Rev. Callaway celebrates 48 years of service in stride

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Reverend William C. Callaway took the numerous activities of his 48th pastoral anniversary in stride.

Anniversary activities included a concert featuring some of Callaway’s favorite home-grown singers, a banquet at Second Baptist Church Ministry Hall in West Mifflin and a service held Nov. 7 at Mt. Olive First Baptist Church on Sixth Street in Clairton with Rev. Charles Collins from Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Bluefield, W.Va.

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Rev. William C. and Leona Callaway

“I use this time of year as a time of surprise. I am very appreciative of the anniversary and all that the committee does,” Callaway said.

Anniversary Committeewoman Pamela Kelley was glad to put together a celebration for her pastor.

“I have always felt that pastors are over worked and underpaid—not that we could ever pay him for all he does, but just think about it—what other job would expect you to be an accountant, advocate, counselor, doctor, mentor, orator, teacher, on-call 24/7—all for minimal wages! The very least we can do is show our appreciation one time a year for all of his sacrifices on our behalf,” Kelley said.

Callaway became pastor of Mt. Olive First Baptist Church in November 1962. During his first year of service to the church, he paid off Mt. Olive’s mortgage, purchased and paid for a new parsonage and improvements that were made to the existing church building. In 1986, Callaway added an educational wing and the church’s sanctuary and dining hall got upgraded.

In recent years, Callaway was instrumental in helping the church purchase two vans to carry those of the church’s 300 members who do not have cars to and from services. He also helped create the Mt. Olive soup kitchen and a youth ministry.

Callaway said he has noticed the members of his congregation maturing in their spiritual walk and is in the process of initiating programs to help them continue their maturation.

“I hope to enlarge the Sunday school and increase the membership of the church,” Callaway said. “I want our church to go from membership to discipleship through teaching discipleship classes and teaching people how to go out into the community and witness to people because there are so many people that are unsaved nowadays.”

According to Kelley, Callaway would like to establish a coalition with other local churches in the Clairton community to open a recreation center for youth that would nurture their spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

“I feel renewed,” Callaway said. “Mine is a ministry given by God. I love people and I love the ministry. I love to see people coming to Christ and people being delivered and set free.”

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