McCall, a pastor to everyone
Published 10:52 am Thursday, April 10, 2014
When Dr. John G. McCall retired in 1982 as the pastor at First Baptist Church in Vicksburg — 30 years to the day he started his ministry — more than 2,000 people turned out to say goodbye at a retirement party.
“There were more non-members that showed up than members,” said Maurice Tadlock, a longtime member of the church.
McCall, who died Tuesday, 0was a man that was known for being a pastor to everyone in the community — no matter their faith and the outpouring from the community represented how much he was loved by everyone, she said.
Born in Quitman Georgia, in 1917 McCall became the preacher at First Baptist Church on Oct. 16, 1952 and served until Oct. 16, 1982, said Shirley George, a member of the church since 1971.
“He is what I would call a true pastor,” she said.
“He knew everybody’s name and everybody’s children’s name,” she said, “and he knew everyone in town because he always went to the hospital to visit.”
George said McCall also pastored their church through the tragedy of a fire that destroyed the educational facilities and the main building in 1956.
“He was a servant,” said church member Tom Hill, “and he lived what he preached.”
“Of all the people that have ever broken the bread of God’s word, he was the one person who lived what he preached more than anyone I’ve known. He wasn’t sinless, and he would tell you that in a heartbeat, but he was a man that was humble and forgiving and over the years he has meant so much to my family.”
McCall didn’t halt his call from God, once he retired from the First Baptist Church, said his wife, Vicki. He went on to teach at Mississippi College and at Southern Baptist theological Seminary, in Louisville, Kentucky and he also served as an interim preacher for nine years at a little Baptist church, in Edwards, she said.
“He said the Lord called him to preach and he never rescinded that and he preached until he was 94 years old.”
“He is at home in Heaven,” said Matt Buckles, the current minister of the church who described McCall as a man that “covered all the ground he stood on.”
“He was a man that labored here, loved here, loved the Lord and he leaves behind a legacy. He will be missed,” Buckles said.
Survivors include his wife Vicki Dunwoody McCall of Clinton, sons John G. of Long Beach and Dennis of Homer, Ga. and three grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Cedar Hills Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Glenwood Funeral Home and from 10 a.m. until the service Saturday at the church.