Dr. Luonne A. Rouse, pastor of First Baldwin UMC, gave a powerful sermon at our May 26, 2018, prayer breakfast, entitled “When We are the Pride of the Lord.” He spoke about how a lion protects his family (the pride). He quoted from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beloved community”: “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” Pointing out that America uses the wrong stratification — categorizing people by color and ethnicity, which divides people — he said we should focus on protecting people: our relatives, the innocent, defenseless, and the environment.
Eighty clergy and guests gathered at the St. Mathew AME Church of Orange, NJ, hosted by Rev. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton. Michelene King Kato offered a musical selection before the sermon, and later she commented that Dr. Rouse’s sermon helped her to focus more on protecting her grandchildren and raising them to be good Christians rather than focusing on the loss of her daughter. Her daughter died two weeks ago, leaving behind three young children.
We are grateful to all who contributed to the program: The invocation was given by Bishop William T. Cahoon, the Jurisdictional Prelate, New Garden State Jurisdiction, COGIC, Senior Bishop COGIC of New Jersey. Youth pastor Rev. Crystal Newby, who is also in charge of the Praise Dance Ministry at St. Mathew, offered a praise dance. The MC was Bishop Rene Bellenas, who was recently elevated to the position of Presiding Bishop of The Association for Christian Evangelists (ACE.) Rev. Bruce Grodner gave a very heartistic and personal introduction to Dr. Rouse allowing the audience know him as a person, not just his accomplishments.
Reported by Rev. Kathaleen Sato, NJ ACLC