The spiritual shepherd of New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church in Pasadena steps down after 54 years of pastoral service
More than a half-century of dedicated Christian and community service as the spiritual shepherd of New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church in Pasadena comes to a close for the Rev. William Turner Jr., as he prepares to retire as pastor.
However, he’s not going quietly off into the evening, but instead, the New Revelation congregation is planning a gala celebration to salute Turner’s 54 years of pastoral ministry along with six decades of civic involvement.
The observance is set for Friday, April 8, at 5 p.m., at the City Club, located at 555 Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets can be obtained at eventbrite.com for $150 donation. Also sponsorship opportunities are available by emailing [email protected]
A native of Louisiana, Pastor Turner relocated to Pasadena in 1962 and united in fellowship with New Revelation where he was ordained as a deacon. The following year, he responded to the anointed call of God to spread the Gospel.
Recalling the divine encounter, Turner said, “One Sunday morning after I finished singing in the choir, the Spirit of God led me to the Chevy Chase Ridge. I was commanded by God to stop my vehicle at the peak of the ridge.
“I got out of my car and stood with my face overlooking the city of Pasadena. Then, I heard the voice of God commanding me to preach. As I closed my eyes, I saw men in a deep ravine, standing with their hands raised. They were crying out saying, ‘Help us!’ From that vision, the Spirit of God showed me that He was calling me to preach to this city,” he remembered.
Turner was ordained in 1964 and three years later, he was installed as the pastor of New Revelation, where he has consistently demonstrated his deep love of God and His people. In fact, his tenure has been marked by a series of memorable milestones.
Some of the highlights of Rev. Turner’s ministry include leading the then-membership of 47 in 1969 in completing the first phase of the New Revelation building project in a record six months, all without signing for a loan.
Also, over the next 10 years – from 1970 to 1979 – he rallied the congregation to complete construction of phase 2, which included a full-size gymnasium, commercial kitchen, and classrooms for education. Significantly, funding for the project was the result of a $450,000 loan from Prudential Insurance Company – the first time in American history that an African American organization received such a substantial loan from the firm.
Turner and New Revelation members continued to do great works for the cause of Christ over the next few decades and the congregation grew spiritually and numerically. The church also opened a preschool, infant care program, an elementary school, and a full court gymnasium that the community uses on a full-time basis. In the 1980s, New Revelation launched a homeless shelter for men and women along with securing certification and license to operate a drug rehabilitation program.
During the 21st century, Pastor Turner spearheaded the development of a supportive housing program to assist chronically homeless individuals and instituted a Love and Care Ministry targeting homeless disabled veterans this was a first in Pasadena to be sponsored by a church.
He headed equally impressive programs to assist the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a partnership with World Central Kitchen, more than 100,000 hot restaurant prepared meals have been served to essential workers in law enforcement, the fire department, U.S. Postal Service and the healthcare field as well as to senior citizens and others less fortunate.
Pastor Turner previously served three consecutive terms as president of the Western State Baptist Convention and currently holds the office of vice president in the Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater Los Angeles. In the civic arena, he has been appointed countless times to several boards and commissions in Pasadena and has received a multitude of commendations for his volunteer service.
According to one member, “Pastor Turner has been a voice at Pasadena City Hall for affordable housing and jobs in our city. He has stood in the gap for city employees, contractors and citizens of Pasadena and been involved in the development of faith-based programs for both the local and national community.
“Pastor Turner’s longevity and contributions are attributed to his commitment to preaching the authentic gospel. He will continue to counsel and advise young pastors and continue to proclaim the unchanged Word of God, preparing the masses for Kingdom citizenship.”
To learn more about the retirement celebration for Pastor William Turner, email New Revelation M.B. Church at [email protected]