Noting that women constitute the overwhelming majority of members in churches, a former pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands, NJ says some “mighty men of God” are needed in Houses of Faith.
“Sometimes, folks forget that we’re in this together,” said the Rev. Dr. Wilbur A. Whitehurst, Jr., in delivering the sermon on Men’s Day at Fenimore United Methodist Church in Brooklyn. “These men of God – in fact all of us – need to be encouraged in the Lord. You need to know that you can turn to the Lord.
“When the enemy attacks you, you need to take on the challenge,” added Rev. Whitehurst, a Brooklyn native, preaching on the topic, “Men of God Being Encouraged in the Lord”. “You see, when you are challenged; and you don’t have the right answer, you’ll be attacked or killed.
“You have to know when to take on the challenge,” continued Rev. Whitehurst, and former assistant pastor, with retired Pastor the Rev. Dr. Hermon Darden, at Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church in Brooklyn, from 2014 to 2017. “You have to have a relationship with God.
“You have to know what to take with you to deal with the enemy,” he preached. “Men, you have to go to the commander-in-chief. We got to go to God. We got to have to get our strength; you got to take on the challenge; know how to strategize; and you have to wait in the Lord for response.”
Rev. Whitehurst urged the men to “hold on to God’s unchanging hands,” stating that “He will fight the battle.
“[In] everything, take the Lord in prayer,” he said. “I’m on the battlefield for the Lord, and everything will be alright. David said: ‘I’ll bless the Lord at all times’”.
According his biography, Rev. Whitehurst is a “dedicated servant of God who devotes himself to promoting discipleship by relentlessly spreading the true Word of God and shepherding people to live by faith in Christ.”
Dr. Whitehurst constantly inspires others with faith and enthusiasm. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world in 2020, he helped St. Paul establish a media ministry to keep the congregation and community connected through various social media platforms.
From that, the development of virtual worship services. God had led Dr. Whitehurst to begin a digital media ministry entitled “Inspirations Online Evangelistic Ministries (IOEM).”
He said the purpose is evangelizing the gospel to allow people to experience God via in-person and virtual worship services post-COVID.
Dr. Whitehurst said he has continued to demonstrate an unrelenting passion for spreading God’s love through preaching, teaching, discipleship and community service.
He said his spiritual leadership has significantly impacted the lives of others and helped them strengthen their faith and get closer to God.
In 2023, Rev. Whitehurst started to serve as assistant pastor with Pastor Reverend Michael C. Harris at First Baptist Church of Passtown in Coatesville, PA.
Early on, he discerned and responded to the call of God on his life at the historic Bethany Baptist Church of Brooklyn. Blessed with God’s wonderful gifts, he pursued his spiritual mission by obtaining a license to preach the gospel on Sept. 9, 1998.
Rev. Whitehurst received ordination from the Bethany Baptist Church on Jan. 29, 2006, at the request and before the passing of his late mentor and pastor, the Rev. Dr. William A. Jones, Jr. This was accomplished under the leadership of the late Interim Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jasper E. Peyton.
Dr. Whitehurst first served as an associate minister at the Bethany Baptist Church from 1998 to 2002, fulfilling his calling to provide spiritual leadership and guidance to people from all walks of life.
Moving to Atlanta, GA, he earned a Master of Divinity degree at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, from 2002 to 2005.
During his matriculation at Candler, Dr. Whitehurst became a Wheat Street Baptist Church member and served as an associate minister from 2002 to 2007.
In 2007, Dr. Whitehurst returned to his hometown as associate minister and advisor to the Sunday School and New Members Ministry at Bethany Baptist Church from 2007 to 2014.
His commitment to spiritually transforming and preparing individuals for church leadership and community ministry reflects on his extensive teaching experience from 2007 to the present. This included working as a certified instructor at the New York Progressive Baptist State Convention, Inc.; New York Missionary Baptist Church Association; Seacoast Missionary Baptist Association; Sunday School Publishing Board; and The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
He also fulfilled the role of religious instructor for the General Baptist Convention of New Jersey, Inc.
Wherever God has assigned Dr. Whitehurst, he has fulfilled his assignments with great integrity, respect and love. This is verified through various recognitions and accolades he has received throughout the years.
Among these are the Overcoming Man of the Year Award in 2006 from Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta; a Certificate of Appreciation from The Atlanta Baptist Congress of Christian Education in 2006; the Loyal and Dedicated Service To The Action Mission Ministry, Inc. at Wheat Street Baptist in 2006; a Certificate of Appreciation from The New York Progressive Baptist State Convention of Congress of Christian in 2010; and the Award from Seacoast Missionary Association Moderator in 2018.
To equip himself with core knowledge to effectively serve the people and the church, Dr. Whitehurst earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts at The College of New Rochelle, School of New Resources in May 2002.
He also earned a Master of Divinity degree in Biblical Studies at Candler School of Theology of Emory University in May 2005 and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Black Church Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in June 2014.
In 2015, his dissertation was reviewed and accepted into The Hymn Society in Canada and the United States.
In addition, Dr. Whitehurst completed a course in Church Leadership at Regent University, School of Divinity in 2017.
Dr. Whitehurst is married to Annette Whitehurst, is the stepfather of an adult son and a granddaughter.
The Men’s Day at Fenimore Street United Methodist Church was also punctuated with lofty, spiritual singing by the men of the church and the congregation. Additionally, the men prayed and read the scriptures.