Faith Matters: Church honors retired pastor, 86, for 48 years of service

Faith Matters: Church honors retired pastor, 86, for 48 years of service
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Retirement hasn’t changed the Rev. George C. Pierce’s commitment to Israelite Missionary Baptist Church in Brusly.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here as long God allows me to be here,” Pierce, with his wife Vidrine by his side, said to members, family and other visitors during a celebration program Sunday at the church in honor of his 48 years of service and his 86th birthday.

“(God) has brought me from a very long way,” said Pierce, who retired from Israelite on Dec. 31. “With that, I’m extremely grateful to all of you who have come to share this occasion with me. God is ever-present.”

The after-church program included words of appreciation from church ministries; and proclamations from the West Baton Rouge Parish President’s Office and the town of Brusly.

“I had to give up some things because my health started failing,” Pierce said later. “I didn’t want the church to die with me (as pastor). I want the church to move forward. I want them to understand and realize the goodness of God, and he can keep them in perfect peace.”

The Rev. Eva Collins, a longtime minister at the church, served as emcee for the program.

“We recognize your 48 years of priestly ministry and service unto the Lord,” Collins said to Pierce. “Your friendships and the difference you have made in the lives of so many of us as a preacher, as an elder, as a teacher, as a counselor surely will always be remembered. … May God’s blessings be upon you as you follow in the way of Christ.”

Jason Manola, representing the parish, read a proclamation that stated in part, “I hereby present Dr. Pierce with this proclamation as a symbol of agreement with him for healing, restoring and transforming families, businesses and the entire West Baton Parish community.”

Brenda Washington thanked Pierce for allowing the deaconesses to expand their duties and assist in congregational prayer and receiving of collections.

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