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"Unpacking the Legacy of Pastor Timothy J McBride: A Community of Faith Reflecting Forward"


written by Chilton Stewart


No judgement, just an unbiased assessment of any given Sunday at Tabernacle Of Praise International the church where Pastor McBride preaches. Pastor McBride, while an amazing orator and sincere man of God is also acutely aware of how “The World” works and is more than comfortable preaching in it. But maybe more importantly for the sake of this article, he is a man that LOVES and honors the city of McDonough and Henry County. He has watched the city and county grow exponentially over the years and is pleased with the results.

That is not to say that coming to Georgia from California didn’t provide him with a certain “culture shock” upon arrival down south. “It was definitely something new that I had to experience because I’m from San Francisco so I was a city boy. So I ‘m used to street lights and sidewalks. When I got here it was man, it was dirt roads and backroads. However it didn’t take him long to not only adjust and thrive in McDonough but to fall in love with the city and its people as they adopted him as one of their own. “You know what I love about McDonough? It's like a family. Once you know certain people then all of sudden you become a family with people. I like the intimacy of McDonough. And I really love the growth of the city.

“We do the work of the community and people trust us. When people fall on hard times and they’ve done all they can, they come to the church. We have to be the arms and feet of Christ to help people.” Pastor McBride and Tabernacle Of Praise International’s impact on the city of McDonough is no small feat. Indeed the pastor credits city leadership in general and most particularly the current Mayor Sandra Vincent for her leadership in guiding the city to and through explosive growth. As the church grew out of a warehouse and into the spiritual giant it is today. “Mayor Sandra Vincent was really helpful in getting us known in McDonough. She was very instrumental in making sure that the church had a voice in the city of McDonough in getting things done.” This represents a remarkable change as the city had, for all intents and purposes the same leadership for years 

“For forty one years two white mayors ran the whole city. Even before mayor Sandra officially became mayor she had already put her stamp on this city. She’s female and she’s black and she speaks out for people who don’t have a voice. The Bible says "When the righteous are in charge the city will rejoice.” He continues “I have seen a change in people's hearts just in the churches. When we first started TOP nobody was handing out boxes of food. Nobody had a youth ministry. There was no place for rappers. There was no place for hip hop dancers. We ushered in teen extreme nights. All the teens could come in, they could dance, they could get something to eat. Now these teens are adults but they are still doing positive work because of the impact we made in their lives.”

It is plain to see that Pastor McBride lives by the biblical principle that “Faith without works is dead” and he goes to work every day to make his church, followers, the city and Henry county better.  “All of us have a purpose. All of us don’t know why we are here but we know that God put us here for a reason. When we started the mentoring program. Every Monday night we had all the boys come down to the church. We need to get our arms wrapped around these young men. If we want to see our cities and our better it's our job to get our hands involved and to make it happen! “ He goes on to say “I am really pushing every ministry. Get outside the four walls, find out what’s going on in your community and be a blessing to the community. You are not a church if you don’t go out in the community. A church is supposed to be the answer for any economic emotional situation that’s happening in our community, the church has got to be the answer.”

Despite all of Pastor McBride’s victories he is quick to remind anyone who will listen that he didn’t build anything by himself. Indeed he credits his relationships within the halls of leadership for the meteoric rise of the church.

“Mayor Sandra Vincent was very instrumental in helping us really get known in McDonough so when we went to get that warehouse the city kind of wasn’t approving us because of the fact  we didn’t have enough parking. Councilmen Sandra Vincent stood up for me. You know I think we need to give this church a chance. And she was the one who stood up for me and helped us to go ahead and get the zoning that we need to go ahead and move the church in that warehouse and that’s where things started jumping off for the church. So to have her be the mayor now.. she was serving as my mayor back then. Because she spoke up for me and she’s been a catalyst towards helping me. She was very instrumental in making sure that the church had a voice in the city of McDonough to get those things done. She’s always been in our corner and I am so glad that she is still in our corner today.”

The fact that the church is a living testimony to hope and faith makes it uniquely bring shining light in an otherwise bleak modern society. Pastor McBride believes that Black America is “owed a blessing” due to our violent and exploitative history in this county. “Because of what we went through we are owed a blessing. But you have to put a demand on it. If you don’t put a demand on  what belongs to you. YOU NOT GOING TO GET IT. He continues. “God wants his people to be blessed. Think if we all had the money to change our communities. That’s all I am preaching about. God wants to bless you so you can be blessed to be a blessing. So when you get blessed you are able to help somebody. Wealth and riches shall be in your house.”

Learn More About TOP 3 Locations: McDonough, Jonesboro, Griffin Campus

Pastor Timothy J. McBride on Voices of The Village Podcast (VOTV)

Get Your Copy of The Game Changers Magazine Collector's Edition featuring Mayor Sandra Vincent of The City of McDonough: Reflection Forward Celebrating 200 Years


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