Washington ministers trade places Second-annual Pulpit Exchange builds relationships

Published 7:38 pm Monday, August 20, 2007

By By CHRISTINA HALE, Staff Writer
Like every Sunday morning the Rev. Jimmy Moore of the First Baptist Church in Washington stood at the pulpit, but before a Methodist congregation.
Moore was invited to the Beebe Memorial CME Church in Washington Sunday as part of the second-annual Pulpit Exchange. The Rev. Edward Moultrie Jr., pastor of Beebe Memorial will preach at Moore’s church on Sept. 9.
The exchange includes 15 different churches and was started by the Washington-Beaufort County Human Relations Council.
The exchange allows ministers to get to know one another and “helps our congregations build better relationships,” Moore said.
During his sermon, Moore thanked Moultrie for “sharing his pulpit” and told the congregation they had a “fine pastor … that I’m proud to call my friend.”
His message Sunday was about the power of prayer. “What more can be said about prayer? … I sense that you are a praying church.”
He read from Luke 11:1, “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray,’”
The disciples wanted to learn how to pray from Jesus because they sensed he had “a relationship with the father in heaven and they wanted that,” he said. “What’s important is the one to whom we are praying to than any words we might say.”
Some people don’t feel important enough for God to care about them, Moore said. “I live in this little town in Washington, North Carolina. I don’t have royal blood. Why should he be concerned?
Moore told the congregation a story about a tough professor he had in seminary school. The professor asked the class to get in a circle and describe the person on the right as a vegetable.
He told the professor “‘What I hated as a child was cutting okra. It made me itch and sometimes you make us uncomfortable.’”
Moultrie said he enjoyed the humor in Moore’s sermon. “If you can make people laugh, then you keep their attention.”
Asked about the differences between his church and Beebe Memorial, Moore said, “They take their time with worship and that’s something we can learn.”
Sunday service at First Baptist is “more formal and more traditional,” Moore said. “As long as our worship is sincere, that’s the important thing. It doesn’t have to be loud as long as it comes from the heart, and I sense that it did here.”