By J Miles
Members and friends honored Pastor Kenneth Jessie and First Lady Lucille Jessie of Greater First Baptist for their annual pastoral appreciation celebration. The festivities began with an opening ceremony on Friday, April 13.
The program began at 7 p.m. with devotion being led by Greater First Baptist and visiting Deacons. Members and friends saluted Pastor Jessie and his wife with songs and poems. The happy couple smiled with gratitude as Deacon Michael Wiggins described them both as great “leaders.”
Rev. Kenneth Jessie was born December 9, 1952. He accepted Christ at a young age at Trinity Baptist Church located in Pensacola. Later in life he united with Mount Canaan Baptist Church of Pensacola.
In the early 1980’s, Rev. Jessie said he finally surrendered to the call of God. He accepted his calling on the First Sunday in October of 1981. On October 23 of the same year, he preached his initial sermon at Mount Canaan Baptist Church. Once receiving training and guidance, he was ordained for public ministry September 2, 1983.
Rev. Jessie has obtained many educational achievements as well. A graduate of Pensacola High School, Rev. Jessie also has a Certificate of Completion from the Pensacola Extension Unit of the American Baptist Theological Seminary, an Associate Degree in Theology and a Bachelor of Theology from the West Florida Baptist Institute.
The Sixth Avenue Baptist Church was the visiting church for one of the celebrations. Their choir provided many songs of praise for the event. Dr. Michael Johnson delivered the spoken Word of the Lord.
On Sunday afternoon the festivities continued with Greater Union Baptist Church visiting.
Sis. Shayla Riley resonated a heartfelt solo and Rev. Lawrence Robinson spoke of Pastor Jessie as a “pastor of pastors”.
Rev. Jessie has served as President and recording secretary for the Baptist Ministers Union of Pensacola. Also, he has served as chairman of registration, recording secretary, correspondence secretary, treasurer, financial secretary, Bible Expositor for the First West Florida Baptist District Association. He currently serves as the administrator for the First West Florida Baptist Center.
His wife, Lucille, is a virtuous woman: a woman after God’s own heart. To meet her is to really love her and to personally know her is indeed a gift from God. They are proud parents of three children, Michael, Monica and Cecilia. They have one son-in-law, Baselai, and four grandchildren.