillon.
Jon and Martha both look forward to retirement, but they also feel sadness at leaving special friends they have made in Dillon and the surrounding areas. They have been very active in the life of First Baptist Church and will be greatly missed. They will be living near Martha’s mother in Bear Creek, NC.
By Sarah Stubbs