Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church has a New Senior Pastor!!!

Last night, I had one of the most unique, special experiences of my life. I was invited by the Church Council members of Mt. Sinai – the church that I served for almost 18 years – to return to Los Angeles and moderate one more church meeting. In this meeting, the Church Council, functioning as the pastoral search committee for the congregation, unanimously recommended George E. Hurtt – the man who has served as my pastoral assistant the past several years – to be the next senior pastor of MSMBC. And the congregation, in a brief, prayerful, and joy-filled meeting, overwhelmingly elected George as its new pastor. Praise the Lord!

The last time MSMBC met to select a pastor was on November 5, 1990. The church had been without a pastor since June, 1989, when my father went to be with the Lord. During the intervening months, the congregation heard many pastoral “candidates.” More than I can remember. There were many contentious church meetings. And the church had remained “vacant” long enough for some unhealthy things to develop in the life of the congregation.

Fast forward eighteen years. After my final Sunday at MSMBC, the congregation lived without a senior pastor all of eight days! George preached this past Sunday. And yesterday, the church met to select him as the fourth pastor in this great congregation’s 66 year history. And this coming Sunday will be a very special Sunday at MSMBC, as George and the congregation celebrate their first Sunday together as pastor and people.

George Hurtt is a man of God. He is chronologically young, but spiritually mature. He lives a life of blameless integrity. He has a firm commitment to sound doctrine and Bible exposition. He loves the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves the church. And, more specifically, he loves Mt. Sinai. Born and raised in Detroit (We won’t hold that against him), George moved to California as an officer in the Navy. He joined Mt. Sinai while living 29 Palms, making a two or more hour drive to church – one way. And in a great step of faith, George laid aside a promising military career to go to seminary to prepare for pastoral service. During this time, George joined my staff on a part time basis. After George finished seminary, earning a Masters of Divinity Degree from the Masters’ Seminary, George took on full time responsibilities at the church.

During these past several years, it has been my great privilege to be a close-up witness of George’s spiritual and ministerial development. He has grown into a strong, solid preacher – as the Lord has opened many opportunities for George to preach at Mt. Sinai and many other churches. His leadership skills are sharp. For the past three years he has been a professor at the Los Angeles Bible Training School. The past two summers, he has participated in short-term mission trips to Haiti to train pastors. More specifically, he has been a capable assistant to me, who has borne the burden of the pastoral work at MSMBC with me. And his spiritual progress has been evident to the congregation (1 Tim. 4:13).

In the early months of this year, when people would ask me about George, I would say to them that my only complaint is that George would probably not be with me by the end of 2008. I fully expected some church to snatch George up by year’s end. The ironic providence of God is a funny thing, isn’t it?

George was the first to tell me about the pastoral vacancy at Shiloh. And when he did, I didn’t believe him. And I remember all of the (wrong) predictions we made about who would be the next pastor of Shiloh. Last night, as we had dinner together after the meeting, we reflected on the roller coaster events of these past months. Who would have thought that I would be the new pastor of Shiloh? Who would have thought that George would be the next pastor of Mt. Sinai. We didn’t. That’s for sure. But our God is an awesome God!

I am very proud of George. He is a cherished friend, true brother, fellow soldier, prayer partner, and trusted counselor. I am so excited about what God is doing in his life right now. And I am so proud of Mt. Sinai. To God be the glory for the maturity, prayerfulness, and unity of this beloved congregation! I believe they will be a witness to churches around the country for many years to come. And God be praised for the Church Council, a band of brothers who have demonstrated the importance and fruitfulness of the local church being led by a plurality of godly men.

As I make my way back home to my family and congregation in Jacksonville, I do so with fervent prayers and great confidence in the Lord for the future, growth, and ministry of MSMBC. May the Lord richly bless this new union of pastor and people. And may their dreams be even greater than their memories!

Please remember Pastor George E. Hurtt and the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in your prayers.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Minister Frances Lauderdale

    Pastor George Hurtt, is a fine man of God. A Majestic Teacher, a Illustrious Pastor..A Splendid Person, and an Excellent Friend to All.. Pastor Hurtt Practices what he Preaches…He is Awesome..I am happy to call him my Friend…

    Minister Frances Lauderdale
    Praises Of Zion Baptist Church
    Los Angeles, Calif.

  • Anonymous

    Pastor Charles,
    i am excited about what God is doing in the life of our Young Men. All things are possible and with you and Pastor Hurtt at the Helms it is great things to come for both congregations.

  • Anonymous

    Pastor Charles,
    Galatians 5 :22 lets us know when the Holy Spirit controls our lives there are certain characteristics Christians will possess. I wonder why self control is listed last?

    Praying as God work every thing out. Hope Trey is feeling better.

  • Anonymous

    Dear H.B.:

    You showed a lot of class by going back to assist your former congregation in this significant transition in their history.

    May our Lord bless you for demonstrating a Christ-like demeanor to His people! Shiloh should feel blessed to have such a young man like yourself. May the Lord continue to bless your rich ministry!

    Sincerely,

    Wayne (Proud to be a Tampa, Florida Native)

  • Anonymous

    Pastor Charles,
    I am glad you did. It gave me an opportunity of expression that was repressed. Thank God for dying for our redemption. Work with God for He is surely working with you.
    A thankful Shilite.

  • Anonymous

    Pastor Charles
    We went there with you.Thank God for liberty and justice for all.
    Always let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. I told my co- workers about our study in the Word last night. I am still excited. Is it Sunday yet?
    God bless and keep you and your family til we meet again.

  • Anonymous

    PREACH!!!! FEED US!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Pastor Go as far as the Holy Spirit leads you. My cup is still overflowing from last nights message.

  • Ty

    Man vs Message. YOU may not have meant to go that far, but the holy spirit had no restraints. My heart is still full. Well done!

  • Anonymous

    As i left the meeting on Monday night on my way to work, a car with personalized plates pulled in from of me..the plates read “FROM GOD’ IS GOD AWESOME OR WHAT?

  • DeAntwan Fitts

    I am exited about what God is doing at MSMBC. I believe George Hurtt will make a great Pastor. I’m also praying for you, your family and Shiloh. Thanks for all you and Pastor Hurtt do for the body of Christ.

    Serving for His glory,

    DeAntwan Fitts

  • Clinton Smith

    Congratulations to George! Your dream has always been to have one of the guys step in your place if anything was to happen to you and it has happened. I’ll be in continued prayer for George and Mt Sinai Church.

  • Pastor Kevin L. Pullam

    A true testimony to the an authentically biblical way of selecting the episcopos (overseer). I have been teaching a series from 2 Timothy, on Wednesday nights, about Spiritual Leadership. Two points I have continually resounded, from this book, is the 1) Plurality of Leadership and 2) Locality of Leadership. These two elements are present in what we have witnessed in the calling of Pastor Hurtt. First of all, we see that you taught and implemented this “plurality” through the church council. Secondly, the new Pastor was not selected in ways we often see. He was someone who was known to the congregation and whose works and diligence had already been authenticated by his continued faithfulness and stirring up of his gift.

    God Be Praised for your obvious effectiveness in teaching and training over the years. Also, for the faithfulness of this new Pastor and People.

  • Pastor Lance A. Mann

    George is going to do a yeoman’s job in this new assignment. God used you, to prepare George for this very moment. Be a proud “father” who has seen his “son” make it to the next level. God Be Praised!!!

    Lance

  • Vietta P’s Two Cents

    I will pray for Pastor George Hurtt and the Mt. Sinai Church Family as they bond as Pastor and People and move farther into the vineyard. My continued prayers for you Pastor HB and your family.

    To God be the Glory for the great things He has done.

    Be blessed.