By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO
March is Women’s History Month. What a fitting month for Overseer Leah White to celebrate 25 years of pastoring Greater Faith Baptist Church of Baltimore. A wonderful celebration banquet has been planned to commemorate this milestone on Friday March 29th, 7 p.m. at Pavilion, in Randallstown.
Pastoring a church is no easy feat. Overseer White’s faith has helped her navigate pastoral waters. “My guiding principle for the past 25 years has been to be a model of faith, love and integrity,” said White. “My pastoral journey has been marked with trials and triumphs, which are all a part of the process that God uses to make us who we are to become, and I’m still being formed in the image of Christ,” she added. “I realize that the trying of my faith is a necessity in the growth process. Faith that can’t be tried can’t be trusted.”
Overseer White grew up watching her mother, the late Rev. Dr. Mary Antoinette Phillips minister across the city. Being a female minister called to pastor a church in 1994 was monumental. Overseer White knew that the church had made a courageous move. “I salute the Remnant Baptist Church (Now Greater Faith Baptist Church) for having the courage to go against the tide and call me, realizing the controversy it would cause.”
Under Overseer White’s leadership, Greater Faith Baptist Church has grown by leaps and bounds. One of Overseer White’s proudest moments as Pastor was moving into their new church building. “I felt 10 feet tall when we marched into our current home. We had been a storefront that was so small that we had to go out of the building and come in the back to march around the offering,” said White. “So, purchasing a 300 seat sanctuary ws na enormous feat. That day I said, See what the Lord has done with a people of greater faith, thus the changing of our name from Remnant Baptist, to Greater Faith Baptist.”
Greater Faith continues to be a positive force in the community. “For the past ten years, we have provided a weekly food pantry, servicing the homeless, the community and our congregants. In the past, we have also served many senior citizen complexes and as well as shelters,” White said. “Also, each week, we provide ministry to the Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School through Child Evangelism Fellowship, and for more than a decade, provided mentoring for young girls SWIM (Sister WithIn Me), in addition to ongoing mission outreach events and projects, just to name a few.”
Overseer White is also actively involved in ministry outside of Greater Faith. She is the founder and leader of Sisters In Ministry, Inc., on the executive committee of the Ministers Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity, Director of Women’s Ministry of the Ministers’ Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity.
Greater Faith Baptist Church welcomes everyone to help them celebrate their pastor on Friday March 29th at her 25th Pastoral Anniversary banquet. Bishop Walter Thomas will be the guest speaker. For ticket information, go to www.gfbcbaltimore.org or call the church (410) 889-1700 Sunday services are held every week at 10:45 a.m. Greater Faith is located at 3000 Huntingdon Avenue in Baltimore.