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Helen Jenkins: From first lady to pastor

“I don’t take my position at all lightly"

Gigi Tinsley | 1/16/2014, 9 a.m.

The definition of a pastor, according to Pastor Helen Jenkins is someone whom God has anointed and called to do a special work, including but not limited to teaching and training believers to become committed followers of Jesus Christ.

“Bishop and I met when he worked for Burdines,” Pastor Jenkins said. “He was one of the first Blacks to attain an executive position at Burdines in the 1960s. My husband, Bishop James P. Jenkins was the founder of this and many other ministries and I labored, wholeheartedly, and supportive, beside him for more than 50 years. He was a true pastor and God enabled me to see, first-hand, his visions for the ministries. We were married Oct.28, 1962 and his legacy will never die.”

Bishop Jenkins founded ministries in Opa-locka, on 93rd Street, 49th Street, all named Saint City. Also in Waycross, GA, Cross City, Ocala, Eustis and Perry, FL The Headquarters in Miami is at the 93rd Street Church. When Bishop Jenkins died, Pastor Jenkins felt that the Lord touched her heart and called her to take up the mantle and continue where Bishop Jenkins left off.

“Through the years, Pastor Jenkins served as first lady to the churches and beside her husband,” Evangelist Ladi G. Jenkins, former sister-in-law to the bishop and pastor. “She was an integral part of the development and growth of all of the Saint City ministries. After she retired from work at Jackson Memorial Hospital, she became the manager of the famous Saint City Barbecue Restaurant, where she directed the day-to-day food service operations. She also devoted much of her time to ensuring that all matters of the church reflect the spiritual vision and mission that was the cornerstone of its intent and assisted with all expansion.”

The late Bishop and Pastor Helen Jenkins are the parents of four daughters: Regina Porter [Bob], Ronda, Genise Young [Pastor Earl], and Audrey Louis [Shad].

She is the grandmother of seven; sister of Bernice Cody [John], Carolyn Gayle [Charles] and Dianne Walker.

“Serving God is not a job but a lifestyle,” Pastor Jenkins said.

“Being a pastor to his flock is my daily task and will be my lifestyle until I become physically unable to do so or the Lord transition me home.”