Nehemiah Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its anniversary on March 18 at the Andrew Jackson Boys and Girls Club where it holds services. Rev. Thomas E. Hunter, Sr., is the founding pastor. The church is celebrating its third year in carrying the word of Christ to the Nashville community.
There were two services on Sunday, March 18, one at 10:30 am with the other at 2 pm. Rev. James Douglas Clay and members of the New Visions Baptist Church visited for the 2 pm service. Many friends of the church and ministry attended, including Scott Davis, 5th district council member and candidate for 54th district state representative.
The morning festivities began with Rev. Hunter reflecting on the birth of Nehemiah. He talked about the church’s humble beginnings coming from St. James Baptist Church and ending up in a non-climate-controlled warehouse space where the services were broadcast over a ‘Mr. Microphone’ (a toy where one speaks into a microphone with the voice being broadcast via a radio speaker). The pastor said he would have to wrap the microphone in electrical tape to make it look like a high quality microphone. He also talked about being out of money once after paying preliminary state fees to establish the organization.
Fast-forward three years, and the church currently holds services and events through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee in the Andrew Jackson Homes area in North Nashville.
Hunter also talked about some of the ministries of the small, young church that have made a huge difference—such as a transitional house where participants included women that were formerly residents of the Nashville Family Life Center/Women’s Rescue Mission. There is also a program where at least 250 members of the community have had their records expunged.
The service continued with scriptures from the Book of Mark, as well as others, and of course the Book of Nehemiah. Offerings were taken to continue the work of the church, as well as musical selections, prayers and a sermon from Rev. Hunter.
One of the highlights of the 2 pm service was a song/presentation from a group called Beat of Life. This organization works in conjunction with the Nashville Sherriff’s office (of which Hunter is the director of community relations) to create songs with inmates given a positive outlet to spend their time and showcase their talents. Later, Rev. Clay gave a message expressing his support for Rev. Hunter and the Nehemiah Church.
“Pastors carry a great weight,” said Rev. Clay, “and we need to understand that the weight is one that God has given us to carry. God gives us the burden, but he also shows us how to give it back to him so he can help us shoulder the burden.”
Also during the 2 pm service, First Lady Elizabeth Hunter and family and friends of the pastor and church were served a delicious Sunday dinner. At the end of the afternoon service some of the members came together and made a special presentation to Rev. Hunter.
May God continue to bless the Hunter family, all members, friends and the community partners of Nehemiah Church. Happy 3rd year anniversary!