40th Pastoral Anniversary and Retirement


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Theme: One Found Faithful:  A Journey of Wisdom


“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 


2 Timothy 2:2 NKJV


Order of Worship



Announcements ………………………………………………………………………..

 Entrance of Pastor, Reverend James & Sis Pitts

                                          - Escorted by Bro. Scooter McCray & Sis. Terryl McCray

    Welcome…………………………………………………………………………………

Selection...………………………………………………………..…Garment of Praise

Call to Worship Scripture………………………………………………Min. Al Wilson

Prayer…………………………………Rev. Ruby Brown, Canaan Christian Church

Selection…………………………………………………………….Garment of Praise

Introduction of Speaker..........................................................................................

Selection…………………………………………………………….Garment of Praise

Message………………………………………………..…Rev. Dr. Stephen D. Smith

 Invitation to Christian Discipleship & Prayer …………………......…Min. Al Wilson

Special Remarks and Presentation……………………………………….Committee

Remarks……………………….Rev. James R. Pitts and First Lady Sis. Sylvia Pitts

Benediction & Closing Prayer……………...………….Pastor, James F. Brooks, Sr.   

                                                                           Lily Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL


1982

Anniversary Times

Yearly News Report

 

     The Green Castle Baptist Church was blessed with a new pastor.  The Reverend James R. Pitts was selected by Jesus Christ to be our second in command here on earth. 

     Reverend Pitts was installed as our pastor in May of 1982 and thirty-four people joined that year.

     The church was being fed a Gospel inspired, scripturally sound diet every Sunday by Rev. Pitts; some of those sermons during his first year were as follows:

 

June………..………”Coming Home”

July…………………”Stormy Weather”

August……………...”Trust God with What You Have Left”

September…………”I am a Debtor”

October……………..”From Death to Life”

November…………..”The Parable of the Talents”

December…………..”Calvary”

 

1983

Anniversary Times

Yearly News Report

 

     This is his first year and our pastor is preaching and teaching us the true gospel, he does not mix in social or current events as a time filler.  He is studying and following his anointing and taking his appointment seriously. 

     The church is amazed and appreciative of his focus on “time”.  He is not a man for foolishness, and he often puts his timepiece on the pulpit and often glances at it as he preaches.  This is usually unheard of in the spiritual community at large.

     This man that God sent us is erudite, pleasant, has a great sense of humor, and most of all, he loves the Lord!  The church has enjoyed his teaching and his preaching all year long and is looking forward to many more years to come.

     The pastor has no idea that the congregation has been praying for the Lord to send him a mate.  We noticed that a beautiful young lady has been accompanying his parents to church; we sure hoped this was the answer to our prayers.

     We have come to love his parents who often visit, and his mother has a powerful testimony!  In true motherly fashion she gives our pastor that, “I am so proud of him” gaze when he is preaching.

     The church continues to grow as the Lord sees fit; this year sixteen people joined.  The Church finds the Sunday sermons both interesting and informative.  This year’s sermons have included:  “Never Alone”, “Waiting to See What the End is Going to Be”, “We Will Work till Jesus Comes”, and “Unused Perfume”.  These are but a sampling of the great messages the church hears.

 

 

1984

Anniversary Times

Yearly News Report

 

     The church has thrown aside the idea of any future picnics.  We have gotten to know the pastor and we are comfortable with him, and he is comfortable with us as well.

     He continues to teach and to preach the living Word and we love him for his diligence.  Some of the sermons we heard are: “Jesus the Talk of the Town”, “If I Perish”, “A Christian Home”, and “Thanksgiving Day”.

     Another answered prayer! The pastor marries that beautiful young lady in the person of Sister Sylvia Rutledge on July 14, 1984!  The reception is lovely, and the bride and groom look adoringly into each other's eyes…the congregation is overjoyed!  We feel like shouting it from the rafters, “our pastor had found his missing rib”.

     We welcome her with open arms and the same love that we hold for her husband, our pastor.  She is beautiful inside as well as outside and she is on fire for Christ.

     Sister Pitts, as we call her, is truly a blessing to this church family and we can sense her anointing and appointment for the journey along with her husband.

     In 1984 the pastor starts to hold a Thanksgiving morning service.  As usual his message is to the point and as always it leaves one wanting to hear more.  The church feels so blessed to have him as the pastor with his wife by his side. 

     Only six members unite with the church this year; but the whole congregation is in prayer for a revival along with new and refreshed understanding that the people are the church and not the building.

 

Note:  Above reprinted as published in the Green Castle Baptist Church “Anniversary Times 25th Celebration Edition” Program May 19th, 2007.

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On the first Sunday in April 1982, prayers for a new leader were answered when Reverend James R. Pitts accepted the call to be the 22nd pastor of Green Castle Baptist Church at 7611 Rose Island Road in Prospect, Kentucky.  Under Reverend Pitts, we have had many Associate Ministers who either came to Green Castle ordained, licensed, or announced their call into the preaching ministry after joining and became licensed.  These ministers include: 

  •     Licensed and later Ordained:  Reverend Elvis Pressley, Reverend Marvin Miller, Reverend Jeffery Moseley, Reverend Keith Hackett (2004), Reverend Rita S. Bowman (2013), Reverend Darlene Gardner (2013), Reverend Charles Dixon, Jr. (2013), Reverend M. David Lacey (2022), Reverend Elder Angela Overton (2022) and Reverend Derek Mills (2022).
  •     Ordained upon joining Green Castle:  Reverend Maurice Edwards, Sr. (2002), Reverend Todd Bernard (2006), Reverend Ron German (2012) and Reverend Michael Morgan (2015).
  •     Licensed upon joining Green Castle:  Keith Hackett, Charles Dixon, Jr. (2005), Tony Mitchell (2008), Donald Woolridge (2008) and Derek Mills (2014).
  •     Licensed after joining Green Castle:  Diallio D. Paul (1996), M. David Lacy, Jr. (1997), George M. Howard, Jr. (1997), Michael McClain (1997), Rita S. Bowman (2004), Franklin Huff (2004), Alexander Raspberry (2004), Darlene Gardner (2004), Brent Barnett (2008), Shaunta Henderson (2011), Albert Wilson (2012), David Overton, Sr. (2012), and Angela Overton (2012). 

Under his Pastorate, several deacons have been ordained and recorded in the history.  They are as follows:

    Dea. Lonnie Gardner, Sr. (1995), Dea. Mack Lacey, Sr. (1995), Dea. Otis Brown, Sr. (1996), Dea. Bruce White, Sr. (1996), Dea. Carl Ledford (1999), Dea. George Griggs, Sr. (2003), Dea. James F. Brooks, Jr. (2003), Dea. Fred Henderson, Sr. (2006), Dea. Richard Wilson, Sr. (2009), and Dea. Dr. Gregory Woolfok (2009).

    Two ordained deacons were added which include Dea. Lee Bowman (1996) and Dea. Arthur Kniffley (2003).

Note:  License and ordination information (except 2022 names) were reprinted as published in the Green Castle Baptist Church 150th Church Anniversary Program.  

Under the pastorate of Reverend Pitts, the Bible Study classes that had been dropped in the nine-month interim prior to the start of his pastorship were reinstituted and the new membership classes continued.  A few short years after his start, a renovation to the church building to include an education wing was completed.  Twelve years after the 1984 expansion of the church facility, the church again found itself headed toward overcrowded conditions and progressively began to think about future facility and ministry needs.  A strategic plan was approved in December 1996 to prepare for expansion and spiritual growth into the 21st century. 

On March 18, 2007, with Reverend Pitts leading the congregational march, Green Castle Baptist, “The Church Under The Cross”, relocated and held its first worship service in its new facility on Murphy Lane.  With a growing membership, additional ministries were needed.  Here are some of the new ministries that were created and accomplishments at Green Castle Baptist Church in its new, expanded territory under Reverend Pitts leadership.

    Greeter’s Ministry, Groundskeeping Ministry, Decision Counselors, Bereavement Ministry, Marriage Ministry, Health and Wellness Ministry, Mentoring Ministry, Tutoring Ministry, the Prom Ministry, Liturgical Dance, and the Mimes Ministry.  A monthly 11:00 AM Children’s Worship service was added.  The Hope Ministry offered care, support, and resources for those impacted by cancer including patients, survivors, family members, friends, and caregivers.  The High Five Ministry, a food pantry serves families in their time of need.  Also, the following were started: Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns, $1 A Day Stewardship Fund Drive, a Disaster Relief Task Force, and the Soaring Eagles Track Club. 

    Monthly Men’s and Women’s Bible studies were formed.  A combined Family Night Bible Study night began to encourage families to attend together on one night.

    Several memorial scholarships were started:  The Harry E. Taylor Scholarship, Velma Booth Scholarship, Janet Howard Rays of Hope Book Scholarship, Will E. Seay, Sr. Scholarship, Catherine T. Wiley Scholarship and the Darnell W. Clay, Sr. Scholarship, all which have awarded thousands of dollars to high school and college students within Green Castle and in the community. 

    Green Castle Baptist Church was recognized as the first house of worship in Kentucky to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Award.

In 2020, as most of the world shut down due to the pandemic, Reverend Pitts did not miss a beat and continued to share God’s word through virtual worship service and bible studies.  Under his leadership, ministries adapted to a new way to serve for the Glory of the Lord! 

Our beloved pastor, Reverend Pitts, has delivered thousands of sermons, messages, and bible studies.  He has offered many prayers and made many hospital and home visits.  He has presided over hundreds of baptisms, dedications, weddings, funerals and so much more.  All has been accomplished with honor, wisdom, integrity, resilience, empathy, sacrifice and humility.  Reverend Pitts has been fulfilling God’s mission by leading so many to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, helping them to grow in their relationship with an Amazing God and showing them how to serve like Jesus.   

For Forty years Reverend Pitts, our longest serving pastor, an anointed man of God has been “One Found Faithful”.  Our beautiful First Lady, Sis. Pitts, with an equal passion for sharing God’s word and love, has been by his side with elegance and grace.  We, the Green Castle Baptist Church family, are forever grateful for their affectionate care for our congregation and dedicated service for our Lord.         

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”                   1 Thessalonians 1:2 – 3 NIV

Pastoral 40th

Anniversary and Retirement

 

 

A Special Note of Thanks…..

 

The committee would like to extend a very special thank you to our Pastor, Reverend James R. Pitts, and First Lady, Sis. Sylvia Pitts, for the privilege to plan this year’s celebrations.  It has been our honor!  We also want to thank all who helped and supported us with planning, preparation and participation in thoughts, prayers, words, and deeds.  May God’s Blessings continue to shine upon each of you!

Planning Committee:  Andre Moore, Samantha Moore, Juanita Edmondson, Vie Yates, Kevin Taylor, Tracy Taylor, Fred Henderson & Shaunta Henderson

Advisors/Assistants:  Domonique Churchill, Dorothy Letcher, Keith Reynolds, Steve Kniffley, Rev. Charles Dixon, Jr., Julia Warfield, Nicole Wilson, Elma Blackwell, Lawrence Rhodes, Lawrence Shelton, Harry Morris, Darius Davis, and the Trustee Board.

 

 


Guest Speaker

Stephen D. Smith is the pastor of Mt. Hermon and Portland respectively. Pastor Smith has labored to lead both churches in a closer relationship with God. He will tell you that it is not easy getting people to abandon their hopes and dreams for a more reliant life on God.


He has served the Mt. Hermon family for the past 29 years and Portland for the past 9 years. Pastor Smith has a heart and passion for the people of God and community. Pastor Smith has led the people of God to be more sensitive to the needs and climate of our community. He is community minded. Under his leadership, the church has worked on such projects as housing, business development, literacy, economic development, and drug and crime prevention. Pastor Smith believes we are our best resource. 

Pastor Smith has worked with many local groups to restore the value to people and the community throughout Metro Louisville. He is there when called upon to aid and assist our people and community. He believes we will recapture the community pride once held by our people. 


Pastor Smith has an Undergraduate Degree in Business, a Master’s Degree in Theology, a Master’s degree in Counseling, and an Earned Doctorate Degree. In addition, Pastor Smith has served as an Adjunct Professor and Chaplain at Campbellsville University. He has also served as a Health Care Chaplain at Baptist East Hospital, University Hospital, Christopher East Health Care Center as well as a Chaplain at Roederer Correctional facility in LaGrange KY.


Pastor Smith is married to the lovely Min. Odessa. They are the proud parents of five adult children - Stephanie, Yauka, Denielle, Brandon, & Arthur. They also have seven grandchildren.  


He continues to lead his flock in a closer relationship with God.  He preaches and teaches “We Can Do More Together!”  We can do more with the help and power of God.  Pastor Smith believes “The best is yet to come.” “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has it entered into the minds (hearts) of people what God has prepared for those who love and follow Him.” (I Cor 2:9)