By Daphne Higgins
The month of October holds a special meaning for clergy across the country but for the pastor of College Hill Missionary Baptist Church, the month long celebration includes a special day of recognition. Not only is it National Clergy Appreciation Month, but it is also the month that Dr. Michael Titus Williams stepped into the pulpit as the pastor of one of the oldest African American churches in Jackson.
On Sunday, Oct. 14, the College Hill Missionary Baptist Church family celebrated the second anniversary of their pastor. It was a day filled with joy, pride and celebration, but most importantly, it was a day filled with glorification of the Lord.
Sunday services included 8 a.m. worship with Rev. Matthew Canada, pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist in Madison, as speaker; followed by 9:30 a.m. Sunday School, and a 3 p.m. celebration with Dr. Jerry Young, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of Jackson and the vice president at large of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. as the speaker.
Canada delivered a fiery message to the congregation, referencing the steadfastness of a pastor to that of Nehemiah. He cautioned members to always do what is right by their pastor and especially, what is right by God.
During the afternoon message, Young spoke of the love between pastor and the congregation and urged everyone to always be considerate, compassionate and exhibit unconditional love to God’s shepherd – the pastor.
Both messages were received with an overwhelming response of amens. However, it was comments from member and songstress Wanda Brown during the afternoon service that brought a different element of life to the celebration. Brown, before rendering a song of tribute, declared her love for the pastor by announcing to Williams that she thanked God for him and would like to see him as the church’s pastor for another 100 years.
The comment brought a lot of laughter from the audience, but it became a recurring comment throughout the rest of the service. Ministers Williams and Young even chimed in agreeing that that would be a wonderful celebration to be a part of and each agreeing, that if it’s possible, Young will return as the speaker for Williams’ 2112 pastor’s anniversary celebration.
The day before the worship services, the College Hill family celebrated their pastor during an afternoon of fun and fellowship. Throughout the afternoon, ministries were given the opportunity to make presentations and express their love for their pastor.
Following both events, Williams expressed his gratitude to everyone in attendance and his joy in their expression of love to him. He ended with expressing his love to all present and his heartfelt love to his members. He noted that his second year as pastor of College Hill has been a period of evaluation and planning. His main focus since day one, however, has been preaching and teaching the Word of God.
Williams is the 14th pastor of the 105 year old congregation. He preached his first sermon as the pastor of the church Sunday, Oct. 14, to a full house during both the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.
Williams is an experienced leader, having served as first vice president, General Missionary Baptist Church and Education State Convention of Mississippi; vice president, General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi; vice president, General Missionary Baptist and Education State Congress of Mississippi; vice president, Washington County General Missionary Baptist and Educational Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress of Christian Education; moderator, Coahoma County Baptist District Association; vice moderator, Huron Valley District Association; treasurer, Board of Trustees, Natchez College; treasurer, General Missionary Baptist and Education Association; Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs; President, African American Concerned Clergy of Erie, Penn.
Sunday services are held at 8 a.m., and 11 a.m., with 9:30 a.m. Sunday School. The church is located at 1600 Florence Ave., Jackson.
For more information about services/events at College Hill, call 601.355.2670 or visit www.collegehillmbc.org.