I’ll give you one guess who that handsome young man to the left is.

Before I go any further, let me answer your burning question: Is that a Jheri Curl?

Answer: Absolutely not! I only use juices and berries on my hair.

Bonus Q&A: Yes, those are Gazelle glasses I am wearing. What you know about that?!?!

This is a newspaper clip I found recently in a book. It is from local church newspaper in Los Angeles called the A.C.C. (R.I.P.) I was just eighteen-years-old.

It is an advertisement for my first pastoral anniversary celebration at the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, where I had the privilege of serving for almost eighteen years.

As I read the names of the pastors and churches that would participate in the celebration (which may be hard for you to see), it overwhelmed me.

Many fine pastors from the Los Angeles area saw something in this young man. They invested in me and encouraged my ministry along the way. Half of the names listed are now blessed memories. Others continue to serve the Lord at the very same churches, after all these years.

The headline really gripped me: “To God be the Glory for all the good things He has done.”

Indeed.

I began my journey in pastoral ministry almost twenty-two years ago. I was a seventeen-year-old rookie, a JV player who should have sat the bench for many more years before received a varsity assignment.

Yet the Lord was gracious to me. He upheld me. He surrounded me with loving people who nurtured me. He used me. And he protected me from the enemy – including myself! To God be the glory.

From 1991 to 2012, the Lord continues to smile on me. I am just glad to still be in the game. Yet, more than that, the Lord has opened many great doors of opportunity for me.

The Lord has transplanted me from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, where I now serve the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

I continue to be blessed to pastor a great church, to be surrounded by loving people, and to preach the word to receptive congregation.

To God be the glory! Still!