Remembering Pastor Doyle Sager

On Friday, January 22, 2021, after a brief battle with lung cancer, our Lead Pastor Doyle Sager passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family. Doyle was welcomed home by our God whom he loved and faithfully served throughout his 69 years with us. Doyle surrendered to the ministry at the age of 15, and pastored nearly every day since then. Doyle served the last 24 years of his 54 years of pastoral ministry at FBC, Jefferson City, Mo. It was his great joy to dedicate his life in service to God and to others. We deeply grieve the loss of our pastor, brother, and friend.

Yet, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Words often fail us in moments like these. Our God does not. Our hope is a resurrection hope. We are resurrection people. Doyle lived this truth and proclaimed this truth. It is this truth that brings peace and hope to us in these days. After a lifetime of faithful service — running the race well — Doyle has entered into the fullness of the Kingdom of God. He is finally home.

Remembering Pastor Doyle

For thousands of people, Doyle was the catalyst God used to draw them close, reminding them they are loved by God and invited to be people of God, known by love and hope. We want to celebrate all that God did through Doyle and share the stories of our time with him and his impact on our lives.

Please click the button below to share a brief memory/story with us. If you give us permission, we may share your story with the rest of the church.



I had been in the hospital with some health issues for over a week. I was going to have some tests done later in the day. Despite trying to be upbeat, I was floundering with the fear of the unknown. Doyle happened to come in for a visit a few hours before the test. Through tears, I told him of my fears. Not just the fear of what might happen to me, but I was scared for my family and especially my kids. What if wasn’t there anymore? What would they do without me? What if I didn’t get to be there for life’s milestones? To this day, I couldn’t tell you exactly what Doyle said, but his words and prayers relieved me of my fears. The weight had been lifted. I have never forgotten this and the special touch Doyle had for knowing what you needed.     Margaret Gale Wells

He baptized our grandson, prayed over our sick baby granddaughter, comforted us at the deaths of our parents. He helped us get through the loss of Ron Marsch. He liked to tease me, and when I served at a funeral meal, he introduced me by saying, “This is Susan Bell. We had her come today for comic relief.” He gave me a hard time for being a Cardinals fan. We miss him so much.    Susan Bell

I first met Doyle at First Baptist Church of Sedalia where he pastored my grandparents. My grandparents proudly showed me off to him and he graciously beamed by their side. As I grew and he became my pastor I came to know this as distinctly Doyle. When he baptized my sister he was proud with us. When he married my brother and sister in law he was happy with us. When he commissioned me to go to Thailand he prayed with us. When my dad passed he grieved and shared memories with us. When my Granddad passed he was in the hospital room with us. Doyle was a man of moments. He lived fully present and fully engaged! My life is richer for having him in it! Thanks Sager family for sharing him with us all these years!   Kristen Foster

I had the privilege to have Doyle as my pastor growing up in Sedalia and here in Jefferson City. When I met Doyle, he had a lot more hair back then. He was an amazing teacher of God. He really let God’s words flow through him. His soft, kind, and unique way of storytelling captured our hearts. Doyle married Piman and I in 1990. He held my son seven days after his birth at church in JC. He held my hand in my home and prayed over us both when we lost our precious baby. He gave me strength when we lost my husband’s father in 2012. No matter what happened in my adult life Doyle was apart of it. He always would be shocked when we would talk about how long we had been married. I think it made him feel much older around the 20th and the 25th. This past December, we celebrated 30 years. Doyle taught us to communicate with one another. He taught us to love one another and accept our faults. He even advised us about what we would argue over. I once told him, we never argued over what he told us we would. He found that to be funny. Janet, Tamara, Kristen and Joel have been apart of our lives here in JC and In Sedalia. We had Tamara and Kristen sing in our wedding. We used to babysit Joel when they lived in Sedalia. So many beautiful memories of our time at FBC Sedalia and FBC JC. Thank you for allowing me to share just one of the many stories I’ve had with Doyle as my pastor, brother, and friend in Christ.     Sara Mirtaheri

There are so many but I would have to say Baptizing Margaret. Also him bringing her a build a bear to the hospital.  Sherline Romph

Doyle was a Christian leader of integrity—one who walked his talk and was an example and inspiration to others. I always came away from our conversations feeling renewed. I celebrate his life with you and grieve our loss.  Ircel Harrison

When I married Al in 2002 I wanted a church wedding service. But Al was not a Christian and I had not found a church I wanted to call home. Our neighbors at the time invited me to FBC. I loved it and after much praying, and out of the blue, my husband started attending FBC. On our 10th wedding anniversary, Doyle married Al and I in a small service. I prayed for my husband to become a Christian and in 2020 Doyle baptized Al. Al loved Doyle’s preaching and because of him, Al is a strong Christian. Doyle will always in our hearts with very fond memories.  Mary Kladiva

I was a single college student at SFCC , and knew I needed a church home in Sedalia, I walked in FBC at Sedalia and felt immediately at home. I married a man that I met there and my two step children became believers and baptized under Pastor Sager. FBC Sedalia was a wonderful place under his leadership, that I met and had wonderful friendships and still do today. Tammy Walker

It was my privilege to call him my pastor, friend, brother & colleague for over 10 years. We have been praying down here in GA….would love to watch him just once more get tickled at our jokes as we drank coffee around the break table. “Love never fails” so said the Apostle Paul…surely he was comforted by his precious family & the prayers of a host of brothers & sisters in Christ. We will see you again not many days hence, where no sickness nor sorrow shall ever molest. Rest easy in the arms of the Savior dear brother.  David Phelps

Oh my goodness. There are so many. But the most personal one is when my mother (Margaret Thompson) died. She past away on April 7, 2016. Doyle served as the pastor of First Baptist Sedalia where myself and my family, including my mom and dad were members. My mother told me many times that she wanted him to speak at her funeral. But….it had been years since Doyle had moved on to his Jefferson City church. To say the least I was hesitant to ask him. I finally made the decision to call. He promptly answered. I explained why I was calling. He was at Windermere and said that once a year he and his staff got together there. He also asked why I was asking him. I explained and told him I felt I needed to follow thru with my moms wishes but that I certainly understood if he couldn’t. Without missing a beat he said he would be honored but that he had to be at Windemere until noon that Saturday but would drive to Sedalia by 2:00 to speak at moms funeral and that he was glad to come. I will always be grateful for the kind and loving words he spoke of at her funeral and grave site. I stayed til everyone was gone at the Cemetery to hear and catch up about his kids and grandkids and Janet. He was quite an exceptional pastor and friend and my family and I will forever be grateful.   Teresa Fowler

Allan Fowler is in a nursing home now and wanted me to share this memory. Here goes: While serving as pastor at FBC Sedalia, a local chemical plant, Alcolac exploded and leaked a large amount of chemical foam at the east edge of town. Doyle called Allan in the middle of the night. He had been contacted to see if he and another church member might be able to come help a nearby nursing home by bringing the church bus because the patients needed to be evacuated immediately. Allan was on the bus committee and drove the bus often. So off they went and carried many patients out of the nursing home and drove them to the hospital. As Allan is now in a nursing home himself he realizes the importance of what he and Doyle did that night carrying these people to safety.

I read with mixed sorrow of the passing of Doyle over the weekend. Many years ago, as a new pastor in the state of Missouri, Doyle reached out to me without pretense of ulterior motive, to offer his friendship. I was overwhelmed by the amount of distrust and anger there were among pastors in the state and I needed a friend. Doyle became that friend. He never tried to move me in one direction or the other. He showed genuine interest in me, my family and ministry. He was a true friend during the difficult days when our son was deployed to Iraq and then Afghanistan – even sending a care package to Jon and his team. Because Doyle would reject overly stated praise and adulation I will avoid such and simply say, I count it a privilege to have walked on this earth with a humble friend, Doyle Sager.    Ronald Mackey

I worked with Doyle in our common love for and work for Baptists around the world through North American Baptist Fellowship as well as through BWA. He was a friend to me as he was to so many. He was such a blessing-so caring as the love of God flowed through Him. It is with sadness I hear of his passing and look forward to seeing him again in eternity.  Moreen Sharp

My Soul-Shepherd I’m stunned by the depth of my sorrow. But, one doesn’t typically have a pastor/friend/soul-shepherd for nearly a quarter of a century these days. I’m not sure why I’m so puzzled by the extent of my grief, but I know Doyle would reassuringly tell me, “It’s okay to feel this way.” Doyle is a pastor who has walked with so many through the peaks and valleys of our lives; when someone walks with you and genuinely cares, it’s rare, unusual – extraordinary. Like several others in our congregation, Doyle and I shared a background in English literature (English majors as undergrads). There are several former English teachers among us, and while Doyle never taught English as a profession, he was clearly a master of the language. A prolific reader and writer, his skill with word and pen enabled him to touch hearts and lives around the globe. But, of all the many qualities, including his wisdom and authenticity, that I admired and respected, it was his devoted pastor’s heart that soars above them all. It is the many times over two and a half decades that Doyle reached out with a hand (looking you straight in the eyes), a phone call, an email or a text (still looking you straight in the eyes) to ask: How are you? Are you okay? Is there anything you need me to pray for specifically? Even so, the wonderment isn’t so much that he truly cared or that even with a congregation as large as ours he was aware of so much and reached out so often to minister individually. The wonderment is that I knew when Doyle said he was praying for me, those weren’t just words. He really was. Doyle knew where the power was, where it is. It wasn’t with him or what he could do. The power was in the deep, deep love God has for us. It was in God’s faithfulness. The power was/is in the invitation from God to ask, seek and knock as Christ has taught us. And, interceding on behalf of his congregation is an unseen, invisible avenue of tapping into that Eternal Power Source that we are going to miss more than we can possibly imagine – one I am personally going to miss.   Deborah Scott

I was in Jr. High school when Doyle was in high school at Albany R-III. It was unusual for an upper classman to acknowledge someone as lowly as I. I was a farm girl that had no ties to town except to go to school there. I had heard about this high school boy that always carried a Bible to school. He was always willing to share his love for Jesus and His love with everyone. I was a Christian but wasn’t brave enough to approach anyone with the Good News. To say I admired his ability is an understatement. Doyle along with his family embraced anyone. They endured the loss of a son and brother with natural grief but also knowing that Dennis was at home with the Lord. God truly blessed this man with a gift. One of the most humble and loving person to touch my life. Although it has been over 40 years the impact of Doyle Sager has always been in my heart. God bless his family.
P.S. Although I share the same last name, my husband’s family wasn’t related.  Paula Sager

Doyle was so KIND and ENCOURAGING through all the mountains and valleys of life. When he said he was praying for you, I never doubted that he brought our needs to the throne of Jesus, our Savior. It was like a booster shot for our FAITH. I especially loved how he could preach the TRUTH with LOVE + GRACE.  When I rejoined the military in 2010, I asked Doyle to PRAY at my commissioning ceremony because I wanted my service to be BLESSED. God heard his prayers for our troops and me. I have experienced plenty of challenges in the past 10 years (currently deployed), but I have felt the Lord’s favor and believe that Doyle’s prayers have been answered. THANK YOU, JESUS!  Doyle will be dearly missed until we see him again. Our thoughts and prayers are with Janet, their family and FBC. Sending virtual hugs and love to all.  Sandy and Kevin Stover

When I joined the church, Doyle said that he was glad to serve as my shepherd. He was just that through his many words of encouragement, comfort and wisdom. He baptized me, invited me as part of the singles group in his home, served as my pre-marriage counselor, helped me counsel my teenager, and sent words of sympathy when my dad passed away. I feel like Doyle has been a part of every step in my Christian walk, a true servant of our heavenly Father. My heart is bigger because of him, which only makes it hurt so much grieving his loss.  Karen Distler 

Pastor Doyle was such a blessing to our family. During our personal grief, he was with us reading messages of hope and supporting my children in the loss of their father. We are grateful for his presence in our lives and we will always remember his wise counsel and gracious spirit. Sherry Patrick