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New beginning at Gum Branch Baptist
Rev. David Daus and his wife, Kelly - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
Gum Branch Baptist Church is experiencing great things. A new pastor is at the helm and construction of a new sanctuary is under way.
The Gum Branch Baptist Church family and the community suffered a great loss at the beginning of 2006 with the death of Pastor Roger Wilkins. A man of dedication and passion for the ministry, Wilkins was a well-respected pastor and community servant.
With the passage of time and healing, the church called David M. Daus as pastor. The reverend Daus began serving as senior pastor of Gum Branch on Oct. 14. He has been in the ministry for 10 years and has pastored in Alabama.
Recently, he served as an active duty chaplain with the U.S. Air Force. He continues to serve as a Reserve chaplain at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta.
"God moved me here," Daus said. "I love the military and the chaplaincy, but my heart is in the pastorship.
"The people at Gum Branch Baptist are the most caring group of people I have ever met. They will do anything for you without hesitation. We are truly The Caring Place. If I were not the pastor, this would be a church I would want to bring my family."
The pastor' passion is preaching, and he is thrilled to share God's word with the Gum Branch community.
"I am looking forward to seeing God move and work in a powerful way at Gum Branch Baptist," he said. "I am inspired when I see people coming to know Christ.
"Our church is getting serious about prayer. Recently, we shifted our Sunday evening service to prayer service. Our theme this year is 'Get Ready for Revival,' with a theme Scripture of 2 Chronicles 7:14. We are preparing for the rain."
Gum Branch Baptist has many ministries to help members and the community. Daus said the church has a strong youth ministry. Ministries such as AWANA (Approved Workmen are not Ashamed) and Word of Life Clubs are part of the youth ministry.
Additionally, other ministries include the men's ministry, women's ministry, and music ministry.
"The men's ministry recently prepared a wild game supper with deer, quail, alligator tails, and pheasant," Daus said.
The women's ministry will have a simulcast this summer with Beth Moore (speaker and author).
Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS) is available for mothers with young children.
Gum Branch Baptist has many military families.
"I have a passion and heart for troops. Families of deployed troops are assigned to a family in the church. They keep in contact with them, and do various things with them," Daus said.
The church is also heavily involved in mission outreach. The youths traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala., and Roanoke, Va., on mission trips. Members also participated in mission trips to Spruce Pine, N.C., California and Jackson, Miss. Five senior adults participated in disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina. Members of Gum Branch are also engaged in active evangelism.  
The pastor and his wife, Kelly, have also done mission work in various areas of the country.
"I met my wife while we were doing mission work in Detroit. My wife has also done mission work in Turkey."
In 1999, Daus was blessed to see hundreds of people come to Christ while he was on a mission trip in India.
A native Hoosier, Ind., Daus holds a bachelor's of arts from Hanover College in Indiana, and a master's of divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisiana.
"I am looking forward to receiving a doctorate of ministry," he said.
The Dauses have been married for seven years and have two boys, William and Peyton. Mrs. Daus is a physician assistant, but is currently a full-time mother. They live in Long County.
"My wife is a big influence in my life and ministry. She is a great supporter," he said. 
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