Beaverdam Baptist Association
Friday, July 10, 2020
Impacting Oconee & Beyond
Week of Prayer for Associational Missions 
and the Leonard Irwin Offering

An annual "Associational Week of Prayer Offering" to be used for non-budgeted mission activities was approved by the Executive Board at its January 13, 2003 meeting. This special offering is named in memory of the late Leonard G. Irwin, a former Vice-President of the Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board), and member of Westminster First Baptist Church. Rev. Irwin also served Beaverdam Association as Interim Director of Missions in 1992.

A native of Pensacola, Fla., Leonard attended Auburn University for three years before leaving to serve in the Army during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery for his service in the European Theatre, acting as a forward observer during the Allied invasion. Leonard returned to Auburn University to finish his Mechanical Engineering Degree in 1947. 

Leonard was employed by Gulf Power Co. in Pensacola, Fla., as an analysis engineer. He met Johnnie McDonald of Birmingham, Alabama, at Christmas of 1947, and they were married in May. 

Serving the Lord became a priority in their lives with the impending birth of their first child, and the unexpected passing of Leonard's father during this time. In 1951, Leonard was offered a promotion from Gulf Power, but at that time realized that God was leading him to a life of ministry. They moved to New Orleans so Leonard could attend New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and he completed his Masters Degree in 1955.

Leonard was pastor in several churches in Florida and Mississippi during these early years of ministry. While pastor at Springfield Baptist Church in Panama City, Fla., he conducted an association-wide survey directed by the Southern Baptist Conventions' Home Mission Board. In 1960, Leonard accepted a position with the Home Mission Board in the area of survey and special studies. He retired as Vice President of Planning in 1989.

After retirement Leonard and Johnnie moved to Westminster, South Carolina, where they were faithful members of First Baptist Church of Westminster. They were both involved in the life and work of the Beaverdam Baptist Association, and he served as Beaverdam Baptist Association's Interim Director of Missions following the retirement of John Dent. Leonard also served as Interim Director of Missions in Hawaii and worked in Montana with an association. He continued to serve as consultant to other associations and churches across the Southern Baptist Convention as needed. Leonard enjoyed traveling, tennis, fishing and boating.

In March 2001, they moved to Osprey Village Assisted Living in Amelia Island, Florida. Leonard died March 26, 2002, and Johnnie died September 1, 2005.