The Rev. Joseph Gilmore of Whitesboro, N.J. was elected pastor of the First Baptist Church of Deanwood Saturday by a 241-to-72 vote.
After it was announced that Gilmore had won the election, the small flock of church members, which had been sitting in the sanctuary pews waiting to see what candidate "the Lord would send" to be their new shepherd, joyously shouted, clapped and repeatedly sang "Amen."
In a telephone interview, Gilmore said he plans to move here next month from the church he presently pastors, First Baptist Church of Whitesboro, which is about one-third the size of the 1,000-member Deanwood church. He said, "I look forward to the challenge of pastoring First Baptist of Deanwood. We're going to be a family till death do us part, hopefully."
He has been at his present church for eight years. the 39-year-old preacher, who completed training at the Philadelphia College of Bible in 1963 and earned a bachelors degree in sociology an religion at Rutgers University in 1975, said he was "inspired by the Holy Spirit" to seek the pastorate at First Baptist.
A resident of Whitesboro, a small town of primarily black residents near Atlantic City, Gilmore, who previously lived in Philadelphia, is married and the father of four.
Gilmore, who has 90 days to report to the church and work full-time as its pastor, said, "I'm just an average preacher with a message. I don't try to excite people -- no theatrics, no gymnastics."