Oldest African American Church In North Mississippi Calls Its Youngest Pastor

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SALTILLO, MISS. (WCBI) – As we celebrate Black History Month, the oldest African American Church in North Mississippi s celebrating a milestone.

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Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1840, through all those years the church has had ten pastors and the new pastors are also the youngest, in the history of the congregation.

Pastor Wayne Hereford was officially called to lead Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church last fall, but his affiliation with the historic church goes way back. This family photo was taken at Mud Creek about forty years ago. And a few years ago, Hereford visited the church.

“One Sunday I came here by myself, my wife, she was sick, Pastor Shannon was pastor at the time here, I came here, sat in very back, it was amazing how God led me here, through some challenges, trials, and testing, unfamiliar ground, I didn’t know what to expect,” Pastor Hereford said.

Hereford was asked if he would help out at the church. He says it was a time of learning and preparation for the next chapter. At age 48, Hereford is the youngest pastor ever called to lead Mud Creek MB Church, since its founding 181 years ago. Pastor Hereford and First Lady Kandy Hereford are excited about their call to serve in a historic church with a focus on the future.

“Building up the young women here in the church, having elderly women, the Mothers of the church here, to give them, lead them, guide them and help them, and trying to connect the young and the old, where there’s a common ground, they both realize they both need each other,” said First Lady Kandy Hereford.

“Most of us have made it over the hill, but our young people are still below the hill and it’s my job as the pastor and the church to bring them on top of the hill where they can grow, Titus, Chapter seven tells us how the older man can teach the younger man,” Pastor Hereford said.

Longtime church member Robert Hall believes big things are in store for Mud Creek, as the pastor and first lady work in God’s strength, and with help from church members

“There’s a lot on his shoulders, he has been tasked with, we believe in helping him along and his helpers, along with First Lady and members of the church, we believe we have, what’s there to help him set the foundation and vision for Mud Creek,” Hall said.

Part of Pastor Hereford’s vision for the future is to use the church-owned property behind the sanctuary for ball fields, a family life center, or other projects that can expand the church’s ministry opportunities.

Pastor Hereford has three brothers who are also in the ministry.