Faith leaders from various Memphis-area churches and denominations have designated Saturday, July 13 as a day of preaching to promote unity and instill hope.
Called “Preach Out,” eight pastors, accompanied by their choirs, will take turns preaching from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Longview Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church at 685 East Mallory Avenue.
The event is free and open to the public.
Preach Out organizers say the event is an opportunity for members of the community to meet faith leaders they can connect with when problems arise, whether they be personal or communal.
“There are going to be some problems,” says Pastor Alex Horton, whose church is hosting the event. “But where do you go when you want to talk (about them)? I hope our church can be one of those areas.”
One of the Preach Out speakers is Bishop Edward Stephens Jr., of Golden Gate Cathedral. He is a strong believer that “transformation can take place in the community.”
At the MLK50 Conference in Memphis last year, Stephens talked about the powerful influence faith leaders can have when they work together to create change.
“The only way change takes place is if we as leaders, and I’m talking about pastors particularly, get to know each other,” says Stephens, adding the connections can help better identify problems and solutions, which “affect families in our communities.”
Pastor Joe I. Grider, a ministerial director and one of the event’s organizers, agrees. He is friends with Bishop Stephens and has preached at his church, and vice versa. Dr. Grider says he’s looking forward to the messages that will be preached, particularly the ones about hope and unity.
“With what’s going on locally, and across the country, those messages are needed more than ever,” says Grider.