Pastor Vincent M. Rouse, Sr.
At an early age, Pastor Rouse answered the call of Jesus Christ, with his conversion taking place at the Emmanuel Church of Christ-Disciples of Christ. Upon examination by his peers, Pastor Rouse was licensed and ordained into Gospel Ministry at The New Hope Baptist Church in October 2001 and November 2002, respectively. Pastor Rouse completed Ministerial training through The Progressive National Baptist Convention and at present, is enrolled in a M.Div. curriculum at Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, NJ. The call to the pastorate took place in August 2006, and since then, he has been the Servant-Leader of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, where the vision is to “Build Hearts and Minds to Follow Jesus Christ, Through Learning, Love, and Liberation.”
Pleasant Grove is blessed to have this servant of God. The church has witnessed exponential growth spiritually, numerically and financially. Programmatic additions under his leadership include but are not limited too: “Dare to be Different” Youth Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Motivational Monday for Men, expansion of the Music Ministry and Golden Age Ministry, enhancement to the Christian Education Department, continuous development of the Food Pantry and Community Feeding Ministry (which feeds 100’s of people every month!), remodeling of the Sanctuary, formulating of an Administrative team, development of our Shepherd Staff–which includes 5 ordained elders by which Pastor Rouse has had the honor of ordaining three of the five. Since 2006, twelve individuals have committed to gospel ministry through licensure and three others through ordination. Additionally, seven faithful men accepted the call to service and were ordained to the Office of Deacon, two of whom are now licensed to preach.
Pastor Rouse is the founder of the Pleasant House of Hope Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed to speak to the social ills of the day; homelessness, poverty, and substance abuse. Pleasant House of Hope partners with Hello Fresh® to deliver nutritious meal staples to Newark’s families weekly through 17 of Newark’s Public Schools. Real estate acquisitions have also been added to the church’s portfolio under the pastor’s tutelage, through the purchase of 208 Chadwick Avenue (headquarters for Pleasant House of Hope), as well as two additional parcels of land which serve as parking lots and a recreation area for the Pleasant House of Hope Summer Camp. In 2019 he will begin to oversee the beautification projects of the landscaping that surrounds Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and vicinity.
With a heart of compassion, Pastor Rouse believes in the untapped promise within the City of Newark and surrounding communities, and it is his love for Christ that enables him to be the extension of love, grace, and mercy, needed within our world; to win souls for the Lord “up-reach, outreach, and in-reach.”
As one firmly committed to the City of Newark, for over twelve years, Pastor Rouse worked tirelessly in the education space; serving in the very same system that provided his education, but this time, as an Educator, Advisor and Community Relations Specialist. At present, he is employed as the Business Manager of the Resident Economic Development Department at the Newark Housing Authority, where he also serves as Senior Advisor for the Executive Office.
While it is essential to Pastor Rouse in making sure he is casting his service to others as wide as possible, his top priorities rest with his family, he is the proud husband of Reverend Natasha Johnson-Rouse, and together, they are privileged to rear three image-bearers for Christ; Cameron, Vincent Jr., and Victoria.