by Robert Earl Houston
Last evening our church, Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church, had been invited to a Revival Service at the Oak Grove Baptist Church of St. Louis, Inc. It was a great crowd. The music was provided by the St. Louis Union Gospel Chorus (and how the Lord used them!!!).
The guest evangelist was Rev. Brian K. Weaver, Jr.
Not one of the Convention, State or District leaders.
Not one of the guys who is “on the circuit” across the country.
Not a megachurch pastor.
Not a “convention preacher.”
Not even a “conference preacher” who is seen in most conferences across the country.
Rev. Weaver is a 20-year-old preacher – an associate minister at Oak Grove. In his preaching, he reminds me of a young Dr. Donald Parson. He has presence powered by the Holy Spirit. He went from the drums to the pulpit fluidly and how he blessed those in attendance by his preaching. He didn’t stay there long . . . maybe 20 minutes at most . . . and then a grown man walked down the aisle to unite with the church. God be praised!
It was refreshing to see this young man preach. The energy, the connection, the gifts on display. And it made me think . . . how refreshing it was to just go to church and hear a young preacher who was not trying to preach to impress, or run for denominational office, or preach with an agenda – rather, just to open the book and preach. The celebration of preaching was amazing.
Maybe we have become accustomed to only wanting to hear the “stars of the church” that we forget that everyone had to start somewhere in ministry . . . namely, the beginning. If you can’t be blessed and encouraged by someone who doesn’t have the cadre of degrees or the trappings of a large church . . . you may be missing out on a solid presentation.
As I grow older in the ministry, I am amazed by the continued preaching strength of my elders; I am amazed by the powerful preaching of my contemporaries . . .
And last night, I am encouraged by that new, younger crowd, that will one day receive the mantle of ministry across this country. Job well done Rev. Weaver!
MERCY SEAT MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE – JANUARY 20, 2018
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – The Pastor, Officers, and Members of Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church are deeply saddened by the homegoing of our beloved Pastor Emeritus, the Reverend Dr. James Brown, Sr., who went home to be with the Lord this morning, January 20, 2018.
Dr. Brown was called to the pastorate of Mercy Seat in August 1985 and accepted the call and responsibility as the eleventh pastor of the church. He built his ministry on the premise that Mercy Seat would be effective in her three-fold ministry of mission, evangelism, and education.
Under his leadership, the Lord showed favor upon he and Mercy Seat: Two 15 passenger vans were purchased and replaced with a 24 passenger bus; a program was designed for total membership involvement and participation from the children to the Golden Agers was implemented; the Tuesday Evening Prayer Service and Weekly Bible Classes were strengthened along with a strong Christian Education Ministry; A Children’s Church was established; additional parking lots added; Expansion of the Sanctuary with seating exceeding 1,100 and creation of an educational facility with needed classrooms and assembly room; a Food Bank was established; Purchase of additional lots surrounding the church and a 43 unit senior apartment complex was built in conjunction with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; In 2005, an elevator was installed for the benefit of the church members and guests.
In December 23, 2010, the City of St. Louis approved of an ordinance drafted by Alderman Terry Kennedy which created an honorary designation of the 4400 block of Washington Boulevard as “Rev. James Brown, Sr. Avenue.”
Pastor Brown retired in 2015 after serving Mercy Seat for thirty years. He was then asked by the Church to serve as Interim Pastor during the transition of the call of his successor. Pastor Brown served FAITHFULLY!
We ask you to honor the privacy of the Brown family at this time and allow them the time to grieve privately. We ask you to pray for his wife, Lady Carole Brown, and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, relatives, and friends. He leaves a heart-broken Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church family, Berean District Association family, Missionary Baptist State Convention of Missouri family, and National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. family – including those who attended his National Baptist Congress class that he taught from the Book of Revelation. Homegoing Services are pending at this time.
It is only befitting that we remember and honor our shepherd with a scripture – to comfort our hearts: “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 16-17).
In honor of Pastor Brown, the pastoral pulpit chair will be draped until April 8, 2018, as we remember our dynamic and God-led pastor emeritus. May the Lord bless the works of his hands and the teaching that he instilled in our congregation.
Pastor Robert Earl Houston and the
Members of Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church
St. Louis, Missouri
Global United Fellowship sadly announces the transitioning of Bishop Henry Barnwell.Bishop Barnwell was one of the first public supporters of GUF, and having already retired from full-time ministry, continued to offer his support to our presiding prelate and the fellowship, also attending his inauguration in November of 2014.Our sincerest sympathies and heartfelt prayers are extended to his loved ones and church family members, during this time of bereavement. We share in their sorrow and praise God for the life of our Beloved brother, Bishop Henry Barnwell. May his soul rest in eternal peace.Celebration of Life Services are as follows:Body to “Lie in State”Wed. Sept. 20th, 2017First New Life Church, 1902 West Roeser Rd.,Noon to 8pm, Phoenix, AZ (Open to public)Viewing / WakeThur. Sept. 21st, 2017Pilgrim Rest Church, 1401 E. Jefferson5pm – 7pm & 7pm – 9pm Wake, Phoenix, AZFuneral ServiceFri. Sept., 22nd, 2017Pilgrim Rest Church, 1401 E. Jefferson9am – Viewing / 10am Funeral Service, Phoenix, AZInterment to follow immediately after the service at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZPlease send all acknowledgements and resolutions to Preston Funeral Home: email address Pfh3800@qwest.netIn lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the MLK Scholarship Fund.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Body Lying in State: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. PST
Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church
3146 Oceanview Boulevard
San Diego, California 92113
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Viewing 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Homegoing Service 10 a.m.
Bayview Baptist Church
6134 Benson Avenue
San Diego, California 92114
Rev. Terry W. Brooks, Pastor
Rev. Clyde E. Gaines, II, Eulogist
Miramar National Cemetery
5795 Noble Drive
San Diego, California 92122
by Robert Earl Houston
Hello everyone. I took a “blogging sabbatical” for a few months (including the homegoing of my mother, Naomi Houston in December) and now I’m back!
SAN DIEGO, CA – The Rev. Dr. Clyde Elliott Gaines, pastor of the Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and religious/community leader went home to be with the Lord on May 7, 2017.
Dr. Gaines served Greater Trinity faithfully for over 38 years, assuming the pulpit on December 10, 1978 and moving from the Los Angeles area the following month.
He was an active and highly respected leader. He served as . . .
– Member of the Comprehensive Health Advisory Board, 1981-1995.
– Member of the Mayor’s Black Advisory Board (appointed by Mayor Maureen O’Connor)
– Member of the San Diego Civil Service Commission (appointed by Mayor O’Connor)
– Member of the Congressional Ministerial Advisory Board.
– Member of the Congressional District Advisory Committee.
– Featured in the 100 African American Role Models by the Museum of Arts in San Diego.
– San Diego City Council proclaimed February 11, 2002, “Rev. Clyde E. Gaines Day”
– “Man of the Year 2002” by The Women of Distinction
– Member, Public Welfare Advisory Board of San Diego
– Member, Hypertension Council Board of San Diego
– Member, the Black Development Task Force
– Member, the N.M.A. Advisory Board
– Religious Advisor to former President, William J. Clinton
Dr. Gaines was a leader in the Religious Communities. He served as . . .
– President of the Baptist Ministers’ Union, 1981-1995.
– Moderator of the Progressive Baptist District Association (and Moderator Emeritus)
– President, California Missionary Baptist State Convention (and President Emeritus)
– Vice President of Auxiliaries, National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
Greater Trinity experienced growth as he implemented a New Members Class; Pastor’s, Youth and Inspirational choirs; Scholarship Committee; Sunshine Band, Parents Advisory Committee; Dance ministries; Young Adult Bible Study; hiring of a full-time Secretary; and acquisition of additional property on Ocean View for the planned building of a new church edifice.
On a personal note, he was my pastor. He was profoundly generous and yes, no-nonsense. While traveling across the country in the interim period between my assignment at New Hope Friendship in San Diego and moving to Nashville to serve at Westwood Baptist Church, University Center, I was his organist and he gave me preaching and teaching opportunities at Greater Trinity. On my last Sunday at the church, he received a love offering for me. He never called me “Rev. Houston” . . . he always called me son – and that was after I moved to San Diego in 1995. Matter of fact, our churches had a quarterly communion service that both churches looked forward to. It was remarkable between the two churches split from each other in the 1940s and we decided to bring us together for worship. It was awesome.
I served as his Corresponding Secretary at Progressive District and upon his recommendation, I became the first-ever General Secretary of that District. Later, even without pastoring a church in the District, he recommended me as Third Vice Moderator, which the District accepted.
I preached at Greater Trinity after I went to Nashville on several occasions. He would tell me, “Son, whenever you’re in town, you can always preach at Greater Trinity.” He was just that generous. He had a wicked sense of humor and this very tough man of God would melt being around his grandchildren. He loved being “Pa-Pa.”
His wife of approximately 60 years, Sis. Barbara Gaines, labored by her husband’s side. She supported their move to San Diego and was a visible presence in every endeavor by Dr. Gaines. The mother of their children, Clyde and Traci, she became known as a Band Mom, traveling to every competition. She too has served in denominational work as President of the Ministers’ Wives and Widows Auxiliary of the State and National conventions. They modeled a Pastoral family.
Last week Doc called me. It was the last time we talked and the call began with “Son” and ended with “love you Son.”
Homegoing services are pending.
Last night, me and my wife and two friends, went to see the movie “The Birth of a Nation.” I’ve looked at some reviews and I need to say on the onset I don’t always go to the movies looking for 100% historical accuracies. If that were the case, I’d never go to a Batman or Superman or Iron Man movie, because they are not historically accurate. A movie (which never said it way historically accurate) is the writer’s interpretation (Jean McGianni Celestin and the star/director/producer, Nate Parker).
The movie is the story of Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in Southhampton County, Virginia, played brilliantly by Parker. You note the evolution of Parker’s “ministry” as a “negro preacher” who was brought in to several slave encampments to teach the slaves how to obey their masters. Noticeably, the more he preached the larger his “honorarium,” which went to his slave master to help pay off his debts, grew.
As a pastor, watching the theme of the evolution of the preacher was remarkable. After he and his master, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) were led to a slave pen, two slaves were being held there because of their own hunger strike. And after watching the brutality of how these slaves were tortured and force fed, Nat Turner, then a change of heart, tone, and a personal mission ensues.
Torture of slaves is maximized in this movie. The lynchings are “in your face” and scenes of rape, torture, brutality, and murder are intense. For the reason to get your attention . . . it met its goal. The theatre was in stone silence at the completion of the movie as the credits rolled.
After the movie, we sat down in the restaurant area of the theatre and we had to talk. This is a movie that sparks conversation and for me, it was decompression after viewing such a powerful movie. This movie is not for the faint of heart.
Again, it’s not historically accurate but it is Oscar contention worthy.