Friday, August 5, 2016

Four churches in Frayser unify for ‘Saving Souls Sunday’

Four congregations in Frayser converged on July 31 for 'Saving Souls Sunday.'
 “It’s important that we work together,” said Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District Rep. Steve Cohen, who set the tone for a collaborative worship experience in the auditorium of Martin Luther King College Preparatory School on July 31.
 “It’s about people coming together to solve our problems,” said Cohen, referencing the Democratic National Convention last week in Philadelphia as an example of factions pulling together for a common cause. “We can do that in Memphis.”
That’s what the pastors of four churches in Frayser had in mind when their congregations converged at the school at 11:30 a.m. to call attention to the needs of the community. The collaborative worship experience was called “Saving Souls Sunday.”
Apostle Ricky Floyd, senior pastor of The Pursuit of  God
Transformation Center. (Photos by Wiley Henry)
 “We came to collaborate and to change our community,” said the Rev. Barron Martin, senior pastor of One Faith Christian Center Church at 3389 Dawn Drive and the other location at 4393 Pleasant Ridge Rd. in Millington, Tenn.
Martin shared the podium with Apostle Ricky Floyd, senior pastor of The Pursuit of God Transformation Center’s two locations: 3171 Signal St. and 114 Henry St.; the Rev. DeAndre D. Brown Sr., senior pastor of Lifeline To A Dying World Ministries at 1647 Dellwood Ave.; and the Rev. Charlie Caswell, senior pastor of Union Grove Baptist Church at 2285 Frayser Blvd.  
Each pastor spoke on a different topic. Brown’s message to the audience was about “serving.” He referenced the Old Testament story of Jabez – who asked God to bless him – to make a point that being a servant is “important in the house of the Lord.”
Like Jabez, Brown asked God to bless him after his return from prison. He was chided, he said, when he started cutting grass for free. Now he is the executive director of Lifeline to Success, an outreach ministry that helps ex-offenders.
Caswell followed with the theme “unity.” His message, “serve and obey,” was derived from John 17:1 and Ephesians 4:1. He said God’s people should come together in unity and added that the ‘7 P’s’ – Pastors, Politicians, Parents, Police, Principals, Proprietors and Partners – will help revitalize the community.
An ardent community activist, author and founder of the 3V Leader program, Caswell read from Ephesians 4:1: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”
Does the world believe you have been sent by God?” he asked rhetorically.
“Where there is no vision the people perish,” said Martin, referring to a number of scriptures – Proverb 28:18, Genesis 1:1, Jeremiah 1:5 and 29:11, and Philippians 1:6. – to support his argument that God’s people should be “obedient,” the theme of his sermon.
“God will give you the insight, the mind, and the thoughts of God,” Martin told the audience. “The vision of God has not stopped. God spoke what He wanted to see…”
Floyd posed three questions – “Do you love God? Do you love yourself? Do you love your neighbor?” – that coincided with his message of “forgiveness and love.” And there is a difference between love and lust, he explained.
He said most people don’t know what love is, and added: “You got to forgive if you want to live.”
“There are no words to describe how four congregations were able to come together for one service. It was truly unified,” said Wanda Taylor, CEO/president of Ladies in Need Can Survive, Inc. (LINCS), a home for troubled women in the Frayser community. 
“When there was altar call, people were weeping, crying. They were healed and set free,” she said.
Added Ashley Lucas, a LINCS’s resident: “I felt the spirit. It was overwhelming. It was amazing. You really need ‘service, obedience, unity and love.’ You can’t get what you need from God unless you have all them.”

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