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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The New Baptist Covenant Preaching Sessions

With the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant right around the corner, I've decided to begin a series of posts that introduces the speakers at the various special interest sessions. Months ago I wrote introductions to a few of the plenary speakers including the Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell and the Rev. Dr. Charles G. Adams.

A miniature preaching festival is scheduled to take place during the special interest session times of the Celebration. The celebration of preaching will feature eight pulpiteers. Below, I have highlighted the four scheduled to preach on Thursday, January 31, from 2pm-5pm. These include Otis Moss, pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio; Ellis Orozco, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas; Bill Self, pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia and Gina Stewart, pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee.



So, who is the Rev. Otis Moss Jr.?

The Rev. Otis Moss is the pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. As a theologian, pastor, author and civic leader, Otis Moss is considered to be one of America's most influential religious leaders. A native of the state of Georgia and Morehouse alum, Moss once served as co-pastor with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Since 1975 Moss has faithfully served Olivet and the Cleveland community. Olivet and its leaders, past and present, have been at the forefront of the struggle for civil rights both locally and nationally. Before Moss's tenure, Olivet stood as the Cleveland headquarters for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. According to their website, "the strong foundation in the civil rights movement at Olivet continues to manifest itself in the programs and services church leaders support and provide to the community." Olivet is a strong advocate for social justice as well as spiritual renewal in the Cleveland area. Rev. Moss notes:
"The role of the church is salvation, liberation, and reconciliation. The three cannot be separated. Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is fundamental. But salvation without liberation is not salvation at all. It is a feel-good religion that does not impact a person's economic, social, political and civic standing. You cannot preach the gospel without getting involved with social policy. The church has the ability and responsibility to be the conscience of a community."
Learn more about Olivet Baptist here and the Rev. Otis Moss here.

Now, meet the Rev. Ellis Orozco.

Rev. Orozco has served as senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas, since 1999. He is a native of Texas and has been active in the life of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. His congregation is a historically Anglo church located in the overwhelmingly Latino Texas-Mexico border area. Orozco earned his Master o Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and his Doctor of Ministry from The George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University here in Waco. Before accepting the call to pastor Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Orozco pastored Corpus Christi Baptist Church from 1993-1999. Rev. Orozco also has a blog which you can read here. Also check out his sermon entitled Be The Presence of Christ delivered before the BGCT or see his audio archive of sermons here.


Next up is Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. The Rev. Stewart became the first African-American female elected to serve a black Baptist congregation in the Memphis area and only the second woman elected to lead one of more than 500 Baptist churches in Shelby County, Tennessee. Under Stewart's leadership, Christ Missionary's membership has increased from 500 to 2500 in just a ten year span. One website describes Stewart as "a model for many of women's leadership in the Church, {she} combines a passion for the Gospel with deep sympathy or people. Her gifted and spirited preaching makes people want to jump up and praise the Lord." Read more about Stewart here and listen/read her sermons here.



And finally, let's meet the Rev. Dr. Bill Self, pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Self was the founding pastor of Johns Creek in 1993 which has grown from less than 400 in average Sunday attendance to around 2,000. A longtime pastor (26 years) of Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta, Self has served as president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as well as vice-president of the denomination and president of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Self is now a leader in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Read more about Self and his ministry at Johns Creek here and watch/listen to his sermons here.


This Prophetic Preaching mini-conference looks to be an exciting and loud time!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Kaylor said...

Excellent review of the preachers. Thanks!

7:23 PM

 
Blogger Alexis said...

thanks for posting this info!

8:33 PM

 
OpenID healtheland said...

"It is a feel-good religion that does not impact a person's economic, social, political and civic standing. You cannot preach the gospel without getting involved with social policy. The church has the ability and responsibility to be the conscience of a community." Contrast this with what Jesus Christ actually said.

Luke 12:12-15 "And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

Then there is the example and experience of the early church, which was of extreme poverty and oppression. You speak of the gospel being one of political liberation and empowerment, in the early church most Christians were not Roman citizens and as such had no rights. So, their message is just as abiblical as the very existence of women preachers, expressly forbidden in the Bible. Rather than be selective about what parts of the Bible that we are going to take seriously and which not, we should either keep all of it (and please do not run that tired "you aren't keeping the 619 laws by me, I have read Romans and Galatians, ok?) or keep none of it. As Jesus Christ said, I wert that you were hot or cold, but since you are lukewarm I will spue you out of my mouth to the Laodiceans.

And as far as the New Baptist Covenant goes, where in the Bible does it support denominationalism or anything like it? The Bible commands quite the opposite; individual autonomous churches only under the headship of Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, with bishops, elders, etc. chosen from within the local congregation by the local congregation. That was abandoned only when Constantine took over the church. That Protestants keep trying to replicate the Roman Church with our many various denominations shows that with regards to that spiritual Babylon of trying to govern God's church with human authority like Rome we have failed to completely "come out of her my people." Unless we do, we will share in Babylon's plagues. The nonsense that is going on with the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Baptist Convention, the Progressive Baptists, the Episcopals, ELCA, PCUSA, demonstrates why the Bible is still right and we are still wrong.

2:07 AM

 

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