By Tasion Kwamilele Pastor John H. Green, of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, Richmond, has served his congregants and the surrounding community for the past 35 years. On Sunday, July 25th St. Luke’s congregation bid Pastor Green a grateful farewell as he preached his final sermon in a pulpit that has become more like his second home. “This is one of the hardest feelings I have ever dealt with. I do not know if I will ever become totally adjusted to not being the pastor of St. Luke. I wasn’t voted out, it was a decision made by the Lord and I listened,” said Pastor Green. Pastor Green is a native of Magnolia, Mississippi and relocated to San Francisco in 1953 where he met Sis. Otheree Carroll. Four years later the two married and had six children. In 1965, Pastor Green “felt a calling over his life” that directed him to preach the Gospel. He prayed and studied the Holy Bible for spiritual growth. In1975 he was elected as the senior pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist church. Early in his ministry, Pastor Green adopted the motto of always leading by example. And he still encourages the members of his congregation to work outside of the walls of the church. During his 35 years with the church he worked diligently with the Richmond Police Department on ways to reduce crime. He also dedicated many hours with the NAACP on techniques to reach Richmond’s youth. “I did everything I could to reach the young people. Without young people, there can be no seniors,” said Pastor Green. “We have to realize that nothing is going to flow in Richmond, Oakland, or anywhere else if our homes are not together. If the home is not together, the community cannot be strong”. Pastor Green has received a host of awards and proclamations for his achievements from political leaders such as President Barack Obama, Congressman George Miller and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The highest tribute paid to him came from his congregation when they credited him for his unselfishness and willingness and availability to help all of his brothers and sisters seeking spiritual leadership and counseling. His vast knowledge and understanding of the bible has allowed him to work with many different ministries to counsel, strengthen and support their work as well. Pastor Green has promised St. Luke MBC that he will not drift out to pasture and get too far from the congregation. Green will seek the greener pastures of retirement, but only briefly, because he will remain close to St. Luke’s members. “I just didn’t preach, I was the pastor and I was a part of everything. I have people in the congregation that have grown up under me so I can’t just walk away,” added Pastor Green. Pastor-elect, Rev. Charles Stewart, will be installed as the new pastor on Sunday, August 15th.
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