Religion

Six ordained at Macedonia Baptist Church

Senior pastor Hartman Nixon’s advice to minister and deacons is to always put God first and to be committed to the work

With the ordinations of one minister and five deacons to the diaconate of Macedonia Baptist Church, senior pastor Hartman Nixon’s advice to them is always put God first in their life, to know who they are worshipping, which he said is not the pastor – but God – and to be committed to the work.

The newly ordained included Minister Charles Albury; deacons Eric Sweeting, Fredrick Williams and Yelverton Williams; and deaconesses Aleta Rolle and Doralin Vandamae Albury.

Nixon was pleased with the new ordinands which was the second ordination service for his church, this year.

“In God’s vineyards, we need laborers – and, today, laborers are few – and no one pastor can do it all,” said Nixon. “He needs help.”

Referencing the anti-social behaviors prevalent today, the senior pastor said the church needs trained people who are in a sound spiritual position to be able to advise and encourage people and show them that there is a better way.

“We need people who can point them to Christ and show that Christ can bring about change in our lives, daily.”

Nixon described the new ordinands as “tributaries” who he said will go out into the community where people are hurting in many different ways.

They were ordained during a service for which the theme was “Kingdom citizens preparing others for His coming”.

The six newly ordained over the year received training in regards to meeting the needs of people.

A key area of training he said was social media, and that all of the newly ordained are savvy in the digital arena which he said helps them spread their message even wider.

“We will utilize every single method to reach people,” said Nixon. “They have been trained to evangelize – so, we will be knocking on doors, and one-on-one contact, small gatherings; we will be using social media.”

Taking the message outside of the four walls of the church, the senior pastor said will be big for Macedonia’s spiritual leaders.

“I believe once we can start in the home and start in the community, where a minister lives, that can be a point of outsourcing rather than having to cause people to want to come to church.”

He said the pandemic has sharply put into focus people’s differing outlook on walking through church doors.

“Some people want to dress up – some don’t. Some just want to access the message from home on their computer. We want to reach people at their level. We want to speak the language they understand. We want to understand what they are going through and have a means of mitigating and helping them in their circumstances, becoming a good Christian, and a good citizen. I think we will be doing a great job advancing God’s community, by meeting people where they are at.”

With the changes that came with COVID, as a result of in-person worship shutdowns, Nixon said it brought into stark realization the age of senior membership who had difficulty making the switch to online in the digital era which he said helped the church in meeting the needs of traditionalists, as well as Millennials and Generation X, who wanted live-streaming and less dressing up.

“We find that if we use that combination of live-streaming and social media to meet people where they are, that it worked, and was the impetus behind this thrust. Most of the elders are not tech-savvy, so when I talk about streamlining and about Zoom and getting on Facebook, they have a hesitation and reservation. It’s more difficult for them. So, we had to find a niche. So, the people we ordained are bridging the gap between the Millennials and Generation X. This crop of young people can handle the technology that is being implemented incrementally.”

He also said he got the idea to use social media from former United States President Barak Obama who used it in his electoral campaign to reach out to young people through technology.

“It was a great idea. COVID brought it to the forefront even quicker,” he said.

“I did a survey and saw where 65 percent of the gathering they had was 50 and under, so I thought why not use that medium. The older people did not grasp it,” he said.

Nixon, who is also the fourth vice president of the Baptist Convention, said it made him feel good that he was able to source the people he needed to ordain for his church.

“I couldn’t just sit by and say I hope manna falls from heaven. The one thing that won’t change is the gospel, but the methodology has to change.”

The six newly ordained followed the ordination of two reverends in May in Denero Rahming and Brent Stubbs.

With a cadre of people to assist him, Nixon now usually preaches the first Sunday in every month, and spreads the sermons out among the others over the other days.

The newly ordained pastors and deacons he said will provide a source for continuous succession of leaders at Macedonia Baptist Church.

“I wish that all churches would adopt this succession method of training and preparing young people to become the next leader, so that we can mitigate some of these anti-social behaviors that are happening,” said Nixon.

Reverend Anthony Sampson, the newly ordained pastor of Zion Baptist Church, South Beach, preached the sermon and conducted the ordination. He was assisted by Bishop J. Carl Rahming, senior pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Bernard Road, Fox Hill.

Macedonia Baptist Church is now preparing for its Conference 2022 scheduled for November 13-20 at the church under the theme: “Rebranding with renewed commitment”. It will be opened by Rev. Stubbs with Rev. Rahming tasked with closing duties.

Scheduled speakers for the conference include reverends Lavado Duncanson on Monday, November 14; Delton Ellis on Tuesday, November 15; and Christina Bethel on Wednesday, November 16.

A “sing-spiration” is scheduled for Thursday, November 17; with a family night on tap for Friday, November 18.

Church members will participate in a mission outreach in the community of Fox Hill on Saturday, November 19.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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