IT’S NOT A

     IT’S MY
            A CLOSER LOOK
LOS ANGELES, CA, 8:15am—It’s a breath-         the last person to file an application              the African Methodist E...
embark upon early in life. “Because every                                                                                 ...
and joined the church in the four and a       It wasn’t until December 2004, that       Joe, now sitting in the warm weath...
could aid them with the             IT’S NOT A JOB. IT’S MY LIFE. CONTINUED
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Interview With Pastor Joe


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an Interview with Executive Pastor Joseph Robinson

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Interview With Pastor Joe

  1. 1. O IT’S NOT A JOB IT’S MY LIFE A CLOSER LOOK AT EXECUTIVE PASTOR, JOSEPH C. ROBINSON By Tamaya Petteway riginally, when our Editor asked me to interview the City of Refuge Executive Pastor, the interview was slated to be a brief profile. Unexpectedly, so much information was commu- nicated during the interview, that not only did it take four mini cassettes and half a notebook to capture all the commentary, but the informa- tion was so in depth, that an article seemed to write itself. It w like the as assignment was to write a book report, but the professor gave a lecture that was so informative, I accidentally wrote a term paper. (Or, maybe it was just because Pastor Joe talked too much!) Either way, we realized that not only was an article fitting, but the information reveled was so ( ) superfluous, it was necessary to split it into two parts. I hope you gain significant insight, and a better understanding of the person in Pastor Joseph C. Robinson. I invite you to share in Part I of It’s Not a Job. It’s my Life. I hope that you will gain significant insight, and a better understanding of the person in Pastor Joseph C. Robinson, and its transparency allows you Photograph By Nicola Goode to feel as if you were there, listening and witnessing for yourself. —Tamaya Petteway 40 INSIDE THE CITY SPRING/SUMMER 2006
  2. 2. LOS ANGELES, CA, 8:15am—It’s a breath- the last person to file an application the African Methodist Episcopal or point, I was pretty cynical about the taking morning in December. Contrary to would be the person selected for the A.M.E. Church) preached when I was whole thing, as I could not separate godly the 37-degree temperature in Joseph position, and even more surprisingly, 11 years old. The sermon was called “A judgment from a self-serving decision of Robinson’s hometown of Brooklyn NY, no one imagined that the person who Saga Of Sterling Stability,” and I still a man with a clergy collar on. Due to the the morning is equivalent to that of was selected, had a completely different remember today how those words constant moving, I really think I was summer. A car pulls up to the valet, and background than anyone expected. transformed that atmosphere way robbed of so much of my childhood, as out steps a tall figure. “Pastor Joe,” as we Born a third generation preacher, back then. I think I was always trans- we never knew if the Bishop was going to fondly call him, arrives on time, main- Joseph Carlos Robinson, knew early on fixed by words, even before I realized move us at the next church meeting! But taining a low profile under a bucket that ministry was his inborn destiny. He I had been called to the ministry.” again, that profound disappointment ‘Kangol’ hat, wearing brown from head to grew up with an affinity for ministry, and Although Pastor Joe has many affec- taught me a lot about people. It's funny, I toe, enriched by an earth toned multi- had a particular love for preachers, many tionate memories of his childhood, and have 3 brothers, and although we all grew color blazer. He quickly waves, and up AME, one is now a United Methodist, perambulates with a swagger of confi- dence and zeal. He is a morning person, “BOTH ANDMYTHINK I GOT THE IMPETUS TO IMPROVE LIVES, OF I PARENTS LEFT THE SOUTH FOR BETTER one was a Muslim, and now I'm a Pentecostal. So perhaps that is what we who typically begins his day at 5am, so as he approaches, he’s bringing a full signal MYSELF FROM BOTH OF THEM.” think of the whole enterprise.” Because of his parents’ background of energy to the quiet atmosphere. “God with the AME Church, Pastor Joe received Bless You,” he says ceremoniously, and of whom were defining figures in his wouldn’t trade his upbringing for the a broad exposure to the things of God and marvels for a while at the style and décor community. “I grew up loving church, world, growing up a preacher’s child in the Spirit, which influenced his develop- of the place before taking a seat. Since I’m and loving preachers. “I loved church,” the AME community wasn’t always fun ment as child. He also grew up with an certain that he has never experienced a he says delightfully. He began to recall and games. In fact, there were multiple emphasis being placed on education, December so nice on the east coast, we fond memories, such as being kissed each challenges he and his family had to deal community, and political involvement, chat for a little bit about the similarities week by a particular church mother who with in his early years. “In the AME which he considers genetic to the person and differences between New York and had a mustache, loving to eat pound cake Church, pastors are assigned by Bishops, he is today. “I was blessed with great Los Angeles living. After I share my that wasn’t completely cooked at church with minimal involvement of the parents,” he says while smiling. “They are opinion, he brings the conversation to a receptions, and being enthralled with churches themselves and almost no input both radicals who both decided to devote humorous halt, by delivering one of his trying to figure out which soprano was from the pastors or their families. The their lives to raising their children. My signature replies, reminiscent of other dating which tenor. He laughs, and logic behind this is that the Bishop is to mother was a career woman before that clever antidotes he’s known for. “This is begins to remember how he and his exercise godly judgment in deciding was vogue. Back in the 60’s, she worked incredible,” he says, as he surveys the younger brother Jason would “play” which pastor fits best with which church. for the FAA as an accountant before landscape. “If you would have told me church. “My father would wear a robe Sometimes this works, sometimes it deciding to marry a preacher. She has this time last year I’d be sitting in 70 every Sunday, and a guy named Bro. doesn't. I still haven't figured out what quite a mind, and was the glue that held degree weather being interviewed as the Smith would follow him around with a godly judgment is, and as you can our family together. She use to read the Executive Pastor of the City of Refuge, I handkerchief. So, me and my little imagine the godliness of the judgment Atlantic Monthly magazine when I was would have told you that you were crazy!” As he thinks about his reply, he brother… he would follow me around… and I’d be preaching… varies, according to the godliness of the Bishop.” As a result, like 5 or 6, and is an intense intellectual with a keen eye into human motivation. “I am grateful for my diverse literally becomes overwhelmed with we’d get the Holy Pastor Joe and his laughter for a brief moment, and an Ghost… jumping all family moved to 8 She is the pragmatist of the house. My background. I grew up AME, Father is the prophet-poet. He is has an extensive interview immediately begins. over the bed!” He different places, before infectious sense of humor, and genuinely laughs. “I have always he was 18 years old. “I loves people. He would quote lines from went to a Catholic elementary just loved church! I remember one instance Plato and was always talking about THE JOURNEY TO THE DESTINATION have always loved where I felt as though Socrates drinking hemlock for standing school, attended a high school In the winter of 2005, the City of Refuge preachers, was fasci- my father was treated up against injustice. I have a picture of church bulletins included an ad adver- nated with the power particularly harshly. him marching in the street during the civil run by Franciscan monks, went tising that the church administration of words, and how The effect of this rights movement in the 1960’s. Both of was searching for an Executive Pastor. they can inspire particular move was Applications from around the country people to live better wrenching on my my parents left the South for better to a Baptist college, and now I'm lives, and I think I got the impetus to poured in, as interested men and lives.” He becomes family, in every sense of improve myself from both of them. women from across the denomina- more serious as he that word. I simply They really did a good job of protecting serving an apostolic church. It’s tional spectrum rushed at the opportu- continues in reflec- could not believe that us from the madness of things.” nity to be a part of one of the greatest tion. “ I remember a he accepted it as "God's Pastor Joe also shared many positive apparent that God was ministries of our generation, and to eulogy that Bishop will" expressed through elements of growing up in the AME work for our legendary leader, Bishop Frank Madison Reid the godly judgment of Church, beginning with amazing travel preparing me for something.” Noel Jones. Little did anyone know that (a one-time Bishop in the Bishop. After that experiences he had the opportunity to JOSEPH ROBINSON, AGE 8. 42 INSIDE THE CITY SPRING/SUMMER 2006 SPRING/SUMMER 2006 INSIDE THE CITY 43
  3. 3. embark upon early in life. “Because every New York. He got married that same about their new all-star player. Strike AME church is connected to every other summer, and became the pastor at Allen One…when he was assigned, he wasn’t AME church, I got the chance to travel the Chapel AME Church in Hartford, even pastoring a church at the time, and world, preaching and doing mission Connecticut. “The church was smaller was now assigned to a church which was work at a very young age. I remember than this room, and it was really chal- a marquee pulpit within the AME preaching a revival in South Africa when lenging. On my first Sunday, I actually denomination. “Many people thought I was 21 years old because the AME drove by the church it was so small! that they deserved that church, and could church has been in South Africa since the Then, when I went into the church, there not believe a neophyte like me was early 1900s. So I was exposed to a lot of were only about 14 people inside, and 10 assigned.” Strike Two…He was only 30 yrs different environments, and literally have of them came with me!” He laughs as he old, and considerably younger than most been all over the world.” He continues by recalls the memory. “ But I appreciate the pastors there. “When I got off the plane sharing several positive aspects relating to experience, because the Bible says, ‘Don’t and met the chairman of my board, the PASTOR JOE AT THE 2005 HOMECOMING WEEKEND WORSHIP SERVICE WITH SON MALACHI, MOREHOUSE PRESIDENT, DR. WALTER MASSEY, PASTOR JOE PREACHING AT ST. JAMES AME CHURCH, scholastic achievement and being active WIFE SHIRLEY MASSEY, AND DR. LAWRENCE E. CARTER DEAN OF MARTIN LUTHER KING INTERNATIONAL CHAPEL. IN ST. LOUIS MISSOURI. despise the days of small beginnings.” first thing he said to me was…how you in the community as well. “The AME Pastor Joe later worked in the Strategy gonna be my pastor? I got grandchildren church has always emphasized education tially, Richard Allen (the founder) walked “In any event, I am happy to be in a place gift was birthed. His last year of high Consultant Practice of Cap Gemini Ernst older than you!” Strike Three…his style of and community involvement, so my out a Methodist church in Philadelphia where we preach and seek to live out of school, he traveled around the world and Young where he had the opportunity ministry was utterly aberrant from the interest in those things are almost because the white parishioners would the fullness of Christ, and not the acci- preaching, and on April 13, 1987, he to travel all over the world, building norm, and to add insult to injury, his genetic. AMEs are adamant about not let him pray. Thus, the primary dental, temporal preoccupations of preached his first trial sermon. Although websites and performing strategic personal style was a little too contempo- academic preparation. In fact, the first impetus for his leaving was racial denominations. We are living in a post- he received a full undergraduate scholar- analysis for Fortune 500 companies, rary for the environment. “I wore black college in America was Wilberforce discrimination, not doctrinal disagree- denomination age, where people really ship to a prestigious Ivy League univer- while also securing his MBA from the Timberlands and Sean John sweat suits in University in Ohio, which was founded ment. If you read the doctrinal statement don’t care where you came from, but sity, he was propositioned by a mentor to University of Connecticut in Marketing the pulpit! Of course, the young people by the AME Bishop Daniel Alexander of the AME Church, it is essentially no whether or not you are seeking to live out visit Morehouse College in Atlanta, and International Business. loved it! The church was packed, but many Payne in 1856, and you must go to different from the doctrine of the biblical Christianity. I am grateful for my Georgia. After one visit to the campus for In the year of 2000, Bishop John of the older members, older preachers in school to be ordained as a minister. Methodist church that Allen left, which diverse background. I grew up AME, went a Perspective Student Seminar, his mind Bryant, was head of an AME region, and town, and more traditional AMES thought That's why my father left the Baptist means that the church, at its core, is an to a Catholic elementary school, attended a was instantly made up. “It was over! I was asked Pastor Joe to join the region. He it was blasphemy.” With 3 strikes against Church. He did not want to be a jackleg expression of protest against racism. I high school run by Franciscan monks, went like…I’m going here!” he says with exhil- agreed, because he knew the district him immediately, whether called fairly or preacher, (a traditional label for a found this core identity to be somewhat to a Baptist college, and now I'm serving an aration in his voice. At the time, his included California, where Pastor Joe had not, he didn’t quite help things with his preacher who has no formal training.) problematic, and in my view, a lot of apostolic church. It’s apparent that God was parents, family friends, and other aspirations of going. Instead, Bishop innate penchant for being outspoken. Another benefit of growing up AME is contemporary churches suffer from the preparing me for something.” mentors were adamantly against the idea Bryant had St. Louis in mind. So for As he continues to reflect, it became they have a rule for everything...hence fact that they are committed to social Pastor Joe didn’t grow up in a very strict of him attending Morehouse because it about 3 months, he commuted back and quite evident that living in St. Louis was METHODIST! They have a method for protest more than they are to a relation- environment, as his parents wanted to was a “black school.” Pastor Joe shared everything. They teach you the impor- ship with God, or they understand a rela- cultivate an awareness of life beyond the the reason why it was such a big issue. tance of order, rules, processes, proce- dures, etc. Then finally, I think I learned a tionship with God in terms of social protest only! At the end of the day, all church, and therefore, encouraged him to define himself outside of church. “I think “Many of them felt as though I would be limiting my future options. My parents “GOD MOVED INHAPPEN WITHOUT A REMARKABLE WAY, BUT IT DID NOT THAT MINISTRY IN MANY TEARS.” lot about the importance of tradition. denominations are a response to what because my father was a PK (preacher’s told me that they went to black schools There is a difference in being traditional, someone has discovered, or maybe redis- kid), he had a keen appreciation of how because they had to, and if I had a choice, and understanding the importance of covered, about God. Luther rediscovered far to the left you can go if you’re not I should go to a place where my gifts forth between St. Louis, New York, and more than a rocky road, or a tumultuous tradition. I was taught all the old hymns justification by faith. Calvin rediscovered careful. So there really was no pressure to could really shine. I just felt that that Chicago, as he had intentions of keeping time. With all that he was experiencing, it and the creeds of the church, and no one predestination. Wesley rediscovered sanc- do or be anything.” Due to the freedom place was Morehouse.” his jobs, and not preaching full time. He was like his life transformed into a can do "high church" like AMEs! He tification. Seymour rediscovered he experienced in his upbringing, Pastor After graduating from Morehouse with would soon find out that this wasn’t penumbra, somewhere between exis- begins to laugh. “I mean the pipe organ, speaking in tongues. Once you can set Joe initially had dreams of being a physi- honors, Pastor Joe received the Benjamin possible. Despite his dynamic degrees, tence and oblivion. “Howard Thurmond, the liturgy, the regalia. It's almost your denomination in right context, it cian, a fashion model, a basketball Elijah Mays Fellowship to attend grad ivy-league education, lucrative positions a very influential African American writer Catholic, which of course is the Anglican loses much of its power to control you.” player, or more excitingly, he would school at Harvard University, where he and prolific preaching experiences, what once said, ‘The challenge of life is to influences on early Methodists. I heard Abruptly, Pastor Joe stopped speaking, pursue a career in rap music, as he was studied patristic exegesis. He then went to came next was incalculable. remain true in darkness to what you’ve Donnie McClurkin once say that all of and began to stare into space as if he was recognized on the block, as “Almighty J- work for his mentor Rev. Floyd Flake, Interrupting a lucrative lifestyle, St. seen in the light’. St. Louis challenged that old stuff teaches you to reverence the pondering his thoughts. He pauses for a Love” with the Triple Threat MC’s, known who was at that time, a Congressman Louis was incongruous for him. “If there every fiber of my being.” He began to give mystery of God, and I think that is true.” quick moment, then finally, he to drop a rhyme or two, at neighborhood representing the 6th Congressional was ever a time God confirmed my examples, and by the time he finished I But however much, Pastor Joe appreci- continued to reflect. “I used to argue house parties. But regardless of his other District in New York. He worked as a calling, it was there. The environment was intrigued, but experienced a ates his background, and is thankful that with people all the time that what really interests, nothing interested him like legislative assistant, and in Public was hostile like you can’t imagine,” he poignant moment of melancholy. He God allowed him to keep growing, made Richard Allen ‘Richard Allen,’ was ministry. In 1987, he entered an AME Relations for 2 years. Pastor Joe then took bemoans in retrospect. Now living full continues in his nostalgia, and shares freeing him from what he espouses as that he left the place where he thought he talent scholarship contest, delivered a a job with the National Urban League, time in St. Louis, a city known for blues one of his more pleasant thoughts. “the narrow confines of denominational was being treated unfairly. So the most speech with no preparation, and won. and was commuting between Boston and and baseball, Pastor Joe’s atypical pres- “Eventually, St. James was transformed, myopia.” He states, “ If you trace the AME thing I ever did was to leave my old From this experience, an awareness of his New York, while serving as an assistant ence became a triple-header controversy, and not only did the church grow, but origin of the AME denomination, essen- church!” He begins to laugh hysterically. calling based upon a confirmation of his pastor for Bridge Street AME Church in as the home team wasn’t exactly thrilled probably about 2000 people got saved 44 INSIDE THE CITY SPRING/SUMMER 2006 SPRING/SUMMER 2006 INSIDE THE CITY 45
  4. 4. and joined the church in the four and a It wasn’t until December 2004, that Joe, now sitting in the warm weather of half year period that I was there. We were Pastor Joe and about 30 others attended a Los Angeles, California, as Executive really avant-garde in terms of ministry.” fellowship for pastors in Las Vegas, hosted Pastor for the City of Refuge. While in St. Louis, Pastor Joe hosted a by Bishop Noel Jones, and discovered that In April 2005, while preaching a revival weekly talk show, his ministry was broad- Bishop Jones was looking for an Executive in East Orange, New Jersey, he received a cast locally and internationally on the Pastor. Pastor Joe became curious, and call from one of his best friends, Pastor Word Network, and his church launched approached Bishop Jones about the posi- Jamal Harrison Bryant, telling him to call many exciting ministries and opportuni- tion. Bishop Jones referred him to Les Bishop Jones. He was shocked, because as ties. “One year we brought Dr. Cornel Johnson, head of S.E.A.M, who informed another one of his best friends, Elder West to the city, and Kenneth Moales Jr., brought Al Sharpton a reminded him, “Dudes different year. We were like him, don’t call dudes always doing something like us!” Pastor Joe different. One time, we returned the call, and was even had a dating game! doubly shocked to find Now that was something! I that Bishop Jones wanted really saw lives changed in to know if he was still that city. God moved in that interested in the position. ministry in a remarkable “Still interested? Is Jesus way, but it did not happen Lord?,” he laughs, and without many tears.” says as if there was any Although he loved being doubt concerning his the pastor of St. James the interest. Pastor Joe shared church, on other levels, his his reservations, however experience in St. Louis took Bishop replied by saying, its toll, and during this time, “Man… just send in your his marriage ended. “But, stuff!” He formally God is good; I have 2 beau- expressed his interest, and tiful children, Malachi and the wheels began turning Caleb,” he says beatifically. quickly. Somehow, word In 2004, when word leaked that Pastor Joe was spread of several AME interested in the position, pastors planning to retire in and unbeknownst to him, California, he assumed he’d it soon became apparent be in the running for one of that numerous people the positions. It only exacer- from the AME community bated things further to did not want Pastor Joe to discover that Bishop Bryant leave their assembly. once again had a different “Many people from the objective in mind, and AME Church called and asked him to stay in St. wrote Bishop Jones, Louis. Although he loved his “ I DON’T CARE HOW GOOD YOU ARE AT WHAT telling him he was making ministry, being in St. Louis YOU DO, IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHERE YOU a huge mistake. And you was the crux of his unhappi- ness. “I felt like I was dying ARE, YOU AREN’T GOING TO BE EFFECTIVE must remember, we're talking about people who on the inside,” he says as he LONG TERM. continues to resurrect the ” have known me my entire life...invested in me… memories. “When I was in church I was him that the position was permanent. helped me grow…and knew all there was great, but outside of church I was miser- Because of his own calling to pastoral to know about me!” He continues the able, and you can’t be in church all the ministry, this piece of information disillu- story by expressing their thoughts. “Now, time. I just didn’t like St. Louis, and I sioned Pastor Joe. “I never really saw you talking about leaving after we've put don’t care how good you are at what you myself as anyone’s assistant, and certainly so much in you, and know so much do, if you don’t like where you are, you not for the rest of my life. So in my mind, about you? I don’t think so buddy…you aren’t going to be effective long term.” that was the end of that!,” laughs Pastor ain’t that great anyway! Continued on page 51. 46 INSIDE THE CITY SPRING/SUMMER 2006
  5. 5. could aid them with the IT’S NOT A JOB. IT’S MY LIFE. CONTINUED reality of their biological fathers not being present. Oh, and by the way, here is a list of his Pastor Bryant then called for shortcomings…” Pastor Joe continues to all married men to join these reflect on the experience. “In addition, young people at the alter. there were many people in the PAW Instantaneously, the pulpit denomination who thought that they was filled with an abun- were going to get the position. They dance of married men, simply could not believe that someone befriending, embracing, who did not grow up in the PAW church praying, and fortifying every was being considered for such a high child. The sight was profile position, in such a high profile emotionally riveting, and church, for such a high profile pastor. It’s ABOVE (LEFT TO RIGHT): NIELE ANDERSON, PASTOR JAMAL BRYANT,TIFANI JONES ABOVE RIGHT: JOSH CHAVEZ AND TEAM GRACING THE HOUSE WITH PRAISE AND WORSHIP tears were inescapable by really revolutionary, what Bishop Jones all. Elation filled the eyes of did,” he began to break it down in a presentation was unforgettable, and set generational curses, set backs and/or failures. He encouraged them not settle for mediocrity, the youth, and if for nothing manner were I couldn’t help but grasp the atmosphere for the speaker of the or to allow themselves to become habitual to negative environments, but to understand that more than a shear moment, the magnitude of what had occurred. “A night, the Senior Pastor of Empowerment as a child of God, they have been born to succeed.“Despite what your family members may enmity was replaced with third generation PAW reached halfway Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland, have, or may not have done,,”” he said, “You will be, the first! You will be the first to go to love, despondency was across the country to hire a second gener- the eminent Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant. college,the first to own a business,the first not to go to jail,the first not to have a baby’s daddy, replaced with hope, and ation AME…Wow!” In spite of all the Introduced by his friend since the age of the first not to be on drugs!” He then continued to decree to them,“God has supernaturally emptiness was replaced commentary against him receiving the five, the Executive Pastor of the City of protected you and has placed value on the inside of you, and tonight, what God is saying, is with encouragement, Executive Pastor position, two weeks Refuge, Pastor Joe Robinson, and accompa- that because you came into the house…I will give you what you need!!!” through the gentleness of later, he received a call from Bishop Jones nied by his parents, the honorable Bishop The entirety of Pastor Bryant’s message was fundamentally impacting, and provided an intense an endearing embrace, asking him to come to LA. He came to John Bryant and Rev. Dr. Cecelia Bryant, this examination of the need for God’s children to aim high, strive for better, and recognize that there ABOVE: “YOU WILL BE THE FIRST!” EXCLAIMS PASTOR JAMAL BRYANT combined with the incon- LA, and hasn’t been back yet. “After the third generation prodigious Pastor, quickly are no limits or boundaries to what all are capable of achieving.He elevated the youth in such a way, ceivable power God. City of Refuge FBI checked me out,” he delved into a vehement message, imparting that by the time he finished, the atmosphere had changed from self-doubt to empowerment. call, so specific to countless young people, it Before the event began, I asked event jokes as he remembers the intensive to our youth that they are destined to Revelation was swinging from the rafters, inspiration was jumping on the seats, motivation was couldn’t of been anything but the Spirit of God, directors, Niele Anderson and Tifani Jones, screening process he endured, “I guess achieve “supernatural success,”regardless of running up and down the aisles, and essentially, (to quote Pastor Bryant), we gave the devil “a that lead and authorized his action. what they would like to see take place on this they thought that the good in me, intricacies such as upbringing, environment, nervous breakdown!”However,the precocious Pastor wasn’t finished yet.He concluded with an alter He first called for all youth, under the age of night.“We are expecting, of course a move of outweighed the bad. Whatever the 17, whose fathers were deceased, to join him God,”Tifani said,“That is the ultimate expecta- combination of reasons, I am here… at the alter. It was heartbreaking to observe tion and goal. Just to see the alter filled with and grateful to be here.” so many young people making their way to youth and young adults wanting to turn their People ask him all the time, “how did it the pulpit, yet as Pastor Bryant spoke lives around for Christ.” Niele responded by happen?” Pastor Joe responds by saying, prophetically and laid hands upon them, the saying, “Tonight, we want to encourage “It was nothing but God…and as the heartbreaking feeling turned into assurance young people that having a relationship with psalmist declared, ‘This is the Lord’s doing, that God is all the father they will ever need, God makes life better, it makes life easier. A and it is marvelous in my eyes.” He and He will continue to maintain custody of relationship with God doesn’t take away the continues to reflect on what a great experi- each one of them.“Although your father is not struggle, it makes it bearable.” ence it has been up to this point. “From here,”Pastor Bryant said with conviction,“You The goal and purpose of the Worship day one, I felt very comfortable. It was a are covered because of the anointing. Xperience was fulfilled, and through the little eerie. I didn’t anticipate how well I’d Whatever your father cannot provide, God outcome of the incredible alter call, confirma- be received, or it being such a good fit. The will meet the need. Never again should you tion was given to the words Pastor Bryant Bible says, ‘The blessings of the Lord profess to be fatherless. What no one in your spoke during his message.“If you can just get makes rich and adds no sorrow.’ It’s been family could accomplish, you have been into the house of the Lord…God will meet like no sorrow. It’s incredible to me, as anointed to do, and will accomplish this year.” you, and your need.” I typically, it doesn’t happen this way. I Next,he called for all youth,18 and younger, think it’s a testament to the fact that God is who do not know how to get into contact GET SAVED OR DIE TRYIN WAS THE FIRST OF THE in it, to the enormous vision and sensi- with their fathers, do not where their fathers 8 WORSHIP XPERIENCE EVENTS, SCHEDULED TO tivity of our Bishop, and the type of people are located, or are simply unaccounted for. TAKE PLACE IN VARIOUS CHURCH LOCATIONS we have in our congregation. I’m very Although inexplicable to witness, it was THROUGHOUT THE LOS ANGELES AREA. THE fortunate, and I feel very blessed.” I encouraging to see the amazing strength of NEXT ONE, THE BREAKTHROUGH, IS SCHED- more than 300 children, uninhibited and ULED TO TAKE PLACE AT WEST ANGELES Look for the continuation of this feature fiercely determined, making their way down CHURCH ON MAY 26TH, 2006. in the next issue of Inside the City. the aisles, desperate to receive whatever ABOVE (LEFT AND RIGHT): THE POWER OF LOVE, OUTWEIGHING THE PAIN OF LOSS 50 INSIDE THE CITY SPRING/SUMMER 2006 SPRING/SUMMER 2006 INSIDE THE CITY 51