Reverend Carlos Harrison was installed as the 17th Pastor of the True Light Baptist Church. He was welcomed with open arms.
For 35 years, Reverend Harrison served as an Associate Minister with the church. He has spent his entire ministry at True Light Baptist Church serving faithfully. Here he was mentored by two dynamic leaders, Pastor Charles F. Thomas for ten years and Reverend Marvin E. Cockrell for 24 years.
During this time, he served in various capacities, as a youth leader, Sunday school teacher, vacation bible school teacher, camp director and youth minister.
In the community of Wasco, he has volunteered his time coaching youth football and track. He is also a member of the Community Task Force and on the Juneteenth Celebration Committee.
Reverend Harrison was raised in Wasco. He has been married to his devoted wife, Yolanda, for 40 years. She is his support and has always been there to encourage his ministry.
Together they have two children and four grandchildren, that are his pride and joy.
Reverend Harrison said he is excited but nervous about his new role because leading the people is a big responsibility.
"I am humbled because it is something I don't take lightly. I am grateful that God has called on me to be in that position and that the people chose me," said Reverend Harrison.
He said his focus will be to bring back the family atmosphere, and he will do this with his love of the people guiding him.
"That is the thing I will really push to our congregation. That is what it is all about."
The installation ceremony was a festive celebration with congregation leaders from Oakland, Fresno, Gardena, Buttonwillow, Bakersfield, Pixley and Plano, Texas.
His dear friend, Gordon Williams, came all the way from Kentucky with his wife to pay tribute to him.
"I have known him all my life. We lived across the alley in Wasco. He's like a brother to me."
He said he encourages Reverend Harrison to speak the truth and love because that is what the Bible teaches. He is confident he will do well because of the experience he has gained to be a great leader.
"He was anointed by God early in his life to be the Pastor now. It's what God set for him to do," said Williams.
Another close friend, Mike Richardson, has known Reverend Harrison for 56 years.
When asked how he felt about him becoming Pastor, he said he feels wonderful.
"He's a great guy, very spiritual. Everybody in the neighborhood loves him. It's one big family; we are all really close," said Richardson. "I wish him well and hope he keeps God first, trusts in the lord and has a praying spirit.
His colleague, Reverend VK Jones of the People's Church in Bakersfield, said he will do a good job.
"I believe God chose him, and he will fulfill his calling. He knows the church and has the knowledge and energy to lead them.
In three years, True Light Baptist Church will celebrate 100 years.
"It is a new beginning for the new Pastor building on an old foundation," said Reverend Harrison.
He looks forward to the future.
"I believe it is bright, and I will work wholeheartedly, trusting in the lord."