CHANGING OF THE GUARD—Rev. Dr. J. Van Alfred Winsett, pastor emeritus, hands over the church’s bible to Rev. Dr. Vincent K. Campbell.
For more than a year, Ebenezer Baptist Church, in the historic Hill District, was without a senior pastor after the retirement of their longtime shepherd Rev. Dr. J. Van Alfred Winsett in May 2012. But the church that has overcome many obstacles, including two fires and a major rebuild, now welcomes new leadership into their next era under the direction of their new pastor-Rev. Dr. Vincent K. Campbell of Nashville, Tenn.
REV. DR. WILLIAM F. BUCHANAN, presiding pastor, Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.
“I am humbled by God’s choice and Ebenezer’s choice to give me this opportunity to be their pastor. And I’m humbled by the way they and the city (of Pittsburgh) have received me,” said Rev. Campbell. “After a year process of getting to know Ebenezer and going through their search process, I believe that God was calling me to a new ministry field and that Ebenezer and the Hill District was that ministry.”
Reverend Campbell officially began his role as senior pastor Sept. 1 and was installed on Oct. 20. Prior to being called to Ebenezer, Rev. Campbell was the pastor of Kayne Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., where he served for almost nine years. It was in 1993 that he received and answered God’s call to the ministry and in October 1997 he was licensed by New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minn. He also spent 13 years with the American Baptist College, where he served as Dean of Students and Chapel, Associate Dean and a professor in pastoral and religious studies.
REV. DR. DARRYL T. CANADY, pastor of Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church
Reverend Campbell grew up in Altamonte Springs Florida, near Orlando, where, as he describes, he “was the product of a broken school system that was suffering from the effects of segregation. A school system that was just trying to figure it out.” After several years in Florida, his family later relocated North to Minnesota. Rev. Campbell received his bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from American Baptist College in Nashville; his Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School; and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh community, Rev. Campbell said that he hopes that the insight he has gained from being a pastor and being actively engaged in the community of Nashville, will help him lead of one of the city’s mega churches.
“I hope to bring all my pastoral gifts to the church and to work with the membership and leadership of Ebenezer, so that we can together discern God’s vision for the church and our role in the Hill District and the larger Pittsburgh community,” he said.
REV. GLENN G. GRAYSON, pastor of Wesley Center AMEZ Church, delivers the pastoral prayer for the pastor and his new congregation.