Spotlight on Pastor Bill McGill of Imani Baptist Temple

| August 3, 2016
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

By Jeanie Summerville

What’s up, babies?

As always, I hope that you’re taking time out of your busy schedules to bring yourselves some well deserved beauty, joy, happiness and some form of peace of mind.  As we travel together, on our journey of love, to get to know one another better because I’m definitely doing my part to help that happen in our lives. On that note, it pleases me to bring to you this week’s spotlight so you can learn more about Pastor Bill McGill.  This interview took place on Thursday July 21 and after you read this please, show him some well deserved love because he’s trying so hard to bring us some form of harmony, in GOD’s name.  So at this time just sit back and feel what he has to say:

The Rev. Bill McGill

The Rev. Bill McGill

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Bill McGill and I’m the senior pastor of Imani Baptist Temple that’s located at 2920 Indiana Ave., here in Fort Wayne.

“I was born in Oceanside, California and my parents were Marines and so, I’m a Marine brat but, I was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and call Cleveland home.  I came of age, as an adult, in Detroit and I’ve been in Fort Wayne at this point 18 years, six months and 21 days thus far.  I moved here at an attempted reconciliation with my wife but unfortunately I didn’t move with wisdom and she was certainly far more mature than I and she got tired of waiting for me to mature.  We had a child in the interim and that was part of the major reason why I remained in Fort Wayne.

“As far as, what I day on a daily basis, there is no average day for me.  Because what we do, of course, is anything but average since each day is filled with challenges and variations of particular things.  It’s about adult ministry all the time and adult life so, everyday is filled with challenges either professionally, personally or corporately it’s just a matter of managing the damage.  Everyday is going to be filled with some damage about something that’s lost, in this new name it and claim it theology, health and wealth that really isn’t based on biblical or natural reality.  Life is filled with challenges and it’s not, what you’re going to have but how you’re going to handle it.  So, today started off pretty challenging but it really started last night when I was leaving our prayer meeting and noticed that our sign had been defaced with the numbers 666 and of course, it did leave me a little unsettled and I had to acknowledge that because we live in a very difficult, reckless and dangerous day.  And, so I had a moment but of course, I recovered pretty quickly because God of all grace always manages my pace.  The initial repair has started and now we see 666 only in the shadows but they believe it can all permanently be cleaned.  

“I don’t know why this was done because it’s pretty hard to get into the mind of someone else but it was clear that some thought went into it, if you put 666 on a Christian church.  They clearly knew what they were doing, so I don’t think that it’s something they just thought about as they were walking pass.  They had a number of churches within a two-block radius of us that remained untargeted so it’s pretty clear, we were targeted.  I don’t know what kind of message they were trying to send 666 the mark of the beast or the anti-christ.  I think if anything, we’re one of the most Pro-Christ Churches in our city.  But we are certainly more determined than ever to keep working on our community transformation.  So whatever message they were trying to send, it will not work, the sign will be repaired, my faith will continue to be shared and so whatever they meant, God is always going to flip the script because we know who and what we’re called to be.                  

“After that situation, one of the members lost a mother in the early hours of this day that was still cordially involved with my role as One Church-One Offender executive pastor.  And, there were still sick people to visit today and in the midst of that, I had scheduled meetings.  So my work on a daily basis is probably anywhere from 12 hrs, most days.  Usually today, would be the day, I’d also start handwriting the summon and between sermon writing and prepping, it usually takes about 25 to 30 hours so I’m already behind because I was not able to do any writing today but I will get it done.  I still hand write my sermons because I refuse to come into this technological age, I’m old school.

“What has been most challenging for me as a Pastor is, when people try to compliment me because they fail to realize that they’re really not complimenting me, they’re increasing my level of frustration.  Individuals will read a column that I wrote or hear my sermon and say, it was something that they enjoyed.  But I have never written a column, preached a sermon or made a statement, for it to be enjoyed.  The goal is, that people will be deployed and so, while they think they’re encouraging me, they’re really discouraging me.  Because I keep trying to figure out, what must I say, what must I write, to get to us consistently, without hesitation or reservation, walking in the light.  And, it’s a frustrating thing, that it has been a source of enjoyment for individuals but not enough deployment.  

“It’s time to move people from information and inspiration to initiation, that’s the key and we’ve got to get to the place where we move from being recipients of information and inspiration.  But those two tools lead us to a vehicle in a necessary point called initiation and that’s the problem again with the churches.  We know very well how to have church but obviously, very little of being church and that’s a frustrating thing for me.  Coming into the city of churches, I thought this would be some kind of spiritual Mecca where God ruled and where the anointing and the favor of God was flowing through it’s streets but what I really found was that, it’s the city of Church Buildings.  

“It took the Lord a great deal, of pulling for me to move into the creation of another church because it was the last thing this city needed and so God, simply challenged me to make sure that it’s not just another church.  I was part of that sacred trilogy that we had on John Street, with the leadership of Pastor Treana Jordan and Pastor Luther Whitfield and I shall never forget, what a glorious harmony that we were emulating because we understood, we could do far more together than what we could do apart and so, it didn’t really matter who got the credit or whose name was on the sign, as long as, God was getting the glory and lives were being changed because at the end of the day, who really cares?  My point of reference is that, at some point, some will understand that perhaps some linking, collaboration, cooperation and consolidation needs to happen to create one central entity that speaks with truth, power, anointing and then speak with influence.  That’s what I think is going to be the only thing that will really break the yokes that have held this community down for far too long.

“And, I want you to know, I did what I could with the NAACP.  I decided not to run again because if indeed, I was the problem because I wasn’t moving masses in this organization and if you’re not moving masses, maybe you need to get out of the way and let someone else start leading the way.  I’ve never been impressed with just having Titles.  I’ve had titles my whole entire life so that’s not new to me or impressive to me, the issue is effectiveness and if you’re going to lead an organization, it needs to be something that is driven first.  Because power only respects two things, finances or numbers at the end of the day.  If you’re going to come to the table you’re going to be respected only because the numbers, through the books, that you represent or the finances or wealth that you bring to the table.  Other than that, you don’t come to the table as an equal.

“My greatest joy is the birth of my daughter because it’s the connectiveness that kept me here initially.  I was prepared to leave the soldiering here because it had not been very positive and I believed, it literally was time to leave so had, she not been on the horizon, I would not have remained in Fort Wayne.  There would not have been an Imani Baptist Temple, there would not have been a Nationally recognized successfully reclaimed program because we didn’t found One Church-One Offender.  But we at least, got it set again and I transformed it and my book Lessons from the Desert would have never been written.  All of these thing came to happen, started with my daughter.  So she is without question, the best thing that has happened to me during my soldiering in Fort Wayne these 18 years, six Months and 21 days.              

“In five years, it would be nice to see more than token representation of diversity in our city and our county and on economical levels.  I think, if we’re going to be the second largest city in the State of Indiana, it ought to reflect progressively that we are a city that welcomes an inclusion.  Whether that it’s black, white, brown, yellow, red, gay or straight, everyone has equal access to the political social business opportunities in our communities because that is not the case today.  So in five years from now, we will have more than a African American on the city counsel, certainly more than one person of color on the county counsel, gender diversity and really display itself not only in words but indeed, as a very welcoming community to everyone.              

“As far as our youth, we’ve got to make sure that at the end of the day, they only have to have three priorities which is education, education and education.  It’s just as simple as that and so, I’m opposed that our teenagers need jobs because you can’t say on one hand that they’re academically challenged and then say, that after school they need to go to a part-time job that takes them away from tutoring.  So I think, we need to be very clear that it’s education and then the next three is determination, determination and determination at the end of the day.  And, I think we are fooling ourselves and allowing ourselves to be left behind understanding that we live in a very Techno driven environment and must be dedicated and committed to intense training but either way, it’s still intensive training.  Don’t think you’re going to get something for nothing because the world is constantly changing and if you’re struggling academically, you must get beyond that by spending time at it.”

Now in closing I say, I’m so proud of you Pastor Bill McGill and I know that GOD and Jesus are too.  And, thank you for not giving up on our city.  So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie.  Bye bye, babies.

P.S.  If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love,  just send me an email to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo. com.  I’d love to hear from you.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Community, Features, Local, People, Spiritual Matters

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.