Commercial Appeal Article on Black Preaching Styles

The Commercial Appeal, which is the daily newpaper in Memphis,Tennessee, did an article on Black Preaching Styles in wake of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Furor! I have included an excerpt from the article and a web link where the entire article may be read. Hats off to Lindsay Melvin who was bold enough to write this arrticle!

Wright’s Remarks ‘Ugly Truth’

Minister’s Preaching Style Common in Black Churches

By Linday Melvin 

Nearly three hours into the electrifying Sunday service at Christ Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Gina Stewart was damp with perspiration.Crammed pews of parishioners were winding down after being taken through a vigorous torrent of jubilation, anger and praise.

But the South Memphis pastor wasn’t done yet.

There was a more earthly issue eating at her — the recent coverage of racially charged remarks made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago, longtime pastor of presidential candidate Barack Obama.

There was a more earthly issue eating at her — the recent coverage of racially charged remarks made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago, longtime pastor of presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“I am a CNN junkie,” Stewart said to the overwhelmingly black congregation. But she warned them not to put too much stock in the news media’s negative portrayal of the now-retired pastor’s sermons or hold those statements against Obama.Stewart’s sentiments are being echoed in churches across Memphis as local pastors are saying that Wright’s remarks were taken out of context with little understanding for the long tradition of prophetic preaching that goes on in black churches.

“The African-American church has always had a prophetic ministry and prophetic preaching style,” said Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church senior pastor Frank Thomas, who was ordained by Wright in 1982 before coming to the large Memphis church.

Prophetic preaching, or speaking of social injustice to mobilize people for change, is Wright’s preaching style and it was also Dr. Martin Luther King’s, Thomas said.

“The difference is the amount of rage that is being publicly performed.”

Pastor Brandon B. Porter said

Because black people have a history of being oppressed and his congregation is mostly black, Porter says he occasionally speaks to that.

“If you have a predominantly black church you have to deal with black issues,” he said.

Read The Rest of This Article

Six Churches Tapped for Emotional Fitness Campaign

The Commercial Appeal Newspaper of Memphis,Tennessee had an awesome article on the new Emotional Fitness Centers of Tennessee! This is definitely a plus for the Faith Community in Memphis,Tennessee.

Commercial Appeal Article by Mary Powers

State Mental Health Commissioner Virginia Betts was in Memphis this week to help launch an effort designed to tap the credibility of churches to persuade those struggling with problems including depression, anxiety or substance abuse to seek help.The state is funding emotional fitness centers at six Memphis churches. The centers offer free access to counselors, emotional fitness screenings, a nurse practitioner, support groups and referrals to additional local mental health services.

Organizers hope to reach those who have traditionally shunned mental health services such as counseling or medication for fear of being labeled crazy, said Pastor Dianne P. Young, project director and co-pastor of The Healing Center Full Gospel Baptist Church.

She said the program reflects her husband’s long-standing efforts to combine faith and mental health. Pastor William Young is the Healing Center pastor and a licensed counselor and marriage and family therapist.”Pastors can give people permission” to admit they need help and seek support, she added. The Member Churches are listed below.

Member Churches

The Healing Center, 3885 Tchulahoma;

First Baptist Broad, 2849 Broad;

Christ Missionary Baptist Church, 494 S. Parkway East;

Cummings Street Baptist Church, 250 Raines;

New Direction Christian Church, 6120 Winchester;

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 491 McLemore.

Read the Entire Commercial Appeal Article on the new Emotional Fitness Centers of Tn.

Emotional Fitness Center.Org