Our Pastor

Bishop Edward D. Rockett, Jr.

Bishop Edward D. Rockett, Jr. is a visionary pastor and businessman who is committed to building leaders for holistic success. He is a second-generation preacher and pastor, who brings to bear a fresh word that is relevant for listeners across multiple generations.

As one who is committed to lifelong learning, Bishop Rockett followed his formal education by matriculating at Florida A & M University (FAMU) where he received a BS degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration in the Spring of 2003. Also, in June of 2003 he was licensed to the gospel ministry. Immediately following, Bishop Rockett entered Chicago Theological Seminary where he graduated in May of 2006 with a Master of Divinity degree, and in May of 2012 with a Master of Sacred Theology. Currently, he is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Community Development, with an anticipated graduation date of June 2023.

Prior to his call to pastoral ministry, Bishop Rockett served the body of Christ as a Minister of Music, worship leader and psalmist for several churches throughout Chicago and the central Florida area. He also served three years as Assistant Pastor of Glory To God Christian Church Ministries where his father, Minister Edward D. Rockett, Sr., is the founder and senior pastor.

In October 2006, he was ordained to the gospel ministry by the elder Rockett and subsequently served as pastor of Roseland Christian Reformed Church (2007-2008) and Fresh Word Ministries (2008-2012). Bishop Rockett also entered into connection with Pilgrim Assemblies International under the leadership of Archbishop William Hudson III. In March of 2016 he was appointed General Secretary of this great reformation, and in July of 2018 he was consecrated as a Bishop in the Lord’s church.

On September 23, 2012, Bishop Rockett began the next phase of his ministry assignment by humbly accepting the call to become the 4th Senior Pastor in the 52-year history of Greater Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, affectionately known as GT. Since being named pastor of GT, Bishop Rockett has achieved numerous milestones. In less than 5 years at the helm the church retired all debt, renovated the sanctuary, and launched or re-started numerous outreach and missional initiatives.

After 10 years of service at Greater Tabernacle, Bishop Rockett was called as the 5th Senior Pastor in the 50-year history of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church of Lansing, MI in October 2022.

Outside of Bishop Rockett’s clerical vocation, he has built a very successful practice as a financial advisor and sales manager in the financial services industry. Currently, he is President & CEO of his own firm, Rockett Financial Group, where he assists individuals, families, and businesses in planning for their financial futures. His greatest passion in this work is providing financial security and retirement planning for clergy and pastoral leaders.

Bishop Rockett shares his life & ministry with Lady Machea Rockett and together they are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Aaliyah and Amanda.

Our Vision

PRBC is a leading ministry for the spiritual and economic empowerment of diverse people locally, nationally, and around the globe.     

Our Focus

Making Disciples Who Make Disciples.

Our Mission

Our mission is to be a training ground for the education and development of ministry-focused leaders, teaching them biblical and marketplace principles that will enable them to develop other leaders to make a life-changing impact on the world around them, and to achieve maximum results, both at home and abroad.

Forward together since 1972

Our History


The Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church was established in the summer of 1972, as a result of several prayer meetings. Originally called Christians Congregational Church the name was formally changed to the Pilgrim Rest Baptist and Incorporated as such. Thirty-five people were present at the first service where the Reverend Arcelious E. Flanagan was the first speaker. Services were held in the Duncan Building and later the Lansing YMCA.

During the first year of organization, the group established the following boards, Deacons, Trustee, Deaconess and Mothers. The church also organized the Sunday School, the Senior Choir, the Senior Usher Board, and the Young Adult Choir.

In 1973, the congregation adopted the motto: “The House of Prayer” and called their first pastor, Reverend David Whittington, who served until 1978. Under his leadership the Sunshine Singers, the Junior Usher Board, and the Missionary Society were organized. In 1976, the present site was purchased and construction began. The building was financed by a $160,000 bond program. On July 24, 1977, the congregation march from the YMCA to our new church home for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Following Reverend Whittington’s resignation on June 25, 1978, worship services were conducted by Reverend A.E. Flanagan, who was called as acting pastor for nearly one year.

On May 12, 1979, Reverend A.E. Flanagan was installed as pastor. During his administration, the Nurses’ Guild, a Bible Study for teens, a Junior Deacon Program, a Junior Sunday School Department, Junior Church, and the Christian Board of Education was established. Reverend Flanagan also spearheaded several outreach ministries including a street ministry and a city wide revival. The church has fostered services evangelism programs including “This is Your Life American, Disciples of Christ, Evangelism Explosion, and Child Evangelism Fellowship, in which the gospel was shared and many souls were brought to Christ.

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church is blessed to have several young men declare the ministry while under the leadership of Reverend Flanagan. Two of which have also founded churches, Reverend Robert E. Nicholson and Reverend Rodney Patterson.

For Nothing will be Impossible with God”

Luke 1: 37

In 1993 a pulpit committee was convened to select a new pastor. On September 4, 1994, Reverend Patrick A. Jennings was called to pastor Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. Under Pastor Jennings’ leadership, the Public Relations Committee and the A.E. Flanagan Scholarship Council were established. In 1995 our first and only parsonage was purchased. We extended land from our grounds to Benjamin Davis Park in 1996. Pastor Jennings restructured the organization of the church. He established the following ministries: Agape circle, Women’s Ministry and the Men of Standards Ministry. Reverend Jennings preached his last sermon at Pilgrim Rest in January 4, 2004.

At this time, Pilgrim Rest was without a pastor. The church banded together with prayer, fasting and faith. A Transition Team was formed during this time to take care of the administrative functions of the church. We had many visiting Pastors bring the spoken word every Sunday. During the transition period, the Go-Ye Ministry was developed and the Youth Choir was re-established. We continued to forge ahead. The Pastor Search Committee was formed to find a new pastor for Pilgrim Rest. After many candidates were presented, Pilgrim Rest heard from God and in October 2006, he sent us Pastor Walter Gibson, Jr., from Houston, Texas to lead us into our future.

“For Nothing will be Impossible with God”

Luke 1: 37

Pastor Gibson was installed on Sunday, January 21, 2007. Under the leadership of Pastor Gibson, the church is experiencing tremendous growth spiritually and corporately. This growth includes the establishment of Marriage, Senior, and Young Adult Ministries. In addition, under Pastor Gibson’s leadership, other new ministries that have been developed are the Praise Team, Helping Hands, Mime Ministry, and Singles for Christ.

In November 2008, we experienced physical growth with the addition of our Education Wing. Construction was completed in April 2009. Pastor Gibson established a program to fund new growth for Pilgrim Rest called “Together We Can”.

Not only is the Education Wing a tremendous resource for our congregation, but it also provides an avenue for us to open our doors to meet the needs of the community.

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church is a church that continues to keep its focus on advancing the Kingdom of God. We know that through God all things are possible and we know that the best is yet to come!