Story written Jacquelyn Darby
Senior Pastor Johnnie J. Hudson, along with First Lady Mrs. Tracy Hudson along with their members, friends, and others from the community celebrated its 36th Church Anniversary during a series of revival services concluding on October 23, 2016. The theme of the Anniversary, “Committing to the work of the King, in 2016, based in St. John 9:4 served as a focus during the anniversary. As Pastor Johnnie Hudson writes,” so not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God this great church was built on faith. Therefore, it bears the name of Faith Missionary Baptist Church and we now continue to walk by faith and not by sight. Faith Missionary Baptist Church formed in 1980, by the late I. J. Dunbar, moderator of the Zion Rest District Association. The original nine founding members chose the name “Faith” since that was all they had at the time. In 1981, the members acquired the land for their present church and after several years with the sacrifice and hard work of the members, and with the blessings of the Lord, the construction completed in 1999. Under the leadership of the late Pastor Walter F. Thomas, Sr. the church prospered, and “what started with a calling and a vision it grew into “an abundantly equipped ministry. A ministry that now services the congregation and the community through many life-changing ministries. Pastor Thomas also established an Annual Day of Celebration, where family, friends, and the community come together in observance of God’s continuing blessings. “The church remained under the leadership of Pastor Walter F. Thomas Sr. until the Lord called him home on December 2, 2010. In July 2011, Pastor Johnnie Hudson, and his wife, First Lady, Mrs. Tracy Hudson, accepted the call to lead offered by the congregation. The church has continued to thrive, and under the ministry of Pastor Hudson, the congregation has grown exponentially gaining members from the community and others including many youth and young families along with the loyal saints who remain faithful. The Anniversary Services during the week featured Guest Speakers, father and son, Senior Pastor Rev. E. F. Ledbetter, Jr. of Greater Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. E. F. Ledbetter, III of Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, both in Chicago, Illinois. Senior Pastor Reverend Robert L. Johnson, Senior Pastor, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, Greater Zion Baptist Church, Reverend Tim Newbill, Pastor, Reverend Jesse Hardeman, Pastor, and Rev. Choyce Coleman, Pastor also joined in support of the occasion. The Anniversary culminated in two services on Sunday, October 23, 2016. The program began with devotion and a musical processional by the FMBC Choir who also blessed the congregation with several inspirational Gospel selections during the program. Pastor Hudson who presided over the service cordially welcomed guest churches, members, and friends in attendance. The worship service continued with an alter call and prayer led by Pastor Hudson for those who wished to come forward. After another beautiful selection by the choir, Pastor Hudson extended a warm introduction for featured speaker, Rev. E.F. Ledbetter III, for the morning program. Pastor Ledbetter, III, senior pastor of Mt. Pisgah Mission-ary Baptist Church in Chicago, delivered a stirring Biblical word from God so inspiring that the congregation left their seats in praise. Pastor Hudson closed program with final remarks and a benediction. The final Anniversary program began at 3:30 PM, Deaconess Vonda Rodgers presided as Mistress of Ceremony, followed by Sister Demetria Hodge who offered a cordial welcome to the many guest churches and visitors thanking them for their presence and support and several who rose to offer words of encouragement to Pastor and First Lady Hudson. Mother Mae Rodgers graced the program with a beautiful poetic recitation, followed by a reading of the church history by Sis. Nita Carribon. FMBC Choir as well as Guest Churches from Mt. Sinai, Emmanuel Missionary Baptist, and Victory Missionary Baptist also blessed with several inspiring selections. The program continued with a cordial introduction by Pastor Hudson on behalf to his colleague and friend, Senior Pastor E.F. Ledbetter, Jr of Greater Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church. Senior Pastor in his opening remarks, offered words of praise for the pastoral ministry of Senior Pastor Hudson and he also expressed great pride for the message delivered by his son, Rev. E.F. Ledbetter, III, who is not only following with honor in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but also following in the footsteps of the Lord. Pastor Ledbetter, Jr opened his sermon entitled “Peter Standing” with a text in Acts 2:14, 38. He preached the church often takes on the personality of the pastor. He went further, “we should never disparage the pastor, even if the pastor is wrong, the Lord will correct him. He preached that even Peter, as a broken man, denies Christ. However, after he goes through something, Peter becomes redeemed, changed man and he goes forward to stand with Christ. Pastor Ledbetter, Jr went further with message of power and conviction he unequivocally challenged the men in the congregation.”Men need to stand up, and be men of principle, moral code. Further, if more men stood up, our children would be better. Real men do not engage in “locker room” talk. The pastor preached, we have too many “pretty Ricky’s, too many pretty boys, who are afraid to stand up, who believe they are the prize instead of the woman. He closed his message with “the Pastor is standing by himself, and he needs to know that the congregation is standing with him. He needs to know that men, women and families, are standing together. We cannot all talk at once but we can stand. Even if there are only two or three gathered in His name He will be in the midst of them.” The program closed with a benediction.