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Sixteen years ago, Bishop Paul S. Morton, a successful New Orleansbased pastor, stepped out on a limb to establish a vision he called "The Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship." Morton's vision was to see Baptists embrace the "fullness" of the Holy Spirit-including speaking in tongues and dancing in the Spirit. Though he was pastor of a Baptist church, Morton had roots in the Church of God in Christ. After

Pastor Paula White @ Full Gospel This Week!

Full Gospel Meets This Week!

More of the Glory! By Bishop Andy C. Lewter, D. Min. traversing the country to invite other Baptist pastors to join him in the movement, the first conference was held in the city of New Orleans. This week, Morton will lead the Full Gospel Baptist Church gosp e l today | Jun 22, ‘09

Fellowship in it's 16th annual


conference. The group will meet in Atlanta, GA for its annual conference. The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship will once more offer outstanding preaching, phenomenal

singing, and ecstatic praise to attendees. The line up for the main sessions includes: Pastor Paula White, Pastor R. A. Vernon, Dr. Carolyn Showell, Pastor Jerry Black and Bishop Oscar Brown. Complimenting the main session speakers will be exciting psalmists that include: William Murphy, Marvin Sapp, Byron Cage, P. J. Morton and Stephanie Dotson. Young people have a good deal to look forward to with the likes of Overseer Terrance Johnson, Overseer Christopher Harris, Tye Tribett, Canton Jones and Johnathan Phillips. The theme for the conference is, “More of the Glory.”

On March 13, 2000, a Washington Post headline screamed, “The Exodus With An Unhappy Genesis; Amid Discord in Shaw, Metropolitan Baptist Is Pulling Up Stakes.” The lead line of the story explained, “The Rev. H. Beecher Hicks Jr. is outta here. The 6-foot, 225-pound, graybearded pastor of the District of Columbia’s largest black church—and one of its oldest—is uprooting Metropolitan Baptist from its historic site in the 1200 block of R Street NW and moving its 6,500-member congregation toward the suburbs. It’s nothing immediately imminent. No site for the new church has yet been found. But the decision, approved by Metropolitan’s members in December after a dispiriting fight with the church’s neighbors in Shaw, is irreversible, Hicks says.” Nearly a decade later, “irreversible” is a matter of semantics. Hicks, who is undeniably one of the nation’s most brilliant orators and authors is in the midst of a storm. In 2006, construction began on the congregation’s By Bishop Andy C. Lewter, D. Min. dream complex in well and then the recession hit like a wrecking ball. Largo, Maryland—a $30 million The fallout was catastrophic. Construction costs campus with a 3,000-seat church, an soared while congregational giving plummeted. education center and an 1,100-car Shortly before the end of the year, the financing for parking lot. the project was put on “hold.” In 2008, the congregation sold its The church is caught between the proverbial, church in Washington and made “rock and a hard place.” Building efforts have been preparation to move to what leaders stalled and the church’s historic home sold, now the had taken to calling “God’s land in congregation has temporarily taken its weekly Largo.” Everything seemed to be going

Dr. H. Beecher Hicks Weathers Another Storm

gosp e l today | Jun 15, ‘09

Faith and the Economic Fallout


cont. on p. 7

Jun 1, ‘09 | gosp e l today


Retooling for the Future...

Fire-Baptized Holiness Church

gos p e l today | Jun 15, ‘09

by Bishop Andy C. Lewter, D. Min.


Most Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelistic denominations trace their origins to the Azusa Street Revival Movement that took place at the turn of the previous century (1906) on the west coast in Los Angeles under the leadership of William Joseph Seymour. However, history reveals that there was a tongue-talking movement with an emphasis on “holy living” that got its start almost ten years earlier on the east coast. In 1897, in South Carolina, William Edward Fuller, Sr. experienced the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The following year, he organized the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas. “Bishop Fuller, Sr. was part of a group early holiness personalties that included the likes of G. B. Cashwell, Benjamin H. Hardin and A. S. King that brought the fire of the Holy Ghost experience to the southeastern region of the United States toward the close of the 19th century,” reports William Edward Fuller, III, grandson of Bishop Fuller, Sr. Last week, on the campus of the Fuller Normal Industrial Institute in Greenville, SC, this 100-plus year old

pioneering holiness church organization, now under the leadership of Bishop Patrick Frazier, met for their annual Leadership Retreat (inclusive of sessions, classes and workshops for the elders, pastors and denominational leaders of the church). The group also discussed how they might re-tool the church for the future. “We have to get ready for the future by getting back to God and teaching our members the importance of living “Fire Baptized” said Bishop Frazier, adding, “Over the next 5 to 7 years we are going to become a teaching church with expanded tenants to help people understand who and what we are.”

Hicks..conte. from p.4

worship services to the Dorothy I. Height campus of Kent Amos Charter School in Northwest DC. “All churches rely upon philanthropic funds for their well being; and understandably the church relates to finance with “faith language,” explained Dr. Hicks. “There is an appeal to members regarding tithes and offerings that is Bible-centered and faith based.” The recent events with the national economy, however, have caused the normal revenue stream that most churches depend upon to be interrupted to some degree. The degree or severity of interruption varies among churches; at any case the impact upon ministry can be devastating. “When resources for the provision of daily bread shrinks, the pew is forced to make a conscious choice between the biblical mandate to give and the need to provide food and shelter for their families.” reports Dr. Hicks.

Hicks’ predicament isn’t an anomaly. Churches have long been regarded as one of the safest loan recipients, however, in the current economic climate, many religious institutions are seeing the attitudes of lending sources change. “Many banks are turning down loan requests from even their best customers; it is not just churches that’s being affected.” explains Dr. Hicks. Metropolitan is currently engaged in conversations with several lending institutions in an attempt to secure new funding. Dr. Hicks says that amidst the challenges, the church has maintained its financial commitments. “We are blessed by the consisting giving patterns of the congregation,” he says. “While we have physically moved into temporary worship facilities, our congregation remains strong and committed—which has strengthened my resolve to continue in this great work for Christ.”

Jun 15, ‘09 | gos p e l today


President Obama Inspires Fathers

Dad’s Make a Difference

gos p e l today |

Jun 1, ‘09

This month, Gospel Today Magazine featured President Barack Obama and his daughter on the cover. In light of Father’s Day, which was celebrated this past Sunday, the view of Barack Obama as a dutiful father in addition to the country’s chief executive, is an ideal basis for a discussion about the importance of fatherhood in our community.


Freelance writer, Rachel Vassel pointed out in the cover story article, “Twenty-first century dads understand the value of having an active relationship with their children. This means not only taking on the traditional male roles of provider and disciplinarian, but also creating and maintaining a level of intimacy with their offspring that wasn’t expected or demanded generations ago. These days, dads talk with their children about their mistakes and life lessons. They know their kids’ shoe sizes, and attend school plays, recitals and sporting events and, like the dad at my church, are not afraid to take their children out without help.” In a speech delivered last year, the president spoke seriously about how fathers should make a difference in the lives of their children. “Of all the rocks we build in our lives, we are most dependent upon the family. The family is that most important foundation. We are called upon to recognize how important and critical every father is to that foundation” said president Obama in a Father’s Day speech delivered at the Apostolic Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side last year.

Surely the image that President Obama has offered the public goes along way in encouraging fathers to assume their parental responsibility. “The President makes attending his daughter’s soccer game seem equally important to meeting on the crisis in Iran” says Bishop Stephanie Green of New York. In a time when teenage pregnancy has become commonplace, where 80% of African American children can expect to spend part of their lives away from their father and there are more Black males in prison than in college, the role of meaningful fathers in the lives of children is more important than ever before.




COMING TO YOUR CITY PRAYER GATHERING 2009 In this, Gods’ Time the call has gone forth for men and women of God to rise upon the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Those mighty men and women of Prayer saw the results of their labor. AND SO SHALL WE… NOW is the time of the GATHERING. A time for a swift, quick, miracle harvest. A harvest of souls, peace, unity and prosperity in every area of your life. GATHER in prayer with me and my team of intercessors.



This year we will travel from city to city and state to state seeking 1200 + intercessors that will gather with us in prayer and tear down the strongholds in every city.

IN YOUR AREA CALL 843.764.0418

“The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.” Mathew 11:12



Gospel Today for June 21, 2009  

Digital magazine for 6-21-09