My number one priority is preaching. Preaching is not only something that I enjoy doing, it is what God has called me to do.”Dr. Ralph Andrews, Pastor of Good Hope Baptist Church
GOOD HOPE – Please allow me to introduce Dr. Ralph Andrews, pastor of Good Hope Baptist Church. Dr. Andrews has been married to his lovely wife Sherry for 42 years. They have two sons, Joshua and John. Joshua graduated from the Air Force Academy; John graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“Even though they are nine years apart, they share the same birthday… that takes planning,” Andrews chuckled. “We also have three grandchildren: Eli, Lily and Lauren.”
Just like most religious leaders, Dr. Andrews has gone through extensive schooling in order to be able to guide his flock and help them to find the Lord.
“I have a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctorate from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary,” Andrews explained. “When I was pastor of my first church, the Lord called my wife and me to the foreign mission field. However, we had a problem: I didn't have the educational requirements that the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) required. So, three months before my 30th birthday, I started college,” he grinned.
“After finishing college and seminary, the next step was to go to language school in France for 11 months,” he continued. “However, when we finally arrived in the Ivory Coast and drove through the city in which we would be working, it felt as if we had gone home. I have often said that God's will is always best; it's just that sometimes we don't have the sense to realize it!”
In 1995, the Andrews’ came home to the States for a little down time. But just as they were getting ready to go back to the Ivory Coast, they learned real quickly, God had other plans.
“Good Hope Baptist Church asked me to be their interim pastor for two weeks,” said Andrews. “That has been 19 years ago – and I'm still there,” he smiled. “After 11 years on the mission field, the change wasn't easy, but again, God knows best! I accepted the call to preach in 1978 and have never doubted it.”
Dr. Andrews is a very busy man, as most pastors are. He preaches at least two sermons a week and teaches two Bible studies. In addition to that, the church has several members in the nursing home that he tries to visit regularly, and several members who are home bound. Somewhere in there, he has a family to spend time with as well.
“My number one priority is preaching. Preaching is not only something that I enjoy doing, it is what God has called me to do,” Andrews said in all sincerity.
Dr. Andrews has been an incredible asset to the congregation at Good Hope Baptist Church. His years of service and dedication are a testament to his love of God and fellow man. Just the thought of his church brings a smile to his face and kind words from his mouth.
“I realize that I am biased, but Good Hope Baptist Church has some of the finest, friendliest people that you will ever meet. I realized one day how special Good Hope is when pastors from other states were telling their members who were moving to the Cullman area to go to Good Hope,” he grinned. “God has truly blessed us with a wonderful fellowship.”