Monthly Archives: December, 2012

2012 Re-Cap

THANK YOU! For the first few weeks of this new blog on 56,000 people have viewed the blog in just that short period of time. I’m very humbled by your visitation and support.  We also have  been blessed by all of the new friends and fellow bloggers out there. I owe a debt to H.B. Charles, Jr., who inspired me to write – not just take up space – but write. 

This year’s numbers as of 6 p.m. on December 30, 2012:

Visitors – 56,000

Posts (Articles) written – 155
Photos uploaded – 115

Busiest day of the year – December 27, 2012 with 935 views. Most popular page that day: Homegoing information for Dr. H. Devore Chapman.

Top 10 most popular posts of the year:
1.  Home page
2.  Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Michael K. Wilson
3.  About Robert Earl Houston
4.  Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Roy Jeffcoat
5.  Engagements
6.  Vacant Church: Mt. Sinai Tabernacle (page closed)
7.  Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. H. Devore Chapman
8.  Vacant Church: First M.B.C., Monroe (page closed)
9.  Hot Links
10.  Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Jerome Kirby

Most Popular REH Blog Posts (non-funeral, vacant church related):
1.  Dear Angry Pastor
2.  How to Apply for a Church (Friendly Advice)
3.  The Ten Expository Preaching Commandments
4.  Ten Things Pastors Will Face in the Future
5.  Master, the Storm is Raging
6.  Clergy Appreciation Month
7.  Have You Lost Your Axe-Head?
8.  The Cake of Preaching
9.  Sheep Stealing
10.  Every Preacher Needs a Friend

Top 10 Nations that view this site: 78 NATIONS viewed this site!
1.  United States
2.  Canada
3.  United Kingdom
4.  India
5.  Philippines
6.  South Africa
7.  Australia
8. Germany
9.  Netherlands
10.  Bermuda

Top Referrers to my site:
1.  Facebook
3.  Yahoo
4.  Google
8.  Twitter
10. (Progressive National Baptist Convention)

Top “clicks” that people utilized from my site:

Top Search Engine Terms (how you got here)
1.  Robert Earl Houston (ministries, .org, vacant churches, the wire, etc.)
2.  First Missionary Baptist Church Monroe, LA
3.  Pastor Danny Kirk
4.  Roy Jeffcoat
5.  Jerome Kirby
6.  H. Devore Chapman
7.  Derek Witcher
8.  Pastor Michael Wilson
9.  Orchard Knob Baptist Church
10.  Mt. Sinai Tabernacle

Shares of what people read on the site: (via Facebook, Email and Twitter)
1.  Homegoing of a Saint: Michael K. Wilson
2.  Homegoing of a Saint: Michael Burton
3.  Homegoing of a Saint: Roy Jeffcoat
4.  Homegoing of a Saint: Jerome Kirby
5.  The Ten Expository Preaching Commandments
6.  Homegoing of a Saint: James Rodgers
7.  Homegoing of a Saint: Brenda Little
8.  Dear Angry Pastor
9.  Homegoing of a Saint: H. Devore Chapman
10.  That Takes a Lot of Nerve

Most Comments to Posts:
1.  Homegoing of a Saint: Michael K. Wilson
2.  Homegoing of a Saint: Jerome Kirby
3.  Homegoing of a Saint: Roy Jeffcoat
4.  Vacant Church: New FBC Jefferson Gardens
5.  About Robert Earl Houston
6.  Every Preacher Needs a Friend
7.  Dear Angry Pastor
8.  35 Years in the Making
9.  The Obituary for Sunday School
10.  Homegoing of a Saint: H. Devore Chapman

Sunday Re-Cap, December 30, 2012 (Last Sunday of the Year)

Pastor 2010by Robert Earl Houston

It is COLD outside. It’s 5:30 p.m. and right now it’s just 28 degrees outside and snow is in the forecast for New Year’s Eve. But let me tell you, we had CHURCH today at First Baptist.

Attendance was down (obviously) in both services, but the Holy Spirit showed up in a mighty way. At the 8:00 a.m. service one of my faithful sons, Minister Tyrone Roberts, brought the message, “An Answer to Trouble” (Job 13:15).  Snippet of his message:

One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is to go on Facebook. Facebook can be described as social media, where we can view the lives of others through pictures and we can read about what they are thinking and even how they feel about certain things that are going on in our world today. We can learn what a mother thinks about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or the upcoming Fiscal Cliff; and you can even find out how much snow a person received in another part of the country; or you can be like a friend of mine that stated that he would be glad to see the year 2012 come to an end. He felt this way because he had lost some friends, lost some church members, had some health challenges…had personal hurts and pains…..and many other things that have caused him difficulty in this year. How many of us have had some ups and downs…set ups…and setbacks…. Some appointments and disappointments…but turn to your neighbor and say in spite of all we are still here!!!

         In our text we meet a man named Job. Job was a man from the land of Uz. Uz was located between the city of Damascus and the Euphrates River, or the modern day border of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Job was an upright man that avoided evil at all costs.  He was a blessed man. If I were to contemporize Job; he would be like the Warren Buffet of his day. He was married, he had 7 sons and 3 daughters, Job had 7,000 sheep, and 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys.  For those of you who don’t know a lot about Job, I will give summary of the first 12 chapters.

He did a great job. Today we began offering DVDs of the services (yeah!) and we’ve invested in video and recording equipment this year as we prepare to go on local cable access television in January (Local Cable channel 10) and his sermon was the first mass-produced under our new system. Turned out very, very well.

I do something here that my father in the ministry, the late Dr. A. B. Devers, I used to do with us. After every sermon that the Associate Ministers preach, we do a “skull session” in where we peer critique the sermon. I think peer review has a great value in building up preachers.

Sunday School was filled with a great discussion about Ephesians 4 and the role of husbands/wives. I happen to teach the Married Couples class and it was a very interesting discussion to say the least.

At 11:00 a.m. the service was probably one of the most different services we’ve had in a long, long time. And that’s a good thing. We deviated from the normal order of worship and when we did the Holy Spirit did something awesome. We had testimonial period and one of the sisters said “The Holy Spirit told me to come ‘home.'” That led to us extending the invitation to Christ mid-way through service and one male joined the church. After the music by the Magnificent Mass Choir (who lifted us up with one of my favorite song, Charles Jenkins’ “Awesome”) it was preaching time.

I ended the year by preaching from John 8:10-11 and the conclusion of Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery. I was struck by Jesus’ compassionate alternate to the trifling accusations of the Scribes and Pharisees. Not that Jesus condones sin, but he offers Himself as the remedy to sin AND proves to us that His forgiveness of sin should draw us closer to Him. The woman didn’t go back into the arms of her lover. She did not run out and find another man. She ran into the arms of Jesus – and at the end of the story all was left was her and Jesus!

I used a story that Melvin Von Wade, Sr. tells across the country (most recently on the must-read blog by H.B. Charles, Jr.): However, I want to be in the hands of Jesus. One of my preaching mentors was Dr. Melvin Von Wade, Sr. of Los Angeles, California and his mother, Mama Wade, would tell him as a little boy, son I don’t trust nobody but me and Jesus. Well, Mother Wade is now in her mid-90s and she called her son up one day and said, Melvin, I have an update. You remember how I use to tell you that I trust nobody but me and Jesus. Well, I have an update. I trust nobody but Jesus.

God then sent TWO MORE MEN to unite with First Baptist Church. It was awesome. God be praised!!!! And of course we had those who came forward for prayer. Thank you Lord for a great year and a great day.


– Andy Reid was fired (actually the decision made on Friday) as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
– Tampa Bay defeats Atlanta. Season over for T.B. and ATL starts prep for post-season.
– Buffalo beats the Jets. My grandmama could beat the Jets.
– Cincinnati beats Baltimore. Impressive season by the Bengals, playoff bound.
– Chicago beats Detroit and needs Green Bay to beat Minnesota. May be a long off-season at this point.
– Indianapolis beats Houston. Both teams in the playoffs.
– Carolina plays New Orleans – who cares?
– Giants beats Philly and still is eliminated for the playoffs.
– Pittsburgh beats Cleveland – look for the Browns to contend next year, not this year, next year, not this year . . .
– Other games are at the half.

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Brenda J. Little, Evanston, Illinois

by Robert Earl Houston, Sr.Little_Brenda

I woke up this morning to the sad news that one of my colleagues in the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. had made her transition from death unto life – Dr. Brenda J. Little.

Dr. Little was one of the trailblazers in her area in ministry and she was the first female pastor of the Bethany Baptist Church, Evanston, Illinois. Her arrangements are as follows, produced by her family and the Bethany Baptist Church:

It is with bittersweet joy, we announce the passing of Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little, Senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ in Evanston, Illinois. She passed on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 after a valiant battle with cancer.  A two-day public celebration in honor of her life, ministry and legacy is scheduled as follows:

Friday, January 4, 2013 – 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Lay-in-State Visitation
Bethany Baptist Church of Christ
1225 Elmwood Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202

Friday, January 4, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Musical Commendation and Loving Tributes
Second Baptist Church
1717 Benson Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Visitation (9 a.m.) and Home-Going Service (10 a.m.)

Northwestern University, Alice Miller Chapel
1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

PLEASE NOTE: In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you send gifts to Pastor Little’s selected organizations, in her memory: Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, United Negro College Fund and/or the American Cancer Society.

This is from Dr. Little’s church website:

The African-American Pulpit Winter Quarter issue features revivalists of the decades. Featured in the 1951-1980 Modern Revivalists is one woman among eight men: Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little.

Dr. Little is a modern-day preaching trailblazer just as Jarena Lee was (1783-1849?). Her sermon is being featured in the journal, along with twelve other sermons by great revivalists. For Baptist women, this is history in the making among African-Americans. Dr. Little was the first woman to be ordained in the historic Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois. She was the first woman to become full time Assistant Pastor to Second Baptist Church. Rev. Little also trail blazed in the area of chaplaincy. She was the first African-American female to be Chaplain in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital System. She also made history in being the first African-American woman to graduate with a Master of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This pioneer of women in ministry was given the distinct honor of being listed and placed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. as one of the pioneers of women in ministry. Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little was the first African-American female Baptist preacher to preach in the Ministers Seminar in Detroit, Michigan at the Progressive National Baptist Convention.Dr. Little continues to be living history among her congregation. She is the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ, a 78 year-old Baptist congregation in Evanston, Illinois, where she was called by congregational vote, March 18, 1990. She is the fourth pastor in the church’s history, and the first woman to pastor an African-American congregation in that city. A trailblazer in her own right, Pastor Little gives God the praise, honor, and glory for all He has done.

In June of 2006 after successfully completing 5 years of rigorous study, Pastor Little obtained the long deserved recognition of Doctor of Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Video: “Pivotal Point” – Sunday, December 23, 2012

Every Preacher Needs a Friend

by Robert Earl Houston

One of the greatest mis-statements is the name of Fran Striker’s “The Lone Ranger.” This character was a masked ex-Texas Ranger who fought injustice in the old western United States. He rode a horse by the name of Silver and his tag line was “Hi-Yo! Silver, Away . . .” His name would strike fear into his opponents and he would always show up with his “A” game.

But he was not a lone ranger.

Fighting right along side with him was “Tonto.” He was a native Indian who shared the Lone Ranger’s sense of justice and often times it found him fighting not only those who looked like the Lone Ranger but sometimes he fought those who looked like him. These characters have been beloved since 1933.

But he was not a lone ranger.

I believe that Pastors cannot have that epitaph over their lives. Pastors need a friend. Not a flunky. Not a yes-man or yes-woman. Not an underling. You need somebody that runs in your sphere and is somewhere either above or below in your abilities. You need somebody who can be your Jonathan to your David; That can be your Silas to your Paul; That can be your James to your John; That can be your Tonto to your Lone Ranger.

In this era of competitiveness and unfortunate isolation many pastors are clean and polished on the outside, great orators in the pulpit, and are empty because they have no peer relationships in their lives. I’m not talking about the occasional shaking of hands at a conference or the small group laugh at a convention – I mean someone with whom they can trust enough (key) to where verbal shorthand is the linguistics and honest rapport is the rule. Where no subject is off limits and it’s okay if a few choice, non-Biblical words are used to express frustration, anger, joy, and other emotions.

I’m wary of pastors who don’t have friends. The Bible declares correctly, “if you want to have friends, be friendly.” However, the balancing act of a pastor, (which includes God, family, and church) is not a two handed juggle act. Sometimes you need an extra pair of hands to help you sort through some things, look at some things, and analyze some things.

Due to the nature of this vocation, sometimes your friend may be across the country. It may be another pastor in your city. It may be a pastor that your people will never see. However, you need to find that person as soon as possible. I’m not talking about your pastor, because that’s a scope of a completely different relationship – there are some things I will say to my friend that I wouldn’t dare utter to my pastor. Before you pick that apart think of the pastor as a parent – are there some things that are so personal that you wouldn’t share with a parent, but you would with a friend? Of course there are.

Don’t be a lone ranger. There were some situations where the Lone Ranger found himself tied up, shot at, trapped, kidnapped, and in the threat of dangers he never saw.

But Tonto came to his rescue. Don’t be a lone ranger.

Homegoing of a Saint: Bishop W.H. White

by Robert Earl Houston

Bishop W.H. White, Sr., pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri, went home to be with the Lord today, December 25, 2012. Homegoing services are pending. Below is a bio from his website, that has biographical information:

Bishop W.H. White, Sr. has been in the ministry of Jesus Christ for over 53 years. He is the pastor of the Emmanuel Church located at 920 Olive Street, Kansas City, Missouri for 50 years, for the Spirit of the Lord has been with him as well as upon him. The Holy Spirit ministering through Bishop W.H. White, Sr. has truly blessed our membership of God.

Pastor White received his Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree from the Oklahoma Baptist School of Religion, Lawton, Oklahoma. He also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Morris Booker Baptist College, Demott, Arkansas. Pastor White served as the Moderator of the St. Paul District in Oklahoma 4 years.

He served the New Era District Association as Moderator for 3½ years. Pastor White served as President of the Missouri Progressive State Convention for 7 years, during which he led the state members to purchase 130 acres of land in Sedalia, Missouri. He led the Convention in building a camp, which accommodates up to 100 people over night. Bishop W.H. White has traveled to many foreign countries. There are many other accomplishments that the lord has blessed through the ministry the Lord has given to Bishop W.H. White that have surely come to pass.

Bishop W.H. White is married to Elect Lady, Mrs. Saundra J. White, who works with our Pastor in the ministry that the Lord had divinely assigned unto them. The Emmanuel Church has various outreach ministries. The Emmanuel Church has been broadcasting live over the radio station KPRT, now for 45 years. Happy is the man that has his quiver full, Bishop WH White Sr. & Saundra White has 18 amazing children. God is truley awesome.

Mostly important is Bishop W.H. White Sr. is a Born Again Baptized Believer, A Disciple of Jesus Christ. He is yielded to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. He is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as he preaches, teaches, exhorts, prophecies and expounds on the Word of God, and ministers as the Holy Spirit of God speaks through him. To sum it all up he is grateful and humbled just to be a part of what God is doing, for God alone, is Worthy of all our praise, honor, and glory.

Our Pastor & Bishop W.H. White Sr., a true man of God.

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Michael C. Burton, Des Moines, Iowa (Update)

by Robert Earl Houston


Corinthian Family,

The following are the services for our Beloved Pastor Burton,
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 Pastor will lie in state from 10 am to 6:30 pm at Corinthian Baptist Church.

A special Tribute Service will be held from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.

Thursday, January 3, 2013 Viewing will be held from 10 am to 11 am at Corinthian Baptist Church.
Homegoing Services will be at 11 am.

During this season we must “Trust in the LORD with all our heart; and do not depend on our own understanding, Seek his will in all we do, and he will show us which path to take” Proverbs 3: 5-6.

Continue to keep Rev. Burton and families, and the Corinthian Family in your prayers.

Rev. Michael C. Burton, Senior Pastor of Corinthian Baptist Church, Des Moines, Iowa went home to be with the Lord today, December 24, 2012.  Below is the bio from his church’s website. We extend our condolences to his wife, family, church members and friends. Rev. Burton and I have been friends for several years and we used to tease each other about how we favored each other. I pray that God will be with his family during this transition:

Michael C. Burton is the Senior Pastor of the Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. He has attended Trenton State College, William Paterson University and holds a BA in Sociology, a BA in History and a Masters of Divinity Degree from Andersonville Theological Seminary. Rev. Burton is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA. Rev. Burton is a Ford Fellowship Foundation scholar receiving this honor not only in 1995 but again in 1997.

Rev. Michael Burton was licensed into the Gospel Ministry in June of 1997 by the Rev. Dr. Albert P. Rowe of the Calvary Baptist Church in Paterson, New Jersey. Rev. Burton served as Associate Minister and Youth Pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church. Rev. Burton then served as the Asst. Pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Paterson, New Jersey where the Rev. Dr. Alfred Blakely is the Pastor.

In 2000 Rev. Michael C. Burton was called to Pastor the people of the Lebanon Baptist Church in Westwood, New Jersey. In 2003 Rev. Burton was blessed to become the first full time Pastor in the history of the Lebanon Baptist Church. Under his leadership the church, increased numerically, spiritually and financially. Membership more than tripled and the operating budget more than quadrupled. Most importantly however, members grew spiritually in their relationship with the Lord. In 2007 Rev. Burton led the church to build a Community Technology Center that was completed in 2009 debt free.

In 2010 Rev. Burton was blessed to be called as the Senior Pastor of the Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Rev. Burton looks forward to a productive and fruitful ministry as Pastor and People work together to make an impact on their community as we build the kingdom of God together.

Rev. Burton has been blessed in several arenas, having served for 5 years as the Deputy Surrogate of Passaic County, the first African American to serve in such a position in the history of the State of New Jersey. Rev. Burton has also served as the Director of Public Relations for Assemblyman Alfred E. Steele of the 35th Legislative District. Rev. Burton is also active in civic and community affairs and has served on the Board of Directors of the Paterson NAACP, Imani Institute of Positive Education, Governor’s Commission on Youth Violence and Drug Prevention, Political Action Chairman of the Paterson Pastor’s Workshop, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Farleigh Dickinson University EOF Program.

Denominationally Rev. Michael C. Burton is also active, serving as the President of The Westwood Clergy Council, Treasurer of the Fellowship of Black Churches of Hackensack & Vicinity and 2nd Vice Moderator of the Shiloh Baptist Association of NJ. Rev. Burton is also a feature writer for the National Baptist Voice, the official magazine of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc.

Rev. Burton has received numerous awards including the 1996 100 Black Men’s Adam Clayton Powell Award for Leadership, 1997 Passaic County 4C’s Award for Civic Commitment and 1998 Forerunners Association Man of the Year Award. In January 2000 Rev. Michael C. Burton was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Religious Studies from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE. Rev. Burton is also the published author of “Deep Roots: The African Black Contribution to Christianity and “Prayer: the Sixth Purpose of the Church.”

Rev. Burton is happily married to the former Yolanda Matthews and is the father of Jawon Matthews. Rev. Michael Burton counts none of his accomplishments to himself but acknowledges that all things have come by the grace of God. Rev. Burton is committed to the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to seeing the Good News of the Gospel put into action as lives are changed, and hearts are mended. Rev. Burton’s life Scripture is Psalms 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continuously be in my mouth.”

From the Des Moines Register:

A central Des Moines pastor who during his brief tenure helped launch a workforce training initiative and saw attendance blossom at his church has died.

The Rev. Michael C. Burton, 41, of Corinthian Baptist Church died Monday evening at a Des Moines hospital. Henderson’s Highland Park Funeral Home is handling arrangements. The cause of death was not available Wednesday.

Corinthian church deacon Robert Craddock said Burton was an accomplished public speaker with a message that attracted the community during the past 21/2years.

“He was a loving man,” Craddock said. “Our church increased from 200 to 800 members in his short time here. People just gravitated to him. He had a loving spirit and they just loved him.”

Burton became senior pastor at the church in May 2010. He had moved to Des Moines earlier that spring.

“The word gets out and they just came,” Craddock said. “We’d open up the church and people would just run up. He brought relevant issues to the pulpit and talked about life.”

Survivors include his wife, Yolanda, also a pastor at the church, and son Jawon Matthews.

Burton was born in 1971 in Paterson, N.J. He held bachelor’s degrees in sociology and history and a master’s degree in divinity from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Camilla, Ga. He served as pastor at Lebanon Baptist Church in Westwood, N.J., for 10 years before moving to Des Moines, Corinthian’s website says.

The Rev. Benjamin Bell Jr. of Present Truth Ministries International served on the board with Burton at Project IOWA: Iowa Opportunities for Workforce Advancement, a workforce initiative that provides skills training to help people achieve livable wages.

“He’s done so many things in such a short time, and it’s a great loss for us and the community and the city,” Bell said.

Burton was a founding member of Project IOWA, which is part of the community group A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy. Bell said the organization has trained about 50 people to date, with 43 now holding good jobs. Bell said Burton was instrumental in the initiative’s success, even meeting with Gov. Terry Branstad to help secure a $100,000 commitment from the state for the organization.

Bell said the organization has started training people in health sciences and advanced manufacturing in the past year.

“He wanted to be a real presence, to build some deep and organic relationships with people, so the people would be transformed into individuals that would help their community,” Bell said. “He is going to be truly missed.”

Visitation is planned Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Corinthian Baptist Church, 814 School St., with a tribute service in the evening. The funeral will be Jan. 3 at Corinthian at 11 a.m.

Video: “Why?” – Pastor Robert Earl Houston – Sunday, December 16, 2012

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Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Jerome Kirby, Detroit, Michigan

Just have received word that Dr. Jerome Kirby of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan, has answered the call of the Lord to come home. More information will be coming.

This is a video of one of Dr. Kirby’s sermons:

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Henry M. Humphrey, Jr., Louisville, Kentucky

HUMPHREY, DR. HENRY M. JR., pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at Baptist Hospital East surrounded by his family and friends.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Mary Humphrey; five daughters, Dona Israel (Nathaniel), Terri Edwards (Kevin), Julia Humphrey-Rhodes (Jason), Kendra Humphrey and Angel Woodson; three sons, Henry, III (Andrea), John Henderson (Marian) and Derrick Henderson; sister, Mildred Genene Hazley (Samuel); 15 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and a host of extended family and friends.

Visitation will be 6-9 p.m. Friday at King Solomon Baptist Church, 1620 Anderson St., with services at 1 p.m. Saturday at King Solomon Baptist Church. Entombment is in Evergreen Mausoleum. G.C. Williams Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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