Wafts of cow manure mix with greetings of “brother” and “sister” to fill the air as members and guests walk into church.
Three years ago, 60 people came to services every Sunday at White Oak Baptist Church. Since Pastor Reggie Tipton came to Nancy, attendance has grown sixfold.
Reggie’s family grew at the same time. He and his wife, Ashley, have four children, ranging in age from six years to two weeks.
At 7:30 every morning Reggie gets the two boys ready for school. Moments before, he lays out clothes for them to wear. If he doesn’t, they will wear only clothes adorned with Spider Man.
As the boys reluctantly get out of bed, Reggie prays with them. The boys pray for their baby sister, who was born three weeks premature with a clean bill of health, and for their mom, who is starting to get back into a normal routine after the pregnancy.
Being a father gives him more opportunities for community outreach. Six-year-old Owen asks to be dropped off at a classmate’s house. Reggie asks if that boy’s parents come to church. They do not, Owen replies. “Well then, we definitely need to track them down,” Reggie says.
Once the boys are off to school, Reggie steps into his role as pastor. A lifelong football fan, he has two Cincinnati Bengals helmets on the shelf in his home office and a University of Kentucky helmet on the shelf in his church office, but he spends most of his day on the road. Every guest who fills out a visitor card at the church receives a visit from Reggie, as do church members who are hospitalized.
Outside of his job at White Oak, he serves as chaplain for the fire department and an advisory board member and football coach at Nancy Elementary School.
Whoever pastors White Oak pastors the community, Reggie says.