November 29, 2022

MAKING HEADLINE NEWS SPECIAL FEATURE: PASTOR ANDREW JACKSON, SR.’S RETIREMENT: One Year Later

IT’S ALL GOOD, GODDespite a first full year of retirement in which he mourned the untimely death in March of his oldest child, Patricia Campbell, Andrew Jackson, Sr. described the past 12 months as sweet and enjoyable, in large part because he isn’t restricted to the weekly scheduled that gave way to him emerging as one of Memphis’ most decorated pastors for more than 45 years. The founder of Faith Temple Ministries Church of God In Christ, the institution Jackson established in 1969 will celebrate 48 years of dedicatory service on Sunday, June 4.

MEMPHIS — The final week in April was indeed a brutally draining one for rookie Senior Pastor Ivory Jackson, Sr., the newly-installed chief executive officer of Faith Temple Ministries Church of God In Christ.

So much, in fact, that while he was in attendance, he sensed he needed to take a much-needed hiatus from giving a fourth Sunday sermon to his congregation.
Pinch hitting for him in the pulpit that week: Andrew Jackson, Sr.
Much to the delight of the 200-or-so attendees who turned out for worship on what was an otherwise gloomy, overcast Sunday morning, Jackson, Sr. was his usual-reliable, straightforward self, spiritually empowering the very congregation he had become widely known for leading the previous 47-plus years.
A TRUE GENERALPictured with wife, Shirley Jackson, 81, retired from pastoring one year ago this week. As a nice sendoff, his congregation, colleagues, and a host of well wishers around the country honored him during an emotional ceremony for an illustrious career that spanned 47 years.

“One of the things I’ve noticed in the church is that the joy is gone,” said Jackson, Sr., his familiar, eloquent voice echoing throughout the sanctuary’s loudspeakers. “Some bad stuff is going to happen in the church. But it’s going to be good for the church. God is going to bring judgment upon the church, because many aren’t doing the work of the church.”

To grasp a broader concept of why Jackson, Sr. had taken this type of approach during an introduction that lasted 14 minutes, look no further the modern-day church’s enthusiasm — or a lack thereof.

TRANSFER OF POWEROne year removed from Jackson, Sr.’s much-anticipated retirement, this week also marked the one-year anniversary of the pastoral tenure of Faith Temple’s current Senior Pastor, Ivory Jackson, Sr. (left).

“There are people who are excited about the church and they are telling people about it,” Jackson, Sr. said. “Many are looking for a church where there is excitement. He that winneth souls is wise.”

Some pretty provocative, riveting suggestions from a veteran man of the cloth who’s known for — you know — stirring the pot, if you will.

Faith Temple has since relocated to two South-Memphis-based locations, most notably its present site at 5191 Elvis Presley Boulevard, where it has been since 1989.

Amongst the reasons is that even after having reached one full year of retirement this week, this Pastor Emeritus doesn’t shy away from the notion that  if the modern-day church doesn’t recapture the excitement and enthusiasm with regards to advancing the kingdom, the possibility exists that non-believers won’t merely have a surrogate dilemma about which to pursue.

“God is allowing the world to become so frustrated so that you and I can provide them with an alternative,” Pastor said. “In order to get folk excited about your church, you’ve got to get excited about it. You can’t really fake it for long. I guarantee you if you get excited about your church, if you get involved, others will get excited. We can do some things. We’re right here on this main street.”

REMEMBERING PATJackson described the recent death of his daughter as the “darkest hour” since his retirement. Pictured are his remaining five children (from left to right): Sharon Jackson, Barbara Jackson Sago, Derrick Jackson, Ivory Jackson, Sr., and Andrew Jackson, Jr.

The church to which Jackson, Sr. was alluding is the one he founded in 1969.

The very same church in which countless individuals have been persuaded to turn their lives over to Christ.

The very same church in which several licensed ministers had graciously answered their God-mandated calling by erecting their own respective ministries.

The very same church where he was recently seen standing in a familiar stance behind a fiber glass sacred desk, pleading with the present membership to devise ways to ensure that his historic ministry remains the progressive beacon of light on the corner of arguably one of the world’s most famous avenues long after he’s descended into glory.

Because, in case you’ve forgotten, this 81-year-old preacher now owns the covenant “emeritus” label, meaning he’s earned the right to savor every bit of the moment of what undoubtedly has been a pretty pleasurable retirement.

For the most part.

Prior to her untimely demise on March 29, Campbell was widely known as the First Lady of Rising Sun Outreach Ministries, which is in close proximity of the church her father founded. Campbell was 62.

“For me, it’s been sweet,” Jackson, Sr., during an exclusive interview this week with Making Headline News, said despite a first full year of retirement that included him having to mourn the death of his daughter, Patricia Campbell, who lost her brief battle with cancer on March 29. It’s been great. I have not missed it like I thought I would. I looked forward to it. I have no regrets.”

Given the valiant pastoral contributions he’s rendered to the Body of Christ for nearly five decades, why should he?

A native of a rural Grady, Arkansas town that is approximately 2 ½ hours from Memphis, Jackson, Sr. had become a fixture for nearly two decades in the medical industry while simultaneously cultivating a keenness for ministry.

It wasn’t long after a notable three-year stint at Pastor Johnathan Rodgers’ Evangel Temple Church of God In Christ that Jackson, Sr. sensed the time had come that he branch off and start his own ministry.

The rest, as they say, was history.

CHANGING A GENERATIONUnder Jackson, Sr.’s leadership, Faith Temple has evolved mightily, in large part because of his poised, spiritually gut-checking sermons, coupled with his unyielding commitment to inspiring those whom he was assigned to shepherd to walk in their destiny.

In 1969, Faith Temple Ministries Church was officially established, a longstanding institution that was organized in the heart of South Memphis with the help of Jackson, Sr.’s then-wife (now deceased), Lottie, their six children, and few family members.

KEEPING TRACK OF FAITH TEMPLEhttps://www.ftmc.us/.

The church has since relocated to two South-Memphis-based locations, most notably its present site at 5191 Elvis Presley Boulevard, where it has been since 1989.

Under Jackson, Sr.’s leadership, Faith Temple has evolved mightily, in large part because of his poised, spiritually gut-checking sermons, coupled with his unyielding commitment to inspiring those to whom he was assigned to shepherd to steadfastly walk in their destiny.

Sounds familiar?

DIFFERENT FACE, SAME LAST NAMENow that his son, Ivory Jackson, Sr., (pictured with his wife, Lisa) has assumed the role as Senior Pastor, Jackson, Sr. said he’s confident Faith Temple is headed in the right direction.

“I think it’s going to go beyond where it is when I turned it over,” said Jackson, Sr., when asked where he envisions Faith Temple will be over the next five years. “I don’t see it decreasing.”

Amongst the reasons is that Jackson, Sr., Faith Temple’s present membership, and its four-member board of directors deemed it essential to keep the future of the church in the family.

Literally.

One year removed from his much-anticipated retirement, this week also marked the one-year anniversary of the pastoral tenure of Faith Temple’s current Senior Pastor, Ivory Jackson, Sr. which, ironically, proved to be a rather intriguing moment for the originally face of this tradition-rich church to appropriately assess his successor’s showing since his ceremonious exit.

CHANGING OF THE GUARDFor the first time in 47 years last year, Faith Temple Ministries named a new Senior Pastor to lead its congregation.

“I think it’s been good,” Jackson, Sr. said of his son’s first full year in his new role. “I can’t say that there were any problems that were of any consequences. So the past year, he’s done an excellent job. The members have been very supportive of him. There’s really been no real problems other than what you deal with in pastoring.”

RAISING THE BARAll things considered, Jackson, Sr. (pictured with his wife, Shirley) doesn’t shy away from the notion that the very ministry he founded some 48 years ago will continue to ascend now that the baton has been passed down from father to son.

All things considered, Jackson, Sr. doesn’t shy away from the notion that the ministry he founded some 48 years ago will continue to ascend and thrive now that the baton has been passed down from father to son.

Sounds familiar?

“I guess be lying if I said I didn’t miss (pastoring) at all,” said Jackson, Sr. whom, to his well-deserved credit, has been the beneficiary of frequent extended vacations as a newly-installed retiree with his bride, the former Shirley Perry. “I’ve moved into a different phase of my life where I can do what I want to do without any restrictions.”

Well, with the exception of the final Sunday in April.

“I haven’t preached my message yet,” Jackson, Sr. exhibiting a smile, said while addressing the congregation on the importance of fortifying some excitement for ministry. “Then again, maybe I am. Maybe, this is a prelude.”

Some things change. Some things stay the same.

But one thing’s for certain.

Jackson, Sr. will routinely put it to you rather straightforwardly and candidly.

Emeritus label and all.


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Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to makingheadlinenews@gmail.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist or Instagram at @makingheadlinenews.