- Faith & Family
For some people, the call to ministry comes as a complete surprise, while others enter ministry as early as adolescence. Pastor Martez K. Whipple received the call when he was 16. But for the now 26-year-old minister, the surprise was not about when he was called into ministry, but where he was called.
“I always knew as a child that I had a calling on my life, but never once did I think that I was going to take the mantel of Mt. Nebo [Missionary Baptist Church] as my first church,” he explained.
Whipple, was chosen last December to succeed his father, the Rev. Emmanuel Whipple, who had served as pastor of Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church in South Miami for several years. Pastor Martez Whipple, who is also affectionately known as “Pastor Tez,” will officially be confirmed as senior pastor of Mt. Nebo MBC on May 27th.
Although his appointment was a shock, in many ways, Whipple had been preparing for the pastoral office for years. Since he was a child, he has served in numerous positions from usher to youth pastor to executive pastor.
Several family members including his mother, grandmother and father – who are all involved in ministry – also served as role models for the youthful pastor. However, Whipple has had a particularly close relationship to his father.
“Our life is different from most other sons and dads in ministry,” he explained. “We have a very open relationship and we have no secrets.”
Among some of the most important lessons he learned from his father were that “if you just stay focused and do right towards the people of God then God is going to make sure to reward you and take care of you in the end.”
Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church
Mt. Nebo MBC is currently celebrating its 81st church anniversary. The church offers several popular programs including a Mission Ministry, Outreach Ministry and a day care school.
Aware of its rich history, Whipple has already cast his eyes forward towards the church’s future.
“Our theme this year is unity,” he explained. “My vision for the church is that we will make an impact within our church and within our community.”
In the five months since he’s been leading the church, Whipple has found joy in the progress the church has made.
“People are joining the church every Sunday and the church is literally growing week by week,” according to Whipple.
Once worshippers arrive in the pews, the message that he delivers is simple.
“I just preach hope and motivate and encourage people rather than condemn them,” Whipple said.
By Kaila Heard