A liberating worship at Mount Carmel


Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.

The holy ghost permeated through the atmosphere at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, touching souls in the choir stand and pews alike Sunday during morning worship service.

Enlarge |

Alisha Williams sings at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in northeast Gainesville.

LEE FERINDEN/Special to the Guardian

Facts

MOUNT CARMEL BAPTIST CHURCH

Pastor: The Rev. Dr. N. Lamonte Newsome.
Location: 2505 NE 8th Ave.
Services: Sunday school is 9 a.m., followed by morning worship at 10 a.m. Bible expo is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and noonday prayer is noon Thursday.
Phone: 352-378-7322.

The service at the church at 2505 NE 8th Ave. featured the Mount Carmel Mass Choir singing several songs, including “Nobody Greater” early in the service, and a “liberating” sermon from the pastor of the church, the Rev. Dr. N. Lamonte Newsome.

“There is one name that is above all names, and that name is Jesus,” said Alisha Williams, lead singer of the choir during praise and worship.

The singing by Williams and the choir took the church to another level early in the service, and when they sang “God is Great,” shouts of “Hallelujah,” “Yeah” and “Yes, Lord” could be heard throughout the church.

Human circles were formed around several parishioners who were overwhelmed with the holy ghost in the choir stand and the pews, as Williams began to repeat a familiar phrase heard in black churches: “When I think about Jesus and what he’s done for me! When I think about Jesus and how he set me free! It makes me want to dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.”

The service included a young man, who recently became homeless, going to the altar to join the church at the end of the service. Teresa White, a member of the church, asked Newsome if she and other members of the church could pray for the man.

“We need to cover him with prayer right now because when he leaves out of here, the enemy is going to attack him and test him, and he needs to be prayed up,” White said.

Newsome preached from Romans 14:1 and 8-10 on the subject of “Don’t Let Meat Tear Up the Church.”

He began his sermon by building a fictitious church. He asked people who fit different descriptions such as if they were black, white or Latino; married or single; mothers or fathers; from the Deep South or from the north, and so on, to come to the front of the church.

After he assembled more than 20 people to join the fictitious church, Newsome said it reflected the composition of the early church. He said each person he called on came from different places and life experiences, and he said it is difficult, though not impossible, to effectively lead people.

“One of the most difficult things to do is to be everything to everybody,” Newsome said. “One of the most difficult organizations to lead is the church.”

Newsome was installed as the 16th pastor of Mount Carmel in 2009, replacing the Rev. David G. Latimore, who left the church in October 2007 after serving as pastor for less than a year. The church was led by its pastor-emeritus, the Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Wright, from 1962-2006, and it was established in 1896.

Newsome said the Christian church was born out of conflict, and he said it is unrealistic to believe there won’t be confrontations in the church. He said the book of Romans is an outline of what Christians and the church should be like. He said Paul began Romans by telling people to accept people coming into the church without prejudice.

“Paul is saying it’s all about God,” Newsome said. “Nothing else matters other than what you do for Christ.”

He also said Paul encouraged people not to judge or set traps, barricades and obstacles for others. “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ,” he said. “Nobody is going to get pass that.”

He ended his sermon by asking parishioners to examine themselves.

“Christ didn’t die for you to come to the church and fight over silly stuff,” Newsome said. “This is not an angry message. It is a liberating message.”

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top