The Rev. Charles McBryde had always planned a career in business and he pursued one for 17 years till submitting to God’s will and becoming a minister.
A native of Pine Bluff, Ark., he worked for Family Dollar and Dollar General after attending Southern Technical College in Little Rock, then worked in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana and Mississippi.
“I’d been training employees in Rison, Ark., and I moved my family to Stuttgart, Ark., to get away from God, but it turned out that he moved with me,” the Rev. McBryde said.
He studied at the Central Arkansas Baptist Bible Institute in Benton and graduated from the Texas Bible Institute in Henderson and he served churches in Dumas and Zion, Ark., and Corsicana before accepting the pastorate at Pathway Baptist Church in 2016.
Before the pandemic, his 1601 W. University Blvd. church was nearing an average attendance of 70 at its 10:45 a.m. Sunday services and in mid-April it was reaching the low 60s, he said.
“I preach about the Gospel and Jesus,” McBryde said. “It’s all about Jesus. Our purpose is to make him known to the people of Odessa and tell them that he is the waymaker, the way, the truth and the life. He solves not just eternal problems, he solves issues here by the instructions he laid out in the Word of God.”
McBryde and his wife Debbie have two children and a grandchild.
“Jesus has a way of turning things around in our lives when we follow his teachings and do what he asks us to do,” the minister said. “The most important thing is that he is God. We may think we can work our way into Heaven and eternal life, but the Bible tells us that there is none who does good. In order for us to come into a right relationship with God, we have to recognize that Jesus did everything.
“He came and lived the perfect life, he offered himself on Calvary as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and he was buried and was raised from the dead three days later,” McBryde said. “All he asks us to do is trust in the sacrifice he made for us on the Cross and come to him through an act of repentance to be turned away from our sins.”
The Rev. Tony Baccari is Pathway Baptist’s youth pastor, Yolanda Fish the worship leader, Jennifer Baccari and Debbie McBryde the children’s ministers and Chris Gatlin the video and sound engineer.
Tom Pinkerton, the church’s retired worship leader, said McBryde “is a wonderful guy who loves his people.
“I enjoy Charles’s sermons because he preaches the Gospel eye to eye,” Pinkerton said. “I put him at the top of the ministers I have listened to over the years. He has a warm personality that reaches out to people.”