By Christopher T. Matthews
“A Holy Calling With a Purpose ,” was the theme to honor Pastor Madison Gregory, III and first lady, Sister Clara Gregory for pasturing Third Baptist Church,9775 Angola Road for 30 years on Sunday March 13, 2016. The congregation also observed their 55 years as members. Third Baptist Church was founded in 1958 and Madison Gregory III was one of the original-founding members, and he and his wife Sister Clara Gregory.
Pastor Madison Gregory III said, “This is the closing of a two week 30th anniversary service we started out last week with Second Baptist Church of Monclova, OH, and this week we have Spring Street Baptist Church of Toledo, OH. And, this is why this day is so successful. We have been here for over 55 years, and I have made a lot of friends throughout that time. If you treat people right and be kind, you will earn a lot of friends.”
He continued sharing that, having friends in this ministry is a blessing because they will stand with you through all of your trials and tribulations. And, it is imperative to just be upright and kind to all and he thanked all who participated in the service.
Pastor A. Richardson of Spring St. Baptist Church was the guest speaker. He said, “ I am thankful to be a partaker in this event as well to add to the blessing and joy that has been administered here today. The encouragement that Pastor Madison Gregory III has displayed over these last 30 years have been phenomenal and wish him the strength to go on for many more. He is a great pastor, preacher, teacher, and friend and I thank God for him.”
As music director, Stennett Collins said that the only reason he is there is because of Pastor Gregory. About 25 years they had musician after musician. “Pastor Gregory said he was not going to hire anybody else, and that is when I learned to play, and I have been playing since. I am grateful for Pastor Madison Gregory III given me the chance and the opportunity for being able to not only play music for the church but just to be here and be a part of such a monumental day,” he explained.
A former school mate of Pastor Gregory, Thelma Coleman felt that it was such a honor and a pleasure to be a part of the celebration. “I did not have a clue that he would be my pastor years later, and I am so honored to have him as my pastor. He is really a Godly Man, “she said.
Deborah Gregory, member, added, “We definitely know that God called him to be our pastor, or he would not have lasted this long, to be here with us. We our very grateful to God and grateful to Pastor Richardson and the Spring Street Baptist church choir and congregation for coming out to celebrate with us.”