The Journey for Pastor Timothy W. Criswell- Servant
This has been a long and blessed journey. One Sunday morning at the age of four the late Pastor F.W. McIlveen preached a sermon, by me being so young I did not remember the message but I still remember the song, “God will take care of you”, which is still one of my favorite hymns. When the invitation to Christian Discipleship was offered my brother the late Tony N. Criswell went down the aisle and I followed him. Not knowing that God was using my brother as my vehicle for accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior. My mother Christean Criswell was in the service but did not realize the sudden move of God. My spiritual foundation began in the home with my grandparents the late Roosevelt & Mabel Turner who instilled in me at an early age christian values. I was baptized by Pastor F.W. McIlveen and Deacon Floyd Scott who is currently our oldest living deacon. At the tender age of seven the late Deacons Ardell Garrett and John Harris would take me to visit the sick and shut in. Even at that young age I looked forward to those visits not realizing that God was preparing me for such a time as this.
At Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Criswell served as a Minister, Pastor Barksdale’s assistant, Youth choir president, president of Young Disciples in Action for Christ, transportation ministry for 13 years, chairperson of the chandelier replacements in the sanctuary, Ministry leader of the caring ministry, served many years in the prayer band under the leadership of former member Evangelist Jessie Davis and Male Chorus/Brotherhood under the leadership of the late Deacon Gideon Sanders. I also served where ever there was a need to edify the body of Christ. My biggest joy was being a blessing to the seniors of the church.
Still remaining faithful under the previous two pastors: Pastor Mack and Pastor Barksdale. Under Pastor Mack’s leadership, I moved from membership to discipleship. I am grateful to Pastor Mack and what he has deposited into my life. Then the Lord gave me another blessing in the form of Pastor L.N. Barksdale, through his great teaching and preaching I truly understand what the word love means. On January 1, 1995, I accepted my call to proclaim the gospel, on February 5, 1995, I preached my first sermon and was licensed that very same night. Still remaining faithful to the work of the Lord and after much prayer and fasting God sent me my helpmate Robbin Ward who became my wife on July 20, 1996, to this union two blessed children were born Timothy and Emily Criswell. Then on May 31, 1998, I was ordained. Still remaining faithful to the work of the ministry. Several years later on September 14, 2014, Pastor Barksdale release to the Fifth Ward congregation in his annual state address that he would be retiring and named me as his successor. Still remaining faithful not really knowing what the end result would be on December 6, 2015, I was voted in as the next Pastor of the great Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church.
All these significant dates took place under the dynamic leadership of my father in ministry Pastor Leonard N. Barksdale. Pastor Barksdale and I have worked in the ministry for over 21 years to edify the body of Christ. Pastor Barksdale, I thank God for you and as you pass the mantle to your first son in ministry on this day February 21, 2016, know that your work has not been in vain.
To GOD Be The GLORY,
Timothy W. Criswell, Servant