By Bill Webb, Word&Way Editor
Warrensburg — When Frank Myers quips to a congregation that he likes his coffee "mountain grown," he's not only stating his preference, he's recalling a career he left behind when God called him to preach.
Frank was the assistant credit manager for Folgers & Co. in Kansas City almost 60 years ago and appeared to have a secure future with the growing company. In fact, he was offered a promotion that would have taken him, wife Maxine and their first two children to Texas.
The offer of a job promotion was only one of the decisions with which the University of Kansas graduate was struggling. When he finally responded to his boss, he declined the promotion and submitted his resignation on the spot.
"You're not going to understand this, but I think I'm supposed to be a preacher," he said. In addition, he needed to go to school to prepare himself for his calling.
Frank's supervisor wasn't the only person taken aback. His father had a car and picked him up at Folger's every evening. "I said, 'Dad, I quit my job today,' and he exploded."
But Frank never looked back. He had become a churchman by marriage, acknowledging that he didn't have a religious background but learned as he attended Immanuel Baptist Church in Kansas City with Maxine.
He was asked to become Sunday School superintendent at the church, "and I didn't know anything."
God worked in his life in various situations before Frank took his step of faith to leave his comfortable job, begin attending Central Baptist Seminary and start serving churches.
Warrensburg mayor Mary Coker proclaimed April 11, 2005, as Frank E. Myers Day in the community, noting his service as pastor of Warrensburg First Baptist Church (1962-73), as a Hospice chaplain, on the local American Red Cross board and on the Parks and Recreation Board, of which he served as president for several years.
"As a long-time resident and friend of many in Warrensburg, he has performed over 1,100 funerals," the proclamation read. "He is admired by many for his original humor, often about himself or his family, which has been derived from the ordinary, everyday happenings of people and their lives."
On Sept. 18, an afternoon reception at Warrensburg First honoring Frank and Maxine drew several hundred friends and well-wishers.
A limousine brought them to church that day, and they were recognized for their selfless contributions to the church and to others during the morning service. A reception time and program in the afternoon climaxed the occasion.
One of his finest memories while at Warrensburg was helping to start Grover Park Baptist Church in Warrensburg.
After a bond issue for a public swimming pool failed, Frank asked the property owner if he would sell the property for a mission.
Frank acknowledged that he and his wife have had many opportunities through the years to influence and to be helped by others.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Edgerton ordained him to the ministry while he was their pastor. Later, he served as pastor of Smithville Baptist Church and King Hill Baptist Church in St. Joseph before assuming the Warrensburg pastorate.
He has served as chairman of the Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Board and as a trustee for Southwest Baptist University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Frank served Missouri Baptists with development positions at Southwest Baptist University, The Missouri Baptist Foundation and The Baptist Home, including fundraising on behalf of Baptist Home campuses at Chillicothe and Ozark.
One of his most humbling experiences was his first revival at Smithville in the midst of construction of a new facility. Only the basement was complete, so revival services were held there. The deacons asked Frank to preach the revival after the evangelist called and cancelled.
"Monday through Wednesday, nothing happened," he said. "But on Thursday night, a young couple came forward on profession of faith and baptism. The next night, they brought his brother and sister-in-law, who made professions."
The next night both couples brought friends, and the process was repeated.
"We ended with 16 people, all with families," Frank said. "And I had not known a single one of them." As a result of the revival, the church more than doubled in size.
The experience strengthened his faith. "After Smithville, I did not question anything.
"Every thing I've done, I've had strong assurance," he said. And he has had Maxine's unwavering support.
"Every time we went somewhere, she cried," he said. "But every time we left, she cried, too."
Frank's claim to fame in recent years is conducting funerals, often for people he hardly knows. While health concerns have prompted him to cut back, he works hard to make those services meaningful.
"I like the people; I care about them; they know that," he said, "With funerals, I personalize it."
Friends say that is how he and Maxine have functioned throughout their ministry together, by relating closely to people, caring and respecting them. (12-29-05)