Sunday, July 01, 2007

When he grows up

When Zeke grows up I'd love for him to be a pastor. But if he's not called to this, I will make sure that he has the right set of heroes. The Church could certainly use more godly men, and sad to say, especially black men who are sound in their theology.

To this end, I like to read books that tell how God has used godly black men in the past so I can give Zeke the right set of heroes. The latest read has been, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African American Pastors, by Thabiti Anyabwile (I have no idea how to say that name, but the author is a reformed evangelical leader and pastor).

The book highlights the lives of three African American pastors; Lemuel Haynes, Daniel A. Payne, and Francis J. Grimke. It's a cross between a biography and a collection of sermons.

Haynes (1753-1853) spent the majority of his pastoral career, some thirty years, pastoring an all white church in Rutland, VT. He was Calvinistic in theology and basically a "black puritan". Payne (1811-1893) was a pastor within the AME church who dedicated his life to seeing the pastorate educated in Christian doctrine. Grimke (1850-1937), after studying under Charles Hodge at Princeton, became a pastor in Washington D.C. with a focus on reforming the white and black churches to have biblical views on issues of race.

These certainly are forgotten men in the history of American Christianity. Thanks to the efforts of Anyabwile, their lives have been retold and now I can share their stories with Zeke in hopes that he will grow up to proclaim unashamedly the glorious gospel of our risen King.

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