TROY — Pastor Doug Magin of First Baptist Church of Troy is retiring after 50 years of service.
Growing up in upstate New York in a small-town east of Rochester, Magin always had a passion for education. He attended Houghton College as a math major with the intent of becoming a high school math teacher. It was there that he discovered his calling to ministry.
Magin then attended the Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota to obtain his Master of Divinity. His graduation coincided with First Baptist of Troy’s hunt for a new youth minister, and he immediately came down for an interview in the summer of 1972.
“When I first came to Troy, I didn’t know a thing about it. But looking back, I don’t think I could have selected a better community,” said Magin.
As a 24-year-old youth pastor, Magin, recalling his desire to be a part of a Christian school, started a Christian pre-school through First Baptist. In 1980, his dream grew as he helped with the founding of Troy Christian Schools.
In his 35 years as the First Baptist youth pastor, Magin helped shape both the people and the city of Troy.
“Some of the people who were in the youth group when I came in ’72 are still with the First Baptist Church. And they’re involved in ministry, they’re involved in teaching, they’re involved in leadership. Others have gone on to other churches and are pastors and leaders there. We even had a couple who, last year, went to Ukraine. They’re now in Poland doing ministry for the refugees,” said Magin.
But Magin won’t take all the credit.
“Whatever I have accomplished here, it’s not just me, it has been a team effort.”
Magin received his Doctor of Divinity from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana as he transitioned into an associate pastor role all the while still running the youth ministry.
Fifty years is a long time to be a part of one organization. Magin credits the community.
“It’s the people. People kept me here. My desire was to see people understand the word of God and to see people apply that and have that impact on their life kept me going. And one of the things that keeps people in a job is the culture of the workplace. And the congregation of First Baptist Church and their staff have just been encouraging and wonderful,” said Magin.
Although he is retiring, Magin won’t be far from the church.
“One of the reasons I have, sort of, mixed feelings about retiring is that I don’t think it is going to change much. I still want to keep doing all the things I am doing. They just won’t be in an official role,” said Magin.
In honor of Magin’s retirement and his 50 years of pastoral care, First Baptist Church will be hosting a celebration banquet on Saturday, June 11 at 6 p.m. Over 180 people are already expected to be in attendance as the Church celebrates his service with speeches, video tributes, and gifts.
In addition, a special ceremony will be held during the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, June 12 for those unable to attend on Saturday.