A prominent Southern Baptist Convention pastor who formerly served as president of the denomination announced Sunday he has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and will be undergoing treatment in the coming weeks.
Steve Gaines, the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., and the president of the SBC from 2016 to 2016, told members and attendees Sunday morning that he had been diagnosed with kidney cancer two days earlier, on Friday.
“We’ve got some great doctors,” Gaines said. “... And we’ve got the best doctor, Jesus.”
He added, “I've had some tests, but we're gonna go through a few more things, and then we'll be going to MD Anderson as well.”
MD Anderson Cancer Center is in Houston.
“All we’re wanting you to do is pray for us,” Gaines said.
After Gaines spoke, members of Bellevue Baptist gathered around him to lay hands on him and pray.
“Church, this is a time to rise,” associate pastor Drew Tucker said as he paraphrased Scripture and added that “we consider it joy because we know the testing of our faith will produce endurance.”
Tucker then read from James 5 as the congregation prayed for Gaines and his wife, Donna. Tucker urged the “prayer warriors” of the church to rise up and pray regularly for the couple.
“And it says, ‘Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church. And they are to pray over him. anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.’ And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.’”
Gaines became pastor of Bellevue Baptist in 2005, succeeding Adrian Rogers. He is the author or co-author of Share Jesus Like It Matters, Pray Like It Matters, When God Comes to Church, and Morning Manna, a devotional.
Photo Courtesy: ©Bellevue Baptist.Used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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