by Danny Tennial —
The Rev. Dr. William A. “Bill” Adkins Jr. celebrated 40 years of ministry as well as his birthday at Greater Imani Church the Cathedral of Faith last Sunday (Feb. 5).
Dr. Adkins, Greater Imani’s senior pastor, spoke about the biblical significance of the number 40. Moses hid in the desert for 40 years. The Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
The Prophet Elijah walked for 40 days on a journey. Jesus fasted for 40 days before the devil tempted him.
Adkins is well-known internationally for his ministry and activism.
Asked about his sociopolitical activism, he said, “I don’t think you can do one without the other. If the people are in my care, I have to care about their spiritual and temporal existence.”
His passionate commitment to the Memphis community caught the attention of political leaders and social activists worldwide. Former President Barack Obama and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have visited the Greater Imani Church.
Adkins said one of his greatest ministerial high points is how God blessed the growth of his ministry.
“We started out with a church that could seat a maximum of about 150 people. Today, we have grown to a church that can seat a maximum of 4,000 people.”
The guest speaker for The Founder’s Day Celebration was the Rev. Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray Jr., who commended Dr. Adkins for his service to God, his congregation and to the community at large.
Dr. Adkins shared his philosophy of what a dedicated man of God should be in ministry.
“In true prophetic ministry we have to speak up. We have to speak truth to power. We have to put our lives at risk,” he explained.