Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I had the tremendous pleasure of being at Vaughn Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Sunday after services at Northridge. It was the anniversary of my good friend, Pastor Tony Fraley, and they asked me to come and say a few words on his behalf. I wasn't able to get there until 12:15 but was quickly ushered onto the stage to sit with other pastors for the duration of the service. As an African-American church it was stylistically different from the normal Sunday at Northridge but it was incredibly passionate and energetic. While I didn't know all of the songs that were sung, I was able to catch on quickly and our shared enthusiasm for powerful words seeking God's Kingdom created an energy that filled the room.

I was impressed with the deep love that the people of the church feel for their pastor. This was an obvious reflection on the life-to-life investment that Tony has made over the last six years. The level of respect for him and for all of the visiting pastors was also very humbling. It was inspiring to share in this celebration and to be given the future opportunity to return and preach. Sharing in our "chat & chew" after the service was also a tremendous pleasure--not just from the great food, but the chance to spend time with brothers & sisters fighting for the same Kingdom cause.

I made the statement on Sunday that I felt very welcome in my 2nd church home. The people of this church have shown me tremendous love and honor on multiple occasions and it gives me hope for the future as our two churches work together. While the prejudicial lines of race and socioeconomic status are still deep within our community, our two churches are working diligently to see them erased. We are not where we want to be, but I am confident in the progress that has been made as we join together to change the future of our community.

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