BNG opinion columnist Doyle Sager died Jan. 22 after a battle with lung cancer. He was 69 years old.
A native of Albany, Mo., Sager had served as lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City, Mo., since 1997. He served other Missouri Baptist churches over the span of a 50-year career in ministry.
He wrote about his unexpected journey with Stage 4 lung cancer in his final BNG column, published in November 2020. The title of that column, “May the peace of God swaddle your world,” exemplified Sager’s pastoral spirit toward his congregation, community and other ministry colleagues.
In the past eight years, he wrote nearly 80 opinion pieces for BNG.
Sager earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Central Missouri, a master of divinity degree and doctor of ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a past president of Churchnet, a Baptist network serving churches in Missouri. He served as a trustee of William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., for nearly 20 years and was named a trustee emeritus there. He was co-founder and president of Mainstream Missouri Baptists (1999-2002), an organization committed to preserving historic Baptist principles, centered around religious liberty for all people.
He was involved in Bread for the World and was a member of Missouri Faith Voices and its local affiliate, Faith Voices for Jefferson City. He also was a leader within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
His biography on the church website noted that one of his favorite quotes is this: “The kingdom of God is creation healed.”
“The kingdom of God is creation healed.”
The family posted this note on his CaringBridge site after his death: “Our hearts ache because of the void this loss forever leaves in our lives but we are relieved he is free from the pain of his earthly body. Though we had hoped for healing here on earth, we have faith knowing dad/Doyle is fully healed and whole now. Thanks for your love and friendship always.”
His colleagues on the church staff added this tribute via Facebook: “Words often fail us in moments like these. Our God does not. Our hope is a resurrection hope. We are resurrection people. Doyle lived this truth and proclaimed this truth. It is this truth that brings peace and hope to us in these days.”
Sager is survived by his wife, Janet, and their three children, their spouses and children.