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Resort missionary found dead in Ga.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Michael H. Flake, 32, director of resort ministries in the north Georgia mountains for the North American Mission Board, was found dead Jan. 27 in Helen, Ga.

“I used to think that I had to go overseas to be a ‘real’ missionary,” Flake recently wrote. “Then God reminded me that being a missionary means living out your Christian walk and making Him known wherever you are, whether in Hungary or Helen, Ga.”

Prior to his appointment as a NAMB resort missionary in 2001, the Georgia native was a guidance counselor with Louisville Collegiate School in Louisville, Ky. He previously was a US/C-2 missionary in Helen, a tourist destination in north Georgia, and had served as a semester missionary there.

Flake attended Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., and Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he received his bachelor’s degree. He also attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s North Georgia Campus in Decatur; Reformed Theological Seminary’s extension centers in Georgia and Florida; and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

“Michael understood that reaching people for the Gospel meant meeting them where they are,” said Jeff Wagner, NAMB’s ministry and servant evangelism manager. “He led the churches of North Georgia to share Christ through special events, random acts of kindness, campground worship, creative arts, and loving people.

“Michael’s resort ministry mobilized thousands of mission groups. The Helen community came to expect the faithful witness of Michael and his team of resort missionaries, and his ministry was honored with the key to the city of Helen because of the service that the summer missionaries provide. Michael’s special smile and passion for God will be missed,” Wagner said.

He is survived by his wife, Natalie, and one daughter, Jorjanne.

Visitation will be Saturday evening, Jan. 28, from 6-9 p.m. at Barrett Funeral Home in Cleveland, Ga. The funeral will be at First Baptist Church in Cleveland, at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The North American Mission Board, with headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga., is the Southern Baptist Convention’s home mission entity which assists SBC churches in reaching the United States, Canada and the U.S. territories with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The board oversees the work of more than 5,300 missionaries.

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