Trio of Pastors in The House

By Body of Christ News

The concept of having multiple pastors in one church has long been a vision in the mind of Rev. Larry Brown, planted there through prayer about the conversations in which he often found himself.

Rev. Brown used to work regularly with fellow pastors and in talking with them, there would often be a regular theme: “they would say ‘We are struggling, pray for our church, pray that God will send down a blessing.’ ”

Pastor Brown would go back home and really ponder this thing, and say to the Lord, ‘You need to help with this because I am not understanding, I am not understanding why these are your churches and they are not flourishing. A church that is not flourishing is an oxymoron because if they are truly your churches then they should be flourishing.’
Pastor Brown just kept going to God about that and relating, among other things, to Jacob, who was just holding on because he needed an answer from God.

Finally Rev. Brown, then pastor of Lowry Community Christian Church, says that God poured into his spirit that it never was Him. it was us. “Wait what do you mean by that,” Brown asked, and the Lord said that He never meant for His body to be divided. ‘You guys, (men, churches, people) divided my body, you guys divided black and white, you are divided by denominations.’

God said “I never meant for my body to be divided because my body is whole. Then the blessings will be there!”

That is when Rev. Brown says his spirit was just stirred because what God put on his heart was to bring His body, God’s body, back together. The concept of blending black and white and denominations was clear.

What Brown needed to do was to start bringing God’s goal together so that God’s body could be one and the ministry blessed. God put the concept in Pastor Brown’s spirit just as Katrina hit.

Pastor Brown was instrumental in working with the Katrina aftermath and during that time he had the opportunity to work with Rev. Del Philips, pastor of Giliead Baptist Church.

One day he shared with Pastor Phillips what God had put on his heart. Brown and Phillips discussed the concept that had come to Rev. Brown in prayer. Rev. Phillips said it sounded like a good concept, though he really did not take the idea seriously.
But Rev. Brown proved that he was serious about the concept and continued to talk about the idea without nagging.

“Pastor Brown would bring it up often, and about one and half years later we found ourselves sitting in a meeting with a coalition,” Rev. Phillips said. After the meal was finished, Pastor Brown pushed the dishes back and said that it was time for them to come together.
Pastor Phillips said he knew that Rev. Brown was serious about the concept and that it was not a ploy or fad or phase, but rather a real passion in his heart. The two Pastors began to pray about it together, then they brought in some other leaders and pastors just pray over the concept.

Prior to really considering Rev. Brown’s concept, Pastor Phillips crossed paths with Pastor Kevin Hilton.

Rev. Kevin Hilton had come to Pastor Phillips and told him that God had put on his heart to shut down his church and move the entire congregation to another church.

The church that God had put on Pastor Hilton’s heart was Mount Gilead. Pastor Phillips put the matter to prayer. This was just out of the ordinary, that another church would simply walk into a place of worship as a whole.

A week later, pastor Hilton and Pastor Phillips got back together and after praying felt that there was some short of connection between the two of them.
Though the two men had not walked together in any fellowship, in January 2006, Rev. Hilton and his wife with their family and the entire church congregation came to join Pastor Phillips and Mount Gilead Baptist Church.

“This has been fashioned by the hand of God, where he brings up a unique personality and disposition to the ministry and we began to forge a relationship,” Rev. Phillips said.
Initially when Rev. Hilton’s church joined Mount Gilead the plan was that Pastor Hilton would learn and grow to seed a new ministry that would come out some time later and collectively the new ministry would be developed.”

Instead what transpired is that Rev. Brown and the concept of the united ministry came back into the picture. After speaking again with Rev. Brown, Rev. Phillips wondered if God’s intention was for Rev. Hilton remain with the church instead of seeding another ministry.

Perhaps God had set the seed for the concept of what he and Rev. Brown had discussed. The three Pastors took some sanctuary in the mountains and heard God really speak to them in regards to what was supposed to be done and the foundations of a joint pastorate began to truly take hold. During the retreat, the three defined what each one of them brought to the table naturally and the first thing that they all agreed upon is that there has to be one person in charge that has to make all the decisions.

“We realized that we all bring a measure of leadership to the table but we also have mutual respect for each other and did not have to worry about setting aside egos,” Rev. Phillips said. “It was easy to see what Pastor Brown naturally is cut out to do, what Pastor Hilton is naturally skilled to do so why would we argue with what a person is naturally slated to do.”

The division of responsibilities was easily established. There are certain pastoral responsibilities that Pastor Brown has as a shepherd, he has a great shepherd’s heart so he is responsible for care ministry. Pastor Brown has great vision and develops these ideas. Pastor Hilton has a great evangelistic outreach spirit and figures out how to get the gospel out there in ways that nobody else is thinking about.

“Somebody that might be a little more conservative would not be able to come up with the ideas that he does,” Rev. Phillips said, “But when presented at the table, the ideas make perfect sense for our ministry.”

Rev. Phillips has administrative strengths naturally and is able to get all the ducks in a row so that the church can serve.

“I feel that we three were able to look at what we bring to the table and how we can fit that into a team leadership format,” Rev. Phillips said, “The importance is not about who is in charge, it is about what every person brings to the table as a team.”

The entire church ministry prior to the merge was organized in a similar format. That is, the leadership style that God had given Pastor Phillips: involving the elders of the church in team decisions because he felt that the congregation as a whole required the input of more than one man.

Pastor Phillips feels that Pastor Hilton and Pastor Brown have been valuable assets to him personally as well as to the congregation.

Mount Gilead, now called The House, has established two new services: Wednesday night services are being led by Pastor Larry Brown and are implementing his vision for what is to be accomplished in that particular service. “We are doing a different vision on Saturday evening. We believe that there are different audiences that we are trying to reach in each service.”

Those services are being articulated by each one of us, now we will have the option, the ability, to be able to reverse roles and responsibilities when it comes to preaching and leading those services as it is needed and we move across the calendar year and there is a particular focus that we are trying to bring at a particular service.

“Wherever we need that gift of ministry style that each of us processes, the schedule will dictate that and we will have the liberty of being able to share and interact in any service,” Phillips said. “One of the things that we found valuable already is when we have three of present it just broadens the load of responsibility in that if one of us cannot cover a particular service the other Pastor can come in.

“We have designed the worship services around what we need to do to take care of the congregation and that is more important than the idea of the ego of one man.

“We are here to minister to the people and no man’s ego should hinder that. We should have joined long ago to be a more complete ministry for Christ.”

Pastor Larry Brown believes that the joining of the three to minister to the needs of people brings a variety of perspectives so that more people can relate to the delivery of God’s word.

“God’s word should not be limited to what one man brings to the table,” Rev. Brown said. God has drawn the three together to provide a wide menu of ministry to people who come form every walk of life, racially, economically, socially, and spiritually.

“God has given us the grace to attend to people by the joining of the multiple gifts that the three us of have as a team.”

One Response to “Trio of Pastors in The House”

  1. Pastor Richard M. Wolford Says:

    Real good article.

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