Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Simsboro recently held installation services for its new pastor Rev. Frederick D. Powell Sr.The welcome and occasion were given by Mozelene Holland. “The programmed occasion is the installation of Pastor-elect Powell as the 29th pastor of Fellowship in their 131 years of existence. Today also marks a new beginning at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church – a fresh start in a new year and a new decade.
Rev. Jesse D. Bilberry was the guest speaker. The Lock in the Rock: Keys to the Kingdom was the title of his message. He spoke about the secret of the key, secret of the rock and the nature of the lock.
He said the key presupposes a lock, and the key and lock must go together. The key fits a certain lock.
“If the key does not fit the lock, it does not mean that either is bad. They are just not made for each other. They just don’t fit. It is the same with pastor and churches,” he said.
Three reasons he gave for a faulty response of a key are dirt, rust and damage. “Dust causes rust if allowed to stay too long. Dust is caused by a dry atmosphere.”
“Some churches are rusty with tradition and customs. Churches are in terrible conditions. They have excellent pastors, but rusty traditions are killing our churches. Some are too rusty with wealth, knowledge or ignorance,” Bilberry said.
“God’s church is a rock. God’s preacher is the key,” said Bilberry. “Truth cannot be destroyed. God’s preachers must tell the truth. Jesus is the lock, the preacher the key, the Holy Spirit the lubricator.”
Bilberry is the pastor of Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, a church once led Powell. He was instrumental in helping to build the church’s mass choir, which served as the guest choir for his installation.
Lula B. Wesley, a member of Fellowship for over 20 years, said Bilberry’s message was very inspiring. She said all age groups can relate to it.
“I liked when he said the pastor and congregation must work together the way the Lord would have us to do,” she said. “He filled us spiritually. He gave us something to take us through.”
Reverend Roosevelt Bryant, pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church gave charges to Powell and members of Fellowship.
He told Powell, “Leave women in the church alone. Leave folks money alone. The message is stronger than you. You are condemned if you hide it. If what you preach is not a matter of life and death, don’t preach it.”
Church members stood and responded to a charge that was printed in the program.
During his closing remarks Powell thanked the members of Fellowship for bringing him home. “I was baptized at Fellowship Baptist Church over 50 years ago. Now I am home. The prodigal son just made it home.”
Cathy Douglas was the chairperson for the installation. She said Powell requested Bilberry because they are friends and work together in Christian education.
She said of Powell’s appointment, “He was baptized here. It is a blessing God sent someone who was a child of this church.”
Danette Goree Brazier, a member of Mt. Pilgrim since 1980, said, “I believe it is a move of God to bring a man of God back after so many years. He’s a lover of the word. He believes in Bible study and prayer meetings.”
Goree said during Powell’s tenure at her church he enjoyed involving himself in all aspects of the church and was the main supporter of the youth choir and youth division.
Powell’s brother Samuel said, “I’m glad that they finally got a shepherd. Sheep without a shepherd will go astray.