Work in progress: The Rev. Dr. William Bird Sr. is still growing after 29 years as a pastor

Sunday, July 4, 2010
The Rev. William Bird Sr. is pastor of Greater Dimension Ministries in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

The Rev. Dr. William Bird Sr. felt the call to be a pastor at a young age and set about earning several degrees that would help him better serve his parish. Bird has been a pastor for 29 years, 16 of them at Greater Dimensions Ministries in Cape Girardeau. He said his church is a melting pot.

How long have you been involved with a church? Since 1957.

How long have you been a member of your faith? 55 years.

What drew you to serve the church in a leadership role? God shared a vision with me concerning helping pastors, even at a young age. I felt a call and saw a need, and I wanted to help people.

What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor? I completed my GED, took religious education courses and advanced educationally through the years. I now have a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in Bible studies, a master's degree in Christian counseling, an honorary doctorate of divinity degree, and an earned doctorate of theological studies.

Where are you from and when/why did you move to Cape Girardeau/Jackson area? I was born in Tiptonville, Tenn. I moved to the Missouri Bootheel -- Essex area -- in 1951. I moved to Cape Girardeau in 1963. I relocated to Cape Girardeau seeking better employment opportunities.

Were you involved with Greater Dimensions Church before becoming the pastor? I served as the assistant pastor for 10 years, and senior pastor for 12 years of Futrell Temple Church of God in Chris in Cape Girardeau and Futrell Memorial COGIC in Jackson. In 1994, I retired from the city of Cape Girardeau and became full-time pastor of Greater Dimension Ministries.

What do you think makes this church special? Our church is a melting pot. There is mix of youth, young adults and middle-aged laymembers of different backgrounds and genres. We are accepting of all people, regardless of their current station in life, and realize that everyone is a work in progress.

What's your favorite verse and why? Psalms 138:8. "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me, thy mercy, O Lord endures forever." God is completing that or perfecting that which concerns me. Why? It gives me confidence that God will complete the good work he has begun and in dry times, refreshing rains are coming.

What program have you done with Greater Dimension Church that you are proud of and why? Camp CARE (Concerned About Reaching Everybody). I am exceptionally proud of this program because it is an expansion of our vacation Bible school that we expanded into the community. It is a free camp that we have offered for the past 16 years each summer to youth ages 5 to 15. We have experienced great success with this and look forward to it continuing for many more years to come.

What events or occasions does your church have coming up? Our next major event is our annual women's conference, "The Character of a Positive Woman" on Aug. 6 to 8. We have guest speakers and musical artists coming from Tennessee and St. Louis. We also have a luncheon and musical scheduled for Aug. 7.

What's your favorite day of the week and why? Wednesday. Wednesday is when I first experienced the Lord coming into my life.

What's your favorite part of being a pastor? Ministering to people.

What hobbies do you have? Reading.

What else do you do besides serve as pastor? I actively evangelize throughout the nation. I serve as a national apostle with the Kingdom of God Apostolic Ministries. I serve in the community as the president of the board of directors for The Gibson Recovery Center, and I am a credential substance abuse counselor.

Do you have a prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day? Hebrews 13:5-8 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

During these turbulent times, there is a shaking taking place. However, I prophetically believe that God is ushering in a shifting, and he is sovereignly in control.

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