By Buddy Hazell
Every now and then, someone will ask me if I was raised in Malakoff. I always respond by saying, “No, we came here in 1973. We have left Malakoff several times, but for some reason, God keeps bringing us back.” Some of my dates may be a little off, but what’s a year or two among friends? Here is my story:
I had been preaching for about two years, when I received a phone call asking if I would come to Malakoff and preach in view of a call. My first thought was, “God hasn’t called me to be a Foreign Missionary.” I thought Malakoff was in Russia. I quickly asked where Malakoff was in Russia. The man on the phone explained just where it was, and gave me directions. I immediately answered, “Yes sir, when do you want me to come?” “Can you make it on April 18th?” he replied. “We will be there,” I said and turned to Lulu and told her what he had said.
On April 25, 1973 Parkview Baptist Church voted to call me as their Pastor, and I asked them to give me a few days and on April 27th I called them and told them that they had a Pastor. The following Sunday I assumed the office as Pastor. We had five or six marvelous years pastoring there and God blessed the Church in a mighty way.
In the winter of 1990-1991 after serving eight years as a Missionary, we were living on our farm in San Augustine, on a hiatus and the West Duval Baptist Church in Troup wanted me to preach in view of a call. I went and preached for them and was interviewed by their Pulpit Committee, and we had a good meeting. When the meeting was over, they said they would contact me sometime the next week. The following Wednesday night they phoned and said that the Church had voted to call me as Pastor. I was thrilled, and accepted the call and said that we would be there Sunday.
However, the next day, Wanda Jones, a member of Parkview Baptist Church and a member of their Pulpit Committee called me and asked if I would come Sunday and preach for them. They were without a Pastor, and she was crying as we spoke. She shared the Church’s problems and it broke my heart. I told her about the Church at Troup, she said, “Bro. Buddy we need you.” Then we wept together and I told her to let me call her back in a few minutes. I then called the man at Troup, and told him my heart was in Malakoff and would they release me. He promptly said that if my heart was at Malakoff then I should go there. Jeremiah 17:9
I stayed with Parkview until Bro. Ron Huckabee came and then pastored in Freestone County a few years and moved into Mae Baker’s old house, and went to work for Malakoff School District.
We sold our farm, and bought a place on CR 1220 and soon became the Pastor at Judson Baptist Church at Cayuga. After a few years at Judson; my phone once again rang, with Parkview calling again. I was back where I started, and was there until October 13, 2010, my 80th birthday. After forty years, I retired from the Pastorate. I am still at Parkview teaching the adult Sunday School Class; come visit with us. We will probably be the there until God calls us home.