Category Archives: Uncategorized

Homegoing of a Saint – Rev. Luther C. Wyatt, Vacaville, CA

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Rev. Luther C. Wyatt

Reverend Luther C. Wyatt went home to be with the Lord on January 2, 2016 in Vacaville, California.

Reverend Wyatt organized the Living Water Baptist Church of Suisun, California in 1997.  The membership grew rapidly and moved later to Fairfield, California. The Church was an active member of the Progressive District Association, California State Baptist Convention, Southern Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention.  Later they purchased a church building in Vacaville, California.

He especially loved encouraging the young people to give God their all, often telling them that serving the Lord would pay off.  Many of the youth graduated from high school and went on to college obtaining various degrees in numerous fields.  He served faithfully as Pastor until health challenges prevented him from fulfilling his full duties as Pastor.  He retired in 2010.

Please pray for his wife, Jerry Wyatt, and the Wyatt family.

Services will be on January 9, 2016 at the

Mt Calvary Baptist Church
Dr. C. Lea, Jr, Pastor
1735 Enterprise Dr. #3
Fairfield, California 94533

(information submitted by the Wyatt Family)

 

 

Blessed Jesus by Dale Jay Sanders

Screenshot 2015-12-10 18.56.47

               http://www.youtube.com/watch?v+XSeXgJDjwck&sns=am

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Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. James C.E. Faulkner, Portland, Oregon

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Dr. James Clarence Edward Faulkner, Pastor Emeritus of the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon has entered into the promise of Eternal Life on Sunday, November 16, 2015 after a long illness.

Dr. Faulkner served as the Dean and President of the Portland District Sunday School, BTU and Ushers Congress, Vice Moderator of the Union District Baptist Association and served in several capacities in the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest. He also preached at the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.

Particularly, Dr. Faulkner was noted for his teaching abilities. He was a tremendous Bible teacher and served the St. Paul church for well over 35 years as their Pastor. His theme for his ministry at St. Paul was “Do as the Spirit says do.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: It was my privilege to have preached for Pastor Faulkner on several occasions during my teenage years and in my twenties. He would not only allow you to preach, but he also gave you a critique of your preaching – even if it were painful. I will never forget a conversation we had after I had moved from Portland, and how encouraging he was and expressed his pride in how the Lord had used me. He was the chief catechizer for the ordination of Rev. Walter M. Brown, Jr. and myself.

Dr. Faulkner, a native of a small town, Uno, Kentucky, came to Portland in the early 1970s due to his insurance executive position. He shortly united with the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Dr. O.B. Williams. He was called to St. Paul in 1975 and it became a beacon in the North Portland area and a training ground for believers.

He was especially fond of mentoring young preachers many of whom went on to pastoral, teaching and preaching ministries. He became a pastor to several pastors and ministers throughout the years.

Services are scheduled for Monday, November 30, 2015 at the Vancouver Avenue Baptist Church, 3138 North Vancouver Avenue, Portland, Oregon, Dr. Matt Hennessee, Pastor, at 10:00 a.m. (PST)  A private family-only visitation will be on Sunday, November 29, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (P.S.T.) at Terry Family Funeral Home. A public visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (P.S.T.) at the funeral home.

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Willie T. Snead, Sr., Los Angeles, CA

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.46.08 PMDr. Willie T. Snead, Sr., B.S., Mace, M.Div., D.D., D. Lit., President Emeritus of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, November 14, 2015 after a brief illness in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Snead was the founder and pastor of the Greater Temple of God Christian Fellowship for almost 50 years. He was one of a handful of pastors in the history of California that held three leadership positions in three levels – Moderator of the Pacific Missionary Baptist District Association, President of the California Missionary Baptist State Convention and National President.

For years he hosted a Radio Broadcast in the Los Angeles area and preached throughout the United States.

He established the church in July 1967. His church growth program and radio broadcast “Faith To Live By” added many souls to the Lord, and touched thousands of lives throughout Los Angeles and nearby communities.

He held a bachelor of science degree in business administration from California Baptist University in Riverside, California; a master of divinity degree and master of arts degree in Christian Education from Golden Gate Theological Seminary – Mill Valley, California. Recipient of Doctorate Degree, Reed Christian College – Western Theological Seminary in Los Angeles, California. Recipient of Doctor of Letters in Religion, St. Stephens Educational Bible College – Los Angeles, California. Recipient of Doctor of Humane Letters, Liberty Baptist College – Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Dr. Snead accepted Christ at the age of nine. You can find his name in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for 1989-90. He also holds such titles as Pastor of the Year, Moderator of the Year, Religious Broadcast of the Year (two consecutive years) from the ACC News Pauline Awards. Numerous commendations from government officials, to name a few Governor of California, California State Congress, California State Assembly, City of Los Angeles Councilmen, County of Los Angeles Supervisors.

Dr. Snead is a lifetime member of the NAACP Los Angeles (Watts) Chapter. former Board Member of Congress of National Black Churches (CNBC). former Vice Chairman Board of Directors – Southern California Affiliate of CNBC. COPS – Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department; Police Booster Club; former Ambassador for The Union Rescue Mission. Former Co-Chairman for the California Committee for Environmental Justice (went on Environmental Justice fact finding mission to Louisiana with Vice President Al Gore’s team).

Dr. E. Wayne Gaddis, President of the California Missionary Baptist State Convention, has forwarded the following information:

“Services for Dr. W.T. Snead, Sr., Former President of the California Missionary Baptist State Convention, our friend and brother, have been announced as follows:

Local Homegoing Services:

Monday, November 23, 2015:

(Services held at Greater Temple of God Christian Fellowship,
Greater Temple of God, 1404 East Firestone Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90013. Church Phone: (323) 582-7344)

Dr. Snead’s Body will lie in state, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (PST)

Services begin at 7:00 p.m. and are under the direction of the Pacific Missionary Baptist District Association, Dr. Rodney Howard, Moderator and the California Missionary Baptist State Convention, Dr. E. Wayne Gaddis, President.

TUESDAY, November 24, 2015:

(Services held at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 4269 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90037, Dr. Melvin Von Wade, Sr., Pastor. Church Phone: (323) 846-1950)

Dr. Snead’s Body will lie in state, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (PST)

The NATIONAL HOMEGOING SERVICE for Dr. W.T. Snead, Sr. will begin at 10:00 a.m. His son, Rev. W. Terrell Snead, II, pastor of the Worship Center Community Church, will deliver the eulogy.

HOTEL INFORMATION:

A special Hotel Room block has been created. If anyone wants a standard room it will be $99.00at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, 6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Telephone: (310) 642-1111. Deadline to make reservations for this special rate is Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

When calling, please identify yourself as making a reservation under the Dr Snead Room Block to receive the special rate.”

Please watch this page, any updated information will be posted here.

Homegoing of a Saint – Pastor Melford J. Elliott, Akron, Ohio

Elliott, Pastor Melford J.,

51, transitioned to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday May 10, 2015.

He served as the proud Pastor of The Greater Bethel Baptist Church in Akron, OH for over fourteen years.

He is survived by his loving wife and best friend for 31 years, Jacqueline Elliott; sons, Earnest Maxwell (LaTonya) and Melford Elliott; his mother, Annie Christine Elliott-Summers; sisters Mary Ann Clark-Bivens (Bill), Ruth Caffey (Darrell) and Angela Elliott, brother William Nash (Vanessa); three grandchildren, Christopher Maxwell, Jazmine Collins and Tiffany Cone; one great-grandson, Isaiah Maxwell and special godson, Jewan Surles III; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral is noon Saturday at King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, 1620 Anderson Street, burial Green Meadows Cemetery, visitation 10 a.m. – 12 noon Saturday.
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?pid=174851888#sthash.xFHPEPND.dpuf

Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. Gardner Calvin Taylor, Brooklyn, New York

by Robert Earl Houston

A tall cedar has fallen on the preaching landscape of the United States, as the Lord has called home his servant, the Rev. Dr. Gardner Calvin Taylor on Easter Sunday, April 6, 2015. He was 96 years old.

Dr. Taylor was world-reknown for his preaching gifts and was dubbed “The Dean of American preaching” by Time Magazine.  He was born June 18, 1918 and graduated from Leland College and Oberlin Graduate School of Theology.

He was called a “National Visionary” by the National Visionary Leadership Project for “his use of metaphor, dramatic timing and biblical truths to weave a seamless narrative in his sermons exhibit(ed) his mastery of the technical aspects of preaching that have inspired both laymen and clergy alike. Many have been entranced and transformed by Taylor’s oratorical gift.”

Dr. Taylor was the only child born to Reverend Washington and Selina Taylor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His father died when he was 13, however, he influenced his son’s preaching style.  As a young man, he had hopes of becoming a lawyer and it wasn’t until he survived a serious car accident that he experienced his call to ministry and realized God’s claim on his life.

Instead of attending the University of Michigan Law School, he went to Oberlin in 1937 where he met his wife Laurabelle Scott. They married in 1940 and had one daughter.  While in school, he pastored Bethany Baptist Church in Oberlin from 1938 to 1941; the Beulah Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA, 1941-1943; the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, LA, 1943-1947. In 1948 he became pastor of Concord Baptist Church at the age of 30, which at the time had 5,000 members. By the end of his tenure, church membership exceeded 14,000. Under his leadership, the church build a home for the aged, organized a fully-accredited grade school and developed the Christ Fund, a million-dollar endowment for investing in the Brooklyn community.

As a denominational leader he sought the presidency of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. He ran against the incumbent president, Dr. J.H. Jackson, who had differing views about the Civil Rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters, of which Dr. Taylor was one. Following very controversial proceedings, Dr. Jackson was declared president and in Cincinnati, the other faction organized that Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.  Several years later, Dr. Taylor became President of the Convention and was honored as the President Emeritus unto the time of his passing.

He received numerous awards and honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to his by President William Jefferson Clinton.

He served as the senior pastor of Concord  for 42 years and retired 25 years ago in 1990. He was in demand as a preacher world-wide and authored several books, include the six-volume series, “The Words of Gardner Taylor.” HIs wife Laura Bell passed away on February 5, 1995.  He later married Phillis Strong. His daughter is Martha Taylor Lacroix.

I had the privilege to serve as the Webmaster of the Progressive National Baptist Convention during the 50th Anniversary of the Convention in Washington, DC, and Dr. Taylor was present at the Convention. He gave words of wisdom and I stood there in awe as he sat in his wheelchair and dispensed wisdom to a crowd that was completely in awe and in silence, soaking up his wisdom. He shared a great line: “Some young pastor asked me Dr. Taylor what should be my goal as a young pastor? I looked at him and said, live to be an old pastor.”

At the time of his passing he was residing in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Phillis. I wrote this on Twitter: “Dr. Gardner Taylor was to preaching what paint was to Picasso, what a needle was to a record album, and what a lyric was to a song.”

HOMEGOING ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED AS FOLLOWS:

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Christian Faith Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
Viewing 6 – 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 12, 2015
Concord Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York
Wake 5 – 8 p.m.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Concord Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York
Viewing 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Homegoing Service 11:30 a.m.

Sources:
– Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
– Wikipedia
– National Ministries.org
– YouTube
–  National Visionary Leadership Project

My thoughts on the Preacher and the Jet

by Robert Earl Houston

We are asking members, partners and supporters of this ministry to assist in the undertaking of an initiative called Project G650. The mission of Project G650 is to acquire a Gulfstream G650 airplane so that Pastors Creflo and Taffi and World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace. We are believing for 200,000 people to give contributions of 300 US dollars or more to turn this dream into a reality–and allow us to retire the aircraft that served us well for many years. (The Huffington Post)

I have been watching the discussion, jokes, and expert opinions about Dr. Creflo Dollar’s (Pastor of the World Changers Church International in the Atlanta area) request for money to buy a top of the line jet. I think that the problem that many have with it is not necessarily the need for a plane – it’s a plane of that order and that type. What was probably a great idea in a planning and creative session (which mega ministries have) backfired because somebody either didn’t say or was overruled in the wisdom of putting this down on video and letter to ask for a first class jet that only the super-rich possess.

The downside of this has become all of the chatter, criticism and last night during The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, one of the ministers of the television reality show, “The Preachers of Detroit” greatly rebuked Dollar and the panel basically made it sound like the poor was being pressured into giving – when the truth is that poor folk aren’t the only ones who give to his (or any other mega ministry) because he clearly said it was sent to his congregation AND his worldwide donors list, which meant these were the people who had already been giving.

This debacle has made the words “those preachers” become inclusive of most of us who don’t drive or own luxury cars, live in fancy homes or have congregations that pay us six or seven figure salaries. Most of us struggle, to be honest. Those of us who went to school haven’t gotten the appropriate amount of pay for school nor experience. Most of us deal with established boards who come to the table not with the spirit of the pastor’s vision, but their own brand of division. Not to mention a spirit of suicide that erupted in the Body of Christ last year which saw several pastors (none of those who pastored megachurches) end their lives tragically.

I’m saddened by all of this, without a doubt. It’s been a long time since Jim and Tammy Bakker and other financial excesses have been public fodder. So, please forgive me if I don’t join in the chorus of those who are joyfully exploiting this situation with suspect glee – it’s saddening and disappointing on many, many levels. Since the public outcry, the campaign has been cancelled.

A friend of mine, Bishop Victor Couzens of Cincinnati, Ohio recently went on a missions trip. Packed his bags and shared the gospel with those who are struggling in life. Upon his preparation to return to the States, he heard the voice of the Lord, and all of the clothing and possessions he brought with him to Kenya – and to leave it all to those in the village and he literally returned home with nothing but the clothes on his back. The people of that area gave him a Maasai name: “Lemaylan” – which means “the one who is blessed to be blessed.”

I choose to serve so that I too will be called “Lemayla.”

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED

Divided Pulpits

Photo on 6-23-13 at 11.31 AM #2by Robert Earl Houston

I am concerned about division. I’m concerned as a believer, as a preacher, as a pastor, as a church member. I don’t like to see nor experience division in the body of Christ. I’m not a proponent of splits especially in our denominational structures that have taken us from one convention in 1914 to well over 20 conventions, reformations, and fellowships in our African-American baptist context. We are so divided it’s hard for any one group to make an impact upon society because of our fragmentation.

I’m reminded of when the National Baptist Convention of America split in 1989. I was a young pastor, just started my pastoral ministry in Portland, Oregon and then watched my home convention split and the reverberations spread across the country. Those who had served together for years and many of them icons were now drawing borders and fellowships that had existed for years were now laid bare on the ground. 

There was an incident that occurred when a pastor from NBCA wrote a pastor from NMBCA and stated that since the National was splitting, a decades long fellowship between the two local churches was no longer in his best interest. I said it then, it was a sad day when we can’t worship together on a local level.

However, there is a move afoot and I think it’s worthy of mention that it seems that we are becoming increasingly divided due to stances of theological proportion. Back in the day, E.V. Hill could preach in Los Angeles in his pulpit on Sunday morning, appear on the Charismatic TBN broadcast with Paul and Jan Crouch Sunday evening, fly to Denver to preach to a Focus on the Family event and then wind up at a City-Wide revival at the end of the week. In other words, he had no problem flowing from reformation to reformation. He preached for liberals, conservatives, pre-trib, post-trib, pentecostals, baptists, methodists, episcopalians without any hesitation, in order to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The problem, as I see it, is that many pastors are willing to die on ant hills instead of mountains. We have too much in common in the word of God to sacrifice it on a small list of differences that will either cause us to express disdain or withdraw fellowship because, frankly, what we think is a sacred cow is nothing more than putting personal ideology over biblical practice.

Hot button issues aside, we are becoming the Baptist Hatfields and McCoys. I can’t come preach for you because your people shout. You can’t come preach for me because I have women in the pulpit. I can’t come preach for you because you don’t have a higher degree. You can’t come preach for me because you aren’t conservative enough in your theology. I can’t come preach for you because your church is not large enough. You can’t preach for me because all you’ll do is squall at the end of your sermon. And while we play these ecclesiastical games, our churches are thinning out and pulpits are dying.

Even if a stance evolves or shifts there is no reason to cut off fellowship completely. I had a friend that was “ride or die” and when I changed a stance, all of a sudden I became an anathema to him. I tried several times to call – not to chop it up theologically, but just to call and say hello. No response. Called several times. No response. So I had to write off a friend that I had worked closely with for many years because of the foolishness of an ant hill mentality.

I long for the day when denominations will cease. But I long more intensely for the day when division among baptists will cease.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

Homegoing of a Saint: Senior Apostle Ernest Leonard, Union, New Jersey

APOSTLELEONARD

Dear Young Preacher

by Robert Earl Houston

Houston08282013This has been brewing in my spirit all day. I want to offer some advice to young preachers – I mean those who are teenagers/early 20s – who have been called to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and commissioned to carry this glorious gospel into all the world with power.

Enjoy being young.

I was a “boy preacher” at 17 years of age, who received a call from the Lord during my senior year at Thomas Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon and the late Dr. Arthur Bernard Devers, I, was my pastor at that time. I missed out on some social interactions because “I’s a preacher now” that at the age of 53 I regret.

I also dismissed out of hand some experiences, celebrations (i.e. my senior prom) and other activities because I was a minister. I felt that I should be “the preacher” all of the time and I actually lost the opportunity to be a Christian witness at some functions because I was not there.

Don’t rush age.

Listen, age will catch up to you. You don’t have to pretend and personify a “preacher’s vocabulary” at 16. There’s plenty of time to answer the phone, “Praise the Lord” or even have a voicemail that says “You’ve reached Minister XYZ, the associate minister of the ABC Church located at (address). I’m busy serving an awesome God, please leave your name, message, and this ministry will return your call at our convenience,” when the truth of the matter is that you’re in Algebra class, where you usually are around 11 a.m. in the morning on a Tuesday.

While you’re young – enjoy life. I’m not saying don’t be committed to your Pastor and Church, because you should be, that’s granted. However, while you’re young – enjoy life. Travel. Broaden your mind. Broaden your experiences. Take your time in life. Read – not just the Bible, but books that will stimulate and challenge your thought processes.

Don’t make the mistake of other preachers who were called as a kid, got married (because you thought you had to in order to get a church) at 18, divorced at 19, drunk or high at 20, and then quit the ministry at 21.

Take a moment to start and develop a hobby while building a resume;
Take a moment to take in a movie while studying Pastoral Theology;
Learn how to talk english and learn slang too while learning Greek and Hebrew;
Learn how to say the words that may save you in the future – “no” and “not today” and learn how to inhale and exhale – it will save you stress in the future.

One of the worst things I did as a “boy preacher” was becoming Minister Robt. E. Houston (I learned to abbreviate Robert to Robt. from two people – my English/Journalism Teacher, Ruthann Hartley-Harris and Dr. Robt. H. “Bob” Wilson, Sr. of Dallas, Texas) before I learned who Robert Earl Houston was.

I worry about a generation of young preachers who call each other “Doc” and “Bishop” and “Apostles” and don’t know the difference between preaching and performance. Do you know what Jesus called Peter?  He called him Peter.

Young preacher you don’t need armor bearers, ministry logo, a briefcase (and yes, I had one), scheduling service, business cards, websites, product, and all of the entrapments of ministry. How about becoming a great Christian and human being first? As one preacher of old once said, never build a skyscraper on a chicken coop.

Remember this – one day you’ll grow up and you’ll look back and see pictures of you in the pulpit, but where will be the pictures of you in the pool, playing pool, singing with your friends, eating a meal, wearing silly hats, and vacation venues or explorations or bike rides or just a photo of you smiling?

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME

THE WIRE

by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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