I often wonder how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would feel about the current state of affairs in 2024.
He embodied a strong determination for equality, justice and truth, and there is still much work to be done.
His legacy is still with us today and that is why The Fayetteville Cumberland County Ministerial Council Inc. presents the 31st Annual MLK “Embracing the New” Worship Service on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. at Lewis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
“I am a preacher’s kid, husband, father, follower of Jesus Christ and educator for 17 years,” said
Dr. Lindsay Whitley, associate minister of Revival Temple Church of God in Christ and guest preacher of the MLK worship service. “I am just thrilled about this opportunity to bring a message to our community.”
Whitley hails from Little Washington, North Carolina with deep spiritual roots. At the tender age of 12, he moved to Montgomery County in Troy, North Carolina where his father became a pastor. He graduated from UNC Charlotte and moved back to Montgomery County where he has served in numerous positions in various school systems.
He currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of Communications and Community Engagement for Cumberland County Schools.
Being a preacher’s kid, the church has always been a second home to Whitley and he learned about God at a very early age.
“I knew that there was a God when I was in my mother’s womb,” said Whitley. “My parents taught me about God, how to know Him and how to serve Him for myself.”
November 2011 was when the faith leader accepted his calling to the ministry. Some would say that he was hesitant at first, but he wanted to be sure.
On the cusp of a faithful new endeavor, the anointed missionary forged ahead with the mission of being the hands and feet of Jesus which means to give back and serve our communities. Some examples entail providing food to the hungry, resources for addiction, medical care, spiritual counseling and more.
Great pastors strive for excellence every Sunday morning especially when it comes to preparing a fervent sermon that teaches the whole counsel of God’s word.
“I prepare my sermons by praying and I always think about what God would want me to say,” said Whitley.
“I study, meditate on the word of God and deliver what God would like for me to say to that particular audience.”
The venerated minister has many spiritual role models but his closest spiritual exemplars are his parents, Paul Whitley, Sr. and Joycetine Whitley.
“I saw them when things were going well and saw them during the lowest points of their lives,” said Whitley. “They still lived honorable lives and did everything in life to glorify God.”
He added, “It was about the model and example of not just acting a certain way in front of people, but actually being saved for real and having a relationship with God for real.”
Ministry has its challenges, and for Whitley, those challenges boil down to seeing so many people who are hurting.
“You see people where they are, but you are able to see their potential,” said Whitley. “It is about being able to lead people, empathize with them, pray for them and not carry that load internally.”
When asked what prayer has he been praying the longest, the kingdom shaker stated, “I have been praying for our youth and young people,” said Whitley.
“I see that once they arrive at adulthood they sometimes take a different path than the things that they were taught.”
Whitley added, “They get sidetracked with things in life that are not really productive to their success and my prayer is that they will be saved and get to know Jesus.”
The Christian motivator’s ultimate goal is to be a wonderful husband, father and to make a greater difference in people’s lives. He is grateful for being chosen to deliver a rousing sermon that will stir the audience.
“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity that Pastor Sharon Thompson-Journigan and the FCCMC have given me to speak at the 31st Annual MLK Worship Service,” said Whitley. “It is going to be a night of hope, renewal and coming together to lift up Jesus Christ.”
The Fayetteville Cumberland County Ministerial Council is a 501(C)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible and can be sent to PO Box 40802, Fayetteville, NC 28304 or CASHAPP $FCCMC28304