Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World's 98th Summer Convention

Hey Everyone! The oldest Apostolic Pentecostal Organization, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, is convening for their 98th Summer Convention. They are meeting in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana from July 28th - August 3rd. This is going to be one of the Conventions to go down in the record books, as PAW is returning to where some would helm as their Jerusalem or Promise Land, the birthplace where their first Presiding Bishop, Bishop G.T. Haywood resided and pastored the very historic church Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly affectionately known as the "Mother Church." The speakers lined up for this convention are: Suffragan Bishop A. Glenn Brady, Bishop William Ellis, Bishop Lane Foster, Pastor Jackie McCullough, Bishop Charles Ellis, Pastor Marvin Sapp and Bishop Horrace Smith. During this Convention there seems to be a plethora of activities for the delegates to partake in. One thing I found so compelling was  that Friday the organization is having an event called the "Soul March" jointly sponsored by the Convention Evangelism and Outreach Services Department, International Young Peoples Union, and the International Health Professionals. During this event, members of PAW are marching from the JW Marriot Hotel to the University Park where they will be having musical artists and guest, health awareness activities, free food, witnessing, community outreach and a speaker. The speaker for this event is Pastor Joel Urshan from the organization United Pentecostal Church International. He is the grandson of legendary Nathaniel Urshan one of the former General Superintendents for UPC. I am so excited to see PAW and UPC unite on such a large stage. Another exciting event is that the First Lady of the organization, Lady Crisette Ellis is launching her new website "Affirmations by Crisette" on that Monday night. On that Wednesday  PAW is conducting a bone marrow drive which i think is awesome because  they are doing an event with a greater cause.  On Thursday night of the convention at 8:30 p.m., the organization is showing their service live on the Word Network with special musical guest Jonathon Nelson. I always look forward to this because it gives those that are not able to make it a chance to watch service live on television, and not through some sort of streaming site. Throughout the organization there is a great sense of excitement and buzz. So PAW have an awesome time in the presence of the Lord as you all return back home to celebrate your deep rooted history, and the God who has carried you through these 98 years. God Bless!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith's 56th National Convention and Holy Convocation

Hey Everyone!!!  Delegates from within and without the organization Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith, are convening together for their 56th National Convention and Holy Convocation from July 26 through July 31, 2013. For the past two years, PCAF and the organization Pentecostal Assemblies of the World have been having their summer conventions in the same city and having joint services. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you personally look at it, the two organizations are parting ways this year and going to two separate cities. This year, PCAF is traveling to the city of Jackson, Mississippi. The church that is holding this year's convention is the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church.  With the size of PCAF being what it is, I am imagining that this church is of a pretty large size.  The speakers for this convention are: Bishop Lambert Gates Sr., Bishop Titus Stewart, Bishop JE Moore, Bishop Richard Young, District Elder Jonathon Pulliam,  and Bishop David Maxwell. What impressed me about this list of speakers is the fact that they have speakers from COOLJC and PAW. As an advocate for unity, this is really great and what I believe we need to see more of.  This conference looks as if it is going to be a great experience for those in attendance. So PCAF, have an amazing time in the Holy Ghost. God Bless!!!

Guest Blogger Eugene Smith

Hey Everyone!
I am so excited about this next post. This post is actually written by a guest blogger. As a member of New Community Church of God in Christ, and a graduate student at Morgan State University, Eugene Smith is an example both spirituality and educationally, creating a perfect combination.  He is the writer of the blog "Education Matters", and is someone who I admire for having a firm conviction in Christ while still pursuing higher education. Because of this, I asked him to write on the topic of "The Importance of Higher Education in the 21st Century Church." So without further ado, I present my guest blogger Eugene Smith!

  As a student affairs professional, I believe it is necessary that Christian church find that education is important. A student affairs professional is an administrator in a college setting that works with students develop their social, academic, and professional skills. I meet all types of students who are on their own path to attaining educational pursuits. For Christians, it is necessary for us to be equipped with as much education as possible to live in this world and compete in the job market. A lot of times I see that Christians are not keen on the importance of education. I do not know everyone’s reasoning behind why pursuing education (or the lack thereof) is important to them. I also do not want to give any assumptions. However, from what I see, the issue is not just the church but generational issues with attaining education. The reasons may be due to financial burdens, family issues, or the desirability to gain wealth out of high school. Yet, it is my belief that the Christian church should push the importance of education early on the young people in their congregation.

            It is my hope that through this blog, I will be able to identify areas that the 21st Century church can improve upon. This is an opportune time to have real dialogue about education from the “pulpit to the door!” It is my hope that over time with intentional collaborative efforts, shared leadership, shared values, and a better understanding of education and student development these anxieties about education will begin to wane. Literature suggests that education is not only a good idea but absolutely necessary in this day and age. A college education provides more than just book smarts. There are other areas that need to be improved on in each student’s life. Social skills, professional development, racial development, identity development, and emotional development are other areas that a good education can help with. Several theoretically based questions should be considered: (a) What are the implications of cognitive development, (b) what does the psychosocial development look like, (c) How do we address racial and identity development? And (d) what are the spiritual and moral development opportunities? Questions like these are important when we look at encouraging education for our young people.

To hone this topic in a little more, I took the liberty to look at scripture to provide us with more content around the context of the importance of education in the 21st century church. When we look at the life of Paul who wrote majority of the New Testament there is no doubt that Paul is educated. In fact he stated in Acts 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” Paul points out several times in scripture his accolades in attaining an education in the law. I think that Paul’s education assisted his work in ministry when he came to Christ. Now, there may be other opinion regarding this matter. One would say that they do not need education to achieve the will of God in their life. I believe this to be absolutely true. Sometimes all it takes is the anointing, prayer, and fasting before the Lord to accomplish the will of God in one’s life. However, because of Paul’s education he was able to reach more people because he was educated.

He was rejected by the 1st century Christians because of his previous transgressions of being their persecutor. Yet, Paul plainly stated that his ministry was for the Gentiles, in particular, the Romans. The Lord made Paul a missionary to the Gentiles that he should "be of good cheer, for you must bear witness of Jesus at Rome” (Acts 23:11). I bring up this point because Paul was specifically placed to reach out to the Romans to bring them to Christ. When we look at the Romans of that day, they were educated, cultured, loved music, the arts, and theatre. Paul was specifically assigned to Rome because he was educated. I believe a certain level of education allows you to reach certain people. At the same time, more education will allow you to humble yourself to reach those who may not be as educated. My entire premise and point is that to the educated, we must show ourselves educated that we may by chance save some. We must become all things to all people so that by all possible means we may be able to save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Another point about the life of Paul and his level of education that I would like to make is that after he came to Christ everything became dung. That’s how we should be as we pursue higher education and attain our degrees as young people in the church. Paul said, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11). At the end of the day, no matter how much education we may attain, they do not matter to knowing Jesus Christ and growing in relationship with him.

Finally, here are some of my suggestions for how the church should encourage our young people to attain more education. Conversations should take place that enables young people to think critically about what they are doing in their lives, where possible avenues of collaboration exist, and what prior knowledge and experiences they may have that they can bring to college. Congregations should validate their youth with the ability to know, they should make going to college comfortable by having more college-like experiences before they leave, and they should have conversations so that there is a common understanding about what college is like. A congregation should create a division within their youth departments that specifically focus on educational pursuits. We should do more than just acknowledging report cards and promotions. We should be intentional about pursuing education by having college fair days, taking college tours, and talking about financial aid and other assistance that is available for them.

I hope that this sheds some light on the importance of education in the 21st century church. This was just an attempt to begin the dialogue and think about education differently in the church. It is my hope that through my education God will get the ultimate glory and by chance “save some.” Thank you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Church of our Lord Jesus Christ's 94th Holy Convocation

Hey Everyone!!! The Convocation for the organization Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is being held from July 24th through July 27th. The organization is convening in the city of Detroit, Michigan.  The theme for this year’s Convocation is “Prepare for the Over Flow.” At this year’s Convocation, the ABYPU officers are all being voted in, and because of this, it should really be an interesting meeting and I am awaiting the results of this year’s election. The select speakers chosen for this years Convocation are: Apostle James Maye, Apostle James Clark Jr., District Elder Willie Shy, Pastor Marvin Sapp, Bishop Lambert Gates and Bishop Charles Ellis. I really commend COOLJC for reaching out to their neighboring Apostolic organization PAW and PCAF and receiving preachers from the organization. I have noticed throughout the past years, that they have really made an effort to reach out to the Apostolic leaders from other organizations and I truly commend them on that because I truly believe that this would not have been at this magnitude years ago. During the Convocation, they are having a concert featuring the legendary Clark Sisters. From what I have seen via social media, there is a great sense of buzz involving this concert.  One thing that really shocked and surprised me was that one of the facilitators for a workshop they are having during the meeting is Bishop P.A Brooks, the Assistant-Presiding Bishop for Church of God in Christ. I am very shocked but excited to see them reaching out to a non apostolic leader. As a very musically based organization, they are having an open mic night on the 25th and a midnight musical on the 26th. The delegates of COOLJC definitely appear to have a plethora of activities to participate in, so I am sure they will have a time full of enjoyment. So Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, have a great time in the Lord and get one good buck in for me. God Bless!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Apostolic Assemblies of Christ's 43rd National Convention

Hey Everyone!!! In the city of Louisville,Kentucky the organization Apostolic Assemblies of Christ is convening for their 43rd National Convention. The Convention is taking place from July 23rd through July 27th. The theme for the Convention is "Continuing the Vision", which I think is very befitting seeing how they have just recently had a transition of Bishop G.M. Boone becoming the newly appointed presiding bishop emeritus and Bishop Donald Sorrells becoming the newly appointed presiding bishop. The speakers lined up are: Bishop Isaac Williams, Pastor Christine Grant, Bishop Donald Sorrells, Bishop Paul Bowers, and Elder Mark Moore Jr. At this year’s Convention, Apostolic Assemblies of Christ is holding a special 90th birthday celebration banquet for the former first lady of the organization, Mother Boone, on Friday the 26th. I think it is awesome that they are honoring and celebrating Mother Boone in that fashion. Throughout the day the organization has a plethora of activities planned for the people in attendance geared specifically towards the youth, women and men, as well as for the whole body collectively. So Apostolic Assemblies of Christ, please enjoy your time in the Lord, and may you feel the Holy Ghost’s strengthening power in your gathering. God Bless!!!

Mount Calvary Holy Church of America's 84th Holy Convocation

Hey Everyone!!! The organization Mount Calvary Holy Church of America is convening for their 84th Holy Convocation. They are convening July 23rd through July 26th in the city of Washington, DC. The theme for the Convocation is "Expecting Something Great” coming from the scripture Genesis 15:14.  During the Convocation the organization has three of the four days classified in separate groups.  The classifications are Women's Day on the 23rd, Men's Day on the 25th, and Official Day on the 26th. The speakers lined  for both the morning and evening gatherings are simply put amazing. The lineup of speakers in the morning are: Dr. Carolyn Showell, Pastor John Jenkins Sr., and Co-Pastor Susie Owens. The evening speakers are: Evangelist Sandra Riley, Dr. Jamal Bryant, Dr. Marvin Sapp, and Bishop Alfred Owens Jr.  On the first night, Mount Calvary is having an event called Prophetic Midnight Encounter featuring Pastor T. Renea Glenn. Every night, they have a national recording artist as the special musical guest for the evening. The special guests are: Twinkie Clark, Tasha Cobbs, Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson, and Beverly Crawford. Since taking over the organization in 2008, Bishop Owens has really lead the organization to a new place of development and growth. This Convocation looks as if it is going to be something all those in attendance will enjoy on many different levels. So Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, have an amazing time and may the presence of God dwell in the midst of your meeting.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Full Gospel Holy Temple International Holy Convocation

Hey Everyone!!! The oganization Full Gospel Holy Temple  is convening for there Holy Convocation in their headquarter city, Dallas, Texas. The Convocation is taking place from July 22 - 27, 2013, with the theme being "Holiness is Still Right." I really like the theme because in a world of constant and inconsistency, the church needs to reaffirm it's stance on righteousness and holiness. They did an amazing job with the speaker line up. They pulled speakers both within and without the organization, which many times isn't done. Some organizations either bring preachers from the outside or only use inclusive preachers, so I commend them on doing both. The speakers they have lined up are: Pastor John Shelton, Evangelist Patrick Murray, Evangelist Margaret Kiel, and Bishop Paul Cannon for the morning services. And the speakers lined up for the evening services are: Bishop Herman Murray, Bishop Larry Kiel, Pastor Marvin Winans, Pastor Kimberly Ray,  and Pastor Dianne Cooper. To end their Convocation, they are having Bishop Herman Murray speak that Saturday morning. I find it very nice that the organization’s leader, Bishop Murray is the first and last person addressing the delegates of Full Gospel Holy Temple at this year's Convocation. On July 21st, the organization is having a pre-convocation concert featuring Jonathan Nelson. I think this a great way to begin the week. So Full Gospel Holy Temple, enjoy your time in Dallas and may the glory of God descend in the midst of your gathering. God Bless!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pentecostal Review

 If you are from the DMV area, chances are you have heard of "Sean Tillery and Changed."  I was first introduced to this phenomenal choir through a friend of mine, whose church was allowing them to conduct rehearsals there. I first took watch of the choir when it was announced that they were going to be contestants on the How Sweet the Sound gospel choir competition. After watching youtube videos of them ministering, I realized this choir is going to be a force to reckon with. Even though they did not win the gospel competition, they definitely proved their greatness and vocal abilities. When I found out their album was dropping, I became very excited to see what this extraordinary choir would present. The album is fantastic and something choir lovers all over this country will love and enjoy. As a very faithful member of James Hall and Worship and Praise, Sean Tillery truly shows how much influence he obtained being a member, while yet still having his own sense of identity. Their hit "Blessed Assurance" created a great buzz for this album, therefore making it highly anticipated. So without further ado, I present my review of Sean Tillery and Changed's album "The Live Experience"!

The album starts with the organ blazing, reminding me of the gospel choral sound of the likes of James Hall and others. The blend sounds really great on this album. The mastering is of a high quality, considering the fact that it is not backed by a big label. The song "Whom Shall I Fear", comes directly out of the word of God which is refreshing. On the vamp there are some personal testimonials from the choir. I personally feel they should have started the album with a more uptempo song. The breakdown really showed how each vocal part can be their own in the choir.

"Redeemed" is a very cool latin/jazz, fused inspired song. A great song to remind the saints that we have been bought with a price as the saints of old used to say. The band is very cohesive which is very nice to see among gospel music. The song was very nice, but there was nothing that initially stood out to me.  However, I know once a person has played the album repeatedly it would make them naturally sing along, because of the rhythm and simplicity of the song.

The third song "Blessed Assurance" is the single off the album which created the sense of buzz for this album. I simply love this song! They did a great job of turning this hymn into a very good uptempo choir song. I wish they would have taken the bridge to a higher key, but I must admit they were already singing to raptors as they say. I must say out of all the vocal parts, I am a soprano lover, but in this vamp, Changed's alto section stole my heart. The strength, diction and tone is out of this world. The sopranos and tenors were very good but they were no match to the altos. The band I must say, showed out on this song and really played their hearts. You can definitely tell there was a praise break after the song, just based on the how the song ended.

The song "Shine" is a beautiful song with the great mix of a live band and a drum machine. As for me, personally being someone who isn't the biggest fan of the machine drum sound, it was great to see a good blend between that and the band, because they tend to take over and overpower the live music. The song has a nice mid tempo that reminds us of the importance of living a God focused life that draws men to Christ. The break up of the parts seem to be a little repetitive of the group, because it was done in the previous songs. I must say they have an amazing blend which is rare in gospel music.

The fifth song "Saved" has a motown, Jackson Five inspired sound. As soon as I heard the lead, Sean Tillery, start to sing the song I heard the James Hall influence. I find it amazing when members under the tutelage of certain singers display similar vocal styles. I think it is great that they are singing the process of salvation. The initial step is belief and I think it is great that they are sharing this with people. The impressive thing about this choir is their ability to sing hard and strong while also singing soft....playing more of a back ground role. The note Sean Tillery held out at the 3:35 mark of the song was really unbelievable. That truly showed his vocal ability, strength and training.

I love the groove on the song "Heaven".  It is definitely a head bop type of song. The lead Tanya Loveday, sounded amazing on the song!  I think her voice perfectly fitted the song. I loved the combination of the choir and the lead vocalist.   It is a great match! There is no one overpowering each other. I love how they mixed the hymn "Oh I Want to See Him" in the middle of the song. Definitely one of my favorite songs on the whole album. I also love the surprise  inversion done in the vamp of the song. Definitely unexpected and made the song that much more interesting and enjoyable.

"We Shall Be Changed" starts with a great short exhortation about being changed when we meet up with Christ. This song  shows the Worship and Praise influenced gothic sound made famous, and rarely duplicated by James Hall and Worship and Praise. I love the dramatism of this song. There is a sense of mystery and unexpectation within the confines of this song, which keeps you asking what will the choir do next. The ability to transition from soft to hard singing is simply genius and shows the choir's true vocal talent and ability. The end when the choir sung in the midst of the breakdown of the music, really showed their true power and ability because when you sing with no music every mistake and flaw is shown and they sounded stellar.

"I Got Joy" starts off very uptempo and strong. My only initial tick with the song is the use of improper english. For me it is something that always gets to me and disturbs me. This song was enjoyable and nice but not really memorable.  It was a completion album type of song. The band and lead came off very overpowering in this song, which in small took away from what was supposed to be the focus of the choir.

The song "Send Your Power" is definitely a church choir song. I can definitely see church choirs all over singing this song. I love the bridge of the song, I just wished it was a little slower.  The vamp really brought out the "church essence" of the song, especially with the addition of a lead and the call and response parts of the song. My only gripe with this song is that band is really overpowering once again.

The tenth song "A Clean Heart" has a worship feel to it. It was really nice to hear because not many choirs can successfully  do that. This showed the true versatility of the choir, which is sometimes very hard to do with a worship song. I loved the simplicity of the lyrics and the use of the scripture which caused the song to be easily able to sing with.

I love the fact that they sang the hymn "Solid Rock" word for word and initially acapella at that. That is one of the hymns that internally does something for me, because it reminds me that no matter what goes on, I have Christ to lean on to. The modulation done on the vamp of the song takes it to another level.  They truly "sang" this song. The anointing is felt on the song, and it definitely inspires you to think about the goodness and greatness of God.

There is always something extraordinary about a song begun with Kevin Bonds giving words. He didn't disappoint with the song "I'm Looking Up to Him." As soon as the beat dropped I knew they were taking us to some Sanctified church. When the music broke down in the bridge,  I was ready to go up in a praise, and the vamp takes the song to a whole new level with the repetition of the title "I'm looking Up to Him." If you do not feel anything while listening to this song you might need to check your Holy Ghost.

I live for a good praise break, so I am so glad they ended the album with a praise break. They had CHURCH that night and at  1:28, the musicians sent me all the way in. I definitely expect to hear this mixed in the midst of praise breaks in the future. I love that the band did not run out of things to play and knew exactly when to play in order to take the praise to the next level. Very great way to end the album.

I truly encourage everyone to support this great artist and this amazing album. Artists like Sean Tillery are what is keeping gospel choral music alive and we need to encourage and esteem them. So go out and get this album! It is available electronically everywhere. God Bless!!! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship 2013 PEAK National Youth Conference

The Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship is having there PEAK National Youth Conference in Tulsa Oklahoma July 17th - 19, 2013. During this meeting, they are expecting a very big turn out. I amazed at the successful growth rate since their inception. The speakers lined up for this conference are Ron Tiller, Dan McClure, Ari Prado, Daniel McDonald, and Zack Wells. On the nights of Thursday and Friday, they have two events called "Afterburners." I am unsure of exactly what type of activity this is but it appears to be some type of fellowship with after hours activities, which I think is  always great for young people. So WPF have a great time in the Lord and may the presence of the Lord descend upon you like never before. God Bless!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Reaction to the George Zimmerman case verdict

As I am sure, almost everyone is aware of by now that George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the case where he was accused of second degree murder. My heart is so heavy right now, I am truly in disbelief at the verdict on the George Zimmerman case. As a young African American man, I am truly saddened at what we must call justice from our judicial system. I keep replaying the whole situation in my head and cannot believe that George Zimmerman was found not guilty. A few days ago I said on facebook  "This could have all been avoided if he followed the directions of the 911 operator and allowed the police to handle the situation." I still stand by that statement and wholeheartedly believe that Trayvon Martin's death was unnecessary and unjustified. As a young black man who is the older brother of a young black male, I am worried at the precedence we are setting for the future of young  blacks in America. Are we as a country saying that based on the outward appearance and the unjustified assumptions made in the minds of people, violence against someone can be taken? My prayers and heart go out to the family of the late and wrongfully murdered Trayvon Martin. I am truly hurt at what has taken place but I am assured that as it is written in Psalms 7:11 according to the God's Word Translation "God is a fair judge, a God who is angered by injustice every day." God Bless!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pentecostal Spotlight - Pastor Tejado Hanchell

Hey Everyone!!! I am excited about this interview I am presenting. Today's interview is featuring the President of the International Youth Department of Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Pastor Tejado W. Hanchell. Along with International Youth Department President he serves as the Senior Pastor of Mount Calvary Holy Church of Winston-Salem, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As a great man of God who is very multifaceted, Pastor Hanchell is a man who has found a way to work with the church and create a business to meet the needs of people. As Pastor Hanchell works in his last year as President, he really is setting some big shoes to fill. So without further ado, I present my interview with Pastor Hanchell.

How were you chosen to be the President of the International Youth Department of Mount Calvary Holy Church of America?

All of our national offices in The Mount Calvary Holy Church of America are filled by appointment from the Presiding Bishop. I was recommended for the position by my predecessor, Bishop Robert Perry and was officially appointed by Bishop Alfred Owens.

Since becoming president, what has been your main objective and goal when it comes to the youth within Mount Calvary?

My main objective has been to connect the work of the local youth ministries with that of the national work. I see the young people that attend our convention as the future leaders of our church. Therefore, we have tried to cultivate and highlight their gifts, talents and abilities during each national conference.

You seem to maintain a very busy schedule, how do you balance your time between work, family and leisure activities?

The key for me is to ensure that my wife and kids know that they come first - not just in word but in deed. We have a dedicated "Family Night" each week, and I protect that night. I rarely ever schedule anything for that time, but if something major comes up on that night, we make sure to reschedule for another night of the week. I try not to let a week go by when we are not together. Also, I get my kids dressed every morning, take them to school, and pick them up most evenings. They don't have a father who is so consumed with ministry that he ignores his family.

As far as my leisure time. I take a Sabbath every week. For me, my day is Friday. I try not to schedule any church or work activities on that day. That's my day to just rest. I may go play ball at the Y or just take in a movie. I do something for me. The body and the mind need time to rest and recuperate. God didn't work seven days in creating the world. I don't know why we think we can work seven days to manage ours.

What has been your greatest accomplishment since you have become president?

My greatest accomplishment has been to train and raise up a wonderful team to carry on the work of the ministry. I have been contemplating a transition for a couple of years, and this year I finally feel released to turn the reins over to the very capable young men and women of our church. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on leadership succession, so I understand the importance of planning for transitions in leadership. I am very comfortable realizing that my season has ended and now it's time to empower others to lead.

How do you feel being a pastor has helped you be a leader over young people?

I think that being a pastor allows me to have a sensitivity to the overall needs of a department such as our International Youth & Young Adult Department. It takes more to minister to young people than passion and a Bible. We have to create a relevant experience for them that requires a certain level of organization and planning. As a pastor, I am engaged in organizing and planning year-round so that experience proved beneficial in leading the youth.

Being under such prominent leaders such as Bishop and Pastor Owens, what have you learned from them when it comes to being successful in ministry?

I owe my entire ministry to the tutelage I gained under Bishop Alfred & Co-Pastor Susie Owens. They gave me an opportunity to lead and serve at a very early age. I sat at Bishop's feet (and still sit) and learned from him how to be a great pastor. I learned from both of them that successful pastoral extends far beyond the pulpit - or even the sanctuary. They showed me that success in ministry comes down to one word - service. They are two of the greatest servants you will ever meet. With all that God has blessed them with they remain humble servants. My daily prayer is that I will continue to follow in their footsteps.

What activities do you have planned for the young people in the upcoming Convocation and how do you go about selecting activities that will meet the needs of the young people within the organization?

I will leave the planning of the next convention up to the new leadership team. They have not yet been officially appointed by the Presiding Bishop so I am not at liberty to divulge who they are, but they are an able and capable group of young men and women who will take the ministry beyond where I was able to take it. That would be the ultimate success for me.

Who has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to ministry and doing it well?

As I've already mentioned, Bishop and Co-Pastor Owens have been extremely influential in my life. However, I have also been blessed with two PHENOMENAL parents who were and continue to be my first examples in ministry. Twenty-five years ago they founded an international missions organization called Great Commission Ministries. It's based in my homeland of Nassau, Bahamas, but has ministry operations in several countries including Kenya and Bangladesh. In The Bahamas, they operate two homeless shelters, a feeding center, after-school program, Saturday program for kids, and a host of other social justice ministries. I am honored to be raised by two giants in the Kingdom who have given their lives to do the most for "the least of these."

What do you want you and your administration to be known for long after your tenure has ended?

I'd like to be known for presenting the youth and young adults with an experience and encounter with the Lord. We have seen that over my five years as President, and especially this past year. One of the most moving things that took place at this year's conference is a kid - no more than 13 or 14 years old - came up to me and said, "I remember you. You baptized me at last year's conference!" To hear a teenager exclaim with joy recounting his baptism 12 months earlier was a stark reminder for me of the purpose for these conferences.

What has been your hardest task when it comes to be the leader over thousands of young people?

Honestly, my hardest task has been focus. Once my schedule and other duties got to the point where I realized I could not give the youth department the level of attention it required, I realized that it was my time to move on. Thankfully, I had a great team for my entire five-year tenure and they were always able to help fill in the gaps and make me look good :-)

Where do see your personal ministry developing, within the next 5 years?

That's a loaded question. I'm in the discernment period for the next five years of my life right now. I do believe that God has great things in store for me and my family, and I'm excited to see what His next steps are for me.

What one moment makes the sacrifices ministry requires worth it and all seem to fade away?

Every time I see someone's life transformed by the power of the gospel and God's makes it all worth it...and then some!

In the full spectrum of Pentecostalism, where do you believe Mount Calvary Holy Church of America stands?

Mount Calvary is a sleeping giant in Pentecost. We are one of the few historic Pentecostal-Holiness denominations that has not experienced any kind of major splits. Our leadership has been stable. We've only had three Presiding Bishops in our nearly 85-year history. I'm not sure if there is anyone else who can claim that kind of stability. We have a great mix of Old School Pentecost and the young generation of neo-Pentecost. We have strong roots and fruitful branches. I believe that The Mount Calvary Holy Church of America is poised to make a quantum leap in terms of growth and impact in the United Sattes and around the world.

What advice would you give anyone feeling the call of ministry especially when it pertains to young people?

Study. Study. Study!

Beyond that, find a good mentor and remain accountable to him or her. Lone Rangers don't last long in ministry.

As we can all see Pastor Hanchell is an amazing man of God and someone people of all ages can aspire to be like. God Bless!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bible Way Church of our Lord Jesus Christ's 56th Holy Convocation

Hey Everyone!!! The organization Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ is convening together for their 56th Holy Convocation. The Convocation will be held in the city of Raliegh-Durham, North Carolina from July 7th - July 12th. The keynote afternoon and evening speakers lined up for the conference are:  Mother Annie Durham, Bishop John Bennett Sr., Bishop Davelon Carr, Apostle Huie Rogers, Apostle Michael Rogers, Pastor Darrell Jackson Sr., and Bishop Michael Blue.  They picked an ecletic group of speakers, who are sure to meet the needs of the delegates. The organization seems to be very enthused about their upcoming Convocation. So Bible Way enjoy your time in the Lord and may all your needs be met during your Convocation. God Bless!!!


New Presiding Bishop for Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship

Hey Everyone! This is just a quick update of my previous post concerning the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship and their annual conference.  During this conference, it was announced that Bishop Joseph Walker from Nashville, Tennessee, will be succeeding Bishop Paul Morton, Sr. as the Presiding Bishop. Bishop Walker, however, will not take the position until 2015 when Bishop Morton retires. I find it very commendable that Bishop Morton has created a succession plan while he is still in office and very much capable of leading Full Gospel. In the Pentecostal world, it is a rarity to see a leader still in what some would consider their “prime” and still doing an awesome job pass the spiritual baton to a successor. I believe other organizations and fellowships should glean from this example. I believe it will create less confusion, and a lot of the splits we are seeing or have seen could or would have been avoided. As the Pastor of the very large Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and leader of the Senior Pastor Division of the Fellowship, Bishop Walker, in my eyes, is very much capable of leading this large group of “Bapticostals”, a nickname I have given to the members of Full Gospel Baptist.  Bishop Walker was chosen as the new Presiding Bishop through an election of votes by the Bishop’s Council of the Fellowship. I am excited to see what direction this young man will lead the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship in. God Bless!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship's Conference

Hey Everyone!!! The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship is convening for their annual conference. Full Gospel is very charismatic and Pentecostal in their belief and expression of worship, so don't be confused by the name. The conference is convening in Louisville, Kentucky from July 3rd through July 5th, 2013. I can not believe that the fellowship is in their 20th year together. This is expected to be a well attended and supported conference from people in the organization and those not apart as well. Their presence on social media has been very big in reference to this year's conference and is something other organizations and fellowships need to take note of. The organization is following the 6-in-1 conference concept once again. During the conference, they are having activities geared towards women, men, senior pastors, worship leaders, youth, and young adults. Also, they are giving people the opportunity to join in a 24 hour intercessory prayer and school of ministry classes. I think this concept of meeting the various needs of the people all in one stage is great and very kingdom minded. The confirmed guest speakers for the conference are: Bishop Paul S. Morton, Bishop Neil Ellis, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop David Evans, Bishop Cheryl Brown, Bishop Rudolf McKissick, Bishop Joseph Walker, Pastor Jamal Bryant, Pastor Kevin Cosby, Pastor John Gunn, Pastor Sheryl Brady. They also have musical guests Ireshea Hilliard and Tasha Cobbs who is the Worship Leader for the Young Adult Division of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, scheduled to minister at the conference. One thing that really has me impressed with the fellowship is that they are hosting the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour. That to me is amazing!  It gives the people within the fellowship a chance to see the tour without traveling too far away.  This looks like it will be a very holistic tour that will inspire and create growth in the lives of those in attendance. So Full Gospel, enjoy your time in the Lord and may His glory descend in the midst of your conference. God Bless!!!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Church of God in Christ's AIM Convention

Hey Everyone!!! One of the oldest, most notable, and largest Pentecostal organizations Church of God in Christ is convening for their Auxiliary in Ministry Convention, known by most as AIM. The location of this year's convention is in Baltimore, Maryland, and is taking place from July 1st through July 5th, 2013.  I find it interesting that they are in Baltimore, because if I am not mistaken, they were in that city not too long ago. I am sure many people are interested in seeing how things are going to operate now that Pastor Linwood Dillard has been made the International AIM Chairman.  As the former International Youth Department President, I am more than sure he can handle this position and will do it very well. The nightly speakers are: Pastor Carl A. Peirce Sr., Pastor Roderick Hennings, Evangelist Rita Womack, Pastor Linwood Dillard, and Bishop Charles Blake Sr. On the nights of July 2nd through to July 4th, the young people will be having their own services. The speakers for these services are: Evangelist Vandalyn Kennedy, Elder Gary Sprewell, and Pastor Major Jones. The expected attendance for this conference is in the tens of thousands. One of the highlights of COGIC's AIM Convention is the musicals, and this year seems like it will not disappoint, seeing how I know personally that Baltimore is a very big gospel music scene many people are excited.  COGIC has three musical planned, on the nights of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The musicals taking place on the nights of Wednesday and Thursday are free to the public but the musical on Friday has a registration cost of $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. I am sure these musicals will be very well attended and a blessing to everyone in attendance. So COGIC enjoy yourself and have sanctified church as I am sure you will. God Bless!!!


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