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New pastor installation set for Greater Middle Baptist Church

Greater Middle Baptist Church will install the Rev. Rodney Echols Sr. as pastor on Sunday (September 15). Dr. Donald R. Ester, pastor of New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, will deliver the address during the installation, which begins at 3 p.m.

Rev. Echols received a Master of Divinity degree in 2005 from the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently in the Doctoral Program at Memphis Theological Seminary. He was licensed at Middle Baptist Church Whitehaven under the direction of Dr. Lester Baskin and ordained at New Bethel M. B. Church under Pastor Donald Ester Sr.

In addition to serving as associate pastor at New Bethel, he taught the Sunday School class of associate ministers.

Echols is a professor at the Tennessee School of Religion, where he teaches Theology and the New Testament. Accredited by the Sunday School Publishing Board, he also teaches in the Zion District Association, and is certified to teach at all levels for the National Baptist Convention, USA.

Prior to his ministry experience, Echols served with the Memphis Police Department and retired as a lieutenant after 25 years of service.

The 188-year-old church, located at 4982 Knight Arnold Rd., was led by the late Rev. Benjamin Lawson Hooks for 52 years. Echols expressed a commitment to building on the faith legacy of Rev. Hooks and the many previous pastors of Greater Middle Baptist Church.

“Every soul that I’ve individually ministered to, I have fallen in love with them. As a whole, I have fallen in love with the congregation and I am committed to caring for them in Christ,” he said.

The installation service theme is “A Servant with A Heart for God and His People.”

Echols is married to Andrea Echols and they are the parents of two adult sons, Rodney and Richard, and three granddaughters.

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