Second Canaan marks 20 years of dedicated service from pastor

9/26/2013, 9 a.m.
Jeffrey Mack

On May 8, 1983, Jeffrey Mack preached his first sermon, hence becoming a third-generation preacher in the Mack clan.

“ I was at my father’s church, [Community Missionary Church], in Carver’s Ranches when I preached my initial sermon and for the last 20 years, I have been the senior pastor at Second Canaan Missionary Baptist Church [43rd St. and 17th Ave.],” Mack said.

Mack and this writer’s late brother, Norman, were to become very much like family.

“I will always remember the first time I met your brother,” he added. “Even though he was older than I was, I called him Amy son. Taking that action stopped anyone from thinking they could say or do anything to annoy him.”

Norman, who was mentally challenged, died in April 2012. But before his death, Mack and other church leaders visited him at his mother’s [Thessalonia Tinsley] home each week. When she heard that Mack had been chosen as the ‘pastor of the week,’ Mrs. Tinsley said, “He deserves it.”

“Norman was sick and bedridden for more than two years and they never forgot about him,” she said. “I will always love those members and never forget their kindness — especially Deacons Arnold Kelly and John Keels. I never had to worry about Norman when he was around or with them.”

Church sees rapid growth

In June 1993, the congregation under Mack’s leadership, purchased property at 4343 NW 17th Ave. He says that the initial bank loan was paid off in 1998 and a second mortgage placed on the property was paid off in 2011.

“To mark the success of our second mortgage burning program, we had a big celebration and gave all of the praise to God,” Mack said.

Others who attend the church say that Mack is the kind of pastor that any congregation would love to have.

According to Mrs. Ja’Net and Pastor Ruben Carter, “He is a very humble, loving and compassionate shepherd. We love having him as our pastor.”

Mack has “five sons and one daughter” preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the masses: Ministers Albertis Hilton, Jim Johnson, Rodney Burns, Henry Whitehead, Jr. and Gloria Thomas.

“That is what the Lord instructed pastors to do,” Mack said. “To prepare men and women to go out and help lead others to him. I am not selfish about that, at all.”