The first expert is from the Facebook platform, the Reverend Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll. Dr. Carroll is the Senior Pastor of Church by the Side of the Road Interdenominational Church in Berkeley, California. He received his Master’s Degree of Divinity from Morehouse and his Doctorate’s Degree of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He also holds a MBA he received from Golden Gate University. CNN said, “Carroll has taken faith-based initiatives to a new level with what you might call initiative-focused faith. His inner-city church has an explicitly environmental emphasis and an outreach arm that offers green-job training and placement.” They also called his effort one of the most innovative business ideas of 2011. Dr. Carroll has stated a national campaign to “Green the Church.” Becoming an “initiative-focused” church will take a lot of planning and funding especially if it plans to become a “Green Church.”
The second expert is from the LinkedIn platform. Bishop Anthony Thompson is the Executive Director of Kingdom Innovative Community Development Corporations (Kingdom ICDC) and a member of the Coalition of African American Communities (COAAC). Bishop Thompson is already involved in the local effort to move churches to be more “initiative-focus.” He has been an effective critic of commercial organizations and their negligence during times of disaster on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The New York Times even quoted him for specifically speaking out against the state’s spending plans.
In staying with the “initiative-focused” mindset, Dr. Kevin R. Johnson comes to mind. He the third expert is and he is on the Twitter platform. He is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a columnist for the oldest African-American newspaper, the President / Chief Executive Officer of Bridge of Hope Community Development Corporation, Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University, and he is on the Board of Directors of three different organizations (Urban League of Philadelphia / the Forum for a Better Pennsylvania / the Mayor’s Voter Task Force). He has collaborated very lucrative deals with The Goldenberg Group and he has even invested as well as deposited millions into a black owned and operated bank. Having an expert with this kind of stroke and revolve changes outcomes.
It would also help to have an expert who can guide your church through the impassable waters of denominational endorsements and convention by-laws and standards that often stand in the way of progress. The fourth expert is on Facebook. Mr. Thom Rainer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeWay. The company expanded its brand into “LifeWay Christian Resources” since his appointment to president. Rainer has written over 20 books on church growth and evangelism. He received his Master’s of Degree of Divinity and his Doctorate’s Degree of Philosophy from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rainer has heavily influenced the Southern Baptist Convention for years.
In a growing city like Gulfport, churches will need to expand and plant other churches as needed in newer communities that spout. With that said, an expert in church planting would be wise to add to the arsenal. The fifth expert is on Twitter, Mr. Efrem Smith. He is the president and CEO of World Impact. World Impact is a missions-ministry that focuses on strengthen the urban area by planting churches and establishing anti-poverty / community development efforts. Smith is an author, preacher, church planter, community leader, former pastor, and former Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the. Evangelical Covenant Church. A public speaker with an array of speaking platform as Smith, he would make an adequate church planter / presenter.
The sixth expert is on Google+. Mr. J.R. Woodward is also a church planter. He is a missiologist, and the author of “Creating a Missional Culture.” He is also the co-founder of Ecclesia Network, co-founder of Kairos Los Angeles, co-founder of Missio Alliance, and he is the National Director for Church Planting with V3. Woodward is heavily mission minded. His contributions could spare-head in an effort to establish a “Suburban Missions” campaign. In addition, his co-laborer at V3, Mr. Tim Catchim, is the seventh expert. He is an author, a coach, consultant, and church planter. Catchim is the founder of Generate Coaching, Recycle Clarksville, and co-author of The Permanent Revolution, the 2013 Outreach Magazine “Resource of the Year” Award for the Missional Church category.
Often times, people in the community are ignorant to economic and financial principles that the middle and upper class may take for granted. To help the communities avoid a repeated history of economic heart failure. Reverend DeForest Soaries could be the sixth expert. Soaries has a profile on LinkedIn. He is the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, the former Chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission, and the first African-American male Secretary of State in New Jersey. Dr. Soaries is the author of “dfree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery”, a book that was featured on CBN’S The 700 Club and CNN’s Black in America documentary “Almighty Debt.” He is committed to economic and financial sustainability. Just last nine days ago, he challenged New Jersey Treasury Investment Council Members to withdraw their support of a firm that used pension funds to acquire a lending company known for illegal debt collection tactics.
In the past, churches in Gulfport (as a whole) did not struggle. However, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and then the B.P. Oil Spill just five years later, many churches a barely able to stay afloat. Many residents never received any financial assistance after Katrina (or were given loan instead of grants) and many still have not received any funds for loss wages or business. When residents suffer, the churches suffer. If the members do not have income, the church will not receive any tithe.
Which one of these experts would you like to know more about? Was there an expert you would have liked to see on this list? Tell who and why.