Young Pastors Vs. Old Churches…

Hello World,  concert

Wow, in 11 more days, July will be a wrap! Hard to believe that the days are summer ticking by so swiftly…So I hope we are enjoying our summer while we can :).

So on to today’s post…I was intrigued when I came across this article “Young Pastor Voted Out By Veteran Members Of Historic Baptist Church In Philadelphia” by Cherri Gregg on CBS Philly’s website. According the reporter, with a vote of 221 to 166, long-time members of historic Zion Baptist Church in North Philadelphia fired Reverend A. Carl Prince after he had only been at the church for two years. Prince was hired to help the church, which is 132 years old, grow, but instead what the church got was “months of disagreements.” In fact, in a deacon’s report, Prince was referred to as ‘”ineffective’ and saying he had a ‘domineering spirit’ and does not ‘model The Good Shepard.'”

Apparently, Prince did not agree with the assessment of the church and filed a lawsuit! His attorney Rosalind Plummer said Prince was fired for asking the church for an audit of the church’s finances! Rev. Terrence Griffith, offered more insight as to why this rift may have occurred. “The older members will tell you, this is my church. They say, “you just got here and you’re trying to change things around,'” says Griffith, pastor of the historic First African Baptist Church and leader of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia. Griffith went on to say that “a lot of churches are dying because they really cannot keep up with the times. Younger, more progressive pastors are going to change things in a way that attract younger people. That is how older churches survive.”

And apparently Zion Baptist Church is only the only historic church in the area to have this issue. “Other historic churches, like Bright Hope Baptist Church and Salem Baptist Church, have also had turmoil between longtime members and new pastors.”

So here are my questions for you today: Which side are you on? The side of the young pastor or the old church? Do churches have to adapt to current cultural practices or die?

I think think there is room for young and old practices in a church. For example, I love the Old-Churcharchitecture of old church buildings. The architects of new church buildings seem to have traded the sacred for the modern. For example, new church buildings often don’t have any altars, crosses or steeples. Many of today’s churches can pass for the headquarters of some corporation instead of the house of God.

It seems like a lot of churches don’t sing hymns anymore either. While I don’t think hymns should dominate the praise and worship portion of the service, I think every church should incorporate hymns from time to time because they are beautifully written and connect us with Christians of the past.

I also appreciate the wisdom of older Christians, and I think, sometimes in modern society, the opinions of older people are often discounted because they come from old people. But I appreciate the opinions of older people because they come years of experience.

However, I also appreciate new practices in the church. I think the casual dress code of some churches is a way to attract more people. While I will always don my “Sunday Best,” when I step into a church, I don’t think people should be turned away because they want to wear jeans.

I also think that churches should respond to the community in which they inhabit. For some churches that may mean incorporating a variety of new ministries or ways of thinking that appeal to the community. After all in the Bible, Paul says, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” in 1 Corinthians 9:22.

And while I revere the opinions of older people, I also think that young people are equally as valuable and should not be discounted because of lack of experience. In fact, in 1 Timothy 4:12, it is stated, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.”

Any thoughts?











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9 thoughts on “Young Pastors Vs. Old Churches…

  1. I really don’t think it is a question of old vs. young. Look at Jesus’ age when he was walked the physical earth and when he was crucified. I think it is a question of right and wrong! For many of the church buildings it is resources that will keep them open. Rev. Prince, as the Pastor and administrator of the church had every right to question the finances of the church as well as to request the audit.

    They crucified my savior and nailed him to the cross. Just as they celebrated in the streets then, so did some members of Zion. I wish Zion the very best as it looks to the future. The young and the old will have to see God…. Judge not! Vengeance is not ours. Read the bible, pray, hope and keep God first!!!

  2. I agree Macey, the old and young have to find a way to work together, and it was really an financial audit that got him fired, that would be wrong…but there is probably more to it that we are not privileged enough to know…

  3. As was stated, it’s probably more going on than a church audit. Christians are to be on one accord in Jesus. When we come to meet in the “building” we call church, we are to usher in the Holy Spirit with like minds and humble spirits. Scripture tells us that where the Spirit of GOD is, there is liberty. Through this gathering of God-fearing Christians, healings and deliverance should take place.

    Audits are important for the business of handling church finances but shouldn’t interfere with the purpose of what the pastor is employed to do . . . lead souls to Christ. Did they (the church leaders) employ him to be a financial manager as well as preacher? Where is the faith that GOD will take care of His church and reveal all that’s wrong through the HOLY SPIRIT? What happened to prayer, standing still and allowing GOD to move?

    Scripture is also clear that Christians “are not” to go to the world with their concerns but seek Christian counsel within the church. Why would this pastor even want to file a lawsuit with this church? If God is for him, who could be against him? If God wanted him to remain there, He wouldn’t have allowed them to fire him. Since the people have spoken, this pastor needs to ask the LORD for guidance to where He wants him to go. He needs to be in prayer about the LORD’S Will for his life. With him wearing the title of minister, he needs to be about the Father’s business of reaching souls, not seeking revenge by filing a lawsuit—the people have spoken. The route this pastor has taken is not Christian like but worldly arrogance. He’s stirring up a “mess” that doesn’t need to be.

  4. I do think filing a lawsuit in this case doesn’t seem like the Christian thing to do, but I’m thinking there must be some details we don’t know…As has been said, there are three sides to every story. What one person says, what the other person says and the truth…

  5. I think there needs to be a balance. I think newer churches run their organizations too much like a business and not as Christ preached in the bible. However, they do attract more people who need to hear the word. Sometimes, I do long for more tradition. Churches need to find a way to marry the two: young and old traditions.

  6. Rev Prince was the pastor at Mount HopeBaptist church,P rinceGeorge Va. He was here for 10 years 8 of those 10 he was tied up in court with members. Zion is not maken up anything about this guy. He is nomore then a pimp in Gods pulpit.Before anyone on here takes up for him go back and do your home work on him before he got to Zion. And if Zion had realy checked him out they wouldn’t have hired him. And its realy funny he wanted Zion to do an Audit. When he refused to do one for 7year@ MT HOPE
    until Judge W.ALLAN SHARRETT gave an order to do one. You can check the court case SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA: CIRCUIT COURT OF PRINCE GEORGE VIRGINIA Case #149cl07-129

    • I am so proud of my brother, Rev. A. Carl Prince. I visited Mt Hope many, many times during his tenure there. I always enjoyed the fellowship. God will judge is all in the end. One thing is certain, Rev. Prince is neither a pimp nor a punk! May God continue to bless and keep Mt. Hope Baptist and Zion Baptist church. Words, works and deeds…shock and awe awaits at the pearly gates! I learned early in life, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will not harm me! They hung Him high and stretched Him wide on Friday, but early, early, I said early Sunday morning, He got up! The spirit of God is our keeper! He can bless us all at the same time!!! Keep your Godly direction, not needlessly exposing…yourself and others to the demons in your life…. Let you who are without sin cast the first stone! I may read this blog but I doubt I will respond to it again. I will pray for the bloggers! God loves you and so do I.

  7. BTW, Happy Birthday to me today. Responding to this blog was a gift to myself for my birthday! Thank you God for this birthday gift and for all the years you have watched over my family and me! God is a good God and He is worthy to be praised! I went down on my knees and I didn’t get up until he blessed me! And oh how he blessed me!!!!

  8. Crockett, do you own a dictionary? Audit must have come back clean because you did not mention the results of audit. Get a life, grow up and let go of the gossip this is the 21st century. I am all for the young pastors, new vision, new direction. That’s why we celebrate the New Year, out with the old and in with the new.