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About Pilgrim Rest MBC

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision and mission is to help connect people to faith

Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church was organized August 13, 1973 by its’ pastor, Dr. Charles W. Tiner, Sr.  with a membership of 83 people.  As these souls came, Pastor Tiner blessed them all collectively from the pulpit and took them into the fold.  The late Dr. Rudolph S. Shoultz, pastor of Union Baptist Church, Springfield, Illinois was instrumental in helping Pastor Tiner organize Pilgrim Rest as a recognized Baptist church.  Pastor Shoultz’ words of encouragement to us were “you can stay on this corner and die or you can stay on this corner and grow to become a shining light”.

Mission & Purpose

When Pilgrim Rest first began, men were few and Pastor Tiner went out into the east side community and searched for a small foundation of men who were willing to learn about Jesus Christ and how to become saved.  He began teaching these young men about the goods news of Jesus Christ.  As these men began to grow spiritually, they in turn reached out and drew other young men to the church that began to grow in Christ.  Today you will find Pilgrim Rest is blessed to have dedicated young men serving throughout the congregation in various ministries.  Serving beside these men are dedicated women and youth in various ministries throughout Pilgrim Rest.  It is not uncommon to drive past the corner of Martin Luther King and Laurel and see men and women, boys and girls busy around Pilgrim Rest.  “IT DON’T RAIN AT PILGRIM REST” is a popular phrase.  As a church family, we’ve learned this statement to be quite true.  There is always activity taking place at Pilgrim Rest.  Whether it is learning more about Christ, praising the Lord, participating in fellowship activities within various ministries, or maintaining the church grounds, nothing stops us from working on God’s program.  A spiritual camaraderie exists within the Pilgrim Rest family when it comes to serving the Lord.

            In 45 years of existence, six men have been called to the ministry, three are currently pastoring.  Pilgrim Rest has eighteen senior Deacons.  In our early beginnings, there were none.  Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and direction of Pastor Tiner, there are various ministries at Pilgrim Rest: Deacon, Mothers, Usher, Nurses, Sunday school, Missionary, Youth and Young Adult, Music, New Members, Support Outreach and Bus Ministry. Our Usher Ministry continues to stand tall and serves faithfully on their post, keeping us in order during all worship services.  Where would we be without our Music Ministry?  From day one, the Pilgrim Rest Mass Choir has blessed our worship services.  Forty-five years later they still sing praises unto the Lord.  Minister Vanlee Tiner was the first organist at Pilgrim Rest.  He was 10 years of age when he began playing for our Mass Choir and weekly Sunday evening radio broadcast.  All five of Pastor Tiner’s children are blessed with musical talent.  Vanlee, Dee, Charles Jr., Emmett and Terria have all played a vital role in the music ministry at Pilgrim Rest.  In our early beginnings, there weren’t any ministries; Pastor Tiner organized them one by one.  Today, collectively, our ministries have strengthened Pilgrim Rest.

            Pilgrim Rest celebrates and recognizes their annual days, Youth and Young Adult Day, Women and Men’s Day as well as Vacation Bible School.  Our Sunday school and Missionary ministries support our youth in Easter and Christmas services.  Each year on Youth and Young Adult Day the Willie Earl Brooks Memorial Scholarship is awarded to one of our youth members to further their secondary education.

            In the mid to late 90’s Pilgrim Rest began acquiring various parcels of land around the corner of Martin Luther King and Laurel.  God had given Pastor Tiner the vision to build a new worship facility.  October 31, 1999, Groundbreaking – 2000 was held for our new sanctuary and fellowship hall. Our own Deacon Jerry Wiley served as General Contractor for this project.  Construction began the first week in April 2000 and was completed in November of that same year.  December 3, 2000 was the final service that Pilgrim Rest held in their original worship facility.  It was a beautiful day filled with tears and joy as we reflected from whence we came 1973 – 2000.  On December 10, 2000, Pilgrim Rest dedicated their new sanctuary and fellowship hall.  At 10:00 a.m. a ribbon cutting ceremony was held and keys were transferred.  Former Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara was our dedication speaker.  Other dignitaries were in attendance to give their best wishes.  At 11:15 a.m. we held our first worship service.  What a time we had praising the Lord and giving thanks!  Our special guests were Pastor Edward Whitehead and The New Greater Exodus Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago.

                Continuing in the new millennium, Pilgrim Rest continues to grow physically and spiritually.  In July 2003, a parking lot was completed on the west side of Martin Luther King completing Phase I of our building project undertaken in 2000.

             As the years roll on, Pilgrim Rest continues to serve the Lord.  In July of 2005 our Missionary Ministry was rededicated and named “The Bessie Austin Missionary Ministry” in honor of the late Mother Bessie Austin who served as the first president of our Mothers Ministry.  Mother Austin’s grandson, Rev. Herman Tolar, Pastor of Disciple Fellowship Christian Church, Washington, IL was the dedication speaker for this occasion.  As 2005 came to a close our Sunday School ministry experienced change.  Our longest serving Sunday School superintendent (1980-2005), Sis. Afra Stout, retired from her position after serving steadfast and faithfully for 25 years.  

             Many souls have been added to Christ at Pilgrim Rest.  In 45 years, Pilgrim Rest has remained constant under the guidance of one shepherd, Pastor Charles W. Tiner, Sr. who continues to be led by God.  Pilgrim Rest is by no means a perfect church, nor do we boast that we are.  As we look back over the years, it has been with us like many other churches then and now.  There have been ups and downs; gains and losses; successes and failures; but in spite of it all we can still count our blessings by the thousands.  The hands of the Lord are upon us and we can see and feel His leadership and guidance as we continue to press toward his coming.

             Staying together as a Christian family for 45 years has not been a flowery bed of ease.  Some have toiled and labored; some have fallen by the way; some have gone home to live with the Lord.  We give thanks to God who has kept his loving arms of protection around us.  Pilgrim Rest will survive and continue to roll on and stand as a city that setteth on a hill whose light cannot be hid.

            As proud as we are of our church today, we are constantly praying to remain humble enough to be of service in order that the Master may someday say, “Come ye Blessed of my Father and inherit the Kingdom prepared for you”.  We give God the glory for all that has been done in his most holy and divine name.

             Done by the order of the church this 19th day of August in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eighteen (2018).

 Dea. Jimmie Austin, Jr., Chairman, Deacon Ministry

Rev. Dr. Charles W. Tiner, Senior Pastor

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Our Team & Leadership

Founding Pastor: Charles W. Tiner

Founding Pastor: Charles W. Tiner

Founding Pastor