Fisher marks 25 years at Greater Grove Street MB Church
Published 4:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2023
The Rev. Dr. Casey Fisher, pastor of Greater Grove Street Missionary Baptist Church, will celebrate his 25th anniversary with the church on Sunday.
Fisher, a Utica native, said his pastoral journey didn’t begin until he left the U.S. Army after nine years of service. Before leaving the military, he lived in Livorno, Italy, with his family where they spent their time going to church and attending Bible study.
“There was not a lot to do in Livorno, so that is when we started going to church and Bible class and that’s when the conversion took place,” Fisher said.
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When he left the U.S. Army, Fisher returned home with the intention of moving to Atlanta, Ga. However, his mother talked him out of it. He then went to visit his grandmother and saw she was accompanied by her first cousin, Dr. G.O. Brown, who was the pastor of Greater Grove Street MB Church before him.
Brown took Fisher under his wing and mentored him. Eventually, it was Fisher’s turn to take the lead.
“He got sick and called me one Sunday morning and told me he couldn’t make it, so he sent me to the church,” Fisher said. “So I ran the revival while he was sick and after that, it kinda just worked out that way.”
Fisher also said that “around the time of his death, Brown put in a good word with some of the members about me and told them that even though we were related and that I was young, they should give me a chance.”
When he started preaching, the church started with 40 to 60 members and only 18 regular attendants.
“We started as a once-a-month church, then we went to three Sundays a month and then eventually, we just grew into an every Sunday service,” he said. “God started to send in good people and we just grew from there.”
Soon the church outgrew its building and began to consider building a new place.
“I worked at the post office at the time as a full-time mail carrier, and I drove by here and it was an empty lot. Mr. Miller’s family owned this property and it just went from there and the Lord just worked it out,” Fisher said.
One of the accomplishments he’s most proud of, he said, is that the church was able to move to its current home with only tithes and offerings. No loans were taken, no fundraisers held — again, Fisher said, “God sent us good people.”
Even after the move into the new building, at 2715 Alcorn Drive, some of Fisher’s original 18 congregants are still attending.
“Some of the 18 are still hanging in there with me. This whole thing started with these older folks giving me a chance to pastor, and here I am 25 years later,” he said.
Greater Grove Street has been in the new building for the past nine years.
During Fisher’s 25 years of working as a pastor, he was able to obtain an education up to the doctorate level.
“The church backed me with it and they funded it,” he said. “They said the more knowledge I got, the better off they would be.”
He previously graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he played basketball before entering the Army.
Greater Grove Street Missionary Baptist Church also has several outreach programs to help the community. Once a month, the church feeds the community and organizes a food pantry and clothing donations. The church is also known for its choir.
C.J. Williams has been Greater Grove’s Minister of Music for more than 20 years.
“Once he took over the music department, everything just changed and he is just well respected as a musician,” Fisher said.
The Greater Grove choir has been singing all over Mississippi and even sang in Washington, D.C., for the Black Caucus. Fisher said District 2 Congressional Rep. Bennie Thompson was able to make that happen for the choir.
For his 25th anniversary, Greater Grove Street Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate at its regular Sunday service with some special elements.
“My wife, Michelle, and I have been planning some things, and my pastor, Arthur A. Sutton of Progressive M.B. Church, will be preaching for us on that Sunday,” Fisher said. “Then the original members will lead us in and we will have reserved seating for them.”
Greater Grove Street Missionary Baptist Church stands behind one motto: “This is the church where the gospel is preached, love is practiced and people are changed.”
“We are a loving church, and I know that people pass by Greater Grove and have their opinions, but when they walk in they will feel the presence of God,” Fisher said.
The service will take place at 9 a.m. on Sunday.