South Phoenix Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 53rd Pastoral Anniversary


Southwest / Arizona 124 Views

Honorees Dr. Bernard Black and First Lady Mrs. Lillian Black

Story and Photos By Jacquelyn Darby

The members of South Phoenix Missionary Baptist Church recently honored Senior Pastor Dr. Bernard Black and First Lady, Mrs. Lillian Black. The chosen theme during the week of celebration services was “An Exciting, Anxious, Pastor Sharing Love and the Word of God for 53 years.” Dr. Black, now at age 91 is one of the longest serving pastors in Arizona. The anniversary services were held during May 20–27 With sermons delivered by senior pastors, Rev. Carl R. McDuffy, Sr. of St. John’s Instit. Baptist; Rev. John Johnson of Morning Star MBC; Dr. Roy Fitzpatrick of Greater Shiloh MBC; Rev. Earl Henry of St. Paul Baptist Church, and Dr. Warren Stewart, Sr. for the final closeout service.

Guest speaker for the final service Dr. Warren Stewart, Sr., with Pastor Karen Stewart, Mrs. Lillian Black and Dr. Bernard Black

The final service on Sunday May 27, was led by Sister Laura Flemons as mistress of ceremony. Dr. Black and First Lady Lillian Black made their grand entrance escorted by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Sampson, marching to the song “Victory Is Mine.” After a prayer by Rev. Melvin Foard and a warm welcome by Sister McCartney, several offered words of encouragement. Brother Michael Smiley paid a special tribute to Mrs. Black, crediting her as woman who truly loves the Lord. Sister Johnnie M. Stevens also paid tribute to Dr. Black and he was also showered with love gifts by members, deacons, usher board and pledge captains who also presented him with a money tree. The choirs from guest churches, First Institutional Baptist Church, Bethesda Community Baptist, Good Faith IBC, Faith Tabernacle, South Phoenix MBC, all provided outstanding performances, including a featured solo by guest vocalist, by Mrs. Sandles.

Program Chair Sis. Johnnie Mae Stevenson with Lillian Black

Senior pastor at First Institutional Baptist Church, Dr. Warren Stewart, Sr. preached the final anniversary sermon emphasizing that we should “Do the best with what you got left.” He tookus back to the story of Job, which according Dr. Stewart is a testimony of doing your best with what you’ve got left. Dr. Bernard Black and First Lady Mrs. Black took the podium, and each expressed extreme appreciation to everyone for their contributions including special recognition for Committee chair, Sister Johnnie Mae Stevenson. Dr. Stewart, SR. closed the program with a benediction. In 1965, Reverend Black was a young pastor serving at Union Institutional Baptist. At the time, South Phoenix Missionary Baptist Church was struggling without a pastor. On the first Sunday in May 1965 Reverend Black preached his first sermon to 12 adult members and 25 youth.

South Phoenix Missionary Baptist Church is at 2006 East Broadway Road in Phoenix. 602268-2512,