Underwood leaving Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church
Published 12:00 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023
Pastor Pete Underwood will conclude his time at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church on Jan. 29.
“It’s the best ministry I’ve ever had,” Underwood said. “The people, the community, the church obviously, trying to put that into words when you’ve been there for 16 years is tough. You’re there when you watch their loved ones pass, you’re there when a newborn comes into the world, when their kids graduate, when kids and adults have achievements. You do life together. When you do life together, it’s awesome. When you do life together in Christ, it just takes it to a whole new level.”
Underwood has been at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church since 2007. He answered the call to ministry in 1991, which was his junior year at the University of Central Florida.
Underwood said that when he came to Bogalusa, his previous longest ministry was five years.
“I came here, you really don’t know anybody, you’ve got two small kids in grade school, and now, I’ve never had a greater connection with this many people,” Underwood said. “The connection factor is like, how do I do this again? The connection never changes, but location does and the bond doesn’t change. Family is family.”
Underwood will be the pastor at Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Mt. Enterprise, Texas.
“In ministry, it’s not like a corporate ladder. It’s more about following God,” Underwood said. “While I’ve struggled with the concept of leaving Emmanuel and leaving Bogalusa, it’s a God thing. The people have reached out to me through the transitioning process. While we’re sad to leave, we’re thankful for the opportunity to go to another group of people to do life with again in Christ.”
Underwood said that since he started at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, the church has grown, which he credits to a strong leadership and a strong membership collectively following our great God.
Underwood said that since he started at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, they had a massive building program that provided a much larger fellowship hall, more classroom space and staff offices. The church did a facelift, spruced up and added more parking as the church continued to grow. Underwood said they have had steady growth since he has been there. They had a recovery program to help people get through tough times for seven years.
“We also took on Camp Glenwood, which is a camp retreat center in Folsom and basically sponsored that with our director,” Underwood said.
Underwood said his proudest moment is watching the church become a family.
“That’s not a specific event. It’s not so religious. It’s relational,” Underwood said. “People come and they feel warm. There’s something special when people come to Emmanual. We care deep, we love deep and we give deep.”
Underwood’s final two services at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church will be on Jan. 29 at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.