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An installation – delayed by COVID – ‘was a great occasion’

After a two-year wait, the Dr. Noel G. L. Hutchinson Jr. has been installed as pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Baptist Church in Frayser.

Dr. Hutchinson’s installation was originally scheduled for March 2020, but in-person worship shut down across the country the week before.

With that backdrop, the installation service last Sunday (Oct. 30) at the church at 3735 N. Trezevant unfolded with the theme “never too late…on time for God.”

Kingdom Fellowship, Hutchinson told The New Tri-State Defender on Wednesday (Nov. 2), is “a congregation of great people energized to live out the Gospel. It is a smaller church, where the members, in a colloquialism, ‘punch way past their weight’.”

Citing an example, Hutchinson said at the height of the pandemic, Kingdom Fellowship served over 1200 families through collaboration with the Mid South Food Bank’s mobile food pantry.

As a part of the installation celebration, the church also had a community “Parking Lot Picnic” at the church. Two weeks earlier, members canvassed the immediate blocks around the church, inviting the neighborhood to come by.

Clergy from across Memphis and several elected officials joined in the celebration.

Hutchinson is the executive mission director for the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Many know him in association with the 22 years he and his wife, Rebecca Matlock Hutchinson, spent in service to First Baptist Church (Lauderdale).

A native of The Bronx, New York, Hutchinson’s rootedness in Memphis is reflected in his ongoing involvement in numerous civic and community efforts.

At 10 a.m, the organizing pastor of Kingdom Fellowship, the Rev. Darryl Roberts, preached a sermon he titled “Even in the midst of a plague, keep moving” based on Joshua 1:1-9. 

At 3 p.m. for the formal installation worship, Dr. Michael Moore, Pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, drew upon Isaiah 4:19 to preach on “A new thing.”

Dr. Michael Moore (left), pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, was the keynote speaker during the formal installation service for Dr. Noel G. L. Hutchinson Jr. as pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Baptist Church. Photo: Tyrone P. Easley/The New Tri-State Defender)

The President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC), the Rev. David Peoples, and PNBC General Secretary, Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, sent congratulations. Several of Dr. Hutchinson’s family members, some from as far as London, England, did the same.

“Yes, we had a wonderful time,” said Rebecca Matlock Hutchinson.

“It was a great occasion,” said Dr. Hutchinson, “with great fellowship, and great people.”


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