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What’s working at Wax to bring salvations, changed lives

Crowds not seen in a long time have been showing up for Sunday services at Wax Baptist Church in Silver Creek, Ga.

SILVER CREEK, Ga. (BP) – Wax Baptist Church was down to single digits in attendance in the summer of 2022. Not even high single digits, either.

Despite the low attendance when he agreed to become pastor last October, Pastor Gary Diggs was confident in the church’s potential.

“I told them to look around the sanctuary. Before long, they wouldn’t be able to see the purple on the chairs. It’s going to be so crowded, people are going to have to find new places to sit,” he said.

Since Gary Diggs’ arrival, Wax Baptist Church has seen significant growth in many areas, including baptisms.

That has literally become the case, as the tiny country church in northwest Georgia has seen some 30 salvations in the last few months with few empty seats.

Before Diggs’ arrival, Floyd County Baptist Association Director Tim Smith met with members who were thinking of whether it was time to sell the building. Deciding the next steps involved a crucial process, Smith explained.



Pray some more.

An evangelistic spirit among members coincided with the arrival of Diggs, a familiar face from when he served there 23 years earlier as associate pastor and outreach director.

In August 2022 he came to provide pulpit supply and lead a midweek Bible study. It wasn’t long before he was asked to become the interim. Soon after that, in October, he became the pastor. 

Diggs was familiar with being behind a pulpit, but his presence didn’t stop there.

“I don’t just preach as a pastor,” he told Baptist Press. “I believe in visiting people, going to hospitals and nursing homes.”

Diggs, who turned 70 in June, thought he had retired before going to Wax. Things got active quick, though, and it began with the church deciding on a name.

At the time Wax Baptist was called The Refuge. Diggs recommended changing back to the name of the community, as had been the case for 100 years.

“My preaching is direct,” he said. “Preach the truth and love people. If they’re seeking Jesus, we want them to feel like they belong here.”

Not only are there people in the seats, the church has paid off all debts and raised close to $1,500 for the children’s ministry, Diggs said. Adult Sunday School attendance is up and plans are in the works for a student class and to start a nursery as well as children’s class. Due to limited space in the sanctuary, worship services may have to move to the church’s Christian Life Center.

“I told people at our Easter sunrise service that I want Wax Baptist Church to be so in love with Jesus and on fire for the Lord that it would be impossible for anyone in this church and community to go to hell,” said Diggs.

Smith said it’s as if “a fire got lit under the people at Wax,” adding: “What’s happening there should encourage other churches who are in a place where Wax Baptist was before.”

Revitalization can happen. Revival can happen.

“In the book of Nehemiah, the people had a mind to work in rebuilding the wall,” Smith said. “That’s been the key at Wax. Gary is a great pastor, but those people have a mind to work.”