Wednesday night, I preached for Pastor Welton Pleasant at the Christ Second Baptist Church of Long Beach, CA.
Christ Second Baptist Church is celebrating its 105th church anniversary this month.
Pastor Pleasant, whom I have known for some years, invited me in honor of my father, who pastored the church for ten years, before he was called to Mt. Sinai in Los Angeles.
I remember the first time I preached at Christ Second Baptist. I was 16-years-old boy preacher. It was not long after my father had died. Members greeted me and told me how much I reminded them of my father. That night I learned that my boyhood nickname was originally the nickname Christ Second Baptist had given him when he was their young pastor. I was blown away.
It has been my privilege to preach at Christ Second Baptist many times over the years.
The former pastor, Michael Ealey, invited me to preach the congregation’s 90th anniversary. I still have a commemorative tape series from the event, which includes a recording of one of my father’s messages.
I did not expect anyone to meet anyone who remembered my father’s ministry at Christ Second Baptist this go round. Boy, was I wrong.
A woman greeted me after service whose parents were baptized by my father.
Another woman greeted me whose parents were married by my father.
Then another woman greeted me who joined the church under my father’s ministry. She insisted that she was a younger woman then.
The son of Mr. Hayes, who cut my father’s hair for decades, was present. Mr. Hayes gave me my first haircut, and gave my son his first haircut. His son is a member of Christ Second Baptist.
I praise God for being the beneficiary of such a legacy of Christian ministry.
Some preaching sons find it incredibly difficult to minister in their father’s shadow. I bask in it.
When my father died, I did not get any of his material possessions. But he left me something infinitively more valuable – a good name (Proverbs 22:1).
I pray that the Lord will grant me to live and minister in such a way that, decades from now, someone will be a blessing to my son because of my devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.