Lagniappe, Called to Serve

called to serve

Rev. Jessee Bernard bilberry, jr

Rev. Bilberry and his wife pose with the Youth Girls Division at a recent gathering to celebrate his accomplishments

Friends, family, and fellow pastors gathered recently to honor a very special man, the Rev. Jesse Bernard Bilberry, Jr. With his wife Verta beside him, Rev. Bilberry was honored for his many years of service and ministry in a career brimming with achievements, including a term as president of the 4th District Missionary Baptist Association. 

 One of 10 children, Rev. Bilberry was born in Marion, La. In 1929. He earned degrees in social studies and English from Southern University, a master’s of education from LSU, and a doctorate of theology from Christian Bible College. He spent 13 years as principal of Tensas Rosenwald High School in St. Joseph, La., and 15 years in various roles at Southern University. 

 In 1981, he accepted the call to ministry, and since 1984, has served as pastor at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. Over the years, he has collected numerous honors and awards related to his role as an educator and spiritual leader. 

From left: Mayor Elvadus Fields. his wife Mamie, anniversary committee and chairpersons Donald and Nona Haynes, and Rev. Bilberry
Anniversary speaker Rev. Geoffrey Sykes and wife Tracy
From left: Cedrick Robinson, Anston Broadway, Caleb Butler, Kamden Jackson, Marquell Coates. Seated (from left): Rev. Jesse Bilberry and his wife Verta
Rev. Bilberry presented roses to his wife, Verta.