Some comments from readers . . .
“I couldn’t put this book down . . . I stayed up all night and I was so blessed by this . . .”
“I recently lost my father and this book helped me put things into perspective.”
“Good job! I hope you will publish another edition!”
“Pastor Houston, I’ve been a fan of yours since your San Diego days and to read this book, I could imagine seeing you preach this! I think this book should be at some seminaries to help students learn how to minister to the bereaved with hope.”
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by Robert Earl Houston
Just as laypersons become ill, pastors become ill. Illnesses creep in and sometimes the Pastor is days, weeks, months and in rare cases years away from the pulpit.
I have seen all four scenarios. There are the pastors who are ill momentarily and then the next Sunday, they bounce back and return to their pulpits. Then there are those pastors who experience surgery and are down for a number of weeks. Then there are those pastors who are down for a matter of months and then return to their pulpits. And there are a few, rare exceptions when a pastor is out of the pulpit a year to as many as four years, in an state such as a coma, who then returns back to the pulpit.
I have lived in the first two examples. I’ve had common colds, flu, and normally then return to my pulpit, even if I’m sniffling and sneezing. I’m right now in the midst of the second scenario, where following cancer surgery has had me down for the past three weeks and counting. I pray God that I never have to cross the scenarios of the latter two examples.
So what does a church do when the Pastor is on extended leave? I want to offer some suggestions:
#1 – COMMIT YOUR PASTOR TO PRAYER
If there was ever a time when the congregation needs to pray for it’s shepherd, this is the time. This means during any and all meetings, any and all choir rehearsals, any and all gatherings – even if they are social events, the corporate church should devote some time to prayer for their leader. Not only should prayer be offered congregationally, but it should be offered by family – especially in families with children. Children can be taught a very valuable life lesson in seeing the head of the household round everyone together and pray for the pastor! At meals, during family devotions (if you have them), together call out the name of your pastor before the Lord. And of course, individually, put the pastor at the top of your prayer list – after all your pastor is your conduit to the Lord’s spiritual directions for your life. Call out your pastor’s name and ask the Lord to restore your pastor!
# 2 – COMMIT YOURSELF TO GOING TO CHURCH
Most pastors who are ill will tell you that while laying on their bed of afflictions will tell you that one of our biggest concerns is “how is the church doing?” Pastor Xavier Thompson, President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Vicinity once said that we understand the principle of when the cat’s away, the mice will play and that Satan uses and takes advantage of the pastor’s illness to sow discord in the local congregation. However, Pastor Thompson says unless there is a firewall. That firewall is three fold – first off, members of the church have to rise up and “let the church be the church.” The pastor’s illness should not translate into “the member’s vacation.” This is the time to go to Sunday School, go to Church, come to Bible Study, give your tithes and offerings – so that there will be no lack in the storehouse when the Pastor returns. Secondly, beware of seducing spirits and those who will try to take advantage of a pastoral absence. Sadly, there are some other pastors who will try to take advantage of another pastor’s illness – but this is not the time to entertain invitations. This is the time to stay put. And lastly, keep peace with each other. Go the extra mile, love each other, serve each other – and do it until the Lord’s church becomes the happiest place on earth in regards to fellowship.
# 3 – SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR PASTOR
If it is an extended or prolonged illness, your pastor will not be able to do someone of the things that he or she normally does. 9 times out of 10, there are some errands that the pastor won’t tell you about that are being left undone. Little things have to be done – correspondence, mail, issues within the house, issues with the car (I remember a pastor who was ill for about three months – he had a 17 year old member that came to the house twice a day, just to crank up his car, drive it around the block, and re-park it – just so the engine wouldn’t die and then he would wash the pastor’s car (without permission) just so the pastor wouldn’t have to worry about it). This is a time of great, lasting assistance you can provide to your soul watcher. The Apostle Paul once said that it is reasonable to sow temporal things after he has sown everlasting things (paraphrase) – therefore, you may have to ask your pastor – “how can I help you?” Don’t be so prideful that you say “I ain’t taking out no trash” – but have a servant’s attitude and remember this – what you sow may be sown back into your life later on in life.
So there it is – pray, commit and help. And whatsoever ye do . . . do all to the Glory of God.
Your Comments are Welcomed.
St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Oak City, NC is seeking a Senior Pastor with excellent preaching and teaching abilities. The senior Pastor should possess evidence of strong administrative, organizational and community leadership gifts. Applicants should demonstrate personal and theological maturity and commitment to Missionary Baptist doctrine and principles. Candidates should possess some pastoral experience. Salary and benefits are commensurate with education and experience. All interested persons should submit resumes and three verifiable references by August 1, 2013 to: St. Mark Pastoral Search Committee (sorry, we don’t have a listing for the address – working on it).
Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, NC is seeking a Senior Pastor with Transformational leadership skills and excellent preaching and teaching abilities. The senior Pastor should possess evidence of strong administrative, organizational and community leadership gifts. Applicants should demonstrate personal and theological maturity with a commitment to Baptist doctrine and principles. Candidates should possess a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited seminary and a minimum of five (preferably ten) years of pastoral experience. Salary and benefits are commensurate with education and experience. All interested persons should submit resumes by August 1, 2013 to: Kiplan Clemmons, C.M.B.C. Pastoral Search Committee P.O. Box 8623 Greenville, NC 27834 or Email: CMBCPastoralSearch@gmail.com
Triumph Missionary Baptist Church is seeking a born-again licensed/ordained Pastor with the following qualifications: • Pastoral experience preferred. • Willing and qualified to preach and teach God’s word. • Strong church Administrative abilities • Must meet the qualifications of 1st I Timothy 3:1-7. • Concerned about the spiritual growth of all members. • Willing to work with all organizations. • Willing to attend conferences and conventions. • Counsel Parishioners and visit the sick and shut-in • Bi-vocational. • Available to teach Bible Study. • Willing to support the Church Sunday School. • Must have a Missionary Baptist Church background. • Must promote stewardship and tithing. • Bachelor’s degree preferred. All applicants must submit a resume and three (3) verifiable references by June 30, 2013. Triumph Missionary Baptist Church Attention: Pastoral Search Committee 1250 Sticks Road Washington, NC 27889
The Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti, Michigan prior to 1860 worshiped under the First
Baptist Church of Ypsilanti. In late 1860, eleven founding members organized themselves to
form the Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti. Since then the church has grown to become an
anchor in the Ypsilanti community, spawning many other local churches from its rich heritage.
For more than 152 years we have witnessed growth in the lives of our congregation. It is our
desire to continue that growth by preaching and teaching the abiding Word of God as we reach
out to welcome all, to Second Baptist.
Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti, Michigan is seeking a full-time pastor called by God to
serve as the spiritual leader of the congregation. The pastor is responsible to God and the church
to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to teach the Bible, to provide Christian leadership in all
areas of the church and to engage in pastoral care of the congregation. The pastor is also
responsible for the overall leadership of the day-to-day operations of the church, staff, services,
membership and promoting the spiritual interest and growth of the church.
• The Pastor shall meet the New Testament requirements for office as listed in 1Timothy
3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9
• Must be a Man of Prayer, Good Faith, Divinely called to Ministry and Godly in Character
• Ability to deliver biblically sound, inspirational, and Spirit-filled sermons
• Must also be licensed and ordained in the Baptist church
• Must be an effective leader / administrator
• Must be accessible and sensitive to the needs of all demographics within the congregation
• A visionary in church growth
• Must be a strong supporter of Bible Study, Sunday school and youth ministries /
• Effectively work with, train and lead deacons, church officers, and ministries as they
perform their assigned responsibilities
• Must be married
• Must have six plus (6+) years of pastoral experience
• Must have at least a Bachelor’s degree
All interested and qualified persons must submit an initial Candidate Package consisting of
copies of the following information:
• Cover letter and current resume to include Pastoral experience (6+ years)
• Copy of ordination certificate and ministerial license
• Copies of all educational degrees including accredited theological seminary
• One reference letter from each (clergy, professional, and personal)
Additional Information may be requested and/or required.
For instructions about how to submit your candidate package and to learn more about Second
Baptist Church, please visit our web site at http://www.sbcypsi.org. All résumés must be submitted
by or postmarked no later than July 1, 2013
Mt. Moriah Baptist Church located in Starr, South Carolina (Anderson County/Upstate South Carolina) is
seeking a Pastor called by God dedicated to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Pastor shall be guided by
the principles set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7. The Pastor shall instruct the congregation in religious truth and
guide the church to internal order. All candidates must be licensed and ordained in the Baptist Church and
seeking to lead the 200 – 250 congregation as a visionary of God to further grow the church. The Pastor shall
be a believer in the basic doctrine of the regular Missionary Baptist Church and a Preacher of the Gospel.
Theological education and work experience shall be such as to provide with the ability to exercise intellectual
and spiritual leadership for the congregation. All such education and work experience shall be verified.
A successful candidate will meet the following minimum criteria:
- Licensed and Ordained Baptist Minister
- Bachelor Degree in Theology, Divinity or Biblical Studies from an accredited institution
- Pastoral experience (3 – 6 years significant related ministry experience which includes experience in
church administration (e.g. Assistant Pastor, Senior Pastor, Associate Minister, Ministerial Leader)
- Candidates’ personal character and financial standing must be above reproach
- Demonstrated ability to deliver biblically sound (stimulating, inspirational, spirit filled) sermons
The following are primary duties of a pastor:
- Serve as a spiritual leader for the congregation
- Provide guidance and support for all ministries of the church
- Effective Preacher & Teacher
- Effective Administrator
- Effective Communicator and Listener
- Plan and conduct worship service
- Officiate weddings, funerals, baby dedications, etc.
- Pastoral counseling
- Lead in administering the Holy ordinances of Baptism and Communion
- Provide pastoral ministry to those experiencing illness, bereavement or other conditions
- Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse population
- Support and Commit to the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Covenant, By-Laws, and Mission Statement
- Able to collaborate with the deacons, trustees, officers and others to administer church business
- Strong supporter of Youth Ministries/Programs
- Community involvement
- A love for the congregations’ spiritual care and welfare
- Perform other duties as may be required
All interested persons should submit cover letter, resume, 8 page application, degrees/certifications/licenses,
and a DVD of a recent sermon postmarked by August 7, 2013 to:
Mt. Moriah Baptist Church
Attn: Pastoral Search Committee
P.O. Box 13006
Anderson, South Carolina 29624
Missing information may result in automatic disqualification.
To view the application form go to: http://resources.razorplanet.com/510611-8783/pastoralsearch1370724311.pdf
FRIENDS OF DR. TONY LLOYD LEWIS
June 14, 2013
On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, our dear friend and brother in the Lord, the Reverend Dr. Tony Lloyd Lewis went home to be with the Lord.
Many of us are familiar with Dr. Lewis’ life and ministry. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, educated and gave His life to Lord and surrendered himself to ministry. He was educated at historic Bishop College in Dallas, and completed his D.Min. studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. While in Dallas, he was Minister of Christian Education under the leadership of the late Senior Pastor, Dr. E.K. Bailey.
He went on to serve as Senior Pastor of three congregations: The Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon; The Macedonia Baptist Church in Pomona, California and finally, The Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California. He wrote sermons for the Sermon Sharing Service, which were literally preached around the world. He retired from Zion Hill, due to health concerns, and relocated to his native Louisiana and united with the First Presbyterian Church, where he joyfully served as one of the Adult Bible Teachers, when his health allowed.
This letter is to ask you for your support. His family is in need of your financial assistance to complete his burial services, as he did not have life insurance. At present, those costs are approximately $12,000.00. Many of us who are pastors have had to come to the aid of a brother pastor – and this family needs our support – immediately.
There are three ways to help:
1) You can send an immediate PayPal gift to the family by going to www.paypal.com and selecting “send money online.” All payments should go directly to Dr. Lewis’ daughter, Kimberly Lewis Stidum, by using her email address, KimberlyStidum@yahoo.com.
2) You can request from your local bank a bank transfer to an account which has been created at Chase National Bank. The account number is 223367328 and please note “Dr. T.L. Lewis Fund” in the notation. This will go directly to Kimberly and the Family for expenses.
3) You can mail a gift directly to: Kimberly Lewis Stidum, PO Box 103, Katy, Texas 77449. Again, make all checks payable to Kimberly Lewis Stidum.
Pastors, please respond with the best gift possible! Men and Women of God, whose lives were touched by Dr. Lewis, please respond with the best gift possible! He who has sown into our lives with spiritual food – it’s now time to return back a portion of those blessings with our gifts to this family in need.
On behalf of the Family, we wish to make the following announcement concerning the Homegoing Services. All services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 1801 2nd Avenue, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601, (337) 433-4667, Rev. Chandler (Chan) Willis, Senior Pastor.
Friday, June 21, 2013 – 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CST)
Visitation Period and Viewing of Remains
During this service, a period of remembrance will be held, allowing all Pastors and Friends to have expressions and remembrances.
Saturday, June 22, 2013 – 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (CST)
Visitation Period and Viewing of Remains
Saturday, June 22, 2013 – 11:00 a.m. (CST)
Homegoing Services – Rev. Chandler (Chan) Willis, Officiating
We pray that you will keep this family in your prayers and ask the Lord’s comfort upon them as they walk through this season of sorrow. May the Lord bless you for your response.
Pastor Robert Earl Houston
Pastor Michael Moore
by Robert Earl Houston
My heart is very heavy to hear of the homegoing of my friend and my mentor, Dr. Tony Lloyd Lewis, retired pastor of the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California and former pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church of Pomona, California and the church where I was baptized, the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon.
He was a native Louisianan, where he went home after a lengthy illness. He was a proud graduate of Bishop College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he earned his D.Min. Dr. Lewis was one of the original contributors to The Sermon Sharing Service and even after he formally retired, his written sermons were heard around the world.
Dr. Lewis inspired and theologically challenged and stretched me – many a late night evening was spent on the phone jousting with him about politics (he was a political junkie of the highest order), life, marriage, church, and church life. It was not unusual to hear him pivot mentally from one subject to the next and he had a tremendous sense of humor.
Academically, he was one of my profs at North Portland Bible College (briefly) and he is the one who told me about a church in Fresno, California, the Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. We became quick friends when he was called to pastor the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, succeeding the Rev. LeeArthur J. Madison. Morning Star was the church where I gave my life to the Lord under the founder’s leadership, Rev. Sylvester McCullumn and where my mother and sisters are members to this day.
He was on the ordination council when me and Rev. Walter Monroe Brown, Jr. were ordained. We pastored together and fellowshipped together when I became the pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church succeeding the late Reverend Amzie Bailey, Jr.
Dr. Lewis was the author of the “Battlefield” and “Pallbearers” trilogies published by R.H. Boyd Publishing Corporation in Nashville. He was kind enough to include me in several of the introductions of his books, and I had the priviledge of doing so upon publication of my first book, “See You In the Morning,” in return.
Denominationally, Dr. Lewis was the Vice Moderator of the Union District in Portland, and when he moved to Pomona, he discovered there was no local fellowship of Baptist Churches and he organized and served as the First Moderator of the San Gabriel Valley District Association (I believe that was the name of it).
When I was a young pastor, I was asked to produce the Musical for the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest, and we had a packed-out house. I invited the Governor and the Mayor and I made one mistake – I forgot to include a photo of the State President. Several of the local pastors wanted the State President to hang me to the wall for this “unforgettable act.” It was two people who “saved” me that night. One was Portland’s Mayor J.E. “Bud” Clark, who said, “Dr. O.B. Williams – I know you are proud to have young men around you like Pastor Houston, who has worked hard to make this event successful.” Then Dr. Lewis got up and said, “Brother President, we don’t need a photo of you in the program, we already have your image in our hearts.” Whew, I was saved!!!
He suffered with illness and had to retire from active pastoring but he always told me – “Bob (that’s what he called me), man, make sure you take care of your health.” After moving from Los Angeles, he went home to his native Lake Charles, Louisiana. He would be asked by a local church to teach every now and then and he relished the opportunity and prepared for the classes with the zeal of a true soldier in Christ.
He passed away last night. Today, Dr. Lewis is healed throughout eternity. My condolences and the prayers and support of the First Baptist Church (which is the only church I pastored where he didn’t stand in the pulpit and preach due to illness) in Frankfort, go to his family. This is a great loss on the earth and a great addition in the heavenlies. T.L., I’ll see you in the morning.
HOMEGOING INFORMATION WILL BE INCLUDED ONCE IT IS RECEIVED.
Your comments are welcomed.
by Robert Earl Houston
It is 3:45 a.m. EST and I’ve just went through a physical episode. Sometimes you go through these kinds of things post surgery. It’s been a whirlwind of the last few weeks. From a suspicious mole, two biopsies, confirmation of a cancer (melanoma), surgery which entailed removal of a portion of skin down to the fat layer, grafting of skin from my groin to my foot, being placed in a durable splint, prescribed pretty strong medicines and a knee scooter, unable to walk up stairs, having to turn our living room into a bedroom, and basically unable to move and function.
But she’s been there.
My wife, Jessica Georgette Houston, deserves some well deserved props. This has been the most stressful season in our years of marriage, but she has confirmed to me that (a) the Holy Spirit truly led me to her and (b) He who findeth a wife, findeth a good thing.
She has had to take off from her job to take care of her husband – and let me say, I know, I’m not a day at the beach to deal with. But she does it with a smile and grace that is incredible. She has done so even with her own mother being hospitalized days before my surgery. I wanted to send her home to Sacramento to see about her mother and she refused, “I need to be with my husband.”
Today, she went to church and represented me today and brought greetings and an update to the church. She has cooked, cleaned, prepared a diet for me during this downtime and made sure that everything’s in place. Our master bedroom is upstairs and the day before surgery, we discussed that I wouldn’t be able to make the stairs and she said, “we’re going to sleep downstairs.” She gave up the comfort of our new King Sized Bed (we had just purchased a new mattress) to sleep on an oversized love seat.
She’s had to assist her 6’2, 300+ pound husband out of his chair – because I can’t rise of my own strength. She’s prepared sponge baths for me to utilize because even if I could go up the stairs, I can’t take my normal showers right now due to my surgical dressing.
I just want to put on the record that I appreciate and am thankful for my wife. She’s a gorgeous, godly woman. She is the First Lady of First Baptist Church and she does it with style and elegance. She’s my confidant, my right arm, my left arm – she’s all that and a bag of chips.
So, I just want to give the girl her props. You hear a lot about dysfunctional pastor-wife relationships, but I’m grateful to God for the woman of God that He has brought into my life. We’ve come this far by faith and the best part of it is, we’ve been leaning on the Lord, trusting in His name, He’s never failed us yet. Please keep Jessica in your prayers as she ministers to her husband.
Your Comments are Welcomed.