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Mississippi Minister Called as Pastor of West Hunter Baptist Church

The 140-year-old West Hunter Street Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia has named Mississippi-native Cedrick Von Jackson as its 20th pastor.

Pastor-elect Jackson was chosen by the congregants from among three finalists out of the more than 140 applicants for the position. Reverend Jackson succeeds former pastor Dr. Toussaint King-Hill, Jr. who led the church for six years before retiring early in 2020. Sadly, just a few weeks later, Dr. Toussaint, whose first cousin was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., transitioned at his home following a valiant battle with cancer which had been diagnosed two years before.

Jackson, in a phone interview with The Atlanta Inquirer on August 11, says he is excited about the call and the move to the ATL. “It’s actually our first major move,” said the native of Coldwater, Mississippi and husband of the former Eulanda Willis of Meridian, Mississippi. The pastor-elect is the current 10-year pastor of Askew Grove Baptist in Sarah, Mississippi. “Atlanta is the hub of the civil rights community, the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. Stepping into a pulpit once occupied by Dr. Ralph Abernathy is an honor. I am proud to be selected as West Hunter’s new torchbearer.”

The 20-year veteran of the pulpit comes to West Hunter with an enviable evangelical and educational background. He holds a master of divinity degree from Memphis Theological Seminary where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Masters’ degree in educational leadership. According to his resume, he is currently pursuing a ministerial doctorate at Memphis Seminary. His two decades behind the book-board also includes a 25-year devotion to education as a teacher, school chaplain, dean of students and a district education director. As it relates to his latter plaudit, he developed a keen interest and passion for mental health and especially as it relates to religion. It prompted him to create CVJ Ministries, a member of the National Alliance on mental health, which through workshops, worship services, prayer breakfasts and conferences “seeks to foster positive mental health through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” “I am not a counselor or an expert,” he says. “I just have a passion about stamping out the stigma associated with mental illness.”

Jackson says the calling from West Hunter comes at an ideal time for his family. “My daughter is getting married and my son is headed to college so Mrs. Jackson and I are empty-nesters,” he told the newspaper. Jackson says he will return to the ATL to preach on September 19 and only the second time he has done so in the city. Plans are reportedly underway to confirm the date for his official installation.

Last updated on August 14, 2021

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