On Saturday, September 17 the Michigan Chronicle honored 27 local spiritual leaders at its 2011 Pastor Salute. I was overjoyed to see the excitement and appreciation shown by our phenomenal honorees. Held at the all-new Hotel St. Regis and hosted by Detroit’s own, Rev. Norma Jean Pender, affectionately known as Rev. Mother, the awards brunch was a spirit filled program that will never be forgotten.
To kick off the celebration, Pastor Tommie L. Morgan Sr., senior pastor of Faith Temple Baptist Church rendered a soul stirring prayer—setting the atmosphere for worship and making it easy for our keynote speaker, Dr. Freddie Haynes III senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas to bring the sold out audience its feet.
Before more than 300 celebrants, Dr. Haynes preached from the depths of his soul as amens and hallelujah echoed from across the room. Speaking on the topic of The Black Church and The Black Press uniting to rebuild our communities, Dr. Haynes reminded us that to have great ministries, great communities, and a great city we need to continue to have great spiritual leadership.
Punctuating the excitement felt in the room was a captivating and uplifting performance from the local Emmy Award winning choir, Pastor Larry Callahan and Selected of God, most recently known for their feature in the Chrysler ad campaign. Vickie Winans, our special musical guest and the new host of 105.9 Kiss radio paid tribute to our honorees, singing her #1 hit, How I Got Over. Winans dedicated her song to the honorees for upholding and sustaining throughout these difficult economic times.
The 2011 Pastor Salute was not only a success, but it left those in attendance with a renewed mind and the determination to continue to do the work that they were called to do.
On behalf of the Michigan Chronicle, congratulations again to the 2011 Pastor Salute honorees. We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to you for playing an instrumental role in our daily lives. We recognize you as our spiritual leaders and salute you for a job well done. We extend our hand to you in service to your church and the community. I personally encourage each of you to continue to fight the good fight of faith and lead with integrity; to continue to empower, enlighten, create opportunities, and impact lives through the word of God.