A “Night of Honor” at King’s Gate Church on Friday will highlight the 41 years of service from Pastor Frank McQuage.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at King’s Gate Church, located on the hill behind Griffin Toyota on Highway 74 in Hamlet.
Rev. Frank McQuage was born May 14, 1928, the first son of Frank McQuage Sr. and Minnie Carpenter McQuage. His parents worked in the Hannah Pickett Mill and raised their sons in East Rockingham. In 1945 he joined the U.S. Navy and after two years, returned home in 1947 to work at Safie Mill. He married Ida Gibson of Hamlet the same year he answered the call to the ministry. She was the pianist at Maple Street Free Will Baptist Church until her death in 1990.
He gave his life to the Lord in 1950 and joined Highland Pines Free Will Baptist Church. There he taught Sunday School and led the choir. He answered the call to preach in 1952 and was pastor for one year at Hopewell Free Will Baptist Church where from that day he has been affectionately known as Preacher Frank.
In 1953 he was a charter member as the founding pastor of Maple Street Free Will Baptist Church and pastored there for 41 years until retirement on Sept. 30, 1993. Twenty-nine men, some of which made their first profession of faith at Maple Street Church, accepted their call to the ministry. Ten of those pastors are now deceased, eight are retired or inactive, and 11 are currently pastoring churches today.
Pastor McQuage served as Associate Pastor at Jesus First Free Will Baptist Church of Hamlet from Sept. 1, 1998 until Oct. 27, 2005, and Associate Pastor of Joy Free Will Baptist Church of Hamlet from Nov. 9, 2005 until Jan. 1, 2008. He is currently an active member of the Jefferson Park Free Will Baptist Church of Rockingham.
He has preached more than 4,000 Sunday sermons — counting morning and evening services — and an uncalculated number of Wednesday night sermons. He has delivered more than 1,000 revival messages, evangelizing at other churches. Pastor McQuage has officiated more than 350 wedding ceremonies while the number of funerals he has officiated is unknown.
He served as moderator of the Piedmont Association of Free Will Baptist five terms, eight terms on the Ordaining Council, four terms on the Mission Board, and three terms as Clerk.
For more than 35 years, he has been chaplain to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, first serving under Sheriff R.W. Goodman, later under Sheriff Dale Furr and currently serving under Sheriff James Clemmons Jr. In 1985, Pastor McQuage became a charter member of the North Carolina Sheriff Chaplains Association where he served on several committee and as district coordinator. In 1989 he was the recipient of the Otis F. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Chaplaincy. In 2011 he received The Norman E. Mitchell Pioneer Award in Law Enforcement Chaplaincy for determination and pride in promoting law enforcement chaplaincy across North Carolina.
In 1997 Pastor McQuage organized a monthly law enforcement breakfast that is now sponsored by area churches that reaches well beyond the Sheriff’s Office. Today, it includes both Rockingham and Hamlet Police departments, the NC State Highway Patrol, Judicial Officials and staff members.
He is current Chaplain for the Rockingham Police Department and formerly served for three years as Chaplain of the East Rockingham Fire Department. Pastor McQuage also served as a Chaplain at Richmond Memorial Hospital and served on the board for the Richmond County Christian Counseling service.
Pastor McQuage is married to Raymel Eubanks Collins. He has four children, Ronnie McQuage (deceased), Wanda Clark, Bill McQuage and Nancy Leviner and a stepson, Charles Collins.
According to his followers, pastoring a church, preaching, visiting, counseling, shepherding a flock of believers can be a demanding job, but if you asked Pastor McQuage today, he would insist that it’s been a labor of love.