Wally Weeks Now Preaches at Church He Attended as a Baby

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Going Home: When Ministry Returns Us to Our Roots (Part 2)

Wally Weeks, pastor of Pleasant View Baptist in Oakland, Maryland, does not remember his first visit to his home church. That would be because his first visit was while his mother was pregnant with him. Little did he know that his home church would one day be the church he pastored.

Pastor Wally Weeks shares the gospel during the Autumn Glory Festival in downtown Oakland. The church’s praise band and puppet team have been setting up on the main street before the Grand Feature Parade and sharing for three decades.

Weeks attended Liberty University after high school but left to attend a broadcasting school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For thirteen years, he worked in Christian radio. But God had a different plan that would call Weeks home to Pleasant View. He shared, “I felt the Lord calling me to ministry. The senior pastor wanted me to serve as the associate pastor. The church prayed for a year before calling me to the role. Three months after I started, the senior pastor announced he was leaving. I was an associate pastor without a lot of experience and no mentor. The church began interviewing potential pastors while simultaneously having me fill the pulpit a couple of times a month. After a year of searching, the church asked me if I would consider being the senior pastor. It was June 1998, and I have been ‘home’ ever since.”

Weeks seeks to love his congregation well, and he is thankful for their incredible support. He said the church grew together, and they allowed him the freedom to follow the Lord as he felt led.  “We made changes to ensure we were being deliberate in our approach to trust God and to see the transforming power of Jesus change lives. Pleasant View was functioning with deacons, but I truly felt God was calling us to be an elder-led church. I also recognized volunteers were burning out, especially in Awana. And though making changes would bring challenges, we opted to shift our entire church model to the one we have today. Worship focuses on family unity, Elders focus on teaching and where to lead the church missionally, and deacons focus on the needs of people.”

Wally Weeks (left) prepares to baptize Ellen Buckingham. Ellen‘s father (r), Daniel Buckingham is a PVBC elder. (photo courtesy of PVBC)

Though Pleasant View has an age-appropriate Sunday School before worship, there is no children’s church, nursery, or toddler room staffed during worship though open to parents for use. “We embrace the potential distractions of children because of our desire to unify families. “Quiet Bags” are provided to keep children occupied and include activities to engage them in the sermon.” Weeks takes unifying families a step further by sending out a daily devotional that he writes based on his sermon with scripture that can be used for family worship at home. When asked the response of families today, Weeks responded, “Most would not want to return to being separated as a family during worship.”

Pleasant View is planting a church about twelve miles away in a town that needs hope. Weeks said, “We seek as a church to be real, vulnerable, and authentic to the people we are meeting.” As with their Sunday and weekday service, all activities related to the plant are age-integrated to allow them to be on mission together and learn by working together.

A family photo: ( l-r) Taylor Weeks (daughter-in-law), Croft Weeks (grandson), Josiah Weeks (son), Tori Tice (daughter) Conrad Tice( son-in-law), Wally Weeks holding Indie Weeeks (granddaughter); Debbie Weeks (wife), Timothy Weeks (son), and Olivia O’Brien (daughter)



When asked what he would tell a pastor just starting in ministry, Weeks stated, “Keep it simple and just spend time in the word and prayer. Preach the scriptures. You do not need to force relevancy. You may be small but let God have control and do not try to force growth by pragmatic means. Teach the Bible, point to Jesus, get on mission, practice hospitality, and build relationships. Spend time with people who do not know Jesus.”

Amid ministry, Weeks makes family a priority and his heart is evident with his words, “Be a mentor, tell your family you love them, sacrifice for them, and be intentional in loving them. When you fail, apologize, and seek forgiveness. I am thankful my four children, who were home-schooled by Debbie, my wife of 37 years, are serving God, loving Him, and growing in His grace.” And if one wonders what Weeks does in his remaining spare time, look for him on his Harley or playing his upright bass, often Irish music with his two younger children.

Feature photo: Olivia O’Brien, Wally Weeks, Timothy Weeks


Michelle Mackall is a freelance writer, and Mid-Maryland Baptist Association Administrative Assistant and Women’s Ministry Leader.