Area pastors being recruited for Pulpit Exchange

Published 4:23 pm Friday, March 23, 2007

By Staff
Human Relations Council bringing back project
Contributing Editor
The Washington-Beaufort County Human Relations Council’s second-annual Pulpit Exchange has been set for Aug. 19.
The council wants to work with the Interchurch Forum of Beaufort County to recruit participants for the Pulpit Exchange, which had been scheduled for Feb. 18. Several factors resulted in the event being postponed.
Eleven area ministers took part in the 2006 pulpit exchange. After last year’s event, several other area churches indicated they would like to participate in this year’s pulpit swap.
Council members and several pastors met Thursday morning to begin planning for this year’s Pulpit Exchange. Pastors Jimmy Moore with First Baptist Church in Washington, Faye Rouse with Chocowinity United Methodist Church and Carter Askerin with Grace Lutheran Church in Washington attended the meeting. The pastors agreed that working with the Interchurch Forum should help the council find more churches willing to take part in this year’s Pulpit Exchange.
A church desiring to participate in this year’s exchange of pastors should find another church to pair with so they can trade preachers. That pairing should be reported to the council by calling Reatha Johnson, a council member, at 975-9333, or Wanda Harvey, chairwoman of the Pulpit Exchange project, at 946-4188 or 402-7946.
Askerin said he’s interested in swapping pulpits with the Rev. Cipriano Moreno, pastor of First Baptist Hispanic Mission in Washington. Askerin said he believes having ministers from different denominations sharing their worship styles with other congregations would be beneficial to those congregations and ministers.
Council members said the pulpit exchange is a way to get church leaders involved in the council’s mission, which includes improving relations among different segments of the community.
Harvey’s father, Bishop James Woolard, preached at Washington’s First Baptist Church last year as part of the pulpit exchange. The choir from Woolard’s church went with him to First Baptist Church, where it performed during the 11 a.m. worship service.
Rouse said she attended a Wednesday night prayer meeting at Mount Hebron Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) before she delivered the sermon at that church on Pulpit Exchange Sunday. Attending the midweek prayer service and becoming acquainted with church members provided her a level of comfort when she preached the following Sunday morning, Rouse said.
The council is considering whether to have a common theme or common prayer as part of this year’s Pulpit Exchange.
The following churches participated in last year’s pulpit exchange: San Mateo Episcopal Church, First Baptist Church in Washington, Bebee Memorial CME Church, First United Methodist Church, Metropolitan AME Zion Church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Mount Zion Free Will Baptist Church, Chocowinity United Methodist Church, Mount Hebron Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ), Zion Episcopal Church and Temple of Jesus Christ.
For more information about the Pulpit Exchange, call Johnson at 975-9333 or Harvey at 946-4188 or 402-7946.