Yet Another 2 Church Experiences...



Sunday before last the church tour continued and I had the opportunity to visit yet another church here in Atlanta area. This time I attended alone since my tour partner, Julian Mugler, was unable to attend with me. Elizabeth Baptist Church had been on my list of those to visit for awhile, but while hanging out the Saturday night before, I met a couple of people that actually attend the church and had nothing but good things to say. So after a long night of partying… I got myself up and ventured out to Cascades for a little spiritual upliftment.

Elizabeth Baptist sits right off Cascades Road right past where the 4 lane becomes a 2 lane, quite unfortunate because the amount of traffic coming in and out on Sunday mornings can be quite daunting. After being ushered into my parking space and entering the sanctuary I found a seat next to this woman who insisted on telling me that she was saving the seat for her daughter but she just realized that her daughter went to the earlier service. As if it was right on cue at 930am the Praise & Worship team began the service which was filled with good singing and needed scripture. A youthful pastor Craig Oliver Sr. delivered an ‘on time’ scripture filled message about financial stability. The service was definitely what I was use to, structured and orderly but at the same time flowed consistently. This is the first time since visiting the different churches here that I was reminded of my Metropolitan Baptist of DC. I will definitely be back visiting this church again.

Now the original plan was for me to visit Elizabeth again this Sunday, however, Julian and others had opted to attend New Beginning Full Gospel Baptist, (reference this post for more details) so I decided to attend with them. I had shunned offers to attend Eddie Long’s “Look I Can Fill the Georgia Dome” service as well as a couple of others but by 1:30pm on Easter Sunday I was wishing I hadn’t. The very ‘extra’ service began with as much fanfare and praise as it has the other 2 times I had been to this church. Like I commented before the choir was on point but the musicians over power them and leave you struggling to figure out what exactly are they singing. At about 1220pm I looked at Julian and whispered… there will be no sermon, which was returned by a mixed look of disbelief and disgust, both of the feelings I was sharing at that moment. When the pastor finally made his entrance and continued the hour and 20 minute song fest for another 20 minutes… with a short break for collection. The songfest continued and next thing you know the invitation to discipleship was extended.

Now I truly believe that things should be done in decency and in order, and while I need to hear the uplifting songs… I need to hear the message as well. I was quite disappointed to hear from a friend that attends that this isn’t the first time there has been no message. Julian later summed it up beautifully over brunch with friends… “just like I need to hear music when I go to a club, I need to hear a message when I go to church.” I think that was my last visit to New Beginning.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

i have been to new beginning a number of times where all they did was sing and there was no message... but i guess if that works for them more power, but like you i need to hear a little scripture to get me going.

That Dude Right There said...

It's funny that you wrote about this because I was ALMOST convinced to go to church. That, even though I vowed never to attend a church again.

celeste said...

typical church... wont ever forget the tithes and offering!!!

Anonymous said...

exactly how old is Pastor Oliver, I heard that Elizabeth was a pretty large congregation and he does look very youthful as you stated.

ReddMann said...

according to the Elizabeth website Craig Oliver's birthday is April 28, 1973 so he will be turning 34 this year.

life said...

EBC is where I visit when I'm off. I've been visiting there for about 2 months. I like Pastor Oliver. I didn't attend on Easter Sunday even though I drove all the way there. I was running late, then I was redirected to drive about 2 miles down to catch a bus b/c there was no more parking. Instead, I called someone and visited with them. HHHMMM....I can't believe that Pastor didn't preach.

Anonymous said...

This is out of the norm for me, but I had to respond to your blog. I am a member of New Beginning FGBC. I sing in the church choir that did not sing on Sunday. That was he JH Morton Chorale. Contrary to popular belief, that service was not ordinary. My pastor basically preaches every Sunday. He preached at the 7:45 am service and I'm not exactly sure why he did not preach at the 10:45 am service.
I agree that the Chorale sang wayyyy too long but they sing until the Pastor arrives. It has always been like that.
As a black gay man, this is one of the churches I feel most comfortable attending.
I would like to invite you to attend another service and I assure you the experience will be different.

MommaLove said...

is it not new birth not new beginning church with pastor eddie l. long??

ReddMann said...

yes Eddie Long is at New Birth... the post stated that I had been invited to New Birth but instead decided on going to New Beginning.