Pastor Underwood is active in community

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 9, 2015

Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church pastor Pete Underwood is a community-oriented person.
Underwood tries to not just take care of people who are regular members of his church, but also those outside of the church.

“There’s a lot that goes into trying to be a pastor in addition to what you see on Sundays,” Underwood said. “Catching up with folks. Some people have major struggles, dependency issues and circumstances, so there’s a lot of counseling that goes into it as well.

“Most importantly, it’s all connected to what we do through Jesus Christ, trying to offer them that hope in everything that we do from the pulpit to the counseling to the weddings to the funerals and everything in between.”

Throughout the year, the church has different programs. One of those is “Celebrate Recovery,” which meets every Friday night. The church has been doing that program for nearly two years.

“It deals a lot with dependency, but also other struggles that people go through,” Underwood said. “Watching people see that come to fruition and get past that in life is pretty cool.”

Underwood said the church also has men’s and lady’s groups. Those groups have fellowships where they study the Word.

Emmanuel also has a summer mission trip once a year called IMPACT, which is an acronym for I Must Personally Advance Christ Today. Louisiana was one of four states that had churches involved in IMPACT last year.

Underwood said they do different projects in another area such as free car washes and going into public schools that allow them to speak and give presentations. They also try to help a small church or a mission to help connect them with the community.

They’ve been to Fayetteville, N.C., and in 2016, they are going to Bloomington, Ind., during the summer.

Every Halloween, the church has Trunk-and-Treat. This year, it is from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Avenue B Park in Bogalusa.

“We started that my first year here,” Underwood said. “It’s been amazing. We’ve gone from about 250 the first year to about 1,300 on average in a two-hour span. They’ll come through. They’ll hear the presentation of the gospel in a picturesque way. We’ve used bracelets and colors to represent the different schemes and also each color in what it represents according to Christ. This year, we’re focusing on a superhero theme with Jesus being our ultimate superhero.”

At the end, they’ll go to the cars and give them candy. Underwood said there will also be a bounce house.
Underwood has been the pastor of Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church since February of 2007. Before that, he was the pastor at Hatley Missionary Baptist in Amery, Miss. for five years, which is south of Tupelo.

Besides working for the church, Underwood helps out at Ben’s Ford Christian School. He’s the football program’s junior varsity coach and he’s an assistant coach for the boys’ basketball team.

Underwood said the coaching helps keep him relevant.

“The older I get, the harder it is to stay in touch with the kids,” Underwood said. “I’ve got a 15-year old son (Kameron), so that helps. I’ve got a 20-year old son (Kyle). I enjoy it. I’ve seen a lot of these students, through these programs, get involved with our church or other churches.

“I don’t do this to get them to come to Emmanuel. I just like to connect to kids. I used to do youth ministry work and kids have always been on my heart.”

Underwood has been married to his wife Lisa since May 29, 1992.