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Son of former pastor takes over area church
by Bobby Tedder
September 04, 2013 10:34 AM | 5681 views | 9 9 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
The Rev. David Shivers, a Sandy Springs product, recently became pastor of First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs, which was once led by his father.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal The Rev. David Shivers, a Sandy Springs product, recently became pastor of First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs, which was once led by his father.
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Whoever said, “You can’t go home again” never met the Rev. David Shivers.

Upon accepting his new role as pastor of First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs, Shivers chose to step back into a world once intimately familiar. The symmetry in that decision lies in the fact that the 54-year-old grew up in this same house of worship — led by his late father, E.B. Shivers, who was its pastor from 1959 to 1980.

“It’s definitely a different world [here] than the one I grew up in, that’s for sure,” said the married father of two, whose first service was Aug. 11.

These days, Shivers finds himself embracing more and more differences.

For starters, he opted to leave the quiet rural environs of the Indiana church he pastored for the past 15 years — it stands in a cornfield — for the change of pace that is hustling, bustling metro Atlanta.

The laidback, third-generation man of the cloth delivers sermons with the patience and skill of a natural-born storyteller. Restoring his church to what it was in its heyday is a cross he bears gladly.

“There a lot of great churches in Atlanta, but we’ll find our niche. We’ll find out how to minister to our community,” Shivers said.

“The church I grew up in Sandy Springs was like your family …and we want to make it that way again.”

Again, things have changed around here — not all for the better.

When the younger Shivers left Atlanta, the First Baptist congregation numbered in the several hundreds.

By the time he was offered the position of pastor earlier this summer, its membership had dwindled to a few dozen.

Consider his arrival the shot in the arm the church has been missing.

David Beasley has never changed his membership from First Baptist of Sandy Springs. He routinely makes the drive from his home in Cherokee County to Sunday worship services.

He grew up in the church along with Shivers and was among the first to welcome his old friend back.

“It’s worth the drive to come back and be a part of it — helping David rebuild the church to its former glory,” said Beasley. “It’s just a very special experience.”

Attendance there has doubled in that time — more than enough cause for optimism.

Still, First Baptist’s easygoing leader is taking it all in stride.

“We still have a long ways to go … baby steps, like my wife [Jeanne] said,” Shivers said. “The only way to eat an elephant is a bite at a time.

“It’s almost like we’re starting a mission church all over again … and that’s exciting.”
Comments
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Lloyd and Luella
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September 24, 2013
David and Jeanne, we have no doubt that God will use you in Sanday Springs as He did in Hopewell!!! Our prayers are with you! The two of you are missed terribly and we still cry...you were a special part of our lives and the "brother" that our son never had! Thank you for those years that you shared with him!!!!!! Best of luck in your new calling...knowing that you and God can handle all of the "bumps" in the road you will face and also with Jeanne at your side! Lloyd is very slowing getting better...he has a long way to go, but God is good!!!! Love you and Jeanne bunches!!!!!!!!!!
Joe Phillips
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September 05, 2013
This guy will be very popular! He's funny, quick, drives his point home in a few minutes and leaves you to digest it while you go home.

Best of Luck, Dr. Shivers!
George Miller
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September 05, 2013
David Shivers and David Beasley......what a pair growing up. If one got into mischief, it was because the other one started it!

David's father, Bud Shivers, was one of the sweetest and caring people I ever met. He was a tremendous missionary for God!

I have no doubt David will provide the same leadership qualities and build the same following as his dad.

David, my prayers are with you.
Donna Covey
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September 05, 2013
I was going to the church when Pastor EB Shivers was there during the 70s. I was a 20 something single lady and really enjoyed having a church as my family away from home. It was just what I needed during that time of my life. So happy to hear Pastor David Shivers has rejoined his home church and will be leading the congregation.
Shirley Culp
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September 05, 2013
May God bless you and your family... please know you are missed in this community. We never know where God will take us .. just relax and enjoy the ride. Love and prayers for you.

Amy Noah
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September 04, 2013
David Shivers delivered amazing words of comfort at my day's funeral (Kenny Adams in Versailles, Indiana). He truly touched our family at one of the most difficult times. The stories he shared about my dad were exactly what we needed - he made us laugh and cry that day but more than that he helped everyone there reflect on my father and his amazing life. I have thought of Reverand Shivers often and am so happy to hear of his move - the people in Sandy Springs are truly blessed to have him among them!
Bill bratton
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September 04, 2013
grew up down the street from where the Shivers lived across from the church. Never heard his dad preach but I heard he was very good. Good luck to David in coming home and rebuilding the congregation
Pam Miller/Sturgis
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September 04, 2013
I am so happy to read this news! What a blessing to be able to walk in behind your Daddy and be a servant where he once served!! Sending my love to all of you!! Pam Miller
Ken smith
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September 04, 2013
What a class act. He will be good for the area.
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