Vacant Pulpit: Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

From the American Baptist Newspaper, Louisville, KYScreen Shot 2015-01-07 at 12.56.19 PM

Homegoing of a Saint – Rev. Michael C. Murphy, Washington, DC

From the Washington Post
by Hamil R. Harris

WASHINGTON, DC – Rev. Michael C. Murphy, who served as the Senior Pastor of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ for five years, died last Sunday just minutes before he was to deliver his morning sermon.

Rev. Leslie Dowdell-Cannon said church members found Murphy unconscious in his office before the start of the church’s early service.   She said members knocked on the door after he didn’t come to the pulpit for the 8:30 a.m. service. He was 62.

Church officials from the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ have been told that Murphy died of an apparent heart attack and a spokesman for D.C.’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Murphy was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Rev. John Deckenback, conference minister for the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, said: “Michael was very important to the Central Atlantic Conference and the whole United Church of Christ family.

Murphy was a native of Chicago.  He graduated from DePaul University and  Michigan State University before enrolling in the Chicago Theological Seminary, where he earned a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate in  Ministry.

In 1987, Murphy founded the St. Stephen’s Community Church in Lansing, Michigan. During his time there, he was also elected to the Lansing City Council and in 2000 he was elected to the Michigan State Legislature, where he served three terms. During his legislative tenure, he sponsored the Jasmine Miles School Children Safety Act, which was named after a student who died walking home from school in 2003. The legislation was aimed at getting local jurisdictions to add sidewalks, school crossings and to take other safety measures for school children crossing the street.

In 2009, Murphy  was “called,” by the leaders of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ who had been looking for a pastor for two years after the retirement of Rev. Dr. A. Knighton Stanley, the church’s long time pastor. A church known for its focus on social justice issues, Peoples was founded by 175 people on March 6, 1891.

The church initially met in Nash Hall at 708 O Street  N.W. Washington, D.C.  In 1894, the first church building was built at 628 M Street N.W.   In April 1954,  the congregation conducted its first worship service at the current location at 4704 13th Street N.W. A new sanctuary was constructed at that location in 1991.

After becoming the pastor of Peoples,  Murphy emphasized hosting events like revival meetings as part of the church’s evangelistic outreach effort. The church has a proud legacy of spirituality, community service and social activism. The congregation is also home to a vibrant community of African American  middle class families.

“Looking back, moving forward and press on. That’s our theme,” said Murphy in an interview with the Post during the time.   “I see Peoples as a progressive Christian community, called by faith, led by hope and united by love to build strong committed disciples for Jesus Christ.”

Rev. Graylan Hagler, pastor of the Plymouth Congregational, called Murphy’s death, “a tremendous loss, Reverend Murphy was a very distinguished person in the UCC Movement and he was very engaged locally, regionally and nationally.”

Dowdell-Cannon said Murphy’s death is a blow to members of the United Church of Christ congregations nationwide.

“We had a lot of challenges at the church, but we managed to still talk, laugh and work together,” Dowdell-Cannon said. “My last conversation with him was that he was praying for me because my mother is ill.”

Murphy was divorced but he leaves behind a son and a daughter. Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

A Few New Year’s Day Thoughts

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! God has allowed me to see another New Year’s Day and in a few months, if the Lord be pleased, I’ll celebrate another milestone – 55 years of life. God is good.

I want to share a few New Year’s thoughts and then I’m going to finish watching the Rose Parade (been there in person before, there is no parade in the world like it) and of course, it’s a football national holiday (more on that later).

IMG_23641.  Last night’s New Year’s Eve celebration between First Baptist Church, First Corinthian Baptist Church, and St. John A.M.E. Church was spectacular. It was the first time we’ve done this as a collaborative efforts led by the three pastors – Pastor Jerome Wilson (St. John), Pastor Leslie Whitlock (First Corinthian), and myself (First Baptist). It was greatly supported by our memberships and this was berthed over a meal at Buffalo Wild Wings. The three of us are not competitors – we are colleagues. We genuinely love each other as brothers in Christ and want to see each of our churches blessed. We were concerned that we wanted our fellowship to go beyond funerals – since the fabric of our community cuts across all three of our congregations. It was something to see. The choirs from each church were at their best. Pastor Wilson was a gracious host. Pastor Whitlock did an awesome job in preaching. We praise God for the offering, of which every dime was donated to the Resource Office of Social Ministries in Frankfort, a non-profit organization, coordinates the efforts of the religious community to aid the poor, providing accurate information to efficiently use resources and prevent duplication of assistance. Last night these three congregations donated $1,598.00. God be praised! There was plenty of food and after all were fed, the remaining food was donated to the local Homeless Shelter. It demonstrates the power of unity and relationship – when three churches, with a collective history of almost 500 years of collective history (FBC – 181; St. John – 175; First Corinthian – 138) – come together, we can do great and positive things for our community. I predict this NYE celebration will outgrow all of our sanctuaries in the near future.

SOUP2.  Today is the day of semi-final games in the first-ever College Football playoff series. It’s been a long time coming. To me, it created some collateral damage – the excitement about other down games just hasn’t been there, for me, this year. Two games will determine who will play in next week’s championship bowl game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

My picks:

ROSE BOWL – Florida State University Seminoles (13-0-0) vs. University of Oregon Ducks (12-1-0)
This is a classic battle of two high-octane teams with two future NFL quarterbacks. Jameis Winston has proven he’s the quarterback who can’t lose a game. With a quarterback rating of 88.1 and a 26-0-0 record as a starter, he has created an atmosphere of winning and daredevil offense. Coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff have crafted a championship season – BUT that road is going to end. The Ducks, who could give many an NFL team a run for their money, is going to win. Three reasons: First, Marcus Mariota, Heisman Trophy winner is Superman in a football uniform. Secondly, Oregon features a heart-attack offense. They seem to lull you into taking a lead and then will come back and score 21 plus points within minutes.  Third, It’s just their time. Oregon has had fantastic teams every year that just fell short each year. But Mark Helfrich’s team looks up to the task. Ducks by 6.

SUGAR BOWL – Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1-0) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1-0). Let’s cut to the chase. Ohio State’s selection was controversial to begin with, as they sneaked in under the wire with a third string quarterback. How do you answer Alabama’s offense, defense, coaching, and undoubtedly a sea of supporters in New Orleans? Roll Tide.  Alabama by 15.

3.  My condolences to those who are dealing with death in their families across the country and those congregations who are dealing with the homegoing of their pastors. Of special note, I extend my condolences to my Portland pastor, Dr. Johnny Pack, IV and his family during their time of bereavement. May the Lord grant the families strength, compassion and love.

So, that’s it. Have an awesome first day of the year!

Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. Johnnie Coleman, Chicago, Illinois

by Robert Earl Houston

Dr. Johnnie Coleman, the iconic Chicago minister who founded and built the Christ Universal Temple, for which she led for over 50 years, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 23, 2014.  Homegoing Services are pending and will be announced on the church website,

The Church, now led by Rev. Derrick B. Wells, released the following statement:

On Tuesday, December 23rd, our beloved spiritual mother and founder, the Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon, made her transition. We lovingly hold her up in prayer as we release her into the grace, peace, and harmony of God’s presence.

We are praying with her family and everyone who was touched by her life-transforming ministry.

At this time, arrangements for a memorial service in her honor are incomplete.  Additional information will be forthcoming as promptly as it is made available.
From the Christ Universal Temple Website:

The Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon, often referred to as the First Lady of the New Thought Christian Community, founded Christ Universal Temple, a thriving, spirited, and progressive New Thought Church in 1956. In 1974, she established an international organization of affiliated New Thought churches and study groups called the Universal Foundation for Better Living.

As a member of the International New Thought Alliance (I.N.T.A.), Rev. Colemon served as the district president and the chairperson of the 60th I.N.T.A. Congress held in Chicago.

“Johnnie”, as Rev. Colemon is affectionately called, celebrated fifty years of building and teaching in 2006, the year she retired as the Senior Minister of Christ Universal Temple. During her tenure, she built five structures to spread the “Better Living” teachings, including three churches and two institutions of learning (Johnnie Colemon Institute and Johnnie Colemon Academy). She also constructed a luxury banquet hall and restaurant in service to a community that, previously, had little access to a high end dining experience. The first church, built in 1962, was named Christ Unity Temple, with a its addition to accommodate another 1000 parishioners constructed in 1972. When the congregation outgrew the first church and the additional building, Rev. Colemon designed, constructed, and moved into the current Christ Universal Temple, located on the 100 acre campus at 119th Street and Ashland Avenue in Chicago.

The Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon’s leadership, vision, and love continues to have an impact on a global scale as Christ Universal Temple remains a ‘Light Unto All Humanity.’

From: The History Makers

The Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon, founder-minister of Christ Universal Temple, has a message: “Teaching People How To Live Better Lives”. Often referred to as the first lady of America’s religious community, she is the pastor of the thriving, spirited and progressive New Thought Church, which has nearly 20,000 members. Born in Columbus, Mississippi, Colemon was raised in a rich spiritual environment. Her parents, John and Lula Haley, were active members of the church and encouraged their only child to participate. Colemon demonstrated leadership skills early at Union Academy High School, graduating as valedictorian of her class. She received her B.A. at Wiley College and first became a teacher for the Chicago Public Schools and later an analyst for the Quarter Masters.

Open Your Mind and Be Healed is not only the title of her book, but her remarkable personal story of the use of universal principles of healing. After learning that she had an incurable disease in 1952, with encouragement from her mother, Colemon enrolled in the Unity School of Christianity, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, where she received her teaching certificate and became an ordained minister.

Colemon is a builder and a teacher. She has built six structures to spread the better living teachings: three churches, two institutions of learning and a restaurant and banquet facility. The first church was Christ Unity Temple built in 1956 and its addition in 1973. The congregation expanded to the current Christ Universal Temple, located on the sprawling campus grounds at 119th Street (named Rev. Johnnie Colemon Drive in 1996) and Ashland Avenue in Chicago. Close to 4,000 people flock every Sunday and are taught how to think, rather than what to think. Her experiences compel her to share with others: “Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life.” Out of a sense of knowing that a need for a vital, new affiliation of independent New Thought Churches existed, Colemon’s dynamic leadership led to the organization of the Universal Foundation for Better Living, Inc., an international association of New Thought Christian Churches and study groups located in the USA and abroad.

Her civic positions include Director of the Chicago Port Authority and Commissioner of the Chicago Transit Authority Oversight Committee, recognition as one of Chicago’s Living Legends by the Institute for African American Youth Development. She was honored by DuSable Museum as an African American History Maker.

Colemon is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She holds the distinction of advancing the New Thought movement and received the Minister of the Century from the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). Colemon was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree from her alma mater, Wiley College in Wiley, Texas; the degrees of doctor of humane letters and doctor of divinity from Monrovia College, Liberia; and a Ph.D. in humane letters from Gospel Ministry Outreach (GMOR). Other honors include proclamations from the States of Illinois and Michigan; the City of Chicago; the Ohio House of Representatives; the Michigan Legislature; the City of Oakland, California; Miami, Florida and many others.

Homegoing of a Saint: Bishop Kenneth Lewis Tate, Huntsville, Alabama

June 1, 1960 – Dec. 16, 2014
Bishop Kenneth Lewis Tate, 54 of Huntsville, AL departed this life on December 16, 2014 at 9:34 am at his home surrounded by love.

Bishop Tate was educated in the Madison County school system, and attended Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biblical Studies at American Baptist College, Nashville, TN. He retired from Redstone Arsenal as an Information Technology Specialist in 2004.

Bishop Kenneth Tate was the establisher, and Senior Pastor of New Shiloh Church Ministries in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Third Presiding Bishop of Dominion Covenant Fellowship of Churches, International; headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.

Bishop Tate leaves to mourn a wife, Cynthia Tate, Huntsville, AL; daughters, Angelia (Anthony) Huggins, Kenethia Tate, both of Huntsville, AL, son, Le’Quinton (Jimilee) Tate, Hazel Green, AL; mother, Alma J. Tate-Anderson, West Bloomfield, MI; father, Pastor Elijah (Lorine) Tate, Huntsville, AL; sister, Kabba Tate-Anderson, West Bloomfield; MI, four brothers, David (Valarie )Woods, Detroit, MI, Jarvis Tate, Huntsville, AL, Minister Christopher Tate, Johnson City, TN, Reverend Wayne Sibley, Huntsville, AL; step-sister, Alicia Burwell, Madison, AL, father and mother-in-law, Freddy and Vera Abernathy, Decatur, AL; three sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law, seven grandchildren, and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation was held December 19, 2014, at New Shiloh Church Ministries (5101 Mastin Lake Road, Huntsville, AL). Funeral service was on Saturday, December 20, 2014, at Progressive Union Missionary Baptist Church (1919 Brandontown Road, Huntsville, AL) with Bishop James E. Kellem officiating. Interment will be in the Valhalla Memory Gardens. Bishop Tate will lie in repose one hour prior to funeral time. – See more at:

Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. John T. Teabout, Sr., Newark, New Jersey

The Homegoing Services have been announced for Dr. John T. Teabout, Sr., pastor of the Greater Friendship Baptist Church Newark, NJ.

Rev. Teabout went home to be with our Lord and Savior on Friday, December 19, 2014.

Arrangements for his home-going services are as follow:

Friday December 26, 2014 from 3 pm until
at Greater Friendship Baptist Church 84 Custer Ave, Newark, NJ

Home Going Service:
Saturday December 27, 2014 from 9 am until
at Zion Hill Baptist Church 152 Osborne Terrace, Newark, NJ

Rev. Teabout has been a faithful part of the Late Night Services for the National Baptist Convention. Let’s pray for his family and his church family and the community of faith.

Vacant Pulpit – True Light Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (Deadline: February 24, 2015)



The True Light Baptist Church is currently accepting nominations and applications for the position of Senior Pastor.

This congregation of 100 families believes the successful candidate must possess the following qualifications:

  •   Must be ordained and knowledgeable in the Baptist Doctrine
  •   God Fearing and devoted in the ministry
  •   A Spirit Filled speaker and presenter of the Gospel
  •   Able to provide a teaching and learning experience to the congregation
  •   Skilled in church management and supervision
  •   A capable counselor
  •   Interested in youth oriented programs
  •   The preferred candidate will have attained a Bachelor’s Degree from an

    accredited four year college or university; and have four or more years’ experience as an Associate or Assistant Minister, with related progressive experience and/or training.

  •   The equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered on an individual basis.
  •   The candidate must have completed Seminary Training and be committed to continuing education to maintain and enhance ministerial and management skills.

    Interested applicants should submit their resume or curriculum vitae along with a completed application packet and DVD of a sermon presented within the past three months.

    You may obtain an application packet at our website or by contacting the church office at (616)-247-8072.

    Completed application packets must be received by February 24, 2015 to be considered.

    Submit to:
    900 THOMAS ST. SE
    ATTN: Search Committee

Vacant Pulpit – Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio (Deadline: February 7, 2015)

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church 1775 West Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43223

Pastor Vacancy Announcement

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is seeking a full-time pastor called by God to be the spiritual and administrative leader of the congregation. The pastor is responsible to God and the church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to preach and teach the Bible, to provide Christian leadership, and to engage in pastoral care of the congregation.

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church was organized in August of 1922 by Reverend Solomon M. Smith, his wife Ida Smith, his immediate family, and a few other Christians. The church grew greatly over the years as it moved from its origin in a house on the West Side of Columbus to its sixth and current location. Friendship has been blessed to have had only three pastors in its ninety-two year history.

Today, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church has numerous ministries to serve the needs of the members and the community. Our mission statement is, “It is the intent and mission of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church to be a church centered on Jesus Christ, controlled by the Holy Ghost and committed to uplift humanity through the proclamation of the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is a member of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, the Eastern Union Missionary Baptist Association, and the Ohio Baptist General Convention.


The ideal candidate must:

Be a licensed and ordained Baptist preacher
Be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit and meet the qualities and characteristics set forth in 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9
Believe and exemplify biblical characteristics
Have a degree from an accredited theological seminary
Have a minimum of five (5) years of pastoral experience
Demonstrate visionary leadership to grow church membership
Believe in and adhere to the practice of Baptist doctrine, ordinances, and polity Exhibit a passion to preach and teach the unadulterated Word of God
Possess strong written and oral communication skills
Have a sense of church administration, organization and financial management Value interpersonal relationships with the various ministries of the church
Aspire to establish, foster and maintain a strong sense of community

Be mission minded
Recognize and actively promote the gifts and talents of the church body
Be above reproach in personal character and financial standings both inside and outside the church.

Interested candidates should submit the following:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Updated and complete resume
  3. Detailed listing of ministerial and pastoral experiences
  4. Copies of diplomas, degrees, ministerial license, and ordination certificate
  5. Four references:
    1. Two (2) from pastors/clergy
    2. One (1) from lay person
    3. One (1) personal

      All documents should be submitted to:

      Pulpit Committee Friendship Missionary Baptist Church P.O. Box 23471 Columbus, Ohio 43223

All documents must be received between January 5, 2015 and February 7, 2015.

Vacant Pulpit – New Hope Baptist Church, Muncie, Indiana

New Hope Baptist Church is now accepting resumes to fill the position of Pastor. We are seeking an ordained preacher/teacher to fill the position of Pastor. All travel and lodging expenses will be the responsibility of the candidate. Please send resumes and letter of interest to:

New Hope Baptist Church
Attention: Pastoral Search Committee
524 E. Willard Street
Muncie, Indiana 47302

Resumes will be accepted until January 12, 2015

From the American Baptist Newspaper, December 15, 2014 Edition

Homegoing of a Saint – Rev. W.L. Baker, Hopkinsville, KY

by Dr. C.B. Akins, pastor of the First Baptist Church Bracktown, Lexington, KY
From the American Baptist Newspaper, December 15, 2014 Edition



by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.


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