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Big Shoes to Fill


I want the Lord to burn my mouth. If my mouth is burned with a heaven-sent fire, then the result will be the work of God.
—Gary V. Simpson

When I became pastor of Concord Baptist Church, in the heart of Brooklyn, I had an idea of what would be expected of me.

I was not coming as a stranger. I had served as associate pastor there for five years before taking a senior pastorate in New Jersey.

For 149 years, Concord Baptist has had a vibrant community-centered ministry. It has enjoyed a long tradition of positive pastor-congregation relationships. I am only the tenth pastor in the church's history.

Recent history is most impressive. Concord has had as many pastors in its first fifteen years as it has had in the 132 years since. Since 1863, I am the fifth pastor. In all these years, thanks be to God, there have also been no splits nor schisms.

Most of my predecessors enjoyed recognition and accomplishment during their pastorates. My immediate predecessor, Gardner C. Taylor, served for forty-two ...

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