Pastor Gregory Milton, a native of Greensboro, N.C. is taking new strives in his ministry by pursuing a master’s degree of divinity at Duke University. He is currently the new divinity intern at First Baptist Church in Henderson, N.C. through the field placement program at Duke University. He is also the former youth pastor and minister of music at First Baptist Church in Burlington, N.C.
Pastor Milton got his start in ministry at a very young age. He received the calling to be a pastor at the age of six years old while sitting in the pews of Locust Grove Baptist Church. He envisioned himself pastoring and preaching and held on to that calling for years. In 2012, he officially accepted the calling on his life at the age of 30 and completed his initial sermon.
Through his growth as a pastor, Milton focuses on the “Three M’s” in his ministry. The Man – he is the husband of Tracy Milton for seven years, he is the father of Corey and Andrea Jefferies, and he is the son of the Reverend Irvin Milton and Louise Milton, of Union Chapel United Church of Christ. He considers himself to be a family man that loves riding his tractor and being a community leader.
The Music – Milton started playing piano at the age of four; it was an old piano that his father received as a gift from a church. His mother recognized the gift in him and signed him up for lessons. He studied music in public school, he was a drum major at Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro, and was a member of the Florida A&M Famous Marching 100. In 2003, he graduated from Brevard College with a bachelor’s degree in music. In addition, he received his master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Michigan State University in 2008.
The Minister – Milton has a heart for the people and believes what the Bible says, that God has called us to love one another and he believes in showing it every day. He believes that people draw to him because he is so real and authentic and he continues to spread love through the word of God. Through his ministry, he has spoken and played music throughout the country with the United Church of Christ.
Pastor Milton has learned a great wealth of knowledge from his father Rev. Milton, who has been in ministry for over 50 years. His father has taught him a lot and he credits his father for teaching him how to be a people person and how to have compassion for others. He believes his father is the blueprint to his ministry and always gives him great advice – that is honest and sincere. In addition, he says his father is very supportive. For instance, when he was at Union Chapel United Church of Christ, he received the opportunity to come work at First Baptist Church; his father was not selfish but gave him his blessing to take on the new journey.
Pastor Milton’s favorite scripture is, Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He continues to stay motivated by seeing how much work needs to be done in the world. He knows he can’t do it all by himself, and believes that it is all about connection and people standing together to spread love and the word of God. Through his journey, there are challenges but he believes in himself and he is humbled that God has given him this gift to share with others. He quotes, “I am nothing without God.”
In the future, Pastor Milton plans to do more speaking engagements. He also plans a holiday concert every year in December at the Jazz Event Center in Burlington. He is also currently working on a black history program, “From Slavery to Success”, which incorporates a mass choir that will sing spirituals to current gospel music. He also plans on graduating from Duke Divinity School in spring 2018.