By Deloris Dove
The New Citizens Press
LANSING, MI – God must have heard the silent and sometimes loud and boisterous prayers of the members of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church located at 5200 Pleasant Grove Road.
The new pastor, Walter Gibson, came one month short of three years of the church being without a pastor.
On a recent Sunday, the pews were overflowing with relatives of the charter members who are deceased and some original charter members.
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church of Lansing had its beginnings in 1972. In 1973, Rev. David Whittington was called to be the pastor of Pilgrim Rest. In 1977, a planning committee was formed to enhance the spiritual growth of their members. They formed committees for the seniors and the youth.
A joyful church is thankful for the time that it took for them to find Pastor Gibson. His commitment and dedication to the youth and the seniors of the congregation has been quite evident since he took the helm.
A long time member of the church, Ms. Claudia Allen said, “As a part of the installation, we went to Houston, we got a feel from where he was coming from. God lead us to him. You could see and feel that he had a great spiritual relationship with the 1,500 member church. He is also great preacher.”
The congregation’s membership remained consistently between 200 to 250 people. During the three years, pastors from the area rotated to help them out during the timeframe that Pilgrim Rest was without a pastor.
Ms. Allen said, “We are excited about his (Pastor Gibson’s) passion for youth and passion for the senior members of the church. Once you take care of both of those the other people in the middle are taken care of as well.”
Some of the other members mentioned that they feel as though Pastor Gibson and his family have been in place for years. They have made an impact on the congregation and have filled a void.