By Dion Evans,
The Xperience Ministries Inc hosted their 2009 Pure Gospo Awards Live Gala and the results are in. Joining Dr. Gregory Payton, 2008’s winner, is 2009’s Bay Area’s Most Influential Pastor: Dr. James.A. Long Jr. of the True Faith Baptist Church in Oakland, CA.
Although the website for True Faith Baptist Church (truefaithbc-word.com) declares Pastor James Long as a Prophet, he was pleasantly honored and surprised to be this year’s winner.. “I was contacted by the committee and they told me that I had been nominated and invited me to a banquet. I had no idea and it caught me totally by surprise,” shared Pastor Long.
True Faith Baptist Church is located at 626 West Grand Avenue in the City of Oakland. The church has a membership that is 60% youth between the ages of 14 and 24 years old. Pastor Long is an advocate for comprehensive ministry. He stated, “We provide ministries for youth to help them establish a healthy image of themselves.” Drawing youth to the ministry of Pastor Long is an after school tutorial program fully equipped with computers and software for successfully passing the SAT and the High School Exit Exam.
Pastor James Long shared his love for a ministry named ASK, which is currently under re-tooling . “ ASK is an outreach ministry whereby the church’s leadership engages the community to help ensure compliance among residents for a healthy neighborhood. Where there were ‘hot spots’ in the neighborhood, the community residents could call us at True Faith and we would go out and share with people who are selling drugs, drinking alcohol or engaging in other issues ; we would make contact with them and ASK them about the LORD.”
The Bay Area’s “Most Influential Pastor” has advice for all Pastors in the local churches. Pastor Long stated, “My #1 advice to pastors is to remind them that they were born, not elected. Oftentimes, pastors are intimidated by deacons, trustees or other committees that God used to place them there but if you’ve been sent by God, you must tell the truth. You can’t compromise, you can’t fall victim to politics, you can’t be intimidated ;you have to stand on the truth. At the end of the night, you have to be able to sleep, and when this life is over God is going to hold us accountable for what we did.”
For a complete list of 2009 Winners of the Pure Gospo Live Awards Gala, visit – http://thexperienceministriesinc.com/id4.html.
“I want to thank whoever nominated me and all who voted for me,” stated Pastor James Long Jr.
According to their website, The Xperience Ministries Inc. has 5 years of Service and is looking to embark in a new direction, with a new focus.. “We will not look back but continue to go forward increasing our ministry to the level God has destined for us.”
For more information about the Pure Gospo Live Awards Gala, visit their website and contact Brenda F. Grisham and/or Faris Wallace.