Pastor Herman L. Pickens was installed as the elected pastor of Pilgrim Branch Missionary Baptist Church in 2009. He was elected by 94% of the voting members present. Pastor Pickens was not new to the Pilgrim Branch family. He had served for 2 years as co-pastor of the church prior to being elected. He also served the church previously as a deacon and as a minister, from 1988 to 1997, under the leadership of former pastor, Rev. E. L. Thomas. He left Pilgrim Branch to become the founding pastor of GraceWay Baptist Church in 1997.
Rev. Pickens attended high school and college in Houston and is familiar with the neighborhoods and the people here. He attended both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston. He holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Houston and he holds an associate degree in Biblical Studies from The College of Biblical Studies, one of the nation’s premier non-denominational bible colleges.
Pastor Pickens is married to his lovely wife, Judy, and they have three children. "We believe in teaching the Bible and only the Bible” says Pastor Pickens. “There is no limit to what we can do or where we can go if we will trust God. We want to grow families and the families will grow the neighborhoods.”
Pilgrim Branch Missionary Baptist Church is blessed to have an outstanding group of Associate Ministers who actively and faithfully provide support and oversight to various ministries and functions of the church. Pastor Pickens is proud to have the following Ministers engaged in support of Pilgrim Branch Missionary Baptist Church.
Rev. Priscilla Price - Marriage Ministry
Rev. William Bibb
Rev. Vernon Henry - New Members Class, Decision Time Ministry and Youth Ministry
Rev. Clyde Thomas - Prayer Ministry
Pilgrim Branch was founded in 1869 by a group of people who God assembled to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to a newly freed people. Many had come to Houston from Mississippi and Alabama after the end of slavery and located in Piney Point on the west side of Houston, Texas. They founded a church named Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Mack Austin. Several families saved some of the money that they earned and purchased farmland, eventually moving to the Northwest side of the county. The area that they relocated to was formerly called “the bottoms” because of its low lying position on Faulkey Gully. New families had to have a school, a church, and a cemetery. Thus, “the bottoms” was the site of the original Pilgrim Branch Missionary Baptist Church. Persistent problems with flooding caused the people to move further north to an area that became known as Kohrville, Texas.
Among the families coming together to establish the church were the Woods and the Blackstocks. Reverend Phil Blackstock was the first pastor of the church. Willis Woods donated land for the relocation of the cemetery and the church. Many courageous and devoted people worked hard to expand the kingdom of God in the region. God sent pastors who had vision to expand the church and to work with the saints who were committed to Christ. Here is a listing of those men as we know it; Reverend Phil Blackstock, 1896-1904, Reverend Runch Carr, 1904-1910, Reverend Simon Bryant, 1910-1911, Reverend M. S. Green, 1912-1966, Reverend Aaron Wheat, 1968-1977, Reverend Archie Cossey, 11months in 1977, Reverend E. L. Thomas, 1977-2000, Reverend Darrell Garrett, 2000-2008, and Reverend Herman L. Pickens, 2009-present.
God wants to reach people in northwest Harris County. We are a vessel to be used by Him. No matter how a church starts, God wants the church to reach and include all people. How do we know this? Because God is creator of all people! He is assembling his team. There is a place for you here at Pilgrim Branch. Some started a long time ago. Some came yesterday! Some will come next year! But whenever we come we will be part of the history of Pilgrim Branch. The history is still being written. Come and write your chapter!
Vision & Beliefs
We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God, and is written by men divinely inspired by God. It is a source of heavenly instruction and is without error. It gives us the way to salvation and reveals the principles by which God will judge us. The truth of this bible will never change. We believe that there is only one God. He is an infinite, intelligent Spirit and He is the ruler of all creation. We further believe that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. We believe that man was created in holiness, but by voluntary transgression fell from the holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; inclined to evil, under condemnation but able to accept the free gift of God for salvation. This free gift is Jesus Christ and it is available to all. Accepting Jesus means confessing and believing that Jesus did live and die and rise from the grave as stated by the Holy Bible.
We believe that God made all people and that all people are equal in the sight of God. Anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior stands equal before God. We believe in the holy ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. There is only one church. Jesus is the head of that church. We are members of that body of believers. We serve because we love the Lord. We strive to show that love to all persons who we come in contact with through the work of our local church.