Our Pastor

Joseph L. Garner has been the pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church since 1992

Meet Pastor Joseph L. Garner

It is with divine love that we welcome you to our web site here on the World Wide Web. As Pastor of one of the fastest growing and most interesting Churches in America, I take pride in sharing the blessings of our Dear Lord with you. The Pleasant Hill Baptist Church is a family of believers nestled serenely in the beautiful Kisatchie National Forest of Vernon Parish, Louisiana. We are the Church where God blesses his people. The Pleasant Hill Baptist Church is comprised of 1,100 members. Approximately 50 to 60 per cent of our membership shares with us from the neighboring Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. Through our strong commitment to family, youth, education and cultural awareness, we work diligently to be a home away from home to our members and their families who serve our nation proudly. It is no accident that the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church has been a part of this community for over ONE HUNDRED years. We are truly a time-tested, God-ordained and Holy Spirit-led ministry. Come and share God’s riches with us. WE WELCOME YOU.
“I want to thank the greatest church in the world for providing me with a soul-stirring, heart touching and very prosperous Pastoral Anniversary Celebration. God is moved by a people who will honor His prophets. Thank you Pleasant Hill Baptist Church of Leesville, LA. You are the greatest. I also want to thank Pastor Milton French of the Second Temple Baptist Church of Buffalo, New York for the morning message and Pastor Theron J Jackson of the Morning Star Baptist Church of Shreveport, La. and all who came with him for a very inspirational afternoon worship experience. I want to thank the Mayor of the City of Leesville, Rick Allen and Senator John Smith for your attendance at the celebration. I also would like to thank the visiting Pastors and members of area churches who gave us a standing room only crowd. I pray God’s richest blessings upon all who wished me well during this my 22nd year Pastoral Anniversary with your gifts of love, your kind words and smiling faces. To God be the glory for the things He has done. “ —Joseph L. Garner

“Pastor’s Succession”

On August 9, 1992 Reverend M. W. Harrison, who had been Pastor of Pleasant Hill for 21 years, officially offered his resignation as Pastor to the officers and members of the Church. Reverend Harrison said, “My health is getting such that I am unable to take care of the members as I should. I promised God, my family and myself that I would not pull down the Church after working so hard to build it up. I have prayed over it, and the Lord has placed on my heart, in a vision through the Holy Spirit to have Reverend Joseph L. Garner succeed me as Pastor.” The motion was offered, seconded and passed unanimously by the congregation. The installation service for Pastor Garner was held on September 3, 1992 with Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr., Pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church of New Orleans, LA conducting the service. Pastor Garner has instituted many new ministries during his tenure as Pastor. Ministries such as: Living Hope Substance Abuse Ministry, the Evangelism Ministry, Pastoral Care Ministry, Newsletter Ministry “Voices from the Hill”, New Members Ministry, Drama Ministry, After-School Tutorial Ministry, Senior Citizens Ministry, Intercessory Prayer Ministry and two new ministries for young people, a liturgical dance group for young women called the Eucharistic Ensemble and a Drill Team Ministry for young men. Pastor Garner also implemented an Annual Family Day Weekend and an Annual Youth Week. Over 2,800 new members have united with the Church during Pastor Garner’s pastorate with 25% of those being candidates for baptism. Due to the large influx of members, Pastor Garner implemented two New Member Banquets per year to welcome new members into the Church family. We truly love all of our members, new and old.

Pastor Garner’s Education

  • Leesville High School, Class of 1983
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics – Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA

Pastor Garner’s Affiliations and Associations:

  • President, Vernon Parish King Day Coalition
  • President, Calcasieu M & E District Congress of Christian Education
  • Curriculum Director, Louisiana Baptist Youth Encampment
  • President, Vernon Ministerial Association
  • Member, Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention
  • Member, National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Inc
  • Instructor, National Baptist Congress of Christian Education
  • Associate Dean, Louisiana Baptist State Congress of Christian Education (Minister’s Division)
  • Member, Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Leesville Area Ministerial Association