2015 Frieda P. Smith
On Sunday afternoon, September 13, 2015, I felt like the Apostle Paul and others must have felt as I watched with pride as Elder G Morris Coleman took over the leadership of the Rehoboth Christian Church, a position I held for almost eleven years.
When I planted Rehoboth in October of 2004, I was 47 years old, and thought I had years of service ahead of me. Yet, less than two years into my ministry, a disease known as sarcoidosis began to rise up, and has wreaked havoc in my body ever since.
I tried to keep my illness away from my congregation, and continued to stand before them every single Sunday and boldly preach with power and authority. However, as the years progressed, my body—especially my precious heart and lungs—continued to deteriorate. In 2014, I was hospitalized four times, and spent many days traveling to Mt. Sinai in New York City for various tests and treatments for sarcoidosis.
By October of 2014, it became apparent that the only relief would be found in a warmer climate. Hence, I relocated to the State of Virginia, where I planned to spend the winter months and return in April on Resurrection Sunday morning. However, during my time away, the flock missed their shepherd and the church began to suffer numerically and financially.
In March of 2015, the Lord spoke to me:
“Call G. Morris Coleman. Let him do a Sunday morning revival every Sunday during the month of April.”
Interestingly, I was acquainted with Minister Coleman, but I would not consider him one of my closest friends. Nevertheless, in obedience to the voice of the Lord, I called him and Minister Coleman graciously consented.
On Sunday, April 5th, Resurrection Sunday morning, I was scheduled to return to Rehoboth, but as many of you know, my daughter Zaneta, entered the hospital on Wednesday, April 1st for the beginning of a month-long stay. After being near death on life support for ten days, the Lord raised her up, but she has been in and out of the hospital since that time, which had caused further neglect of my pastoral duties at Rehoboth.
Near the end of April–after receiving positive feedback from the congregation–I called Minister Coleman and asked him if he could remain at Rehoboth for several months until things stabilized with Minister Zaneta and I. Again, he consented.
As the summer approached and my daughter and I continued to experience health problems, I had a decision to make. Was I going to hold on to a title as pastor of Rehoboth or get out of the way?
I struggled with my decision. I loved the people at Rehoboth. I planted that church. They were “my folk.” I could close my eyes and picture their faces. I could remember the sermons I preached and their faces when I would really “Keep it Real.” I could not imagine not being able to preach to them every Sunday anymore.
I called a longtime friend and fellow church planter, Bishop Carroll Baltimore, Sr., who said these words to me: “I pray every night, ‘Lord if I get to the place where I am no longer effective in my ministry, give me the grace to step down’.”
Enough said. I called Elder Coleman and asked him if he would prayerfully consider becoming the pastor of Rehoboth Christian Church if I could no longer fulfill my duties. The rest became church history last Sunday evening at 4:00 p.m.
People of God, I have discovered there is nothing wrong with getting out of the way if you are no longer able—for whatever reason—of fulfilling an assignment. For reasons unknown, we seem to hold on for dear life to positions and titles in organizations and ministries as if they identify who we are.
However, whether I officially pastor the Rehoboth Christian Church or not, I will always be “Pastor Frieda” because I have the anointing of a pastor. It did not go away when I stepped out of the position.
The Apostle Paul wrote these words, recorded in Ephesians 4:11-12, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…”
I am currently in Virginia, I do not have a church, but I have managed to attract a few of the Lord’s lost sheep down here, because God Himself gave me the anointing of a pastor. I am still equipping the saints for the work of the ministry. I cannot help it. It is who I am, because God gave me this gift.
Likewise my friends, whatever gift the Lord has given to you, it is yours to keep. The organization, ministry, or church building does not define your gift or anointing. God does. His anointing does.
When you are no longer able to serve in the manner you would like to, it is okay to step aside, step down, walk away, or resign. You will not leave your anointing behind. You take it with you wherever you go.
You see, whether I serve in a church building or not,
I am still a pastor.
This entry was posted in Christian Inspirational Messages.