Macedonia Baptist Church’s ministerial staff grew by two with the ordinations of Reverends Brent Stubbs and Denero Rahming. The two men – a sports journalist and a teacher, respectively – who grew up in the church, will serve the congregation under the leadership of senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Hartman Nixon.
Stubbs and Rahming were ordained during the church’s 56th anniversary. The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Trajean Jadorette, senior pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church and moderator of the Bethel Baptist Association.
Rahming, 28, described the day of his ordination as a “climax and commencement”.
“It was a defining moment that highlighted my work in ministry and my walk with God up to this point in my life. No composition of words can capture the joy that I felt. To be elevated in ministry while surrounded by loving family members, friends and other supporters were an affirmation of God’s gift of community, and a reflection of God’s goodness. As I grew up in Macedonia and have been reared by Macedonians, the day of the ordination meant everything to me.”
Stubbs, 56, said the day meant the world to him.
“I felt like a burden was lifted off my shoulders,” said Stubbs.
His only regret was that his mother, the late Berdie Stubbs, was not present physically to witness the event.
“She was a tower of strength in my commitment to God and church. But it was so gratifying to have the support of my wife, Joan Stubbs, family members, friends and my extended church family present,” said Stubbs.
While Rahming spoke to an “arduous” faith walk to get to this point, Stubbs said if someone had been asked 20-40 years ago if he would be at this point, he said it wasn’t something he would have envisioned and probably would have answered negatively.
“Trying to discern a call to ministry amid societal distractions, pressures and expectations is a task that necessitates patience, discipline, and obedience,” said Rahming. “Even now, I try to walk out my faith in ways that follow in the footsteps of Christ. There have been days of questioning, doubting, anxiety and fear. But on this walk, I have realized that God is big enough to handle the complexities of my humanity while propelling me to take on God’s character. Thus, my faith walk has been one of failure and pressing forward; beauty and chaos; questioning and calling.”
While he could not have envisioned this day, when he received his calling, Stubbs said he could have tried to run from it, but it was inevitable.
“In 2000, I was ordained as a deacon at Macedonia and, in 2012, I was ordained as a minister of the gospel. Every time I seemed to think that God was done with me, He kept putting more on me.”
Rahming vividly recalls the moment he realized his calling.
“It was in the fall semester of 2014 at the then-College of The Bahamas (now University of The Bahamas) that I truly realized that my life had a calling to serve in a ministerial capacity. I had always wanted to serve others – originally, in the medical sense as a biochemistry major – but this calling was different. This calling led me to withdraw from [COB] and to enroll in American Baptist College (ABC). With no money, just enough clothes to stay warm during the winter months in Tennessee, and tons of familial support and faith, I transitioned to Nashville. This move of faith totally changed my life. It was the biggest leap of faith that I had ever taken and one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It encouraged me to truly trust God’s voice even when I could not see how God would guide me through the terrain God was calling me to.”
Stubbs said he was converted to a Christian at the young age of 16 as he heard the message by the late Deacon Harold Lockhart during his sermon, “No Turning Back”, but that like any teenager, he dabbled in mischief, but always found himself back in church. He eventually got involved in the youth department and subsequently became the president at the age of 19.
“I made a conscious decision that I would not turn back. I have no regrets. I made myself available and was used by God for the edification of the body of believers,” said Stubbs.
As for strengths the newly ordained ministers bring to the pulpit, Rahming said he brings relatability.
“In a time where the gap between the people and the church [as an institution] seems to be widening, it is important to be able to relate to people as a leader in the church. Additionally, as they are some of my natural giftings, I bring strengths in teaching and preaching to the pulpit. The ability to effectively discern, craft and communicate messages as the messenger of God is paramount. Further, while pulpits are widely understood as structures in churches, our lives are the personal pulpits that we mount every day. For this reason, the most important strength that I bring to the pulpit is the knowledge that my life is the loudest message that people listen to. Articulating spiritual, ethical, and social principles without accompanying action is [meaningless].”
Stubbs said his background as a youth leader, usher, bus driver, deacon, minister and men’s president, a role he currently holds in Macedonia, allows him to bring a wealth of experience that will enable him to function in whatever capacity that God has in store for him. And that he wants to be led by the Holy Spirit to do the will of God.
Rahming and Stubbs both said they are looking forward to working closely with the church’s senior pastor.
“It is imperative that I align with the vision that God has given to my pastor, Rev. Dr. Hartman Nixon, as leader of the flock at Macedonia Baptist Church, assisting him as best as I can in whatever capacity that he asks. Additionally, in keeping with my ministerial duties, I will assist Rev. Dr. Nixon with the ordinances of the church, along with preaching and pastoral care of youth and young adult members,” said Rahming.
Stubbs said he would like to serve with the same passion and zeal that he always has.
“As a humble individual, I seek to work closely with our esteemed senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Hartman Nixon. When he was installed as the third pastor of Macedonia during our 46th church anniversary in 2012, he ordained me to serve as a minister. He is the shepherd of the church and I’m just happy to be able to work in his Cabinet in whatever capacity he sees fit.”
Rahming holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology from ABC with a concentration in pastoral studies; a master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt University with a certificate in Black church studies from the Kelly Miller Smith Institute and concentrations in pastoral and prophetic congregational leadership, Black religion and culture studies and chaplaincy.
Stubbs said the past two years of the pandemic served to help him prepare for this new undertaking.
“I had previously contemplated resigning from my job in 2019, but I was convinced to stay on. When the pandemic struck in 2020, God’s divine intervention allowed me to work from home. While at home, I got the opportunity to participate in a number of online courses and workshops on church leadership and the study of God’s word, both locally and internationally. As I stated, I never envisioned this being my destination, but I embraced the opportunity to be available for service.”
The ordination council, which approved the appointment of the two reverends, consisted of Rev. Dr. Victor Cooper, pastor, New Bethany Baptist Church; Bishop Marilyn Thompson, pastor Mount Peran Baptist Church; and Rev. Clinton Minnis, pastor, Providence Baptist Church.
After Rahming and Stubbs were both presented to the church by Rev. Patrick Rutherford, it was Bishop Stanley Ferguson, pastor at New Free Community Baptist Church, who provided a charge to the new reverends, who were robed by their respective wives, Joan Stubbs and Denaire Rahming.