Macon pastor, ‘Heal the Hood’ founder dies from COVID-19 complications

According to a church news release, 44-year-old Pastor Raines died on February 24th due to COVID-19 complications.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Macon is remembering the life of its pastor, Rev. Bryant Raines. According to a church news release, 44-year-old Pastor Raines died on February 24th due to COVID-19 complications.

Raines is being remembered as a visionary, public servant and leader of several outreach programs that provided resources to the Macon community. With the help of New Pilgrim, Raines organized an annual Health Fair, a Summer Girls Camp, the Summer Youth Basketball Camp and more. He was also recently appointed as the Sixth District President of the General Missionary Baptist Church Convention of Georgia, Inc.

Raines also had a strong relationship with Fort Valley State University and supported fundraising efforts for the school.

Additionally, Raines founded the “Heal the Hood Initiative,” where he worked with other church leaders to combat violence and address community needs.

Raines is the husband of Ilashia Raines and the son of the late Rev. Curtis Raines, Sr. He graduated from Central High School in 1995 and went on to graduate from Clark Atlanta University in 1999. At the time of his death, he was pursuing a M.A. Degree in Evangelism at Liberty University.

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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.