Pastor Bridges inspires greatness at JCJC Black History Celebration

Written By: Teresa Martin
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Date Submitted: 2012-02-10 11:07:36

ELLISVILLE – It was evident that the keynote speaker for Jones County Junior College’s Black History Celebration has inspired many, including his son, Leander Bridges, II. The younger Bridges shared with the audience his father has a lot of experience in living out the Celebration’s theme: “Inspiring Greatness Begins with You.” 
“I believe the measure of a man is not only seen in the changes in his life, but in the changes and the impact he makes on others, which he does for the glory of God, not for his own sake. It has become clear to me that the person who fits that statement is my father. His desire is to simply impact others,” said Leander Bridges II. “I feel privileged to be a member of his church and proud to share his name. I want people to know who I belong to, so much so that I named my son Leander, too.”
The Springhill Missionary Baptist Church Pastor, Leander Bridges, Sr., proceeded to help the audience aspire to greatness with a list of 10 objectives. On the path to greatness, Bridges explained those that inspire, take action or make choices to distinguish themselves. The first step, he explained is having the desire to learn and help others become knowledgeable. 
“If you think you know it all, teach someone else.” 
On the path of life, Bridges shared we all have challenges and failures, regardless of race. Another important step on the path to inspiring greatness is to learn from our mistakes. 
“A wise person learns from someone else’s mistakes too, and helps to keep others from failing,” said Bridges. “And when you stumble, if you give up on yourself, others will treat you as you believe. So don’t throw in the towel; don’t give up.”
An important aid in staying on course Bridges said is a guide, someone to help us stay focused. He warned the audience, “Choose carefully! Your partner in life or your guide can help you avoid unnecessary trouble….and help you live respectably.”
Bridges challenged the audience to be great you have to decide what you will refuse to do and what you will refuse not to do. He shared some beliefs from his list, which include, “I will refuse to dishonor my mother, my wife, my God. I refuse to stand by and watch young people destroy themselves and not do anything…..I have decided to stand up for what is right and to forgive so we can move forward from the past.”
In order to be inspired or to inspire others, Bridges said it begins with each individual’s willingness to change their home, community, state, and country. Waiting for others to change will not lead us toward greatness. 
Rev. Leander Bridges has been the pastor at Springhill Missionary Baptist Church in Ellisville, Mississippi, since 1984. The licensed minister was ordained in 1978 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible Studies from Southeastern Baptist College, in Laurel, Mississippi. He has also studied at The University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi Baptist Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Pastor Bridges’ son, Rev. Leander Bridges II, is the director of the Laurel High School Gospel Choir, which performed for JCJC’s Black History Celebration, along with the JCJC Concert Choir and JC Voices
Pastor Bridges is also the author of the book, “Building the Black Church – 7 Curses facing the BlackChurch.” Details about the book can be found on the website:
Organizations Pastor Bridges serves includes, the Advisory Committee to the Chairman of the Board of Evangelism as part of the Executive Board of the Office of Evangelism for the National Baptist Convention USA, Incorporated, and is an assistant to the Vice Chairman of Regions. He also serves as Vice President of the Congress for the East Mississippi State Baptist Congress and as Lecture Series Coordinator for the First Enterprise Baptist District Association.
Pastor Bridges has been married to his wife, Esther since 1977. They have three grown children: Rev. Eric Bridges (Danielle), Krista McKenzie (Rev. Abraham) and Rev. Leander Bridges, II (Tamiko). They have ten grandchildren with one (1) on the way. 


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