Husband. Father. Leader.
William Earl Land, Sr. is the Pastor of St. Albans Church of God in Christ in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he has resided since his birth. In the early stages of his life, he can recall looking out of his bedroom window (in what was called Mt. Airy Projects then) wondering how the stars, moon, sun, and clouds hang in space and what causes them to disappear at certain times of the day. Although he was raised to believe in God from the time he was a child, there were many "why's" in his life that he wanted to be answered. When William was in the fourth grade, he remembers his Sunday school teacher, Mother Mary Rhodes, telling him that the Lord was going to give him wisdom. He said at the time it sounded good, but he didn’t have a clue what that meant.
After he graduated from Mechanic Arts High School in 1973, William took various jobs until he began work in 1977 in Golden Valley, MN at Honeywell, Inc. It was during his early years at Honeywell that he picked up many bad habits that were contrary to the teachings he had received at church. William felt as long as he didn’t hurt anyone (as if his sins did not affect others), he could control his bad habits. What a mistake! Thank God, there were also people at Honeywell who gave him sound advice whom he admired for their Christlike character.
One, in particular, was a lady named Shirley Gayden (who went home to be with the Lord in 2016). When William speaks of his conversion to Christ, he tells how Shirley would hang Christian tracks on the light with the part number she needed. So when William answered the light, he got a track to remind him that he needed Christ in his life.
In 1983, William gave his life to Christ at St. Albans COGIC, which was the church his mother took them to when he was 16 years old. In 1987, he married Shirley Bell from Itta Bena, Mississippi. At that time, William already had two sons, whom Shirley welcomed with open arms as well. A little over 2 months after their marriage, he also accepted the call on his life to the ministry. Within the span of twelve years, they had three more children, and William was installed as the Pastor of St. Albans Church of God in Christ. Throughout their lives, William and Shirley had challenges, but Pastor Land says the reason their marriage has been successful, “Lady Shirley Land loves the Lord more than him, and he loves the Lord more than her. And their love for God forbids them to disrespect one another.”
"When William speaks of his conversion to Christ, he tells how Shirley (who hadn’t been a Christian long before he met her) would hang Christian tracks on the light with the part number she needed. So when William answered the light, he got a track to remind him of his sins. The more William read them, the more he knew he needed the Lord in his life."
It is also important to mention that since Pastor Land worked many hours to support and take care of his family, he never pursued any theological training from a seminary, an online course, or accredited institutions to get degrees to validate his calling. However, Pastor Land does credit the ministry of Hank Hanegraaff, the “Bible Answer Man,” for introducing him to theological material that he would not have known otherwise. By listening to his radio broadcast and purchasing many books from CRI (The Christian Research Institute), his understanding of scripture improved greatly.
Pastor Land truly believes the Lord has blessed him far beyond anything that he could have imagined, and he’s extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord. He often says to the congregation at St. Albans COGIC, “I hope, if nothing else, I’ve taught you humility in my character, as well as humility in learning.”
The words of Mother Mary Rhodes came true. Pastor Land is a man of wisdom and integrity who has a genuine love for all people. He believes his mission is to preach and expound the Word of God to the best of his ability, while never being too proud to admit that the Pastor isn’t right all the time. And when he isn’t, he doesn’t have any problem admitting he’s wrong. He says, “God not only sees our mistakes, but He also weighs our motives. And may it never be said that I intentionally misled God’s people, or anyone else.”
He says, “God not only sees our mistakes, but He also weighs our motives. And may it never be said that I intentionally misled God’s people, or anyone else.”
Aside from pastoring, Pastor Land had the opportunity to air his sermons on the radio for a couple of years on a program which he founded called “Crumbs from the Master’s Table Ministries” on 980 AM KKMS radio station. He has also completed two books entitled: Lost Without Him (Special Edition) which he strongly recommends, and The Trinity, A Balanced Message for Level-Headed People. The reason I say completed, is because Lost Without Him and The Trinity: A Balanced Message for Level-Headed People had been revised and retired a few times. Pastor Land said, “When the Lord put it in my spirit to write a book, I had no clue how enormous the challenge would be – since I had never written a book before. After long days, weeks, months, and years of seeking the Lord about what to say on paper, every part of my being wanted to quit – which I did a few times (during that process) believing “I” was done. But after resting my mind and eyes a little while, the Lord would say, “Not Yet!” So I would stop selling the books, even though it was my best at that time. And many people enjoyed reading them. However, if I could have written them the first time the way they are now, I would have. Brothers and Sisters, just know that it was good for me to be exposed to the criticism of others to learn and keep me humble, while teaching the rest who continue to support me that the Christian life is a journey of trials and errors that leads to truth for those who are determined to do God’s will. Although writing these books was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to do, the outcome far exceeded the labor pains. And if you purchase them on createspace.com, or amazonbooks.com, you will not be disappointed!”