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OPINION

Tenn. pastor who battled fatal lung disease dies

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Tennessee pastor Dwayne Maxey, whose congregation was strengthened as he battled a lung disease for which there was no cure, died Feb. 23. He was 45.
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Maxey was called as pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Martin, Tenn., in 2000 when the congregation consisted of about 10 weekly attendees. Baptist Press ran a story profiling him in 2010.

In 2008, he was working toward a doctorate when he was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a fatal lung disease that has no cure. The diagnosis changed his daily life instantly and profoundly.

Maxey continued to preach, even as he used an oxygen tank. He continued to care for the flock at Eastside, and attendance began to increase as the pastor demonstrated faith in the sovereignty of God. People told him he inspired them to press on despite difficulties in their own lives.

In 2010, Maxey received a double lung transplant and was in a drug-induced coma for 20 days at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Doctors called his recovery a miracle though even with a lung transplant his life expectancy was short.

Maxey, a U.S. Navy veteran, said he trusted that God was at work whether he lived many years or relatively few.

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"Through my illness God has built and strengthened His church," Maxey told Baptist Press in 2010. "My prayer through all of this and my desire is like that of the Apostle Paul; I want God to be glorified through these circumstances whether in life or in death."

Services for Maxey were Sunday (Feb. 26) at Eastside Baptist Church in Martin with burial at Eastside Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Allison, their two daughters, a son and a grandson.

Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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