Three Churches, One Body

three churches, one bodyFor the first time ever, First Baptist Church Piney Grove, Mount Bethel Baptist Church and New Mount Olive Baptist Church gathered together on April 25th in Fort Lauderdale for joint worship and teaching around common subject matter in an effort to build the kingdom of God. “It was our objective to promote solidarity as churches,” said Bishop C. E. Glover, of Mount Bethel Baptist Church. “We are not in competition, but rather see our roles as complementing and helping each other.”

The event was birthed out of a gesture of hospitality. “Dr. Hughes and I both came into town at about the same time,” said Dr. Marcus D. Davidson, of New Mount Olive Baptist Church, “and Bishop Glover was kind enough to reach out to us.” The three had been meeting for fellowship lunches and began talking about the kingdom of God and how they might each share their unique gifts with each other for the benefit of the Kingdom.

We are facing common issues and yet we each have different gifts, so we wanted to share those gifts with one another,” said Glover.

Each minister spoke on a topic that was especially dear to his heart and in keeping with his natural abilities: Kingdom Stewardship, Kingdom Leadership and Kingdom Quality.

 

Kingdom Stewardship

Glover, who has benefitted from much training on the subject, spoke on Kingdom Stewardship. “Recognizing as believers that we are managers of all that God has allowed us to handle, we own nothing; we are stewards of that which belongs to God, and He holds us accountable for that which he has placed in our hands,” said Glover.

 

Kingdom Leadership

Davidson, who completed his doctorate in “black church leadership,” spoke on Kingdom Leadership. “I would rather have a church that is stacked with leaders than followers,” said Davidson. “Everyone has some gift of leadership and can influence someone,” he said, noting that “it is important to marry our spirituality with leadership in all areas including relationship building, communication, administration, as good servants and in humility.”

 

Kingdom Quality

Dr. Derrick J. Hughes, of First Baptist Church Piney Grove, spoke on Kingdom Quality Ministry. “All who love the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be able to minister not with lackluster quality but with excellence as if Jesus Christ were here Himself,” said Hughes. “That means giving the resources you have and offering the best you have at any moment. The church ought to be the ones known for excellent customer service.”

 

Community

For three of the oldest Baptist churches in the area, this event demonstrates collaboration and camaraderie like never before. First Baptist Church Piney Grove will celebrate its 111th anniversary in May, New Mount Olive Baptist Church has been in existence for 95 years, and Mount Bethel Baptist Church is the youngest at 61 years. Each congregation has memberships in the thousands.

“It’s time for us to pull walls down and do what we can as a church to show the world how to act and to to live as we pool our resources together,” said Hughes, who has been the senior pastor at Piney Grove for about five years.

Glover, who has led Bethel Baptist for 29 years, said “I’m excited to work with these two young brothers who are extremely gifted, and be a part of what they’re doing. All of us have a need in our churches to advance our skills in these three areas.”

Davidson, who has headed New Mount Olive for about five years, said “We’ve been trying to be intentional about building community cohesiveness. We are not islands unto ourselves, but we’re saved to be at work together.” He recalled 1 Corinthians 12:13, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (NIV).

Each of the men expressed a desire to continue meeting together in the future.

“I hope that this idea would have such an impact that we would see the entire faith community coming together,” said Davidson.

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