The celebration has already started. For the entire month of October there is a celebration going on for one of the greatest men from our community. It started on the first day of the month with an all white first supper. There was a sister city day with Monrovia and Duarte. There has been a men's day, women's day and youth day. Pastors from several different congregations around Pasadena including Lucious Smith of Friendship Baptist Church and BJ King from Loveland Life Center have spoken with sincere love for a man that is beyond a pastor in Pasadena. He is an icon who should be cherished for his service to not only his church but to this community.
Reverend William Turner Jr. was born on a plantation in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1938. He just turned 79 years old this past July and by looking at him you could never tell. He has this youthful appeal about himself even though he is filled with knowledge and wisdom.
Rev. Turner explained that he was called by God to preach in Pasadena as he was led to a peak in Eagle Rock and was guided in the direction of the path he was to take.
Rev. Turner started his pastoral journey in 1967 when the church was just a little house. The congregation was able to purchase the properties surrounding the church and New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church has been standing since 1969 and it was complete in its first form within six months with no loan. He had 100% cooperation from his congregation and he needed it, because the city denied them the use permit to expand three times.
Eventually they received the permits necessary to build and that was only the beginning. New Revelation was the first Baptist church in California to build a gymnasium and educational facility. They were also the first Black church to get a loan of any kind from Prudential Insurance.
Since then, Rev. Turner has done close to 7,000 services and has baptised over 8,000 souls and fellowshipped to over 20,000 at his church. Several pastors around Pasadena and other places have come up under him. He has performed over 20,000 weddings and he always opens the doors of his church to other pastors and churches who don't have the luxury of such a large and useful facility.
In 1972, local sanitation workers came to Rev. Turner and Stan Lewis for help, because they were working with no benefits. They stood on the steps of city hall and told the city workers not to go to work. The mayor tried the treat of the men being fired, but Stan Lewis told the mayor that if the sanitation workers didn't show up for two days rodents would overtake the city. Before that day ended, the workers had full benefits and were able to join the union.
I could go on forever about a man so accomplished, but instead I will invite you out to meet, greet and get the word from the man himself. On Sunday October 29th at 6:00pm, the celebration will climax. You don't have to wait until then though, because there are things going on at the church every day until them. Check the New Revelation Baptist Church Facebook page for more information.
Congratulations is what we usually say to people who accomplish great things, but this time we give praise.