Whether you are in church, at a gospel music concert, or at an NAACP meeting or event, you might meet "Reverend Jeff", who is surely full of energy and enthusiasm.
Prior to entering the Ministry, Pastor McIlwain served in various capacities within the local church; member of the Trustee Board, Christian Education Director, Superintendent of the Sunday school. As a member of the Greater Portland Community, he worked as a Musician, was employed at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine from 1989 to 1998 and from 1979 to 1989, was employed at Maine Savings Bank in Portland, Maine. He was also involved with the Portland Chapter of the NAACP and other community organizations.
Pastor McIlwain was ordained in 1997 after entering the ministry in 1992. He became the Associate Minister at Green Memorial AME Zion Church in Portland, Maine; Pastor McIlwain's home church.
In June 2001, Sheriff Mark Dion appointed Pastor McIlwain Chaplain of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office in Portland, Maine. Prior to becoming Chaplain, Pastor McIlwain had volunteered at the jail for 4 years. The Chaplain is responsible for the Religious Volunteers and Ministries that come into the facility. The Chaplain also ministers to the needs of the Corrections Staff and the Inmates.
Currently, Pastor McIlwain is the 2nd Vice President of the Portsmouth NAACP, and continues work as Pastor of North Star AME Zion Church in Portsmouth. North Star will begin holding worship services at The Pearl of Portsmouth in January 2006.
In 1998, Pastor McIlwain decided to further his walk with God by attending seminary part-time at Bangor Theological Seminary, Bangor, Maine. Currently he is continuing his studies at the University of Southern Maine. Along with preaching and teaching the gospel message, Pastor McIlwain spends time performing gospel music.
Pastor Jeff says, "... I would have to say sharing the love of Christ is the best service I give. If I had to sum up all that I'm about, I would have to say, Jesus Christ is truly the center of my life! From that center springs forth joy which spreads to my wife, children, family and whatever community I may be in. Not everyday is filled with sunshine, but when the storms start raging the Lord will be there to help you through. I pray that you will learn to put your faith in the Lord."
So when you see Reverend Jeff, be sure to say "Hello" and ask what's new!