I have had the blessing of getting to know Brother George Yates over the past several years since he first joined Springfield Baptist Church approximately five years ago as well attended my Grow Group on Sunday mornings. Our relationship further developed when he became SBC’s transitional pastor in May of 2015 where I had the pleasure of serving alongside of him as an active deacon.
I have not only been blessed immensely by his friendship, but even more so by his leadership of our church body during such a critical time. I have learned so many valuable lessons and skills by serving under him and observing him teach, lead, disciple, and mentor under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, our church body has been inspired and motivated, resulting in increased leadership and more active members of our local body in and outside of the church. Kris Russell, Springfield Baptist Church, Springfield Kentucky
A church without a leading pastor is a scary thought. When our church became leaderless I immediately began to pray out of fear. Would our church fall to pieces? Would we stand still? Will we lose members?…Now, I was afraid without a pastor, we would lose direction and our church progress would begin to fade. However, it wasn’t long after Bro. George became our transitional pastor that I realized these fears were in vain. God had a plan for our church during this time of transition that was anything beyond I or I think the rest of our members had imagined. The time of transition through the leadership of Bro. George would be a time of healing, examination, growth, restoration, excitement and overall a huge learning curve for our church and its members. Barrett & Rachel Tingle, Springfield, KY (For Barrett & Rachel’s complete letter scroll down this page)
As a Christian educator for over 30 years few people, in my experience, come with the “complete package” when it comes to excellent training material for leaders to equip people. George Yates is one of those few. I first knew George from reading his book, “Teaching That Bears Fruit.” I was later invited to be a break-out leader in one of his training conferences.
Sunday School Leader Equipping Series (SSLES) is an excellent training tool in two ways: 1) It helps the leader to stay tooled in the basics of Sunday School work. 2) It helps develop people in the work and ministry of Sunday School in the local church. I am personally delighted I found this intentional tool for my ongoing ministry as an equipper. I highly recommend it to all. Ron Harvey, Riverside, CA
Bro. George came to be our interim pastor in November 2011. At that time I was serving as associate pastor…In the nine months we worked together, I found Bro. George to be a humble, servant leader. He also displayed great expertise in ministry and leadership. He helped guide our church through a very tumultuous time…George’s leadership, I believe, was instrumental in our church not only surviving, but also reaching some new folks during what were otherwise dark days. Additionally, God used him to help spark new thoughts and new interest within our congregation.
He has established a true mentoring relationship with me that I believe has been invaluable both personally and professionally. I learned a great deal in regard to both my personal walk with Jesus as well as excellence in ministry…Josh Bunch, Lead pastor, The People’s Church, Bardstown, KY
I have known George Yates for many years and have seen how he has been used by God to assist in the development of healthy churches that make disciples for Christ. He is a gifted speaker, writer, consultant, and friend to the staff and key leaders of a church. If you are looking for someone to strengthen, assess and challenge the ministry and vision in your church George can help.” David Suddath, Director of Church Development, Noonday Baptist Association, Marietta, GA
The growth and progress of CCBA is in no small part due to the passion George has to serve you (the churches) and to follow God’s direction in his ministry with CCBA. I have always considered our association blessed to have both the Yates as part of our ministry team.
George and Pam are very, very good staff leadership fortunate enough to work with them. They are as close to a perfect solution as one can get when seeking ministry partnership and leadership. Dr. Michael Stewart, Director of Missions, Central Coast Baptist Association
George has been a blessing for us in the Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association. Since arriving in California, he has been involved in numerous churches and training events. His understanding of teaching and Sunday School organization is outstanding. He is a great communicator and has a real passion for ministry.
Each time we feature George in a training event we have churches invite him to assist them. He has a servant heart and a well developed understanding of how to get the work of Sunday School done. I would encourage any church to utilize George to help them improve their ministry. Martin Leach, Church Growth Consultant, Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association
George Yates served Park Victoria Baptist Church, Milpitas, CA, as Interim Pastor, devoting his time, energy and expertise to leading us spiritually to focus our congregation on moving forward in fulfilling our mission to reach our community and encouraging members to a high standard of ministry and integrity within our fellowship to step out in faith in service under God’s direction. We appreciate him and hold George in high esteem. Ann Marvin, Chair, Pastor Search Committee, Milpitas, CA
George Yates is committed to advancing the Kingdom. He has the heart of a servant with a life and love for Christ that validate God’s ministry through him. He has the expertise and skill that has borne fruit in ministry and service. He has the ability to serve where needed from the smallest churches to associational and statewide conferences. God is using George to advance the Kingdom.” John Shirey, Senior Pastor, Santa Clara, CA
It is with great pleasure that I recommend my friend, George Yates, to you. George served on staff with me at one of the churches I served. My ministry was strengthened through George’s tireless efforts to train people to serve God in person and through his writings. His enthusiasm and compassionate heart always shines through in his daily life and his training. I am sure your life, or ministry, will benefit from the bountiful heart and knowledge of this dear servant. Dr. Jerry Atkins, President, Jerry Atkins Ministries, Trenton, GA
Letter from Barrett & Rachel Tingle
A church without a leading pastor is a scary thought. When our church became leaderless I immediately began to pray out of fear. Would our church fall to pieces? Would we stand still? Will we lose members? We had recently been given the position of Minister’s of Youth and Children. We had worked so hard, alongside the members of our church, to see growth and spiritual development among our youth and children programs. Now I was afraid without a pastor, we would lose direction and our church progress would begin to fade. However, it wasn’t long after Bro. George became our transitional pastor that I realized these fears were in vain. God had a plan for our church during this time of transition that was anything beyond I or I think the rest of our members had imagined. The time of transition through the leadership of Bro. George would be a time of healing, examination, growth, restoration, excitement and overall a huge learning curve for our church and its members.
When Bro. George started he hit the ground running! I will never forget during one of his first sermons as transitional pastor he told us that he had seen churches actually grow during times of transition. This blew me away and made me begin to realize that God could still move and work among us during this transitional time. And He sure did! As Bro. George began to meet with different leaders in the church changes began to take place. He implemented a weekly staff meeting that allowed us to more effectively communicate among the different ministries of our church. He helped to develop a much-needed system for using the church building for different events. He even helped grow our Sunday school classes by teaching us ways to be more effective in the way we care for each other and reach out to others.
The list of positive changes that took place at our church during this time of transition is numerous. But one area of change that particularly helped us, as the Youth and Children’s Ministers, was when Bro. George suggested we hold a debrief session with our children workers after Vacation Bible School (VBS). He gave some guidance on how the meeting should go and what type of questions to ask. We cannot tell you just how effective this meeting was to our children’s program. As a group we were able to come up with valuable solutions to our problem areas of VBS, we were able to express gratitude toward our volunteers, and the workers were able to express their opinion on different matters and have a voice that was capable of change. After this meeting the excitement and sense of community began to develop among our children workers that had not been present before. And all this during a time of transition.
The effectiveness of Bro. George and his ministry does not end with the administrational needs. Bro. George also helped to meet the spiritual needs of the church. Every Sunday he clearly and unashamedly preached the gospel message challenging us each time to be more like Christ. Bro. George, also brought forth much needed wisdom from his years of experience and often shared it with others in times of counsel. During his times of preaching and teaching he encouraged the church to examine itself and seek out ways to improve the way we ministered to the lost. I believe for several of our members it was very eye opening. We began to see areas that needed improvement and began to learn new ways of reaching out to others. It was a time of learning and church is the better for it.
The last thing we will say about Bro. George is that he exceeds the expectations for a transitional pastor. During his time at SBC he went above and beyond his duty. He poured his heart and soul into his ministry from day one. He developed relationships with those in and outside the church, he became an active member of our church body, and he truly reached out to those in need. In fact, when it came time to dedicate our newborn son we wanted no one else but Bro. George, who had been there for us every step of the way.
Bro. George made a lasting impression on our church that we will never forget. Through his leadership our church began to look more like Jesus and less like the world. We thank God that he had a plan for us in our time of transition. We thank God that he sent Bro. George and his ministry to our church!
With Deep Gratitude,
Barrett and Rachel Tingle
Youth and Children Ministers at Springfield Baptist Church
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.