On Sunday, June 27, 2021, the First Baptist Church family honored Reverend James A. Jackson, Jr. on his 5th Pastoral Anniversary. The celebration was filled with wonderful sentiments, beautiful gifts, kind words, uplifting music and a powerful inspiring sermon. What a blessing!
The church showed just how much we love him with individual presentations by each ministry and a special gift from the entire congregation.
Youth Squad President, Sis. Felicia Cheavers and her son, Bro. Everett present Pastor with a gift from the ministry.
The Youth Squad framed a print for Pastor’s office entitled God’s Words Revealed in a Fingerprint. It included one verse from every book of the bible along with actual fingerprints from each member of the Youth Squad.
The Music Ministry, the Trustee Ministry and Ushers each presented Pastor with Love Gifts. The congregation also gave the pastor a special love gift; and the First Lady a beautiful charm bracelet with a number 5 charm.
The Communications & Social Media Ministry created a slide presentation which covered Pastor’s earliest contact with FBC during the clean-up from Super Storm Sandy in 2012; to his pastoral installation a four years later; to the present. Pastor and First Lady loved seeing all the faces of the congregation and reliving all the progress that has been made.
A beautiful wooden plaque was presented by the Associate Ministers and their family. The engraved words described the devotion of a Pastor to his flock and how a faithful wife and first lady impact all that he does.
The Diaconate Ministry also kept with the traditional 5 year anniversary gift -- wood. Pastor’s gift of a Benjamin Banneker watch features a stunning wooden face. The time piece honors the late Benjamin Banneker, the free African American man born in 1731 who made the first all wooden working clock in America back in 1753.
Special remarks came from Bishop David S. Hill; Pastor Emeritus of Crusaders for Christ Evangelistic Church, Inc. based in Philadelphia, PA. Bishop Hill was Rev. Jackson’s pastor and mentor when he attended the church as a young man in the early 80s. He described our pastor as a man of integrity that loves God. The Bishop’s prayer was that “God continue to give [Pastor Jackson] wisdom as he fulfills his destiny and purpose for his calling for a time such as this”.
With the ceremonial pieces completed, Rev. Carla Jones Brown brought us the center piece of any service -- the preached word. This is the second time within one year that Rev. Jones Brown graced us with her uplifting inspiring spirit! She was also the guest preacher at our Diaconate Ordination in August 2020.
Rev. Carla Jones Brown, Pastor Arch Street Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia PA.
Rev. Jones Brown began by congratulating Rev. Jackson for the unprecedented work of pastoring the church through a pandemic adding that “pastoring isn’t easy but doing God’s work is its own reward.” Her sermon came out of IKings 18:20-39 entitled “Feel the Fire” with encouraging words for our Pastor as he continues to lead FBC into the future. She said that the “fire” will fuel him as he does the work of God. She encouraged him to keep pressing on and keep doing what God told you to do! “As you move into your next season… remember to continue to prepare a place so that the people can come and do good worship and hear from God!” We encourage you to view the sermon in its entirety on our YouTube channel.
The final remarks belonged to Pastor Jackson as he thanked God for everything. He thanked his wife and the church for journeying with him for these past 5 years and he was looking forward to many more years here at First Baptist Church.
Rev. James A. Jackson is the 5th pastor of the 120-year old church. First Baptist Church was the first Black Baptist Church located in the Jersey Shore resort town of Belmar.