HELP US REACH KENTUCKY WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!

EveningWorship

WE HAVE GREAT NEWS! Beginning April 27, 2013, EVENING WORSHIP WITH PASTOR ROBERT EARL HOUSTON will be joining the television lineup with Frankfort Plant Board Cable Channel 20.  We will reach the entire Franklin County community with a special emphasis on Nursing Homes, Hospitals, the sick and shut in. This is completely sponsored by Robert Earl Houston Ministries.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. We would greatly appreciate a donation – no matter how large or small – to continue broadcasting in this area. This will allow us to improve our broadcast, our equipment, etc.  Your donation is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

USE THE DONATE BUTTON BELOW TODAY:

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Pastor Robert Earl Houston’s first solo book, “See You In The Morning” is NOW AVAILABLE.  The book is just $10.00 with an additional $2.99 for shipping.

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.”

All books are available for purchase through the Paypal Payment Gateway, which means that you can purchase your book using your favorite debit/charge card and it is a secure payment gateway – MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, American Express, Discover and Electronic Check.

Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. Curtis Raines, Sr., Macon, GA

From http://www.macon.com/2015/02/21/3598890_prominent-macon-pastor-dies.html?rh=1, February 21, 2015

Dr. Curtis Raines Sr., a Macon pastor who led a large state organization for black churches, died Saturday. He was 67.

Raines was pastor of New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Macon and was president of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia. According to the group’s website, the convention is the largest black organization of any kind in Georgia.

Henry Ficklin, a former Macon city councilman, knew Raines for 40 years.

“I think anyone who knew him will remember him for his wonderful deeds,” Ficklin said.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said Raines was pronounced dead at Medical Center, Navicent Health, of an undisclosed illness. Jones knew Raines well, and remembered going to New Pilgrim many years ago when it was much smaller.

“He was a good person,” Jones said. “He was a person who thought community and he was a leader. That church came a long way.”

Ficklin said New Pilgrim has more than 700 members today. According to the church’s website, Raines served as pastor since shortly after it was founded in 1981 with 33 members. He was named president of the state convention in 2012, Ficklin said. Raines also pastored Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe County.

Ficklin said Raines died of “complications.” He said Raines had survived a kidney transplant, prostate cancer, heart bypass and back surgery.

“God had delivered him from a lot of things,” Ficklin said.

Bentley & Sons Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements, which have not been set.

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. George Moore, Atlanta, Georgia

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 13, 2015

ATLANTA – George Moore was a jovial, humble pastor who spoke with purpose.

“He believed in what I was doing and encouraged me to be the best at what I was doing,” said his son George Moore Jr.

A Decatur native, Moore began working at age 9 as a delivery boy for a local drug store. He graduated from Atlanta’s Washington High School and went on to work for several restaurants including Lucas’ Grille in Atlanta. He co-owned the clothing boutique Vine City Village and became a driver for one of the first black-owned cab companies, The Atlanta Car for Hire. He eventually became part owner.

George Moore, 79: Pastor saw church membership reach 10,000 photo

Moore went to church with his grandfather and joined Cosmopolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1951.

“He became so attached and interested in the life of the church,” said his son. “One day the Lord called him to preach while he was a member of Cosmopolitan AME Church.”

Moore attended Turner Theological Seminary at Morris Brown College. He was ordained a deacon in 1958 and ordained an itinerant elder in the AME Church in 1960.

He was appointed the pastor of Woosley Mission AME Church in November of 1958 and Davis Chapel AME Church in November of 1961. In July 1962, he was appointed to Amanda Flipper AME Church, where he served for eight years.

In 1970, Moore was appointed to Saint Philip AME Church in the Reynoldstown community, and he moved the membership of 200 to its current location in 1977. The membership has since grown to more than 10,000, and the church has more than 50 ministries. He served as senior pastor for more than 42 years.

George Moore died Sunday. He was 79. A funeral will be held 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Saint Philip AME Church, 240 Candler Road SE, Atlanta. Gregory B. Levett & Sons is in charge of arrangements.

“He knew how to encourage and lift you up,” said Kevin Moore, his grandson. “He would always tell me, ‘I am encouraged just because you showed up. I love you just for being you.’ It means a lot for someone to believe in your gifts more than you do. He was always behind me saying ‘you can do it, you got it.’ ”

Moore received honorary doctoral degrees from Wilberforce University in Ohio, Morris Brown College and Turner Theological Seminary.

His grandson said Moore liked to help younger pastors. In 2002, Moore and his family established the George Moore Foundation, which provides mentoring for men and women in ministry and their spouses.

In addition to his son and grandson, Moore is survived by his wife Nettie Mae Lewis-Moore, daughter L’Tanya Moore-Copeland, daughter L’Tarra Moore, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Joseph Roberts, Atlanta, Georgia

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

ATLANTA, GA – Handpicked by the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., Joseph Roberts led Ebenezer Baptist Church as its pastor for 30 years. Roberts died Sunday. He was 79.

Born in Chicago, Roberts attended that city’s public schools throughout his childhood and graduated from Knoxville College in 1956. He received a Masters of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in New York City in the 1960s. He then attended Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a Masters of Theology.

In the early 1970s, Roberts became senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Under Roberts’ leadership, more than 2,000 members were added to the congregation. He launched a community outreach program that included the Teenage Mothers Ministry, tutoring and counseling programs, a food co-op, and a daycare center for older adults.

Roberts envisioned a new sanctuary for the growing membership. In 1999, the building of the Horizon Sanctuary was completed. The 32,000-square-foot sanctuary seats 2,446 people.

He was a recipient of awards from Union Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2006, Roberts published a collection of sermons titled “Sideswiped by Eternity: Sermons from Ebenezer Baptist Church.”

20 Pounds (Less) Later . . . Pastor, You can too!

by Robert Earl Houston

LEFT: February 6, 2015; RIGHT: February 14, 2015

LEFT: February 6, 2015; RIGHT: February 14, 2015

Houston_GABKY

At the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Wednesday, February 10, 2015.

On Friday I reached a milestone. I completed the first full week of my medically supervised diet. I’m now (unofficially) approximately 20 pounds lighter. Praise God! I’ve received a lot of emails, texts and tweets asking me to post how I was able to do so.

First, I have to say it’s all by the grace of the Lord. Any diet is difficult and for me, impossible without the Lord on my side. This is not my first diet, but this is the most successful one I’ve been on. I’m at my lowest weight in about two years.

My endocrinologist recommended that I check out Health Management Resources. They work in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky (and they have locations throughout the country). My doctor told me that their average results were 50 to 75 pounds and I frankly didn’t believe it. I went to their orientation and heard their program. Of course, asked a few questions, and decided this is for me.

Here’s the program:  All outside foods – from the store, on the shelf, restaurants, church dinners, home cooked meals, no fresh fruit or vegetables, no beef, no chicken, no fried fish, no soul food – done. Finis. Over. No more fast food on the fly. No more interrupting my phone calls with: “Hold on . . . Yeah, let me have some hot wings, some wedges, and a large diet drink.”

I’m on the 3+2 plan – three milkshakes (they provide the base for it, which you can make with water or a diet soda and you can add sugar-free jello. And then there are two meal entrees, pre-packaged and pre-prepared which only take one minute to microwave (and don’t require prior refrigeration). These are minimums. Plus you take two vitamin tablets a day and yes, drink a lot of water or soda (64 ounces per day). You are required to do some exercise (I choose walking, which I do about 30 minutes each day). They want you to be full – and if your 3+2 daily minimum turns into 5+2 or 3+5 – it’s okay.

The food runs about $100 a week. That sounds like a lot, but when you consider take-out and sit-down meals, it balances out. Also, when you consider the cost of insulin, pills, etc.  I’ve been able to reduce my insulin from the max of 80 units of Lantus at night and already I’m at just 15 units. I have gone down on my with-meal insulin from 30 units to 5 units. No more Invokana.  I’m off of two other medications.

I went to the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky Pastors’ Conference last week in Louisville and actually I saved money because I wasn’t dining out and when I was hanging out with ministers in the restaurant after hours – they had food and I was content with being there, drinking water and a diet drink. No pretzels. No chips. No chicken fingers. No fries.

My health is important to me. I spent the week speaking privately to some preachers and sharing my story with them. As I’m approaching my 55th birthday this year I owe it to my wife, my family, my congregation, and most importantly, the Lord to do my best to live in good health (longevity is up to the Lord). My goal is simple: to lose about 100 pounds (yes, a whole other person) and then maintain the weight from that point on.

Here’s what was cool. To be at the General Association and wearing a suit that I packed (by accident) and hadn’t been able to wear in two years and being able to wear it with joy.

Interestingly, I’ll be celebrating my Sixth Pastoral Anniversary here at First Baptist Church. The committee has been planning and I’ll be in the closing stages of Phase One (which is a 15 week program). While those who choose to join us to dine will be on the selected meal, I’ll be there with my meal, my shake and some water.

We’ve all been to national baptist conventions and seen walking train-wrecks. Ministers who have allowed pastoral stress to send them headfirst into food. Ministers who preach and eat. Ministers who go to late night service and eat at 1 or 2 a.m. after worship and their health is jeopardized by lack of exercise, eating right, and sleep.

Pray for me on this journey. Pastors – I beg you! Please consider this.  Members – I beg you! Please consider and support your pastor in living in good health.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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The Last Supper (for a while)

Photo on 2-4-15 at 1.40 PM

Robert Earl Houston February 4, 2015

by Robert Earl Houston

Steak.
Baked Potato.
Appetizer.
Arnold Palmer.

And tonight, my wife Jessica and I observed the last supper. As of tomorrow evening, I will be undergoing a medically supervised diet. I will be sharing my journey here on The Wire to help encourage someone who has been struggling, as I have, with weight and weight-related complications.

I’ve seen preachers . . . no . . . GREAT preachers, OUTSTANDING preachers, PROLIFIC preachers, only to see their lives cut short by obesity. When I started in ministry in 1978, preaching my first sermon, I wore a size 28 suit. Today, I wear a size 48. It’s time for a change.

I’ve been a diabetic since I was 23 (I’m 54 now). I’ve had high blood pressure issues, physical issues, etc. especially in the last 3 years. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself – and that church pastor dining lifestyle that has claimed and shortened the life of many a pastor.

Late night eating.
Fast food eating.
Church dinners heavy in cooking oil.
Soda pop, soda pop, soda pop.
Sweet potato pies and cakes.
Luncheon meetings.
Dinner meetings.
Breakfast meetings.
Banquets.

So, as of tomorrow, I am becoming proactive about my health – with the support of my wife, family, church family, and extended family and friends. With a combination of medical supervision and exercise (in stages). One of my best friends, Pastor Christopher Waters, pastor of the Thankful Baptist Church in Augusta, GA, has been on a journey of good health in the last year. He has lost 60 pounds and has a goal of losing another 40 pounds this year. He’s challenged many of his friends (me included) to begin a regimen of healthy living.

I’ve tried the diets, cut back on sweets, stopped the soda. So now I take the next step, a physician-supervised regimen based in Lexington, KY provided by Health Management Resources. It means I will be exclusively dining on their shakes, foods, health bars, and vitamins, for the next 15 weeks.

If all goes well, I will lose somewhere between 60-100 pounds.

I shared my plan with the wonderful people of First Baptist Church. After church they were so encouraging. One member in particular said: “Pastor, I am so proud of you. We want you around for many years.”  That’s the goal.

The good news is that as this process starts, after meeting with the physician today, I’m already off of three medications and a serious reduction in my insulin medications (by at least half). Tomorrow I have my first extensive session and education – a four hour intensive.

So by the time I hit 55 on May 16, 2015, I will experiencing great health!  Your prayers and support are appreciated!  I encourage other pastors and preachers to join me in a journey toward good health – and church members, I encourage you to encourage your pastor on a journey as well.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

# # #

HISTORIC – Two of California Baptist State Conventions Reunification (1st UPDATE 1/29/2015)

by Robert Earl Houston

Dr. E. Wayne Gaddis CMBSC President

Two California Baptist State Conventions, which split as a result of the turmoil in the National Baptist Convention of America and the creation of National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, have agreed to an historic reunification effective in October.

The reunification brings together the California Missionary Baptist State Convention (CMBSC) and the California United Baptist State Convention (CUBSC). Both conventions were as one until the untimely split in 1991 which resulted in the creation of CUBSC. Now, the conventions have agreed to re-unify as one California Missionary Baptist State Convention.

The reunification was initiated by the CUBSC president, Dr. J. Roy Morrison and along with his General Secretary, Dr. Hubbard, they presented their proposal to Dr. E. Wayne Gaddis and the California Missionary Baptist State Convention. Dr. Gaddis stated, “I think it is a God-sent move. I would rather see us come together rather than to be in splinters. Our convention is excited. The other convention is excited. John 17:21 where Jesus says “Let them be as one, as we are one” is an answer to our prayers.”

The CMBSC and CUBSC voted today, January 28, 2015 to begin the process of reunification, which will take affect in October 2015, contingent upon CUBSC meeting certain conditions. The reunited convention will become dually-aligned with both the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America and the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., International.

Dr. Gaddis will serve as President and an election will be held in October which will complete the reunification process by filling several positions in the cabinet. This will bring the roll of the Convention to over 250 congregations which will make the CMBSC the largest African-American Baptist State Convention west of Texas. The CMBSC website can be found at www.cmbsc.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION was added courtesy of Dr. J. Roy Morrison.

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YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Alonzo Twitty, Sr., Albuquerque, NM

by Robert Earl Houston

One of the legends of Albuquerque, New Mexico has been called home to be with the Lord. Below is the obituary provided by the Daniels Funeral Home:

Alonzo Twitty, Sr., age eighty-five (85) was born February 29, 1929 to the late Mr. Albert Twitty and Mrs. Viola Dixon-Twitty on the Ward Morn farm in Brazos County, better known as Brazos Bottom located ten miles outside of Bryan and College Station, Texas, one of eleven children. He departed this life at a local hospital on Saturday, January 3, 2015. He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers Albert, John D, Napoleon, Grant; sisters Annie Mae, Frances, Estelle, Othell, Loraine, and Jewel Lee; daughter Linda Kay Hopkins-Twitty; son John Jeff Twitty I, and granddaughter Shavon Earl Twitty.
Reverend Twitty accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of the Salem Baptist church. Although called to the ministry at the age of five, he did not accept the call until the age of thirty-one and was ordained at the age of forty at the Antioch Baptist Church by the late Dr. James A. Hopkins, former pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church, the late Dr. W.W Williams, former pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, the late Reverend Walter Green, former pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church and the late Dr. C. Trotter, former pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. He focused on a dream that became a reality and in 1970 he organized the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he pastored faithfully for 44 years. He was a member of the National Baptist Conference of America, USA Inc., the Baptist Ministers Union, Ministers Fellowship Alliance, the Progressive Missionary Baptist State Convention of Central Arizona and New Mexico and the Saint Luke District Association.
He received his early school education from Salem Elementary and attended High School at Fair View High School. After moving to Albuquerque he completed his education and received his High School Diploma from Albuquerque High. At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the Unites States Army, where he served for two years, with his basic training in Camp Rucker Alabama he then went to Germany and stayed 18 months. After relief from the army he met and married his sweetheart of 62 years, Edna Earl Walton. He then spent twenty-two years in the Army Reserve, which allowed him an opportunity to travel the world.
He became a certified Pastoral Counselor by the Institute of Pastoral Counselor Division of Universal bible institute in 1977; earned a Bachelor’s, Master of Arts Degree in Religious Education from the World Institute of Religious Education, Farmington, New Mexico in 1983. In 2012 he received his Doctorate in Religious Education, from the World Institute of Religious Education.
Rev. Twitty loved to sing and in 1968 he formed his own singing group known as the Twitty Family, who sung all over the state of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Virginia. During their singing tour he and his family recorded two records, which include My Life Is in God’s Hand, Old Ship of Zion, Somewhere Around God’s Throne, and Any How My Lord. Where ever you would see Rev. Twitty he had a smile on his face and a song in his heart. His theme song that he carried with him for many years is “I know my life is in God’s hand”, of which he was able to place his life stories in the book that he Authored called Free Grace, “My Life in God’s Hand in 2009.
Reverend Twitty received numerous accolades in appreciation for his distinguished and invaluable service, support and contributions to the communities of Albuquerque, Belen, and Rio rancho, New Mexico. He received special honors from Kirtland Air Force Base, Lacy Kirk Williams Institution, Dallas Texas, Albuquerque Black Economic League, National Baptist Congress of Christian Workers, and Baptist Ministers in appreciation for outstanding service and community development. He was a recipient of the Living Legend Award in 2008 and the Community Service award from the Grant Chapel AME Church Lay Organization-Dr. Martin Luther King.
On the 23rd day of May, 1953, he married Edna Earl Walton and to this union they were blessed with eleven children. He is survived as follows wife, daughters Vivian Jean, Edna Jewel Whitaker (husband Fredrick), Annie Marie Miller, Sheniqua Shanae, daughter-in-law JoAnn Lackey; sons Alonzo, Jr. (wife Diane), Donald Ray, Sr. (wife Sandra D.), Jeremiah Guy (wife Roberta), Isaiah Matthews., and Brian Moses all of Albuquerque. Sixty-eight grand, great-grand and great-great grandchildren and now in the fifth generation; grandchildren include, Veronica, Dee Ann, Louis, Adrian, Tasha, Ariel, Jordan, Chrystal, Briana, Jackie, Don Jr, Tiffany, Moniqua (husband Kenneth), Henry (wife Patricia), Jeannette (Jason), Queannette, Apollonia,(husband Kharia), Allonnia (husband Marcus), Leanne, Amanda (husband , John Jeff II, Lamar, Jeremiah Jr, Tierre; and a host of loving cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was a pastor, daddy, husband, grandpa, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Rev. Twitty was well known and loved throughout the various Communities of Albuquerque and Vicinity and across the nation. Pastor Twitty was loved by all who came in contact with him and never met a stranger. He was always dedicated to assisting those in need, reaching the unchurched, and enlightening believers to receive all God has promised, including healing, deliverance, and the fullness of God’s spirit. He was devoted to community service, brotherly love and a “friend” to all who knew him. He was a man called, anointed and appointed by God, he trusted in the Lord and never wavered in his faith. He will be missed by many for years to come, but his spirit will live within each and every person whose lives he touched with his selfless giving, compassion and strong faith and spirit. The family would like to thank the hardworking staff at the New Mexico VA Health Care Services for their compassionate love and care, the Ministers Fellowship, and a special to Bishop Shelby and God’s House and Rev. Darnell Smith and the Macedonia Baptist Church.
The services will be as follows, there will be a private family viewing on Friday, January 9, 2015 from 10-12 at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 315 53rd Street, Albuquerque, NM 87105, following this there will be a visitation from 12 p.m.-7:30 p.m., with a service immediately following the viewing from 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Funeral services will be Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at God’s House, with internment to follow at Fairview Cemetery. Pallbearers: Kharia Jordan, Robert Jordan, Adrian Twitty, Marcus Cook II, Jordan Johns, Jason Hobbs, Jason Quiniones, Donald Twitty, Jr., Honorary Pallbearers: Alonzo Twitty, Jr., Donald Twitty, Sr., Jeremiah Guy Twitty, Sr., Isaiah Twitty, Alonzo Lamar, Fredrick Whitaker, Brian Twitty, Jeremiah Twitty, Jr., John Jeff II, Jaylen Quiniones, Christopher Romero.

1,978 Ways To Know If Your Church Is Dying

IMG_8271

Pastor Robert Earl Houston

by Robert Earl Houston

Sigh . . .

It seems like everyday a different provocateur of the modern Christian Church is posting the obituary of the Church. They proclaim death, destruction, apostasy, and a mass exodus upon the Church in favor of a societal shift away from the Church.

But are they right?

Is the Lord’s church dying or is there a shift by our congregants? In my perspective, an argument can be made for a reduction of worshipers, but in the nation at large.

In the last decade, according to US Census Bureau, the 200s (2000-2009) has seen the slowest population growth in over 50 years. The nation has grown only by 8% with only a 3% (Midwest and Northeast) factor.

The fastest growing cities in America, with growth over 170% are not known as great church cities – Lincoln City, CA; Surprise City, AZ; Frisco City, TX; Goodyear City, AZ; Beaumont City, CA; Plainfield Village, IL; Pflugerville City, TX; Indian Trail Town, NC; Wylie City, TX – only one, Louisville, KY, has experienced seismic growth.

Church wise there is a shift but its not always traceable. The Southern Baptist Convention has been losing members steadily for years only to have their numbers propped up by the growth in non-anglo churches, particularly African-American and especially Hispanic-American congregation.

The worship settings for African-Americans is rapidly changing. When I was a child, you were either Baptist or Methodist. Now, the choices have expanded to charismatic, Apostolic, Independent, House Churches, and even churches of different cultures as our sons and daughters become involved with persons of other races. However, we (as African-Americans) continue to see the rise of mega and multi-location churches.

My point is that the church is not dead yet.

Perhaps all of these spiritual prognosticators should consider putting down their pens, logging off of Facebook, and get back to ministry. How about preparing sermons that actually work? How about developing lessons with forethought and energy instead of last-minute preparation? How about spending time in prayer that “the Lord of the Harvest would send forth laborers, instead of decrying and in some cases celebrating the loss or lack of congregants in a church.

And those of us who read need to make a second-look at the emphases that these writers are making. It’s like the Facebook Super-Pastor who says “everyone is not preaching the gospel” when they haven’t left their pulpit in so long that the chair has conformed to their body shape.

I intend to celebrate the church – in all iterations: The mega, the large, the medium, the small, and even the storefront. To have a mega congregation doesn’t mean that their work is more significant or to look at the storefront is to say that they aren’t about anything. The church of the Lord is not a “one size fits all” department store – it’s a mall of speciality stores. I have friends that have memberships in 10,000 or more and I have friends that see 5-10 every Sunday. Both works are important and I celebrate them both.

So when I get e-mails from these “church specialists” many who are nothing more than a Pastor with a laptop, I refuse to celebrate their celebration of the church dying. I’d rather celebrate with the Founder of the Church, of the Church triumphant.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED

Homegoing of a Saint – Rev. H. David Parker, Baltimore, MD

From http://www.newsday.com . . . January 7, 2015

The Rev. H. David Parker, who spent 20 years in the nation’s military before becoming pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church in Elmont for 45 years, died Saturday of a heart attack at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He was 93.

Parker, who was drafted into the Army in 1942, was the nation’s youngest regimental sergeant-major when, in 1943, he attained that rank at age 21, his family said.

After serving in England, France, the Philippines and Okinawa, Japan, he returned to the states, serving at Fort Benning, Georgia, until he was honorably discharged in October 1948.

That December, he enlisted in the Air Force, where he would serve in the United States and overseas until retiring in October 1962.

He was the recipient of more than a dozen military awards, including the Commendation Medal for meritorious service. He was assigned to Mitchel Air Force Base in Hempstead in 1952 and married Willie Mae Bates of Hempstead in 1953. They had six children. She died in June 1987.

In those last military years, while stationed at Mitchel Field, Parker joined the Antioch Baptist Church in Hempstead and there became the Eastern Baptist Association of New York’s first ordained assistant pastor, said Antioch’s current pastor, Bishop Phillip Elliott.

He said Parker was the first Nassau resident to be the association’s moderator, or leader, serving from 1976 to 1980. The association covers Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens.

Parker came to Emanuel in 1963, when it had about 60 members. He was its fifth pastor. When he retired in 2008, the church had more than 700 members.

In 1972, Parker founded and organized the Nassau Council of Black Clergy.

In 1992 he became an area vice president for the Empire Baptist Missionary Convention. In 1994, he was appointed ambassador to the United Nations for the National Baptist Convention USA Inc.

In 1979, he was appointed chairman of the Nassau County Interracial Task Force by County Executive Fran Purcell. Parker also served for 16 years on the Nassau County Human Rights Commission.

Former Hempstead Mayor James Garner extolled Parker as a man who believed in doing the right thing all the time. “He was a role model that I only hoped to emulate,” he said.

Survivors include wife Flora Covington Parker of Baltimore; four daughters, Wanda K. Parker of Hempstead, Helen M. Kennedy of Fort Lauderdale, Joyce A. Parker of Topeka, Kansas, and Dorothy J. Parker-Guana of Amityville; two sons, David K. Parker of Chicago and Daniel K. Parker of Atlanta; three sisters, Alma Bowie of Anniston, Alabama, Ruth Parker of Clanton, Alabama, and Ethel Carr of Dayton, Ohio; 14 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

The wake is from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, January 12, 2015 at Emanuel Baptist Church in Elmont. The service will be there at 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Burial will follow at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.

He Left Us To See The King – Homegoing of a Saint: Andrae Crouch

by Robert Earl Houston

This evening (January 8, 2015) the body of Christ lost its metronome. Pastor Andrae Crouch went home to be with the Lord at the age of 72 in Southern California.

If you were in Choirs or a musician (or a budding musician as I was in the 1970s) your world was turned upside down by the persona of Andrae Crouch. He was so different from the rest of the crowd. James Cleveland, Clay Evans, Thomas Whitfield, and others who were “church” – with suits and ties and minimal instrumentation, and along comes a hip, cool brother – wearing open collars, hats, bell bottom slacks, with piano, organ (Billy Preston was his organist), drums, bass, and literally ignited a debate about what was and wasn’t gospel music. He took it to a dimension the church had never seen before.

He made gospel music available to everyone. I was reading through Twitter tonight and struck by the color of the voices that commented on his death. Theologians praised him for his accuracy of lyrics. Current songwriters and gospel artists have laid great accolades upon him.

Andrae Crouch was never a gospel artist. He was a brother who loved God, without saying it proved that you didn’t have to be completely clean cut to serve God, that your appearance did not speak to your destiny, and that young people had a place in sharing the gospel even through song. He was too cool to be called an artist – that term could not adequately describe what Andrae Crouch was to the church.

What struck me was how he conquered life issues and did not allow them to stop him from serving God. He not only followed the beat from a different drum – he changed the beat. He rejected the notion that God could not use certain persons even as he struggled with dyslexia.  He and his sister picked up the mantle of their parents’ church and it flourished by loving people.

I’m amazed that in his very young years he wrote “The Blood Will Never Lose His Power,”  He actually penned for James Cleveland, “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus.” He wrote the songs of the church – and as a musician I appreciated that what he recorded, you could play. His recordings were crystal clear and you could write the lyrics with ease.

Man, he wrote and/or recorded songs like  “Jesus is Lord,” “I Will Bless the Lord,” “Tell Them,” “My Tribute (To God Be The Glory),” “Take Me Back,” “Jesus Is The Answer,””Through It All,””The Broken Vessel,” “It’s Gonna Rain,””I Don’t Know Why Jesus Loves Me,” up to his recent anthem for the Church, “Let the Church Say Amen.”

In an era of people who record gospel music for the sake of money and fame, Andrae Crouch is a great reminder that serving the Lord will pay off. He yielded himself to Him and the Lord blessed him tremendously. He changed COGICs, Baptists, Methodists, Whites, Blacks, Educated, Educators and Common People with the stroke of a pen.

Certainly we pray for his sister, the Crouch Family, and their church in Southern California. Thank you Andrae for demonstrating that you don’t need a title to be substantive.

THE WIRE

by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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