Last night, my brother Kevin preached the message during our fifteenth pastoral anniversary celebration. His text was from Exodus 18. His title was, “Get Yourself Some Help.” The passage is about Moses’ encounter with his father-in-law, Jethro, in which he is instructed to spread out the leadership responsibilities of the people so that they will not all wear themselves out. Kevin used the text to talk about the importance of pastors and church leaders not having a inflated sense of self-importance. And he challenged the church to partner with the pastor in order to reach the goals God has for the congregation. It think it was a rather gusty sermon. He discussed a lot of things that pastors struggle with, but don’t often talk about (publicly or privately). And it was encouraging. But it’s always hard under my brother’s preaching. I am listening to the message. But at the same time, I see my father in him. And I look up to him so much. I have to work much harder than usual to concentrate on the message. Kevin is my big brother, “in whom I am well pleased.” I continue to pray for his growth, family, and ministry.
During the service, Barry Wilson, Reginald Payne, Tracy Johnson and I all sat together on the front row. That’s was a trip. The four of us began preaching together at MSMBC when we were still teenagers. Actually, I hadn’t made it to my teens yet (sorry guys). And we were nurtured together under my father’s leadership. In fact, we were all sitting together the night I was called to pastor Mt. Sinai fifteen years ago. It was great to have them share this milestone with me. Likewise, Clinton Smith and Ronald Saunders were on the front row with us. Clint, my brother-in-law, joined the church not long after I became pastor. And Ronald joined a couple of years after that. And for some time, it was only the three of us there serving as pastors. We would split up the work between the three of us. At this point, all six of us are pastoring local churches. And we don’t get to see each other that often. It was very special to me to be with them for that time of worship last night.
Pastor John Reed made it to town and came out to the service last night. “Pops,” who pastors the Fairview Church of Oklahoma City, is scheduled to bring the message in the morning. He ordained me, Reggie, Barry, and Tracy. It was good to have him there with us last night. Likewise, my sister Donetta sung in the service last night. She has been sick for several months. But she is slowly doing better. And it was good to hear her sing again (“The Lord Will Make Away Somehow”). Tomorrow, Pastor Reed is to preach in the morning and my pastor, Dr. Melvin Wade of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, is to preach in the afternoon. I look forward to high times of worship and two edifying messages. Then, it’s off to my vacation!!!