Whether we/I like it or not, I am often the public face of First Baptist Greenville. At times, this makes me the target of anger, hate and the judgment of self-appointed modern-day Pharisees. At other times, however, I find myself receiving accolades rightfully belonging to you – the congregation as a whole – such as…

On Thursday, April 4, I was inducted into the College of Preachers at Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Chapel. Inductees are selected for having made significant contributions in the arena of civil rights. When notified of my nomination and selection, I told the Dean of Chapel, this truly belongs to First Baptist Greenville and not just me.

Monday afternoon, April 29, I will attend the world premiere of Gay Chorus, Deep South as a VIP guest at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. In the coming months, this documentary is being featured at 17 film festivals on multiple continents. The film documents the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Lavender Pen Tour of the South. The final ten minutes of the film – the cinematic climax – is the chorus’s visit to First Baptist Greenville. I’m honored to be included in this world premiere and have the opportunity to represent our church. You will want to see this film. The southern premiere will be at 5:00pm, Sunday, June 9, at the Peace Center! Tickets are on sale now at www.peacecenter.org. I encourage every member of FBG to purchase a ticket and attend. This film celebrates our church. I will be happy to be your face in New York and happy to see your face at the Peace Center.

Finally, three weeks ago I ‘slipped into’ a meeting (away from our church at another venue) where hygiene packets were being assembled for homeless persons. It was part of my ‘anonymous social service’ during Lent. I was standing at the table in sweat pants, a hoodie, and my running shoes. Four strangers were at the table on my packing team. Finally, one of my cohorts leaned over and said, “I know you think you’re incognito, but we all know who you are. Thank you for what your church is doing for Greenville.” I smiled and received one more word of praise on your behalf. It’s an honor being ‘that church’ with you.

— Jim

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