Bishop Paul S. Morton served the saints plenty of humor and food for thought during his opening sermon for the 108th Annual Church of God In Christ Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Mayor of St. Louis, Francis G. Slay, gave a heart-felt welcome to the attendees, delegates, and other officials present for the official first day of the 108th Annual Holy Convocation of the Church of God In Christ, on Tuesday November 3, 2015. Mayor Slay praised the effect that COGIC’s presence and uplifting spirit has on the city of St. Louis year after year.
Others on hand for opening remarks at St, Louis’ America’s Center included Michael McMillan, President and CEO at Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, who commended COGIC for providing healing and support on the ground during the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, MO, and for partnering with the Urban League on “Community Caring and Sharing” initiatives. McMillan also presented Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake with the Whitney M. Young Community Award.
Other events for which the Church of God In Christ was praised throughout the evening were the COGIC Health Fair, COGIC Urban Initiatives Job Fair, “COGIC Clean-up” events, where volunteers commenced to cleaning up the city of St. Louis, “COGIC read,” where COGIC members read to children in the St. Louis schools, and “Christmas in November,” an event providing hot meals, personal hygiene, haircuts, job prospects, and health screenings to those in need. The events are an extension of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.’s COGIC Urban Initiatives.
The COGIC’s International Music Department, under the direction of Dr. Judith Christie McAlister, was in wonderful form for the evening. Among the songs performed by The C.H. Mason Memorial Choir was a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful, which included a new refrain, “Pray for the USA.”
Also among those who traveled to St. Louis for the Convocation were two Messianic Pentecostal Hebrews who committed to joining the Church Of God In Christ denomination.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake presented the speaker for the evening, Bishop Paul S. Morton, founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. Bishop Morton started his sermon by sharing the principle of preparing to receive God’s Word, praying: “The educated mind can kill the Word…place the spirit over the mind.”
Highlights from Bishop Morton’s sermon, titled “Dealing With Impossibilities” follow:
“Perception unchallenged becomes reality, because we really know…that all things are possible with Him if you can just believe.”
“In this story…Jesus is challenging us to rise with Him to another and higher type of life than we normally live. What He’s telling us is, ‘Maximize your potential; maximize that unexposed ability that untapped strength.’”
“You’re not just average…Do you know what average means? Being on top of the bottom.”
“Jesus became what we are so we could become what He is.”
“Perception unchallenged becomes reality” – Bishop Paul S. Morton
“The devil can smell fear and that’s dangerous because the devil will attack you because God has not given us the spirit of fear. He’s given us power. He’s given us love. He’s given us a sound mind.”
“The Disciples are saying, ‘If only Jesus were here’ then they see a walker on the water, and they are afraid. It sounds like some of us. We know how to pray, but when He shows up, we get afraid!”
“The only way you can recognize [His] voice in a storm, you have to get familiar with His voice before the storm!”
“Peter believed that impossibilities could be transmitted into possibilities.”
“Someone once said, ‘You really don’t even test the resources of God until you try the impossible.’”
“One man says, ‘I will do as much as much as I can, [but] anybody can do that. He who believes in Jesus Christ does what you cannot do.’”
“Jesus wants us to have great faith in Him…He wants reckless faith!”
“If you do it because God said, ‘Do it’, He will make a way somehow!”
“I’m just praying the day will come when we just take our hands off the steering wheel and let God drive!”
“Reckless faith will make you break the rules.”
“Get out of your comfort zone and trust God!” – Bishop Paul S. Morton
“I believe we have some water-walkers in this place!”
“This night, you have come to the house of the Lord, and you’re not afraid to get out of the boat. You’re not afraid to get the blessings that God has for you and deal with your impossibilities.”
“If you’re going to get out of the boat, this is one thing you’re going to have to do: get away from negative folk! Negative folk will keep you in the boat!”
“You’ve got to know how to get out of your comfort zone and trust God!”
“I don’t care how much talent you have. I don’t care how gifted you are, you’ve got to know God is the only one who’s able to save you.”
“This is a new season! Church of God in Christ, you’ve got to get ready, because God is raising up a nation [of] water-walkers!”
“Jesus, if you tell me to walk on the water, I will walk.”
“Get out of the boat!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Matthew 14:22-33, 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 43:19, Luke 8:43-48, Luke 5:17-26.
Bishop Paul S. Morton is founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. He is the Senior Pastor of Changing a Generation FGBC in Atlanta, GA, and Co-Pastor of Greater St. Stephen FGBC in New Orleans, LA. He is also holds several advanced degrees, is an author and Stellar-award-winning recording artist. Bishop Morton and his wife, Dr. Debra Morton, are the proud parents of 3 children, and the grandparents of 6 grandchildren.