"Paging Archie Doering"

I am not the only staff member who is retiring from First Baptist, Alexandria. Archie Doering, our facilities manager for a total of 29 years, is leaving shortly after I do, and moving to California. He and Judy have been a powerful presence here for nearly three decades and their absence will be keenly and immediately felt.

Archie has been the indispensable staff member and team player. I cannot imagine our church without him—and you probably can't either. Behind his sometimes-gruff exterior, there has always been a heart of pure gold, and I have gotten many glimpses of it over my time here.

The FAC was relatively new when I began, and Archie, better than anyone else, understood my vision for opening the doors and using it as a ministry station in the community. It meant a lot more work for him, but he embraced it.

We had a family in our church several years ago—a couple with two young children. The mother was active in various ministries during the week and so she was often in the building, her kids in tow. One day the refrigerator in their home went on the blink and she wondered aloud what they were going to do. Her little boy spoke up with the obvious answer. "Just call Archie," he said.

And indeed, that's what lots of us have done repeatably throughout our time at FBCA.

We pastors have come up with no shortage of plans and strategies to bless the church, touch the community, and reach the world—but then we to turned to Archie to make it all happen. And he never disappointed.

He was also indispensable, I have heard Sam Moneyhun say, in the major renovation project of a couple of years ago. An encyclopedia of information for the architects and contractors.

Our entire staff took him to lunch today at Texas Jack's Barbecue in Clarendon. We had a great time, toasting our colleague and telling for laughs our best “Archie stories." I think he could feel the love in the room. And our profound appreciation, too.

In the Old Testament God is giving instructions to the new nation of Israel through Moses for the building of the Tabernacle and all the jobs that had to be done related to it. Most of them, of course, were in professional ministry (priests, Levites, singers, etc.). But in Exodus 35:30-35, two other important names are given.  Bezalel and Oholiab were skilled craftsmen, working with wood, gold, and silver. They did all the jobs that called for creativity in construction. Facilities, in other words.

And God filled them both with the Holy Spirit and every bit as much wisdom as was needed by the ministers.

Everybody in Kingdom work has a job to do. Something for which they are uniquely skilled. Every task is important. Archie Doering found His place, his work, and was faithful at it for an entire generation. "Well done, good and faithful servant."  We will all of us be forever grateful.


2 Comments


Anna Bennett - December 7th, 2021 at 7:09pm

I will forever remember Archie as precisely that "good and faithful servant". Amen. .. Can we clone him before they leave? How in the world will we find a replacement?

Lorraine Mink - December 17th, 2021 at 6:35pm

All of my sweetest memories of FBC involve Mr Archie. Our homeschool co-op was privileged to work there and every week Archie and I had to work through new challenges. He made things happen and blessed us every week. Once for Veterans Day, we papered his office door with handprint cutouts of the over 50 kids that met there and left gifts and treats. It was the first time my girls said they saw Mr Archie smile. Of course he smiles and laughs all the time, but they didn’t know! It became their mission to make him smile. I’m so grateful - even now having moved away for the sweet memories of FBC- of summer musicals, co-op, VBS and celebrations.. and of the wonder of our Lord at healing the Graveson boys. Yet when I think of FBC and pray for your wonderful congregation, it’s Archie’s face I see and ask teh Lord to let us grow up in Him to be the kind of servants he and his wife are. Wishing you Godspeed friend and hoping you see this!-Lorraine Mink

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