Pastor Bryan and First Lady Debra Pierce

by Tonya Dixon | May 7th, 2013
Pastor Bryan J. Pierce and First Lady Debra A. Pierce (Photos by MZBC)

Pastor Bryan J. Pierce and First Lady Debra A. Pierce (Photos by MZBC)

During the month of March 2012, Pastor Bryan J. Pierce and Minister Debra A. Pierce accepted the leadership reigns and became installed as the new pastor and first lady of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Greensboro, Inc. Pastor Pierce serves as the senior pastor and chief executive officer, and First Lady Pierce works diligently in the service of the Lord with her husband. The Pierces’ are not new to Greensboro or the Mount Zion Baptist Church family. In 1996, they relocated to Greensboro and served the Mount Zion family faithfully for three years as the first full-time pastor of evangelism and arts and drama. The majority of the Pierces’ lives have always revolved around service and ministry. Pastor Pierce dedicated himself to the Lord at a very young age.

The New Orleans, LA native, was baptized at five-years-old, began preaching at the age of six, licensed at nine years old and ordained when he was 19. His young ministry innocently began as he played with his schoolmates. He would quote scriptures and tell them about God. It wasn’t long before he was accepting invitations to speak at other churches throughout his hometown and traveling with his parents throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. It was an amazing sight to behold. Barely tall enough to peer over the pulpits and lecterns, he would deliver powerful 15 to 20 minutes sermons to awe-struck congregations, mesmerized by the sheer power of God revealed through such a young vessel. He was willing and excited to do whatever he understood God wanted him to do. He remained faithful to his local church assembly and continued to grow in God. He eventually joined the Greater Saint Stephens Full Gospel Baptist Church in Louisiana. There he was ordained by Bishop Paul Morton, Sr. and subsequently served as the church’s youth pastor. First Lady Debra Pierce, also a licensed minister was raised in New York, in a Christian home and learned at a very early age to be a woman of God and walk in unity and love.

Pastor Pierce and First Lady Pierce bring a unique aspect and add a distinct prospective to the ministry at Mount Zion. They never interviewed, jockeyed or solicited for the positions they now humbly hold. The couple always trusted God to make their path plain before them to walk into. God again showed himself faithful to the Pierces’ when they were asked to prayerfully consider returning home and serve God by serving the people. Pastor Pierce says it was as simple as the request presented to him and First Lady Pierce. Long time pastor of Mount Zion told Pierce, “God showed me you; please pray about it.”

“It pays to be in a great place to serve and I know the reason why God has promoted us and elevated us was because we were always serving,” says Pastor Pierce. “We were never looking for anything. People found us, because we were always doing what we were supposed to be doing. We have never had to put out any resumes or ask to fill any vacancies or promote ourselves. It has always been by the hand of God. I believe just like the Bible says. Your gift will make room for you and bring you before mighty men. That’s been the story of our lives and we are humbled that God would choose us.” The Pierces’ prayed and believed God was opening the door to their next kingdom assignment. It was the logical next step and the congregation had opened their arms and welcomed them back home as only a parent would do.

While there has been a leadership changing of the guard for Mount Zion, the mission and purpose has and will always remain the same. Pastor Pierce insists there is still so much more to do at the church, but the agenda has not changed. He and First Lady Pierce are intent on preserving the legacy and compelling others to pursue destiny. Within the first quarter of their new community, their vision is already starting to come to fruition. Pastor Pierce says God told him the ministry must be about serving; not just serving the church but serving the community. His God-given slogan says, “He who serves the city, wins the city.” Pierce says he heard God speaking that to him while in prayer for the ministry. He took it to be just as literal as it sounds. “Mount Zion doesn’t want or need anything from the city except to serve the city. We have to get in to the community and get to the people that won’t come to where we are; we have to go to them.”

Pierce has already met with city officials and laid out his vision. The ministry will commit a set amount of man hours to assist throughout the community. Volunteers will operate as needed, wherever needed. Many of the projects and opportunities to spread love within the community have already begun and emerged as great successes. The ministry recently had a gas and grocery giveaway. The response was overwhelming and greatly appreciated. The outreach ideas were never about gaining members or even a good name. It has always been about showing the love of Christ and to put into action the historical mission of Mount Zion; to reconcile the world to God through Jesus Christ.

“We’ve been commissioned to serve at the kingdom level. Our motive is to give people God and give them love. It’s not a campaign, membership drive or an attempt to get them in the church, as much as we would love for them to come here,” says First Lady Pierce. “It’s about making sure they feel the love of God and get them into the Kingdom. We are here to help.”

Obviously, the Pierces’ have not come to change the Mount Zion mission or message, but the method must almost certainly change and evolve. The couple agreed the one thing the church must not do is become irrelevant and boring. People are surrounded by an overwhelming amount of outside influences that are vying for their time and attention from Facebook to Sunday night football. The premise is that the Word of God must become just as real to people as all of those other influences. Pastor Pierce says if people are online then the church must also be online. It’s all about breaking the massive aspects of ministry down into bit size pieces so that people can relate and digest it.

Often people can’t quite pin down the exact reason they are drawn to them. The fact is that the Pierces’ are so unpredictable yet very relatable. They refuse to be boxed into categories and bound by traditional schools of thought for a pastor and first lady. They agree you may see them wearing t-shirts and jeans one Sunday and three piece suits and church hats the next. “You just can’t predict the Pierces’. You can’t lock us in or pin us down as modern, traditional or contemporary,” says First Lady Pierce. “Our God is unpredictable, so are we. We’ve got humor and the anointing. It’s freedom being led by God and open to the move of God. That’s why we connect to all generations.”

It’s that freedom that has compelled First Lady Pierce to write her own blog dealing with all aspects of being a first lady. It’s a sort of gumbo with humor, self-reflection, personal experiences and the Word of God. She is extremely transparent and gives herself permission to be her true self–flaws and all. The Pierces’ just have a heart for God and a heart for people. It has always been the driving force behind everything they have done and will continue to do. Pastor Pierce puts it best, “it’s not about a religion, but about having a real relationship with God

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