By Dion Evans
While people are making New Year’s resolutions and starting new diets that will last about two weeks – I thought it would be great to know what our local clergy are seeking to accomplish during the 2009 year. Many local clergy were in attendance at Scott’s Restaurant during a Clergy Membership Drive for the Baptist Minister’s Union of Oakland and Vicinity. Here are some of the local pastor’s responses to a question regarding their 2009 church goals.
Pastor HL Garnett – NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland
“Our goals are found within our 2009 Emphasis Theme – ‘Taking the Next Step Up in Sharing Jesus.’ Our goal is to involve every one of our youth, young adult, adult, and seniors to live their lives, everyday, reflecting the light of Jesus to all they encounter.”
Bishop James E. Watkins – JACK LONDON SQUARE CHAPEL, Oakland
“Our goal for 2009 is to accomplish something completely foreign to most churches – perfect a communications training program for at-risk youth. Our church will seek to use the power of communication (Television, Radio, Film, etc.) to give the youth in the community a second chance to live a first class life.”
Pastor Timothy Hawkins – BIBLE FELLOWSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland
“Our theme for 2009 is A NEW LIFE and A NEW PURPOSE. Our goal is to target whole families for the LORD. We have been raising young preachers to assist in our strong teaching focus and family focus.”
Rev. Dr. Lawrence VanHook – COMMUNITY CHURCH FOR CHRIST, Oakland
“One of our natural goals will be to acquire some permanence for our location. Our spiritual goals for 2009 will be to continue in our trainings – FORGIVENESS AS A WAY OF LIFE. Learning biblical forgiveness has challenged our membership and community to forge excellent relationships for the sake of Christ. We will also lay the groundwork for initiating a prison ministry and establishing residential housing.”
Pastor Billie Dempsey – HIGHER GROUND BIBLE FELLOWSHIP, Oakland
“Our goal for 2009 is to run an effective and efficient administration along with getting our membership to take ownership of their commission and call to evangelism and discipleship.”
Pastor Vince Collins – NEW CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, Oakland
“Our goal for 2009 is simple – we want to put families back together. We want to create a bridge for families to be reconstructed for corporate worship and empowering the community. We can do this via the unity we find in Christ.”
Pastor G.R. Pace – FIRST TRUTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland
“Our goal is to equip our saints to be more evangelistic and to enable them to go and share God’s Word with sinners in order to direct the community back to Christ.” .
Rev. Dr. K.D. Barnes – ABYSSINIAN BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland“Our goal is to reach everyone we can for the LORD Jesus Christ. Our vision is to help these young men who are in Juvenile Hall. We want to be more involved in the penal system to help these young brothers out. As a church, we want to better prepare our children in ministry so they can make better choices.”
Rev. Dr. Lester Cannon – CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland
“Our goal for 2009 has been our life ministry goal – to obey and respond positively to the mandate of evangelism and discipleship. It is the foundation of our ministry.”
Pastor Thomas Harris III – PLEASANT GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland“Our goal into 2009 will be to the equipping of our leaders and proclaiming the Word of God so we can best assimilate our lifestyle to the Scriptures.” .
Pastor Sylvester Rutledge Jr. – NORTH OAKLAND BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland“Our goal is to be more involved with Christian Education and Family Relationships. We will, again, concentrate on our involvement with our community and seek reaching some of the people we have broken relationships with. Also, to help families come back together.”