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I am thrilled about the forthcoming publication of Francis J.Grimké’s “Meditations on Preaching” by Log College Press.
In the third volume of his collected works, Grimké (1852-1937) spoke frankly about the minister’s moral character:
A minister who is but poorly equipped intellectually, educationally, but who is of good moral character, and of real piety, is greatly to be preferred to the man, however well equipped intellectually and educationally, but who is of questionable character, whose ways are crooked. The one may have to be tolerated, the other should never be: the ministry of the one may result in good, of the other only harm can come. Such a minister discredits the gospel, and becomes an obstacle in the way of the progress of the kingdom of God. A godless minister, an immoral minister, should be nowhere tolerated, should be driven out of all of the churches. We need in the ministry, intelligent men, educated men, but above all God-fearing men,—morally clean men. Where such is not the case, the responsibility rests upon the officials of the churches, and ultimately upon the people who fill the pews and who furnish the means for carrying on the work in the churches. The toleration of immoral, godless ministers is always, therefore, a reflection upon the character of the people themselves, and is a pretty good index of their own characters.*
Grimké served as pastor of Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C . First year preaching students at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson are introduced to his life, ministry, and writings through Thabiti Anywabile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors.
*Francis J. Grimké, The Works of Francis J. Grimké, vol. 3, ed. by Carter G. Woodson (Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., 1942), 121.
John Johnson lectures on pastoral leadership in African American churches. His presentation is full of informative history and practical exhortations to loving and courageous pastoral leadership.
Pastor Johnson has served St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi for 17 years. On Easter he preaches his first sermon as the newly elected pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.
I’m delighted to participate in Jackson Public School’s Adopt-a-School Program. It gives me the opportunity to serve alongside the wonderful leaders and volunteers at Raines Elementary School, Reformed Theological Seminary’s neighbor on Flag Chapel Road. Attending this morning’s Partners in Education Awards Breakfast was Dina Brown-Owens (principal), Calandra Daniels (music teacher), Cathy Barnett (vice principal), and Kenny Bryant of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.
AME Pastor and Reformed Theological Seminary student, C.J. Alexis, serves as a chaplain at the Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City. Tonight he gave me the opportunity to preach at the prison’s revival service and to share joy-filled worship with the men who attended.
Three days of stirring messages from Rico Tice encouraging our students to do the work of evangelists. His John Reed Miller Preaching Lectures concluded Thursday, and will be posted soon to the RTS Jackson website.
Since 2014 I have volunteered at Raines Elementary School, RTS Jackson’s neighbor on Flag Chapel Road. What a joy today to have Jessica O’Banner (Guidance Counselor) and Calandra Daniels (Music Director) speak in chapel and, afterward, to enjoy their fellowship at lunch! I am grateful for their dedicated leadership in our neighborhood.
Phillip Holmes, Associate Advisor and Creative Director at Rivertree Financial Planning, will be on campus this fall to lead three personal finance and productivity workshops for RTS Jackson students and their spouses.
I asked Phillip to describe his workshops:
Workshop One (Tuesday, September 5, 7:00-8:30 p.m.): The inability to be efficient and productive bleeds into every aspect of your life — including finances. The chaos is affecting your cash flow. Efficient people thrive at home, at work, in the classroom, in their relationships, and in their finances. Efficiency and productiveness can lead to increased incomes and happier lives. This workshop will equip you with seven baby steps you can take to become more efficient and productive. If you are willing to be patient enough to make small, gradual changes in your life to improve your efficiency and productivity, you will see results. This is a foundational step towards becoming a good steward of God’s money.
Workshop Two (Tuesday, September 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m.): Only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget. 50% of American households live paycheck to paycheck. Low income isn’t to blame. Only 1 in 5 people having financial problems fall below the poverty line and make less than $40,000. Poor money management is quite standard in America. Many who need help are either too prideful or too afraid to ask for help. In my experience, I’ve found that it’s a sleeping giant in the church. In this workshop, I’ll teach you the basics of getting out of debt, creating a budget that works, and how to protect your family financially.
Workshop Three (Tuesday, September 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m.): We will use week three to reflect and review what we’ve learned. I will answer any and all questions surrounding personal finance and productivity. Depending on the number of attendees and the time remaining, I will help students work through their budgets for the upcoming months.
All workshops meet in DC-2. There is no charge.
A native of Pickens, Mississippi, Phillip attended Belhaven University, where he played basketball and earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies. In 2011, he helped launch and co-found the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) and served as Vice President until 2015. As co-founder, his passion for writing and marketing began. Phillip married his wife, Jasmine, and relocated to Houston, where he served as an Executive Assistant to Dr. Voddie Baucham and taught at Trinity Classical School. In 2015, he went to work for Desiring God as a writer and content strategist. Drawn back to his home state, Phillip joined Rivertree Financial Planning in August of 2016. He handles all of Rivertree’s marketing and communication efforts. As a licensed Life, Health & Accident Insurance Agent, Phillip works with clients to ensure they have enough coverage. He also coaches those in need of debt and cash flow planning.
Phillip and Jasmine live in Jackson with their son, Walter Wynn. They attend Redeemer Church.