Published Saturday, October 06, 2012
From Staff Reports
Mt. Sinai Baptist Church on Lovelace Street will be celebrating its 126th anniversary on Sunday.
Stafford Dudley, pastor of the church, will preach for the anniversary service at 11 a.m. Dinner will be served afterward, and there will be a second service at 3 p.m. with Jerry D. Black, pastor of Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, bringing the message.
Willena Florence, 91, who has been a church member at Mt. Sinai longer than anyone else, and Ceola Willoughby, 97, Mt. Sinai’s oldest member, will be among those receiving special recognition during the day.
“Pastor Jerry Black is a dynamic preacher,” said Pier Mehrvarz, one of the church members planning events for the anniversary. “He’s from Little Rock, Ark.”
As a young boy, Black distinguished himself as a gifted musician. After accepting Christ as his savior at 12, he served as minister of music at his childhood church, West End Baptist Church.
Black stepped into a new role – as preacher – at 21. He soon was called to pastor Greater Paradise Baptist Church in Little Rock. During his 15-year tenure, the church grew from 17 members to more than 3,000.
Black also developed a popular television and radio ministry during that time.
In 1991, Black brought his family to Atlanta to serve as the seventh pastor of Beulah Missionary Baptist Church. While the current campus was being built, Beulah renovated a drugstore and worshipped in the “storefront” for three years.
Black led Beulah’s membership to tithe. The church experienced remarkable physical, numerical, financial, and spiritual growth.
In 1999, Black led his flock to their new home on what had once been a 40-acre golf course. In 2006, the Beulah Community Family Life Center opened.
Black travels throughout the country and is known for his charismatic style of preaching combined with the relevance of his message. He received the 2011 Trombone ward and the NAACP Faith Based Award.
The pastor was married for 32 years to Glenda J. Black, who died in 2008. During her service to Beulah, she organized the
Women’s Ministry, the Minister’s Wives Guild, and the Women’s Sunday School Class.
The Blacks had four children – Tangie, Jerry Jr., Erica and Terica. There are five grandchildren.