Dan Messer, Hispanic Ministries Leader
I was born in Blacksburg, S. C. I lived there until I was eight; we moved near Gaffney for a year. We move to Bowling Green, a textile mill village, in north central York County. I graduated from Clover High in 1961, and two weeks later enter the Navy. I served 4 years and 4 months after discharge, I married Ann Phillips. We celebrated 51 years this past October. We have 5 granddaughters and 1 greatgrandson, Nathan (the apple of my eye). I worked for Homelite Chain Saws for 7 years, and while working there I surrendered to the ministry. Graduated from Gardner-Webb College December 1973. I received a DMin from Southwestern Seminary December 1977.
After graduation we served with FBM in South America for 8 and half years. I have pastored churches in S.C., in Texas., and N.C. retired from the pastorate July 31,2005 for one month. Then I began working for the GBA September 1, 2005. I have thoroughly enjoyed working and ministering with the Hispanic community.
I received Christ during a revival May 1953. I began attending Bowling Green Baptist Church soon after moving there. I drifted away from the Lord during the time in the Navy and didn’t really commit myself to serving the Lord until year following marriage. I had been drinking and gambling when Ann and I had been arguing. She was very angry with me and after an heated exchange, she threw a picture at me and I slap her. I realized that it was wrong. I left and went driving to cool off. While driving I past the church where I accepted Christ, I notice that they were having a revival meeting. The Holy Spirit so plain to me, I looked to see if someone was in the car. He said, “Dan tonight is the night to get your life straighten out.” I stepped on the gas and flew by the church. I heard the voice a second time. I said tonight. I turned around; found a parking place and went inside. I sat down in the back. The preacher was finishing his sermon and I don’t remember a word, but I had already heard the message. When they began singing I was the first to the altar. The next night Ann went and rededicated her life. That was May 1966. It has been an interesting and exciting journey.
The ministry with Hispanic community entails an array of responsibilities. I work as liaison between GBA, SCBC, and the churches. I assist with immigration issues, looks for leaders and workers, leadership training, and locate partnering American churches to sponsor or provide space for a Hispanic group. Some of the goals for 2017 are: start 2 new Bible study group along the White Horse Road corridor, help 2 Hispanic group constitute to churches, continue to study and improve Spanish, visit each of the existing groups 3 times during the year, and have accountability meetings with each Hispanic leader.