By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter
The annual Men’s Day Weekend Celebration was held at the historic St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church this past Saturday and Sunday. The celebration kicked off with a fellowship on Saturday, March 11 where over 200 people were served breakfast using a drive-thru method, and continued with worship on Sunday where Rev. Mark E. Click, the executive minister of the American Baptist Churches (ABC) Ohio, was the guest speaker.
“I bring greetings on behalf of American Baptist Churches of Ohio to the blessed congregation of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on this Men’s Day, under the spiritual and powerful leadership of Dr. James H. Willis Sr, the pastor of St. Paul. I want to express my appreciation for St. Paul’s work and Dr. Willis’ work in the community and as the ABC Ohio Regional Minister,” said Rev. Click.
The theme was, “Men of God Allowing the Spirit of God to Direct Their Path,” taken from Biblical scripture II Corinthians 12:9.
The service opened with devotion, musical selections from the St. Paul Men’s Day choir, call to worship led by Aaron Cooper, invocation led by Deacon Charles Mathews, welcome and announcements presented by Edward Gordon and responsive reading led by Deacon Darryl Reed. Then followed the congregational hymn, “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” a recognition of guests by Edward Gordon, selections from the Men’s Day choir, a scripture reading led by Thomas Kirby and then Alter Call.
“I am blessed to have been a member and leader at St. Paul under the leadership of Dr. Rev. James Willis Sr. I’m excited about today and congratulations to the men of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, as we fellowship and grow in our service today,” shared Deacon Bobby McDole, Men’s Day Celebration chairman.
Rev. James H. Willis Sr, DMin, the pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, officially introduced the guest speaker. Rev. Mark E. Click currently serves as the executive minister of the ABC Ohio. During his 15 years of service at ABC Ohio, he has served as the regional executive staff which provided staff supervision, administration, financial management and representation to the American Baptist Churches USA.
He previously served as the ABC Ohio regional minister, co-executive minister for administration and denominational relations. Prior to his ABC Ohio service, he served as pastor for a combined 20 years at First Baptist Church in Jamestown and First Baptist Church in Greenfield. He earned degrees from Eastern College, and United Theological Seminary. Personally, he accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at age 18, was called to full-time vocational ministry in 1980, married to his wife Kathy, has two adult children Joshua and Rachael and a grandson Henry Ray.
“This is annual the Men’s Day celebration and we’re excited to celebrate the men and welcome Rev. Click. We started to feel the excitement while planning the program because we are the men of God allowing the spirit of God to direct our path. We fed over 200 people yesterday and will continue to worship and thank God this morning as I enter my 20th year of pastoring at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church,” said Rev. Willis.
The service concluded with an invitational hymn, financial report, pastoral observations and benediction. The St. Paul conducts service in-person that is also streamed live on the church Facebook page starting at 10:45am.
Men’s Day Celebration chairman was Deacon Bobby McDole; co-chairman Jan Scotland. Several individuals, companies and institutions that sent congratulations to the St. Paul Men’s Day Celebration included: Warren A.M.E. Church and Pastor Rev. Otis Gordon; Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Rev. W.L. Perryman, DMin; Third Baptist Church and Pastor Rev. Odell Jr; Mt. Nebo Baptist Church and Pastor Rev. Cedric Brock; Mount Ararat Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Rev. John Walthall III; Cass Road Baptist Church and Pastor Rev. Ruby Radford; Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Rev. Floyd Smith; Jan Scotland a State Farm Insurance Agent; Ohio House Representative District 44 Paula Hicks-Hudson; Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez; Rev. Stanley E. Clark and family; St. Paul Church Clerk Debbie Mitchell; Johnny Hutton an educational consultant; American Baptist Men; American Baptist Women; St Paul Missionary Baptist Church: Deacon’s Ministry, Trustees, Christian Board of Education, Deaconesses and Mass Choir.