Curtis Raines Sr., a Macon pastor who led a large state organization for black churches, died Saturday. He was 67.
Raines was pastor of New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Macon and was president of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia. According to the group’s website, the convention is the largest black organization of any kind in Georgia.
Henry Ficklin, a former Macon city councilman, knew Raines for 40 years.
“I think anyone who knew him will remember him for his wonderful deeds,” Ficklin said.
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Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said Raines was pronounced dead at Medical Center, Navicent Health, of an undisclosed illness. Jones knew Raines well, and remembered going to New Pilgrim many years ago when it was much smaller.
“He was a good person,” Jones said. “He was a person who thought community and he was a leader. That church came a long way.”
Ficklin said New Pilgrim has more than 700 members today. According to the church’s website, Raines served as pastor since shortly after it was founded in 1981 with 33 members. He was named president of the state convention in 2012, Ficklin said. Raines also pastored Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe County.
Ficklin said Raines died of “complications.” He said Raines had survived a kidney transplant, prostate cancer, heart bypass and back surgery.
“God had delivered him from a lot of things,” Ficklin said.
Bentley & Sons Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements, which have not been set.