Rev. Bacon marking 10 yearsPublished 6:03pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Rev. Bryant L. Bacon Sr. looks a bit uncomfortable about a two-night celebration this weekend of his 10-year anniversary as pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 601 Ferry St.
The women of his Pastor’s Alliance are insistent, taking the unusual step of organizing a ticketed banquet for 100 people at 6 p.m. Friday as well as a more traditional dinner following the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday.
The banquet at Hilton Garden Inn, 53995 Indiana State Route 933, South Bend, features the Rev. Bacon’s pastor, Dr. Addis Moore of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kalamazoo.
“It’s close to Notre Dame, which I stress because our pastor is a great Michigan fan,” Mary Cross said. “We have a very humble pastor who thinks about everybody else except himself. We would have to arm wrestle him to have a tea party, so we thought of having a sit-down evening for a guy who gives until it hurts and asks for nothing in return.”
On Sunday, another of the Rev. Bacon’s mentors, the Rev. Henry C. Smith, pastor emeritus of Second Baptist Church in Dowagiac, will be speaking.
Ten years “went by fast because we’ve been busy since I’ve been here,” the Rev. Bacon said. “I’ve only got one goal: evangelism, which drives ministries. I want to impact as many as people as I can, so the community can become more positive. I’d like to see an early childhood development program to reach kids at a younger age with reading and writing skills.”
Weekly attendance averages 180 at what is one of the oldest African-American Baptist churches in Michigan.
Beverly Woodson, ministry leader, said Helping Hands across the street was established in 2007 and outgrew the downstairs fellowship hall in December.
Helping Hands provides 58 to 75 families a month with free food and clothing. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In June, Mount Calvary was recognized at the Wolverine state Christian education banquet with a President’s Award for Chain Lake District.
“Youth play a big part in this church,” Cross said of singing coming from its creative arts ministry.
First lady Monica Bacon, Bryant’s wife of four years from Orange County in southern California, said youths work at Notre Dame football games.
The Rev. Bacon also weaves himself into the fabric of Niles education, going back to former Supt. Doug Law and continuing under Richard Weigel, including twice-monthly Youth Sunday honor roll recognitions and scholarships for graduates, along with engraved Bibles so “God is with them always,” whether they continue schooling locally or in another state.
“He puts forth the concept of it takes a village to raise a child,” Cross said.
“He genuinely cares about people he shepherds and for their souls to be saved so their lives are better,” his wife said.
“We will not allow him to leave,” said Cross, who worked as a human resources director for an Elkhart company before taking to the pulpit.
“I love this church because they don’t judge you. Lady Monica heads the women’s ministry, which gives time for women to get together and let our hair down.”
“It’s encouragement time,” Mrs. Bacon said. “To fellowship because women’s lives get so hectic between jobs, spouses and kids.”