Rev. Shearin named pastor at Great Hope Baptist
8/7/2015, 2:58 p.m. | Updated on 8/7/2015, 2:58 p.m.
Great Hope Baptist Church in the East End has a new pastor.
He is the Rev. Melvin F. Shearin II.
The 45-year-old Richmond native takes over from the Rev. Earl L. Bledsoe, who led the house of worship at 2101 Venable St. for more than 30 years.
Rev. Shearin comes to Great Hope from Mount Zion Baptist Church in Farnham on Virginia’s Northern Neck, where he served as the pastor for six years.
Rev. Shearin graduated from Henrico High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from University of Phoenix in 2006. He earned a master’s of divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in 2009. He is working on his doctorate at Howard University in Washington.
He also was one of 50 pastors from around the nation selected for the Joe R. Engle Institute of Preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary in July 2014.
One of Rev. Shearin’s first tasks after stepping into the pulpit in June at the 425-member East End church: Organizing a “Back to School Community Day.”
The event, themed “Growing Together,” is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, 1000 Mosby St. in the East End.
Organizers promise “vendors, music, exercise and lots of laughter.” School supplies will be given to children accompanied by adults on a first-come, first-served basis, Rev. Shearin said.
He said the event is designed to demonstrate his church’s commitment that their ministry should extend outside the walls of the church building.
The church is seeking donations to provide as many school supplies as possible. Details: Dorothy Harvey, (804) 739-4865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.