Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Richard H. Dixon, Jr., Mount Vernon, NY

Mt. Vernon’s legendary Rev. Richard H. Dixon, Jr. has died

Screenshot 2015-04-28 10.38.19Dr. Richard H. Dixon, Jr., minister, civil rights leader, and community leader, passed away on Saturday morning, April 25.

He was born October 3, 1923 to the late Beulah and Rev. Richard H. Dixon, Jr. The only son of three children.

Rev. Dixon was Pastor Emeritus of the Macedonia Baptist Church. He served forty-one years as Pastor of this great Church, and on December 31, 1999 retired as its Pastor.

He attended Public Schools in Dallas, Texas and Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received a B.A. Degree from Bishop College, Marshall, Texas; Bachelor of Theology Degree from the American Theological Seminary, Nashville, Tenn.; Bachelor Degree of Divinity from Colgate Seminary, Rochester, New York; D.D. Degree from the University of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan; Candidate for Doctorate Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ.

Rev. Dixon was pastor of three churches, First Baptist Church, Lackawanna New York for four years; Historical Trinity Baptist Church, Pontiac, Michigan for ten years; and Macedonia Baptist Church, Mount Vernon, New York for forty-one years.
He was called to preach and was licensed in Kansas City Missouri, in the year 1946.

He served as President of the Mount Vernon Council of Churches; Westchester Urban League; founder and past president of the United Black Clergy of Mount Vernon; founder and past president of the Westchester Christian Leadership Conference.
He had the honor of being selected, with 25 outstanding people throughout the United States, to be a part of the group to accompany Dr. Martin Luther King to Oslo, Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. IN the addition, the People’s Republic of China invited him, with 17 other educators and religious leaders, as a guest of the Chinese government to tour, study and exchange views (the summer of 1980).

For several years, he was assigned as Second Deputy Commissioner of the City of Mount Vernon, and head of the Chaplaincy program of Mount Vernon Police Department.

He was once honored to provide opening prayer at the United States Congress in Washington, D. C. He also served as Chaplain for the New York State Senate and Assembly. He has also received countless awards and honors.

Reverend Dixon was married to the former Earnestene Wright. They had three children; Richard III, Sonya and Lori; two sons-in-law, Mark Stephens and George McClendon; two granddaughters, Styler and Kayla and three grandsons, James, Dabnus and George, Jr. He also had a son Carl and grandson, Cameron.

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Homegoing of the Saints – Dr. Samuel Eugene Thornton, Detroit, Michigan

Dr. Samuel E Thornton Detroit, MIchigan

by Robert Earl Houston

Dr. Samuel Eugene Thornton, 90, went home to be with the Lord on April 22, 2015.  He served as pastor of the Derrick Memorial Baptist Church for over 35 years until his health failed.

Dr. Thornton leaves to cherish his memory: Wife, Helen Thornton; Son, Pastor Matthew J. (Nell) Thornton; Daughters, Veronica (Ronald) Thornton-Littleberry, Monica (Patrick) Holiday-Goodman; 16 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Final arrangements entrusted to the Barksdale Funeral Home, 1120 E. State Fair, Detroit, Michigan 48203.  Fax: 313-368-7428.

Homegoing Services have been scheduled as follows:

PUBLIC VISITATION – Friday, May 1, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Derrick Memorial Baptist Church
2048 East Seven Mile
Detroit, Michigan

FAMILY HOUR – Friday, May 1, 2015
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Derrick Memorial Baptist Church
2048 East Seven Mile
Detroit, Michigan

FAMILY HOUR – Saturday, May 2, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Derrick Memorial Baptist Church
2048 East Seven Mile
Detroit, Michigan

HOMEGOING SERVICE – Saturday, May 2, 2015
11:00 a.m.
Derrick Memorial Baptist Church
2048 East Seven Mile
Detroit, Michigan

INTERMENT – Evergreen Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan

Celebrate those in the Trenches

IMG_8271by Robert Earl Houston

Often times, we in the modern church have a tendency to celebrate only the successful.

We celebrate and program those of “mega status” and we celebrate (rightfully) their accomplishments. The crowds. The traffic. The lights. The celebrity of it all.

However, I think we do ourselves a disservice when we celebrate the celebrities of the Kingdom and overlook those who are in the trenches, below ground, who may not have the five star worship experience – but they are solid in the faith.

For years I attended the WHW and E.K. Bailey Conferences which are mostly populated by pastors and ministers who are not household names to the nation, but they are household names in their communities. Some of them pastor and work full-time jobs. Some of them pastor in cities with less than 500,000 in populations. Some (like me) are in a “in-between” community – it’s not the city, but it’s not the rural area.

But all of us have to prepare sermons each week. All of us have to prepare Bible Studies each week. All of us have to visit the sick and shut in. All of us have to burn midnight oil and balance the life of ministry, family, and at the same time maintain a balance focused.

There are pastors and ministers that you’ve never heard of that can “preach the horns off a billy goat.” My former pastor, Bishop Darryl S. Brister used to say that “most preachers are just one exposure away from greatness.” I honor today those who are not in the mega churches but their pulpits are major, in the words of Dr. Melvin Von Wade, Sr.

There are pastors and ministers that are theological geniuses, counseling experts, entrepaneurs extraordinaire, gifted teachers, with congregations of less than 150, who won’t ever make it to TBN or BET. They won’t be on the Preachers of Multnomah County or the Preachers of Fox County or the Preachers of Abilene, but they are solid, solid preachers.

I’ve pastored two congregations in very large cities – Porltand and San Diego; Served a congregation on staff in Nashville. I’ve pastored in a large city – Fresno; and now I pastor in an “in-between city” albeit a state capital city – Frankfort, Kentucky; There is a dynamic in all five cities – there are preachers of every stripe, talent, gift and ability. Some of who pastor congregations that are not large in membership, but the pastoral preaching and teaching they receive is off the charts.

So, while we celebrate those on thrones, I pray we celebrate those in trenches.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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

Homegoing of a Saint – Chief Apostle William L. Bonner, COOLJC

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Vacant Pulpit: St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Boyton Beach, FL (Deadline: April 16, 2015)

St. John Missionary Baptist Church is presently accepting applications of the position of Senior Pastor. St. John is a multi-cultural family focused body of believers with 1000 plus members who gather with a purpose to both glorify God and to reach the redeemable.  Please select link below with instructions:

St John MBC Boyton Beach FL

Vacant Pulpit: Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia (Closing Date: April 30, 2015)

Please see the link below:

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Atlanta

Vacant Church: Metropolitan Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan (Deadline: April 30, 2015)

Senior Pastor
Metropolitan Baptist Church – Detroit, MI
We are seeking a pastor who meets the following minimum requirements:
Personal Requirements:

  • Must believe and exemplify the qualities listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9
  • Must have a character and financial stability that is above reproach both personally and professionally exhibited within the church community and the community at large.
  • Must be compassionate and communicate effectively with congregants and staff of the church.
  • Must practice the Biblical principles of Christian stewardship Malachi 3:8-10

Professional Requirements:

  • Must be licensed in the state of Michigan, trained and ordained in the Baptist ministry
  • B.S or B.A. Degree and has graduated from an accredited Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity.
  • The Pastor will have a minimum of five (5) consecutive years of full time, post-graduate degree ecclesiastical experience.
  • Must be an effective teacher of Christian Education and Baptist Doctrine.

Duties of the Pastor (are included but not limited to the following:

  • Serve as spiritual leader for the congregation.
  • Provide guidance, instruction and support for all ministries of the church.
  • Plan and conduct worship services.
  • Provide Pastoral guidance and counseling to congregants.
  • Show a service commitment to the local community through church programs.
  • Attend Sunday School regularly.

Interested candidates should return:

  • A cover letter
  • The completed application and current resume
  • A copy of degrees, ordination certificate, and any other certificates
  • A recent color photograph.
  • A DVD of recent sermon or internet web link
  • Three (3) letters of recommendations (2 from pastor/clergy and 1 personal

All materials must be included to make up complete packet. Incomplete packets will not be accepted.

Submit completed packet only to:
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Attention: Deacon Arnold Vann
Pastoral Search Committee
13110 14th St.
Detroit, Michigan 48238

Deadline for Application Packet: April 30, 2015

Final candidates must consent to reference checks, educational credential verification, a criminal history background check, a drug test, and may be subject to a credit check or a financial history review. All information will be treated as confidential. (Background checks will be performed by an outside agency to ensure complete confidentiality.)

Salary – Contractor under $50K

Required experience:

  • The Pastor will have a minimum of five (5) consecutive years of full time, post-graduate degree ec: 5 years

Vacant Pulpit: Christian Fellowship of Love Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan (Deadline: May 29, 2015)

Christian Fellowship of Love Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan, established in 2006, is seeking a spirit filled licensed ordained Baptist Minister to serve as a full time Pastor for our congregation.  Please refer to the link below for the application package.

Christian Fellowship of Love Baptist Church

Vacant Pulpit: Springdale Baptist Church, Memphis, TN (Deadline: March 27, 2015)

Please see the Pastoral Announcement and Application below:

Springdale Baptist Church

THE WIRE

by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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