I am scheduled to speak at the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church tonight at 6:30 PM (PST), at it celebrates 92 years of ministry. Bishop Alexis Thomas has served this church since he was a teenager and is now the seasoned leader of this strong congregation. I have preached at Pilgrim Rest for the past several years. And it is always a great time of worship. Please pray for tonight’s service. And if you are in the Phoenix area, consider this your personal invitation to join us.

Date: May 16, 2014
Time: 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Event: Speaking @ Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church | Phoenix
Sponsor: Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
Venue: Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
Location: 1401 E. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85034
Public: Public

Speaking @ Christ Second Baptist Church of Long Beach

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.

Notes from Sunday – 08/26/12

It has been a long day. It has been a long weekend. It has been a long weekend.

I spent Saturday morning with our church deacons, during their annual retreat. I taught on “The Ministry of Deacons.” It was a great time of study and fellowship. I look forward to our next time together.

I am in Lexington, Kentucky. I was invited by a seminary classmate, Victor Sholar, to preach the 150th anniversary celebration at the Main Street Baptist Church.

Pastor Sholar has served the Main Street Church for about a year, having relocated from Los Angeles. He is a godly, humble, and diligent pastor. Pray God’s blessings on his ministry in Lexington.

Main Street Church is next to Mary Todd Lincoln’s home. And the church land was deeded to them by Abraham Lincoln.

Recently, the church located the grave of its founding pastor, Rev. Frederick Braxton. This memorial was featured in a newspaper story this past week.

Likewise, Main Street shares a parking lot with Ruff Arena, where the Kentucky Wildcats play basketball. Way cool.

I preached from Philippians in the morning and from the Psalms in the afternoon.

This afternoon, Rev. Freddy Moody came to hear me preach. Moody is another Los Angeles transplant. I have known him since I was a boy. I used to preach for his pastor way back when my hair weighed more than the rest of me. It was good to see him again.

It was a good day of worship today. But I really missed Shiloh today.

Our Pastor of Christian Education, Brodes Perry, preached today at Shiloh. I caught a few minutes of the 10:15 service online, before I went into service. I am not sure, but I think Brodes was singing. Someone please tell my I’m wrong.

The Ravens beat the Jaguars like that stole something Thursday night.

UPDATE: Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is still holding out How do you think this is going to end?

Peyton Manning looked good today. I hope he has a really good season, even tough I have never liked the Broncos.

UPDATE: The New York Jets are yet to score a touchdown this preseason? Solution: Trade Sanchez and Tebow for a real quarterback!

The Seattle Seahawks cut Terrell Owens. No more T.O. And no more Chad Johnson. Now let’s see how things go for Randy Moss in San Francisco.

Japan whipped Tennessee, 12-2, to win the Little League World Series.

So Roger Clemens is pitching again. At the age of 50.

The US Open Tennis Tournament begins tomorrow. I want Serena Williams and Roger Federer to win. You know, the old folk.

I am praying for those who are in the path of Hurricane Isaac.

Notes from Sunday – 07/15/12

Praise the Lord for the way he worked today at Shiloh!

Thank God for the one who was baptized today.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who serve at the Shiloh Church. You make it happen!

Our worship leader was on his post today, R. Scott, even though his sister passed away this weekend. Very encouraging.

I preached Psalm 1. I called it, “Which Way Are You Going?”

I stated the point of the sermon in three words: Choose God’s way.

Sermon Outline:

I.     Choose the way that is blessed (1:1-2)

II.     Choose the way that bears fruit (1:3-4)

III.     Choose the way that lasts (1:5-6)

I have been preaching Psalm 1 since I was a teenager. But I still learned so much from it this week that I had not seen before.

I love digging fresh water from old wells!

L. Mann recommended a great closing illustration for his message. I used it at 8 AM. It bombed! I ditched it at 10:15 AM.

I am thankful for the leaders of Shiloh who have been praying for my preaching this week.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church.

Ray Allen and Rayshard Lewis are now members of the Miami Heat.

I am so ready for these Dwight Howard trade rumors to be over with. Is it me, or is Howard really not worth the fuss being made over him!

I am really trying to get into the baseball season now. It’s not working.

Danny Ramirez took down Amir Khan in the 4th round of this boxing match last night. Ramirez’s father called Khan overrated. He son back up his talk in the ring.

I am really saddened by the report about the Penn State scandal that was released this week. Do you think the school should take the Joe Paterno statue down?

Mark you calendars. The Dark Knight rises next weekend.

Random question: What’s the deal with Gospel artists doing reality TV shows now? Huh?

Tomorrow starts the E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference in Dallas. I am scheduled to speak in the general session Monday evening. I am also to teach several sessions over the course of the week. Your prayers are much appreciated.

As much as I can, I will post updates about the conference this week.

Preaching Holy Week at Burnette in Detroit

I am in Detroit.

I am preaching three nights for Pastor Nathaniel Caldwell at the Greater Burnette Baptist Church, where he has served as pastor for seven years.

I first preached at Burnette when I was seventeen-years-old. Dr. J. Allen Caldwell, the late, founding pastor, invited me to fill in for his regular speaker. He continued to invite me every year during Holy Week until his death.

I have many friends and adopted family at Burnette. It is a joy to see familiar faces and to have the opportunity to preach the word of God to this great congregation again.

The meeting got off to a good start tonight. But I am tired. This is the fifth city I have preached in within the past week. And it is taking its toll on me. I am definitely not a young preacher anymore.

Please pray for this meeting and for the renewal of strength.

Here’s a random memory.

I had just finished preaching the opening night of this meeting in 1993. We went out to eat afterwards. The restaurant was packed with Detroiters ready to celebrate Michigan’s “Fab Five” national championship. I was cheering for North Carolina to win. With seconds left, Chris Webber called the most famous time-out in sports history. I was the only happy person in Detroit that week.

Tonight, as expected, Kentucky defeated Kansas to win the NCAA national championship. But Kansas made a game of it. Congratulations Wildcats!

Notes from Sunday 06/05/11

Great day of worship at Shiloh yesterday.

God be praised for all of our volunteers who serve in various ways during our Lord’s Day services. You make it happen. Thank you.

We celebrated the Lord’s Table in both of our worship services, which is always a special time in the life of our congregation.

Grateful for the guests who joined us for worship.

Our choir sung a song called, “I Never Lost My Praise,” before I preached. It blessed us in both services.

I am convinced that if you can praise God in the midst of whatever you are going through, you already have the victory.

I preached from James 5:1-6 – “A Warning to the Rich.”

I have finally made it to the final chapter of the Epistle of James, after many fits and starts of the past few months. I am looking forward to the last four messages I have scheduled from James 5.

James 5:1-6 is a difficult text. It is said that difficult texts make good preachers. If that is true, I am a better preacher for having worked through this challenging but important passage.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church yesterday.

First Sundays mean I get to teach the first lesson in our new members class series: “The Good News of Jesus Christ.” I love teaching the message of the gospel!

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke at the baccalaureate service for the graduating seniors of William H. Raines High School. I am so grateful for the privilege. And I pray the young people and their families were blessed by the message.

Later in the afternoon, I spoke for the 11th Pastoral Anniversary celebration of Pastor Herb Anderson at the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Pastor Anderson is a “Son of Shiloh,” a strong preacher, and a faithful shepherd. It was a joy for Shiloh family to be present to encourage him.

Our Youth Choir sung during the afternoon service at Emmanuel. They did a great job. I was so proud of them.

After teaching five times, I was ready to do it again… until I got home and ate a bite. I don’t remember anything after that.

As I slept, my Miami Heat defeated the Mavericks 88-86 to go up 2 games to 1. Two more wins to go!


Notes from Sunday – 11/28/10

I am in St. John’s in Antigua & Barbuda, preaching for the Dr. Hensworth W.C. Jonas and the Baptist Circuit of Churches.

The Baptist Circuit of Churches is made up of three congregations in Antigua led by Dr. Jonah – Central, Tryells, and Covenant Baptist Church.

The mother church, Central Baptist Church, celebrated 45 years of ministry today. The Tryells Baptist Church celebrated 18 years today.

Dr. Jonas is also the founder and principle of the Baptist Academy of Antigua. With over 400 students, it is one of the leading schools in the country.

Today is Harvest Sunday in Antigua. It is their equivalent to our Thanksgiving.

I really missed worshiping with my church family today.

This was the first Sunday my wife was able to attend church since her surgery. Praise God!

Thanks to Pastor Al Letson for ministering the word today.

You can tell how mature a congregation is by how it acts or reacts when the senior pastor is away.

I preached Saturday night for the ECBM leadership banquet.

I preached three times today, at two of the three congregations.

These are well-fed congregations that love the word of God. It was a joy to preach to the saints here this morning.

Tonight’s service was beginning of an evangelistic crusade that will take place at each of the three churches.

Pray that many souls will be reached for Christ during this evangelistic crusade.

Dr. Jonas and one of his deacons tried to convince me today that soccer is the real football. I am not buying it!

My Dallas Cowboys lost to the Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Jaguars lost today to the NY Football Giants. The Jags will have to find a way to get it done on the road.

I am yet to see any of the sites in Antigua. I trust that will change before my trip ends.

There is a KFC here and three Subway sandwich joints. That’s it. Every thing else is local. That’s pretty cool.

Notes from Sunday – 10/24/10

CRYSTAL UPDATE: Thanks for your ongoing prayers for Crystal. She still cannot move around much. But there have been no complications from her surgery. And her recovery is coming along as scheduled. Praise God.

Good day of worship at Shiloh yesterday.

Our youth and young adults led the music yesterday. Good job.

Thankful for all of our guests yesterday.

God bless the families who participated in our parent-child dedication yesterday.

I began a new series on the Epistle of James yesterday. I preached from James 1:1-4 and called the message, “Taking Advantage of your Trials.”

I have been looking forward to preaching the book of James for many years now. I hope to learn a lot from it. And I pray that my labors will bear fruit in the pulpit.

I had been working on an introductory sermon on James. I decided Thursday evening that was not the best way to go. So I had to bunker down to do an exegesis of verses 1-4. It wiped me God. But I am glad I did.

I am really looking forward to the study of James and pray that it will mark a special time of growth and fruitfulness in the life of Shiloh.

Next week’s sermon: “Praying for Wisdom” (James 1:1-4).

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church.

Sunday afternoon, I preached for my friend Brodes Perry at the Philippi Baptist Church here in Jacksonville. Brodes is a godly young pastor and a faithful preacher. I was glad to be there. I preached Romans 8:28. Thanks, Shiloh, for your presence. You’re the best.

I did not realize it until Brodes mentioned it to me, but yesterday was the third straight Sunday afternoon I have preached.

Congratulations to my friend, John Fils-Aime, on his pastoral installation yesterday in New York.

The San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers are going to the World Series It should be absolutely boring without the New York Yankees.

It seems no one wants to be #1 in college football. But who cares, since the USC Trojans are nowhere near the top.

I am not a UFC fan. But I was absolutely shocked by the news that Brock Lesner was knocked-out in the first round of his match Saturday night.

The Jaguars were beat up pretty bad by the Chiefs.

My Dallas Cowboys MUST defeat the New York Giants tonight! Are you ready for some football!!!

Can you believe the movie “Back To the Future” is 25 years old?

How’s Lido! Lido, our family dog, got a haircut this weekend. He is feeling good and looking good.

Notes from Sunday – 10/10/10

Good day of worship and fellowship at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Grateful for all the guests who joined us in worship.

Our children’s choir led in song during our 10 AM service.

Our mass choir looks beautiful in their new robes.

Carlton Burgess led the song of preparation at 10 AM. His medley of old hymns was moving.

Praise God for those who were baptized.

I preached a message from Hebrews 10:24-25 that I entitled “Assembly required.”

I argued that Christian assembly is required for all Christians.

I am very passionate about this subject. I believe that growing Christians much be participant members of a local church.

“The gospel does not make sense without the gospel that does not make sense.” – William H. Willimon

Praise God for those who were saved and aded to the church.

In two weeks, I plan begin a verse-by-verse exposition of the Epistle of James. Please pray for my preparation.

Saturday afternoon we worshiped with the Abyssinia Baptist Church to celebrate the 13th pastoral celebration of Dr. Eugene Diamond.

I am a sucker for a church that loves its pastor!

I preached from one of my favorite verses, Galatians 6:9. I needed that message more than anyone else.

The Jaguars beat up the Bills 36-26. That’s two in a row for the Jags. 3-2 for the season.

My Dallas Cowboys lost to the Titans 34-27 to go 1-3 for the season. It seems like the only way my boys will make it to the Super Bowl is to get free passes. At Cowboy Stadium!!!

The USC Trojans lost to Stanford 37-35. Well, at least we do not have to worry about going to a bowl game this season.

Thanks for the concern and kindness you have shown for my wife Crystal. Please remember my family in your prayers this week.

The 2010 E.K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference

I am attending the E.K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference in Dallas. Pastor Bryan Carter and the Concord Church host this conference. The theme this year is “Preaching Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5).

The late Dr. E.K. Bailey, the founding pastor of the Concord Church, established this conference. In a recent article by Michael Duduit, Dr. Bailey was listed among the twenty-five most influential preachers of the past twenty-five years. I fully agree. My own commitment to expository preaching was sealed as a result of hearing Dr. Bailey preach. He is one of my homiletical heroes. And his conference has been used by God to introduce and equip many preachers to rightly handle the word of truth.

The conference is already off and running. Last night, Michael Duduit and Maurice Watson brought the opening messages. Wow! That’s all I can say. This morning, Dr. Ramesh Richards and Pastor Bryan Carter will speak in the general sessions. Many other great preaches will be speaking this week. And there are many classes that area available. At the same time, a women’s conference is taking place under the leadership of Dr. Shelia M. Bailey.

I am scheduled to teach a session this afternoon on developing expository sermons. I will bring the message in the general session this evening. Wednesday morning, I am scheduled to participate in an extended session on developing a preaching plan. Then I have two sessions to teach Thursday afternoon, on developing expository sermons and the theology of preaching.

Please pray for the meeting and for the hundreds of Christian ministers who are here to learn, worship, and fellowship. And pray for Pastor Bryan Carter and the Concord Church, as they give leadership to this meeting.

Next year’s conference is scheduled for July 11-14, 2011.