By Jackie Hampton,
Pastor Jerry Young and First Lady Helen Young were honored Sunday by the New Hope church family in recognition of Dr. Young’s 41st pastoral anniversary. The virtual ceremony was held at New Hope Baptist Church where church members and friends were able to participate through Face Book and YouTube. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only a limited number of participants were in the sanctuary located at 1559 Beasley Road in Jackson.
The Sunday celebration included an afternoon parade with hundreds driving by to offer personal congratulations to the couple and his family.
The chosen theme was “A Man of Destiny: Born to be a Servant Leade.”
Expressions were given by The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, U.S. Representative, MS 2nd District, The Honorable Debra Gibbs, MS State Representative, District 72 and The Honorable Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of the City of Jackson.
Thompson, in his congratulatory remarks, said to Pastor Young, “You have kept the common touch. Presidents have called you for advice and governors have called you for advice.” The congressman then said, “If you don’t want to hear what he has to say, then don’t ask him.”
Representative Gibbs, who is a member of the New Hope family, spoke on behalf of the legislature, the church family and the community at-large saying, “We continue to pray humbly that God will continue to bless Pastor and Mrs. Young so that they can continue to carry out their mission for New Hope Baptist Church as well as the community.” She thanked Young for his faithfulness, in not just serving the church congregation, but for serving a world in need.
Mayor Lumumba said, “Today I want to share my congratulations and gratitude to Pastor and Mrs. Young not only for what they have done at New Hope, but also what they have done within the Jackson community.” He said to the honorees, “We are humbled by your calling and my prayer is that this occasion will bring forth the joyful memories that you have extended to so many.”
Pastor and Mrs. Young beamed as they heard tributes from several of the children and youth of New Hope church. They were also notably touched by special presentations from several others to include Dr. Valmadge Towner, president of Coahoma Community College and Dr. Ivy Ruth Taylor, president of Rust College, both institutions from which he graduated.
Young seemed immensely pleased when Dean Patricia Bennett from the Mississippi College School of Law presented him with an Honorary Degree of Law from Mississippi College School of Law.
He confessed that at an early age his desire was to become a lawyer, but evidently it was not his calling. Bennett, in her presentation stated that Dr. Young was the first in his family to receive a college degree. She said he transcended from the plantation to become the president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
The speaker for the occasion was Dr. F. Bernard Mitchell of Zion Hill M.B. Church, Mendenhall, MS. He was introduced by Dr. Mathew L .Canada of Pilgrim Rest M.B. Church in Madison.
Mitchell spoke from the book of Jeremiah regarding the call of Jeremiah. He expounded on three points regarding accepting the calling: Commitment in the calling; Course of the calling; and Control of the Calling.
In his message Mitchell said people sometimes don’t understand what it takes for one to get where they are in life. He said people often look at your glory but do not understand your story. The destination of the details are not there for people to see; but if it is in your heart, God will get you through your calling.
First Lady Helen Young and Pastor Young expressed gratitude to the participants of the anniversary service, the planners of the celebration and to the entire New Hope family and other viewers.
See photos of parade on page 15.