TRENTON, NJ, (BRN) – Five years ago, Dr. E. Solomon Ernst preached at the installation service for his predecessor at First International Baptist Church of Trenton, not knowing that he would someday return to the church as their senior pastor.
“The immediate past pastor was like a little brother and a counselee to me. When he left last October, the church was without a pastor and the deacons called on me and other preachers to supply the pulpit every Sunday,” said Ernst.
After a few months of faithfully preaching the first and second Sunday of every month at First International Baptist, the church called on Ernst to serve as their next senior pastor.
Immediately his response was “no” because he was seeking a full-time position, not a bivocational or part-time pastorate, but after much prayer and consideration the Lord changed Ernst’s response.
“I then answered ‘yes’ to the call for three reasons: (1) After much prayer, my wife and I were convinced that God was leading us in this direction; (2) because my wife made a vow that if I decide to serve, she will support me; (3) [and] because it is the only Southern Baptist peoples group church in Trenton, New Jersey, that was dying and needed to be revitalized and replanted,” explained Ernst.
On Sunday, April 2, 2023, Ernst was officially installed as the senior pastor of First International Baptist Church of Trenton. His installation service was led by his dear friend Dr. Charles Grant, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee associate vice president for convention advancement and relations.
For the entirety of his Christian-walk, Ernst has been a Southern Baptist and pastored at several SBC churches, including five in his home nation of Liberia.
“I have been a Southern Baptist since my baptism in 1977 by the late Rev. Earl Williams, a Southern Baptist missionary and pastor of the Mount Nimba Baptist Church of Yekepa, Nimba [in] Liberia. I served four churches and planted one, making it five,” said Ernst.
Born and raised in the Republic of Liberia in West Africa, Ernst is the first child out of 11, plus several foster brothers and sisters. Like him, Ernst’s parents and four of his siblings now live in the U.S.
“I consider myself as a missionary to North America serving two continents respectively,” said Ernst.
Ernst’s wife, Marva, joins him in that mission as she is a native of Guyana, South America. She is also a graduate of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary and a retired nurse by profession. Next month, she and Ernst will celebrate seven years of marriage (Dec. 2023). Together they have five children, who are all supportive, godly young adults.
Ernst first came to the United States in the late 1990’s, knowing that he wanted to study and continue in ministry. He first enrolled in graduate studies at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, where he received a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries. He later graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, with a Master of Arts in Global Studies, followed by a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
After graduation, Ernst continued to serve in the Ohio region, even working with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. He remained there until the Lord called him to South Jersey and, ultimately, to First International Baptist Church of Trenton.
Two specific areas of ministry Ernst is passionate about and looks forward to integrating at First International Baptist are Disaster Relief and Evangelism.
“I want to be able to care for persons in crisis and win the lost at all cost,” said Ernst.
He continued: “I hope to start the implementation in my community by first assessing the situation. I will secondly make myself available in the community in three ways: before, during and after the crisis. Thirdly, I will accept the person [as] I am ministering in a community of individuals that are seeking acceptance.”
Ernst’s hope is that responding well to these moments of crisis will lead to a gospel-opportunity and a chance to point the lost to true hope in Christ.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. E. Solomon Ernst and his family to the BRN family by praying for them and the ministry they are engaging in at First International Baptist Church of Trenton.
How to Pray for Dr. E. Solomon Ernst and his Family:
- Pray for Rev. Ernst and his family to find a new home that is affordable and closer to First International Baptist Church of Trenton
- Pray that First International Baptist Church may find a safer place to worship
- Pray for First International Baptist to grow and for Rev. Ernst as he leads them
- Pray for Rev. Ernst’s father who is currently hospitalized in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.