Living Waters Church, previously known as Metter Church of God, has a new pastor. His name is Mike Pillow, and he has spent the past several weeks getting settled into his new pastorate and pastorium.
Pastor Mike comes to Metter from Jesup where he was on staff at Crossroads Church of God. He has been involved in the pastoral ministry for the past several years, relocating from west Georgia to south Georgia about five and a half years ago.
In west Georgia, Pastor Mike was located in the city of Carrollton where he attended college at West Georgia State University. He says that he saw the Carrollton area grow less and less personal as the city grew.
“What I like about Metter is that it is a tight-knit community,” he explains. “That is what I have been missing – a strong sense of community.”
Prior to entering the pastoral ministry, Pastor Mike was involved in music ministry; however, not in the traditional sense.
“I have been in the religious music industry for a long time and have produced for several traditional gospel music artists,” he states. Among those who he worked with were the Old Paths Quartet, Ricky Atkinson and Compassion, and Naomi Reader and the Segos, who just happen to be the first Southern gospel group to sell 1 million records.
As pastor of a local church, Pastor Mike feels that music is a strong part of ministry. He also sees the need to incorporate technology into the church, especially in the time of Covid.
He put his technological skills to work at Crossroads Church of God in Jesup at the beginning of the pandemic. Upon moving to the Metter church, he began to incorporate technology to meet the needs of his congregation as well as the local community.
“I have been recording and editing video so that those who are not ready to attend church can participate and feel a part of the service online,” he explains.
Something that Pastor Mike experimented with last Sunday was broadcasting the service into the church’s parking lot via FM transmitter.
“The church already had a transmitter, so we broadcast the service so that worshipers could sit in the parking lot and listen on their car radios,” he says. The reviews he received for this were positive, so it is something that will be happening again.
Back in March, Pastor Mike began a series of posts he named “Two Minutes with Mike.” The posts are video with him delivering a brief, two-minute thought or inspiration on whatever subject he chooses. According to the pastor, sometimes the subject corresponds with his sermon but it might also be about another topic he has had on his mind.
“Where a sermon may have several points, ‘Two Minutes with Mike’ has only one point per video,” he continues.
Something that he started on a whim and never intended to continue became very popular when he was in Jesup, so he has continued the posts since coming to Metter.
He reports, “I have had reports of over a thousand views, so the viewers include more than members of the local church.”
Pastor Mike is sure that his coming to Metter was God’s idea. He says that many things fell into place to allow him to make the move. One involves his wife, Sister Rhonda.
Through the years, Sister Rhonda has supported Pastor Mike by working with him in his ministry both in the music industry as well as a local pastor. Her career outside of church and family has been in banking. Shortly after accepting the pastorate of Living Waters Church, Sister Rhonda was hired by the local branch of Synovus.
The Pillow family has four children. There are two adult children who live elsewhere. The Pillow’s twin sons will transfer from the College of Coastal Georgia to Georgia Southern University in January.
Even though Pastor Mike has hit the ground running leading Living Waters Church through the Covid pandemic, he plans to continue doing some of his work with recording artists.
“I have built personal relationships with the artists with whom I work,” he explains. He is still involved in writing with some artists, and his love of radio broadcasting will keep him involved with that medium.
Living Waters Church is located at 785 North Lewis Street in Metter. The church’s services can be viewed at the Living Waters Church Facebook page.