The members of the Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Mansfield recently welcomed the Rev. Reginald Jacobs to their church family. Over the past 16 years, Jacobs served pastorates in five churches in Griffin, Atlanta, Social Circle and Tifton.
Jacobs, a third generation pastor, accepted the call to preach in 1989, following his grandfather the Rev. Daniel Lott Jacobs and father Dr. Daniel Wesley Jacobs Sr. His father was the dean of Turner Theological Seminary at Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, for 27 years.
A native of Atlanta, Jacobs graduated from Frederick Douglass High School and earned a marketing degree with a concentration in public relations from Morris Brown College in 1983 and a master of divinity degree from Turner Theological Seminary in 1993. Jacobs is a gifted musician and has played the drums in church since age 14. He has two sons - Reginald Jr. and Joshua Wesley Jacobs.
He spoke of how God has always sent people to encourage him. Once, a woman approached Jacobs in a store and prophesied that God is going to do great things through him. Others reassured him that God had his hands on Jacobs' life. Likewise, the pastor urges families to receive Christ and lead a victorious life as they go about fulfilling the purpose God has for them.
"Enjoy life and teach your children," said the pastor. "Put them in an environment where they can learn who Jesus is. Family is the very foundation of society and when we, as his people, receive him and follow his will and way, we have victory in life."
As Jacobs reflected on his life and ministry, he can see how God has been preparing him throughout the years to serve at Mt. Zion AME.
"God showed me the church years ago in a vision," said Jacobs. "God repeatedly told me to keep preaching because he was preparing me. When I got here, this church was on fire for the Lord. They were hungry for a preacher like me and I was hungry for a congregation like them. Since day one, we are having a great time."
Jacobs describes himself as someone who demands excellence. He is friendly and approachable and never meets a stranger. Committed to instilling a biblically based sense of worth and value in others, he believes that a successful church is one that is spiritually healthy and teaches evangelism - equipping the saints to go out and be a witness for Jesus.
"I want to stir up God's spirit in such a way that the manifestation of the Holy Ghost is alive and well in the worship and praise," said the pastor. "We are seeing this as our attendance is 75-plus each Sunday. We are claiming that the church will be full - not for the sake of numbers, but because there are brothers and sisters in this community who are lost and need to be found."
The historic church, at 119 5th Ave., Mansfield, was built in 1909 with additions in 1972 and 1990.
Mt. Zion AME offers Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m.. Two midweek Bible studies follow on Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. The church has something for all ages and is launching a new men's ministry called "Sons of Allen." Mt. Zion AME has a strong 35-member youth choir.
The community is invited to attend the Missionary 100 Women in White service with guest speaker the Rev. Janice Brown from St. Mark AME Church in Atlanta on Saturday August 30 at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Mt. Zion AME at (770) 787-0358 or call Pastor Jacobs at (404) 933-9715.