Monday, October 5, 2015

Pentecostal Opinion: What can Pentecostal leaders learn from the Pope's visit to the United States?

Hey everyone!!! Recently, the United States had a visitation from Pope Francis that sent the world, and more specifically, the United States into a frenzy.  Even though there are fundamental differences between Pentecostal beliefs and that of those in the Catholic faith, there are three things I believe Pentecostal leaders can learn from the Pope's leadership and display while in the United States.

One thing I can say I walked away with from the Pope's visit was his display of humility.  As I saw clips and articles of the Pope, I could not help but be amazed at the display of humility continually shown by him.  As the leader for the largest sect of Christianity, Pope Francis could be seen to have a legitimate reason to not display any form of humility, but it appears that the contrary has occurred.  As a leader, he has been compelled to show himself more humble as he has risen to the top rank in the Catholic church. From carrying his own briefcase, to allowing a young girl to stop his parade to give him a t-shirt, to being driven around in a Fiat, the Pope showed the world how not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to.  As one of the key traits of Christ, all leaders need to take note of Christ's humility and apply it to their lives as the Pope clearly has.

Another thing that stuck out was Pope Francis' strategic move to visit places where a bulk of his parishioners were. It clearly wasn't by accident that the Pope visited those three particular cities. With New York and Philadelphia both being two of the top five largest cities in the United States, and Washington DC being in the top twenty-five, it was intentional for the Pope to visit these three cities because it is there he had the potential to meet and be seen with many of his parishioners.  I think Pentecostal leaders can take heed to this and realize the necessity of having your face be seen throughout the various locations your churches are located. I know that for leaders of larger organizations, it is seemingly impossible for the head leader to show up at every church, but I believe that at the major regional events, leaders should attend even if they are not speaking. In this day and time, people want to feel a connection to those that they call leaders, and this can only be done through interaction and being seen.

The last thing I am going to talk about in this edition of Pentecostal Opinion that stood out to me is the Pope's example of stepping out the four walls of the church to reaching and impacting the world. Three things that really impressed me with the Pope's visit was his visit to Congress in Washington DC, the United Nations in New York, and the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia. All different in nature, the Pope shows the church-world how to engage all different types of people without compromising beliefs or stances. In every appearance, the Pope did not change his tone as it came to his speeches or his attire. For years it has appeared that the Pentecostal world has not attempted to or taken the opportunity to allow itself to truly go beyond the four walls. In a world where people are searching for truth and enlightenment, and as carriers of both, our leaders must both create and take opportunities to spread our beliefs to those outside the four walls of the church.

For the record, I am not saying that all Pentecostal leaders are not doing one or all of these things, but holistically our leadership have more improvements that can be made. So as we continue in the future, I hope and pray that leaders in the church show humility on a greater level, become more visible to their parishioners, and step out the four walls of the church to spread the message of Christ. Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow the Pentecostal Perspective’s Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Opinion. God Bless!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pentecostal Inspiration: Mark 10:47

Hey everyone!!! This edition of Pentecostal Inspiration is featuring an extremely familiar Bible story. Upon reading this story, something stood out that I wanted to share with all of you in this edition of Pentecostal Inspirations.

The first thing that stood out was the fact that even though Bartimaeus could not see, he was able to use his one of his other senses (hearing) to detect that Jesus was near. This stood out to me and caused me to think about us in modern times. As believers who know that we have the Spirit of God living inside of us, whenever we step into a situation or room, our presence should be felt. It is sad to say, but many times today's believer can walk into any environment and not have their presence be felt or known. As disciples of Christ we cannot allow this to be, just like Christ, we must exude the power of God wherever we go. In the Bible we do not see at any point where there was a person in need who did not sense that Christ was among them. People should feel a difference whenever we walk into their presence  or theirs in ours. The Holy Ghost is an atmosphere changer.  As carriers of the Holy Ghost, we should create atmosphere shifts wherever we go. When taking inventory, we must ask ourselves if the atmosphere stays the same or sadly turns negative when we step into it.

So, as we go along throughout the rest of our days, let us ensure that our presence is being felt whenever we enter somewhere because of the power of God residing inside of us. Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow the Pentecostal Perspective’s Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Inspiration. God Bless!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pentecostal Spotlight: Bishop Alphonzo D. Brooks

Hey everyone!!! This edition of Pentecostal Spotlight is being written with much enthusiasm and excitement. The reason being is because I am presenting my interview with the new Presiding Bishop for the organization, Way of the Cross Church of Christ, Bishop Alphonzo D. Brooks. Not only is this my first interview with a presiding bishop, but this is also one of Bishop Brooks first interviews as presiding bishop. These two reasons, along with the acknowledgement that Bishop is a modern day father in Pentecostalism create so much excitement. As the son of the organization’s founder Bishop Henry Brooks, this moment seems predestined because of the fact that he is both a spiritual and natural son of Way of the Cross. As a leader who exemplifies both humility and progression Bishop Brooks is definitely going to propel Way of the Cross forward. As a man with both a vision and plan, Way of the Cross definitely is in great hands. Having successfully owned multiple businesses, Bishop Brooks will not only be a fantastic spiritual leader he will also lead the organization from a business point of view. With much excitement and without further ado, I present my interview with Bishop Alphonzo D. Brooks.

As you transition into the office of Presiding Bishop, what is your vision for the Way of the Cross Church of Christ Int'l?

My vision for the Way of the Cross Church of Christ is to be unified as a body both within our organization and among the Apostolic body of believers as a whole.

Where do you hope to see WOTCC in the next five years? 

I really want the Way of the Cross to reach young people within the church because it seems as if the church as a whole is losing young people at a very rapid rate.  In a world where they are being instructed that they must receive an education in order to be successful, I want them to realize that even in success they need God.  Not only will we focus on the younger generation within our church but also conducting a mass outreach to that same generation outside of the church.  It's all about winning more souls to the kingdom.

What do you want your legacy as Presiding Bishop to be? 

I want my legacy as Presiding Bishop to be that of a leader who embraced unity in the body of Christ and worked to the best of my ability to move Way of the Cross to the next level.  I also want to be known as a leader who was a devoted servant of Christ.

In a world where it appears as if the church is being pressured more and more to compromise, how do you plan to lead the churches that are a part of the organization to not compromise?

I believe that the church needs to become more of a unified front.  I believe once this happens, the world will look to us to set the tone for decisions being made.  Collectively we can pull down the strong holds facing the world today.  I want people to recognize that Apostolics are not just some new religion/denomination and that we have been here for many years and doing great work for the kingdom and in our community.

At Apostle William Bonner's funeral, you spoke about the necessity for unity within the Pentecostal Apostolic body, how do you as a leader plan to ensure that necessity becomes a reality? 

I believe that within our local assemblies we must embrace unity with our Apostolic brothers and sisters and from there we can embrace it from a much larger perspective.

Having such a rich heritage in the Pentecostal world, how do you plan to embrace the past while still moving forward in the future? 

I plan to build on the tremendous foundation that has been laid for us and progress forward into the future building for the kingdom.

As the youngest son of WOTCC founder, Bishop Henry Brooks, how does it feel to be taking the position of leader within the organization he started? 

It is somewhat of a bittersweet moment, with me being older in age part of me wishes I would have stepped into this role when I was younger.  Knowing that my father wanted me to progress in ministry when I was younger, I regret that I did not heed to his prompting.  Even though I know he may have been disappointed in me, I am glad that I stepped up to my calling now because I know the Lord is pleased.

In the whole spectrum of Pentecostalism, where do you believe Way of the Cross stands?

Having such a deep root in Pentecostalism we are an organization still standing on the foundation that was created by our founder, Bishop Henry Brooks. Celebrating 71 years as an organization, I want to show the world that we have been actively and effectively operating for decades, with many more to come. 

Who have been your biggest inspirations and mentors and what are the key things you have learned from them?

I would have to say Mother Isabel Ford the founder of the National Youth For Christ was my biggest inspiration.  She stressed discipline as it pertains to doing the work of the Lord.  I am so honored that not only was she my mentor, but my sister.

What do you believe is the key for being an effective leader in the church during this modern age?

I would have to say devotion is the key to being an effective leader.  In today's society I believe a lot of people are being drawn to the ministry because of the prosperous lives they see as a result of many years of faithfulness and work ethics.  While nothing is wrong with being prosperous in ministry, that cannot be your main drive and focus as it relates to ministry and leadership in ministry.  To be effective there must be an unwavering devotion to ministry and a love for God that drives you.

What scripture would you say is the motto for your life? 

The motto scripture for my life would have to be John 17:22 "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:" The reason I chose that scripture is because I want to show everyone that when it comes to me as a leader I embrace unity just as Christ and the father are one, the church should be one. 

As we all can see Bishop Brooks is an exemplary man who definitely will drive Way of the Cross into a successful future. Many leaders both young and old can learn from the impactful life he has displayed and continues to display to this day.  Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow the Pentecostal Perspective’s Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Spotlight. God Bless!!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pentecostal Opinion: How much emphasis should be placed on a dress code as it relates to Holiness?

Hey everyone!!! When the word "holiness" is said, many times the first thought that comes to mind is a standard of dress. Even though the way a person dresses is a factor in presenting oneself in a holy manner, it is not the only factor, nor is it the key factor. True holiness is about a lifestyle, not a dress code. The Bible tells us in Romans 12:1 "…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Based on this scripture alone, it can be understood that holiness is a whole body experience. Not only should holiness be reflected outwardly, but it should be reflected inwardly as well because this scripture is not only referencing how we dress our bodies, but the activities we do with them also.

In my experience with church, I have seen various examples of people who portrayed holiness outwardly but did not display actions that support their outward display of holiness. For so long I believe the church stressed the importance of the outward appearance that it in some ways neglected the greater importance of having holy actions. The world is watching us to ensure that we live the life we verbally proclaim.  We must be certain we are not placing so much emphasis on a standard of dress that we neglect a standard of living.  We are living in a time where people are consistently losing faith in the church, so we cannot add more of a reason for this loss of faith. The Bible says in Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven". This scripture lets us as saints know that we must let our light shine (which is an internal thing) to draw people to Christ and notice the difference inside of us.

The church must also realize that we cannot allow the enforcing of a dress standard to be a barrier for reaching souls. There have been occasions where the church has prevented the reaching of souls because of the outward appearance and/or dressing of a person. I am going to say flat-out, the church can and should not be doing this! The job of the church is to reach the lost and we cannot allow something as trivial as the way someone is dressed to prevent us from doing our job. The world is seeking for something more and we have to point them to Christ regardless of what they look like or what they may be wearing. Jesus commanded us to go into all the world, therefore, we should not limit ourselves by neglecting those who do not look "the part".

I have also noticed throughout the church world a the lack of unity due to differences in dress standard. I believe in this spiritual hour, God is calling for unity and I reiterate, we as the church cannot allow something so trivial as a dress standard to be the reason why we do not answer and proceed with God's call. The church needs to realize that the greater cause is the winning of souls and we should not be divided by separate church standards. If a church is preaching the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, we must embrace them as our family and show the world that we can be unified.

So as we look upon the initial question, there needs to be some emphasis placed on the way a person dresses, but it must not be the key to holiness. I believe God is really preparing the church for a great move and dress code should not be the deterrent of that move.  As we move forward, let us be aware that true holiness is not defined by our clothing, but it is an inward reflection.  We must ensure that our lifestyles reflect holiness so we can draw those in the works and tear down the barriers we have created between us so we can draw all men unto Christ. Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow Pentecostal Perspective’s Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Opinion. God Bless!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pentecostal Event: Way of the Cross Church of Christ's 71st Holy Convocation


Hey everyone!!! As convention season begins to dwindle down, Way of The Cross Church of Christ is gathering together for their 71st Convocation. This year's Convocation is taking place in the city of Herndon, Virginia from August 2-7. This year appears to be a Convocations that has a great sense of anticipation and excitement. The keynote evening speakers are Bishop Early Dillard, Bishop Larry Whitfield, Sr., Bishop Alphonzo Brooks, Bishop James Nelson, Sr., and Bishop Leroy Cannady, Sr. I really admire the way Way of the Cross's has majority of their speakers from within their organization. The theme for this year's Convocation is "Cease not to fight your goal is just ahead," taken from Phillipians 3:14. With a topic like that I believe that those who attend will leave both inspired and encouraged.

During this year's Convocation the leadership position of the organization will be passed down from Bishop Leroy Cannady, Sr. to Bishop Alphonzo Brooks. This is such a monumental moment that appears as if it will be remembered for years to come. As a son of the founder, Bishop  Henry Chauncey Brooks, this is a monumental moment for Bishop Alphonzo Brooks. Not only a son of the organization but also of the founder, it only seems fitting for Bishop Brooks to step into this role. To commemorate this monumental occasion their will be a legacy banquet in honor of the many years of faithfulness Bishop Cannady served as Presiding Bishop, where Dr. Jerome Stokes will be speaking. The official instillation service for Bishop Brooks will be on held on the evening of August 7th. 

This Convocation definitely appears to be one that will go down in the record books for Way of the Cross Church of Christ. Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow the Pentecostal Perspective’s  Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Event. God Bless!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pentecostal Event: Pentecostal Assemblies of the World 100th Summer Convention

Hey everyone!!! The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is gathering together for their 100th Summer Convention. With such a monumental moment in the organization's history, I am sure this convention will be both amazing and historic. This year's convention is taking place from July 26th to August 1st in Detroit, Michigan with the theme "Celebrating our Past...Embracing our Future." With Indianapolis being the home and headquarters for the organization, I find it very interesting and a bit strange that they are not returning to what some would deem as their Jerusalem.

This year the organization has compiled a great list of speakers for their evening services. The speaker's scheduled are Bishop Marion Wright, Sr., Suffragan Bishop Jonathan Ellis, Evangelist E. Lorraine Langham, Bishop Thomas Weeks Sr., Bishop Wayne Brantley, Bishop Larry Jones, Bishop Charles Ellis III, Bishop Richard Young, Bishop Marvin Sapp, and Bishop J. Drew Sheard. I am really impressed with the balancing PAW did with using the people within and without their organization along side. I am extremely impressed of them for breaking the Apostolic barrier and unifying Pentecostals all over by inviting Bishop Sheard from Church of God in Christ to speak.

It also has been confirmed that twenty or more leaders from other Apostolic Pentecostal organizations will be in attendance to commemorate this 100th Convention. With unity being something I greatly promote personally and through this blog, I am ecstatic about this long overdue coming together. I believe it is going to be an amazing sight to see so many Apostolic Pentecostal leaders gathered together.

This Convention is proving to be an awesome event and with a slew of events for those in attendance to partake in this will definitely be a Convention for the record books. Please go like the Pentecostal Perspective Facebook page, follow the Pentecostal Perspective’s  Instagram and Twitter pages, and share this edition of Pentecostal Event. God Bless!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pentecostal News - Passing and Homegoing Arrangements for Bishop HanselHenry

It is with great sadness this edition of Pentecostal News is being written. Executive Vice Bishop for Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Bishop Hansel Henry has passed. As the second in command for the organization this is a heavy lost for Mount Calvary. A pioneer within the organization, Bishop Henry is definitely going to be missed and his lost will be felt throughout the organization and the Pentecostal world as a whole.  Having pastored New Calvary Life Temple in Baltimore, Maryland, for many years, Bishop Henry has left a legacy for excellence in ministry for many years to come. He is survived by his wife, Elder Deloris C. Henry, two adult children, Erica Henry Washington and Hansel H. Henry, III, a  son-in-law, and three grandchildren.

The funeral arrangements are as follows, Bishop Hansel Henry's body will Lie in State July 23rd between the times of 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, at his home church of New Calvary Life Temple in Baltimore, Maryland and the Homegoing Celebration Service will be July 24th at 11:00 am, at the Mount Calvary Holy Church of America's headquarter church, Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in Washington D.C. Seeing how this is the week of their Convocation I am very sure that the homegoing service will be extremely well attended and an excellent way to remember this remarkable man of God.

Please keep Bishop Henry's family, New Calvary Life Temple church family, and Mount Calvary Holy Church of America organization family in prayer. God Bless!
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