UPDATE: Shane Hall dies at 46 -- 'Worshiping Jesus,' Shane Hall defies cancer's toll
EDITOR'S NOTE: Oklahoma pastor Shane Hall died Friday, Feb. 16, hours after this story was published.
OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- Misty Hall thought her husband Shane was uncomfortable. Confined to bed in their Oklahoma City home in the presumed last days of his battle with stomach cancer, he asked her to raise his hands.
Shane wept and began verbally thanking Jesus, his wife told Baptist Press on Valentine's Day. "And we just had that sweet, sweet time with the Lord, and he just worshiped," Misty said. "That was such a precious, precious gift to me from the Lord, and just [being] with the Lord."
Misty's husband, father of their two daughters Maci and Mallory, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and a Christian deemed faithful, Hall had already lived nearly three years longer than doctors first predicted when they diagnosed his illness in October 2014. Then, as he faced his final bout with a spiking fever and failing internal organs, Feb. 14 found him alive a day past what doctors said would be his last, his wife told BP.
In what Misty describes as "truly a miracle," God answered one of Shane's longstanding prayers just days earlier when he was able to help baptize his younger daughter, 10-year-old Mallory, at his pastorate Feb. 11. In January, he told Misty he just wanted to live long enough to baptize Mallory, who knew the Lord and could actually lead others to the Lord, Misty told BP, but had not felt led to profess her own faith.
Mallory professed her faith in Christ Feb. 7 to her mother Misty, who led her in accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Misty had pushed Shane in a wheelchair into the sanctuary near the end of the worship service to allow him to assist First Southern Baptist children's minister Neal Livingston in baptizing Mallory.
Southern Baptist executive Frank S. Page, who has visited Shane and prayed with him, called the father a hero.
"When I heard about Shane Hall's miraculous efforts in helping to baptize his daughter, I wept," Page, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, told BP. "It spoke of a father's love. It spoke of a pastor's determination. God bless him and his family as they continue to make a difference."
Jared Lee, Shane's friend since elementary school and now a volunteer college minister at First Southern Baptist, witnessed the baptism.
"This is my daughter, but now she's also my sister in Christ," Lee recounted Shane's words with a lighthearted addendum: "But she still has to do what I tell her to do."
"He's more like a brother than a friend. ... We were both the best man of each other's wedding," Lee said. "There are so many people that would refer to Shane as their closest friend. He just had an infectious personality and he just loved people.
"He was probably instrumental in so many people around our state that have gotten involved in leadership positions within our state convention," Lee said, "and also the national convention. That's just always been who he is."
Hall began his current pastorate in 2013, previously having led churches in Oklahoma and Louisiana. He was active in Southern Baptist life and was a featured speaker at the 2017 Pastor's Conference at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix.
Anthony Jordan, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma executive director and treasurer, describes Hall as a great young leader.
"We Oklahoma Baptists have been praying continually for Shane and Misty all throughout this difficult journey," Jordan said. "We truly treasure the close friendship and fellowship we share in the Lord."
God's faithfulness has carried the family through the valleys, Misty told BP.
"More than anything, just knowing who God is has helped me the most," Misty said. "It's been a long almost four years. I'm just resting in the Lord's grace and His sufficiency."