How Can I Serve? Looking Back Over the Last 20 Years.
July 14 marked my 20 year anniversary in ministry. I still remember my first sermon, “The Mender
of Broken Vessels” (Jeremiah 18). I had no clue what was to be, or even what direction the ministry would lead, but I
did know I was called, and my upbringing at the Eastside Missionary Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, Texas was training ground. July 14, 1991 was the scariest day of my life to date. I knew I was called to make a difference in this world. I didn’t know how, to what magnitude, or what it would cost… I just knew GOD told me I had
something to do, and I would spend the rest of my life doing it.
After my sermon, my grandfather told me that I would never be the same after that day. He cautioned me that I needed to be vigilant and never forget the basics. My uncle told me that all I could do as a minister of the Gospel is preach the Word, teach the Word and live the life I preach about. He also warned me that smiling faces do tell lies and everybody who says they are your friend, brother or sister in ministry… well, they AIN’T. The words of wisdom my grandfather and uncle spoke into my life that night have resonated with me since.
In the last 20 years, GOD has been very gracious to me. In spite of me, GOD has been faithful. I am so grateful for all I have been blessed to accomplish. I’ve been blessed to be the co-founder of the Operation: REBIRTH movement. I’ve participated in countless forums, town hall meetings, seminars, panel discussions, etc. I’ve written and published two books. I’ve traveled the country preaching and teaching. GOD has used me in the lives of so many people. I’ve also faced some of the greatest pain I’ve ever known at the hands of people who claim to represent GOD.
Ministry for me has been bittersweet. Sometimes I wonder why I continue. I remember telling GOD once, “I’M THROUGH! I’M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE! THE MOST EVIL PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH ARE THOSE WHO CLAIM TO KNOW YOU! I QUIT!” And after serving GOD my resignation, somehow I find myself always back on the front lines trying to do what I can to be a help to someone.
At 19 years old, I had no clue that social justice would be where I’d be. I never would have thought GOD would use me to help people who have been marginalized that they are GOD’s children too, and inspire them to claim their rightful place at GOD’s Table. At times I feel like I’m 19 again, wondering what the hell I am doing, and is it really going to make a difference?
I am also thankful for the mentors I’ve had. My fathers in the ministry, the late Pastor D. P. Williams (grandfather), Pastor M. E. Ingram (uncle), Dr. C. W. Whitlow, Pastor S. D. Sparrow and Pastor Alex D. Byrd. I am blessed to have met people who not only inspire me, but who continue to speak powerful things into my life, like Bishop Yvette Flunder, Bishop John Shelby Spong, the late Bishop Walter Hawkins, Bishop Carl Bean, and my “idol” Bishop Carlton
Pearson. I’m glad to have the few true brothers and sisters and ministry that I do have. They have shown their love for GOD and for me over they hears. All in all, being in ministry has been an interesting journey.
One thing I have learnedfor sure in 20 years and after this short time in the faith I know for sure… Smiling faces
INDEED tell lies. Everyone who says they are your brother or sister in ministry AIN’T. And all I can do, with all my might is preach the Word, teach the Word, and live the life I preach about. I’m glad to be of service to humanity. I
pray that I’ve been a blessing. And as GOD gives me grace, I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring, what
I will see, what I will blessed to accomplish.