Sharing the W.O.R.D.


Bishop Larry Dennison, pastor of Compassionate Outreach Ministries, raises his hand in worship.

Brad McClenny/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.

William Grant is thankful the Lord has continued to deliver him from the circumstances that keep some young black men from reaching their full potential, and according to one of his English professors at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Grant, who grew up in Compassionate Outreach Ministries in Gainesville, is taking full advantage of his deliverance.

Facts

COMPASSIONATE OUTREACH MINISTRIES

* Pastor: Bishop Larry J. Dennison.

* Location: 320 SE 43rd St.

* Services: Sunday morning worship is 10 a.m., with Sunday evening worship at 6 p.m. and midweek fellowship at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Children’s church and a nursery are provided and transportation is available.

* Phone: 352-373-1888.

In a letter of recommendation written for Grant by Professor Cindy Lutenbacher, who has been an English professor at Morehouse for 25 years, and read by Minister Diane Rowe of Compassionate during the first service of a five-night revival at Compassionate, Lutenbacher used such words as "brilliant" and "greatness" to describe Grant.

"He also has the wisdom and maturity to make moral choices based upon what is best for the future and for the community, rather than what is momentary or limited in scope to solely his own interests," Lutenbacher wrote, adding that Grant is one of only a very small group of students who have ever received an A-plus in her class.

The letter was read before Grant spoke during the "Moments of Inspiration" part of the first service of the 21st annual W.O.R.D., or Week of Restoration and Deliverance, revival at Compassionate.

The service featured two other young black men who took parishioners to another level with their God-given anointing and talents. The young men were 27-year-old Elder Tyquan Parks, youth pastor at Victory Praise and Worship Temple in Columbia, S.C., who delivered the sermon, and Malcolm Dixon, a 15-year-old member of Compassionate, who sang "I Just Want to be Right."

The service began with Bishop Larry Dennison, pastor of the church, welcoming parishioners to the revival.

"Look at your neighbor and tell your neighbor, there is a word from the Lord," Dennison said.

The revival will run through Thursday, with services at 7:30 nightly at the church at 320 SE 43rd St. Pastor Bertrand Bailey Jr. of Greater Bibleway Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, Texas, is the speaker on Wednesday and Evangelist Karen Clark-Sheard, a four-time gospel Grammy Award-winning singer, will minister Thursday in song and in word.

The service also included a prayer by Elder Mable Coon and praise and worship led by the church's praise ensemble, which was followed shortly thereafter by brief remarks from Grant, a 2012 Eastside High School graduate. Grant spent this past summer at the University of Pittsburgh in a program for pre-med students, choosing it over a similar program at Yale University, an Ivy League school in New Haven, Conn.

During his brief remarks, Grant encouraged young parishioners not to settle for mediocrity, but to get involved with things going on at their schools and in their communities.

Grant, who said he is thankful that God has spared him from the unfortunate circumstances other young black men face, was thankful for the opportunity to speak to the young parishioners at the church.

Speaking like a seasoned statesman, Grant also said it is important for young people to know that negative behavior does not lead to positive results. He said he reminds himself of that constantly, while also maintaining a work ethic that drives him to go the extra mile every time.

He ended his remarks by sharing something with parishioners that he read in a book titled, "The Envy of the World: On Being a Black Man in America," by Ellis Cose.

"Something that resonated with me in the book is the fact that he said, ‘Do not share your dreams with others because if they can't see the potential in themselves, they certainly can't see the potential in you,' " Grant said.

The service concluded with Sparks preaching to parishioners on the subject of "You Are Carrying Something." Sparks preached from St. Luke 4:18, blending an old-school style Baptist preaching delivery with new school swagger and jumping up in the air and spinning around to emphasize major points during the sermon.

He said many people will be restored and delivered during the revival if they take the time to get to know God and be consistent with their walk with God.

"Consistency is the key to being successful on your walk with God," Sparks said. "You are not going to prosper with the Lord if you are not going to be consistent with the Lord."

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