Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Homegoing of a Saint: Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr., Macon, Georgia

Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr., senior pastor of the Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, November 10, 2013.  He was 42.  The following profile is from the Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church website.

Pastor Teddy Parker. Jr. was born June 10, 1971 in Macon, Georgia to the Rev. & Mrs. Teddy Parker, Sr. of Warner Robins, Georgia.  He is married to the lovely Larrinecia Sims Parker. They are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Kamry Tednae and Kerrington Tyier Parker. Pastor Parker is the sibling of one brother and two sisters.

He is a graduate of Ben Eielson High School of Fairbanks Alaska.  Pastor Parker is a distinguished scholar of Theology International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida and has received diplomas in Practical and Advanced Level l Theology.

Pastor Parker exercised his prophetic ministry at the age of 22 when he was licensed and ordained at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church.  While being a faithful steward at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church he taught Sunday School and Bible Study and served as Youth Minister.

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called,but few chosen…     Matt. 20:16

Pastor Parker, a man of profound spiritual vision, gifted with intellectual qualities, was called to serve as Pastor of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in July 1997. Under his God-given leadership Bibb Mount Zion along with the Middle Georgia community has benefited from his accomplishments such as Camp Zion and the construction of She Family Life Center. Under his leadership 20 new ministries were implemented, major renovation to the sanctuary as well as growth to the membership.

In his continued effort to Win souls to Christ, Pastor Parker serves as CEO of Next Level Community Development Center Inc., which caters to the entire man.  This ministry wilt offer a summer program for children 5-18 years of age, A Youth Redevelopment Center for young men ages 13-19, Senior Citizens Center, Computer Literacy Class, and an after school program. Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr. has readily accepted God’s will for his life and now is a vessel willing to  “preach the word”. Be ready in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort with alt Song suffering and teaching. Be watchful in all things; endure afflictions so the work of an evangelist fulfill the ministry. 

2 Timothy 4:2,5


Homegoing of the Saints – Bishop Sarah Frances Davis


It is with great sadness that we report that Bishop Sarah Frances Davis, Vice President of the World Methodist Council, passed away after a brief illness.

Bishop Davis was the 126th elected and consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E. Church). Bishop Davis served as the presiding prelate of the16th Episcopal District, comprised of churches and schools in South America (Guyana and Suriname); Windward Islands (Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados and Grenada); the Caribbean Islands (Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Virgin Islands); and Europe (London, the Netherlands and France). On June 24, 2013, in Kingston Jamaica, Bishop Davis was named President of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC), during a special Investiture Worship Celebration.

Bishop Davis was affectionately known as the “Prayer Bishop” because of her consistent emphasis on the importance of prayer in the life of the Church. She was chairperson of the prayer committee for the 48th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. As a result of her leadership, the first Connectional Day of Prayer in African Methodism was held April 13, 2008, and is now an annual observance in African Methodism.

Her first Episcopal assignment was to the 18th Episcopal District, comprised of the Southern African countries of Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, and Mozambique. A staunch advocate of empowerment through education, Bishop Davis gave exemplary leadership to over 39 A.M.E. Church-sponsored schools in Southern Africa.
She introduced the first ever summer science and math institute program in Lesotho to globalize and develop the knowledge of students and teachers and granted a record number of academic scholarships to young people, adults and clergy while in the 18th District. During her term, two clerics earned degrees in theology from universities in South Africa and Mozambique and four earned diplomas in Theology in Botswana. For the first time, English classes were provided for Portuguese-speaking lay and clergy persons in A.M.E. Churches in Beira, Mozambique which resulted in many receiving English as Second Language (ESL) certificates.

Also, during her tenure in the 18th District, Bishop Davis was a champion for orphaned and vulnerable children. Under her leadership the Selulasandla Vashti Village, an 18th District sponsored orphanage, grew in housing capacity from 4 to 21 orphans. In April 2008, Bishop Sarah dedicated the first A.M.E. Church-sponsored orphanage built in the mountains of Mokhotlong in the country of Lesotho: The T’sepong Cecelia Williams Bryant Home.

In October of 2012, Bishop Davis represented the World Methodist Council as a guest of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI at the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, Italy. The meeting, held under the theme The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, addressed the call of the Church to its original missionary goal and sought to rekindle the original fire in Christians worldwide.

Bishop Davis was a trailblazer in her ministry; prior to her Episcopal election, she served for seven years as the first female pastor of the 115-year old Bethel A.M.E. Church in San Antonio, Texas. With this appointment, Bishop Sarah became the first woman in Texas to be appointed to a major A.M.E. Church.

Bishop Davis served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Houston Graduate School of Theology, served as Chair of the Global Development Council (GDC) of the A.M.E. Church (2009-2011) and was a member of the Jamaica Council of Churches.

Bishop Davis trained to perform in all areas of her life’s calling having earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology, a Master of Divinity from the Houston Graduate School of Theology, a Master of Science from New York Pace University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Texas.

“In October [World Methodist Council Youth and Young Adult Coordinator] John Thomas III and I had a chance to visit Bishop Davis on behalf of the World Methodist Council. We found her to be in great spirits and excited that her hopes for the Council meeting in London were realized,” remarked General Secretary Ivan Abrahams.

Bishop Davis is survived by her husband, Claytie Davis, Jr., her sons and Corey B. Davis, and Dr. Claytie Davis, III his wife Yolanda and a grandchild, Alexandra Morgan Davis.

“During this time of grief when we are very forcefully reminded that death is woven into the very fabric of our human existence, I ask that you pray that the Davis family will know God’s love and comfort in a very special way,” added General Secretary Abrahams.

The Lord is near to those who mourn; he lifts up those who whose spirit is crushed – Ps 34:18

The World Methodist Council would like to convey heartfelt condolences to the Davis family.



Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Joe Allen Games, Sr., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

by Robert Earl Houston

Rev. Joe Allen Games, founder and pastor of the Providence Baptist Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who served in that capacity for 44 years, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, November 4, 2013, at the age of 73.

Pastor Games was born in Smackover, Arkansas, 120 miles from Little Rock. He first felt the call at the age of 17.  He founded Providence at the age of 29 with 17 charter members in 1969 and the congregation grew from a living room into a basement into a storefront into a building on Hampton Street and now on 82nd street, where 30 ministries are established.

His homegoing services are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Providence Baptist Church. He held various denominational positions including President of the Baptist Ministers Conference, WHW Conference, President of MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope) and in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Sources: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel and MICAH websites.

“My Storage Is Empty”

by Robert Earl Houston

For some strange reason, this week I’ve been ministering to several pastors who are on the precipice of giving up. Two have larger congregations than the one I serve.  Two have similar sized congregations.  And two have smaller sized congregations. They have expressed different reasons and they all have (paraphrased) the final bullet point: “My storage is empty.”

Pastoral ministry is not all glitz and glamour. Would to God that it is, but it is like being the captain of a great ship (no matter what size the church is numerically) on the sea.  Sometimes the water is calm. Sometimes the storm is raging. Sometimes the rudder gets stuck. Sometimes mutiny is in the air. Sometimes the road map is tossed aside.  Sometimes the captain gets ill. And sometimes the Pastors becoming weary of sailing again.

Three observations about pastoral ministry:


Surprise! The encourager-in-chief needs an encourager. He or She needs somebody who can break from the ranks of the naysayers, skeptics and silent saints and muted members who can encourage the Pastor.

In my church there is a couple that never ceases to be an encouragement to their pastor. I’ve been on the road preaching quite a bit lately.  In the last three weeks, I’ve had the burden of preaching through a series on “The Blood” and preached a Revival and preached three annual days and then a wedding.  When I came home on Sunday morning after flying into Louisville early Sunday morning, went straight to the pulpit, attended a fare-thee-well for two of my ministers who are moving to another city, and then preached at an annual day 40 miles away. I literally had to crawl up the stairs and went to sleep for over 12 hours and woke up not refreshed but exhausted. My wife had laid out my mail that I received and there were two notes – one was a Pastoral Appreciation Month card and the other was a Marriage Anniversary card for me and my wife, along with a gift in each. The amount is meaningless, but the sentiment was priceless.

I don’t care what size the congregation is – the pastor needs somebody to encourage him or her to keep on keeping on.


No, I’m not talking about vacations. I’m talking about the time that it takes to be renewed and refreshed. After talking with many pastors across the country I’ll let you in on a secret – many pastors have developed terrible prayer and study lives because they are over-scheduled and over-committed.

One of the blessings of being a full time pastor is the premise of the promise of time. However, I’ve seen pastors with the time who wrap themselves up with conventions, community activities, athletic events and then come to the pulpit or teaching moment exhausted because their priorities were out of order.

The Pastor needs time to not only pray for his flock – he or she too has a family that needs prayer, prayer is needed for financial issues, prayer is needed for direction, and prayer is needed even for discernment and developing a sense of spiritual timing. The Pastor needs time when the phone is off, the computer is off and is cut-off from all forms of media and social media to release the mind. I take a day a week and get in my car and drive – sometimes near some water – where I can just free myself of burdens and issues.


I never have understood this new fangled (or should I say tangled?) concept that the Pastor only needs Jesus. That argument is the same argument we bristle at when we hear it from our church members – but some pastors model an ungodly, ungrateful and rebellious attitude when it comes to being pastored.

There has never been a period of time in my life when I didn’t have a person that I could point to and say “that’s my pastor!”  From a child getting introduced to Jesus, the late Rev. Sylvester McCullumn, who founded the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church while serving as a shipyard foreman, was my pastor. When I became a teenager, the late Rev. Dr. Arthur Bernard Devers, I, not only was my pastor, but because of the divorce of my parents, he was a father-figure for me and nurturer.  In my late 20s, the Rev. Dr. Johnny Pack, IV became my pastor and under his leadership I discovered a preacher – Robert Earl Houston – that I didn’t know existed under the weight of trying to be like others.  When I moved to Fresno, California in my early 30s, the late Rev. Dr. Carl J. Anderson, founder and builder of the historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church became my pastor until his passing. I had the privilege of being one of his sons and Pastor was always kind and took out time to see how I was doing. After his death, I united (in long-distance fashion) with Bishop Darryl S. Brister of the Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral in New Orleans. Bishop is a “thinker” in Biblical Exposition, prolific writer, and I was honored to be counted as one of his sons.  I then united with the Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church after almost walking away from ministry, and I was put to work by my pastor, Dr. Clyde Elliott Gaines – who would not allow me to fall off the face of the map.

Then I moved to Nashville at the request of my current pastor, Minister Barton Elliott Harris, who not only was my pastor in name, he was my pastor and still is, in deed. Pastor Harris has led Westwood Baptist Church, University Center for over two decades, but he has been the person I call with questions, advice, and encouragement.  I left Westwood to come to Frankfort four years ago and every year, we renew the fellowship – he preaches my pastoral anniversary and I preach their Church Anniversary. He has never failed to be a factor in life issues that I’ve had – surgery for cancer, death of Jessica’s dad, the burning of my home church, and other situations and circumstances.

No matter what your title – Reverend, Doctor, Bishop, Apostle, Overseer, etc. you need a pastor. And churches should encourage pastors to find a pastor. You can join the local church (if you think that’s necessary) but you still need a pastor. Don’t fall for the trap that you need a pastor who pastors more folk than you do – sometimes the pastor who has the smaller congregation, with wisdom in his visage and heart, is priceless.

These are just three suggestions to help somebody get back on track. Many pastors have “Hallelujah Sundays” and “Depression Mondays” emotionally because of humanity. I do know this – pastoring is a long distance course and not a sprint. Don’t let your pastor go through the process of pastoring by him or her self.



by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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