Tipping Sacred Cows into a Golden Calf

Brad Powell, Senior Pastor of North Ridge Church in Plymouth, Michigan has written a new book about how to take your tired, old church and make it new again.  Change Your Church for Good: The Art of Sacred Cow Tipping (W Publishing Group, February 2007) is 316 pages of church transition strategy illustrated by Brad’s own success at transitioning the historic Temple Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan into North Ridge Church of Plymouth, Michigan.

The principles Brad articulates for team building, vision casting, and making progress toward change are positive and valuable.  They aren’t necessarily biblical, however. But that isn’t to say they are necessarily unbiblical either.  Except maybe for the rather bizzare story of God almost speaking audibly to Brad and telling him to transition the church to fit himself and then to relocate the church from Redford to Plymouth, “a community that will then be a perfect fit for both of you [Brad and Temple].” I haven’t been able to locate a verse for that one.

The formative years of my spiritual life were spent at the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit.  In his book Brad variously characterizes the church that formed my spiritual life as “irrelevant,” “bound by tradition,” “declining,” “unhealthy,” “dying,” “Southern-cultured,” “defensive,” and possessed of “a lot of anger and conflict.” 

From 1976 when I first began riding the bus to Temple, to 1989 when I left to take my first pastorate in northern Michigan, this irrelevant, bound by tradition, declining, unhealthy, dying, Southern-cultured, defensive church with a lot of pent up anger and conflict faithfully proclaimed the word of God from its pulpit and in its Sunday School classes, faithfully trained teenagers and young adults in soul-winning visitation, and remained committed to the timeless truth of God’s word in the midst of a changing culture and declining city.  I owe my spiritual life to a church Brad Powell dismisses as “irrelevant.” Temple Baptist Church was certainly relevant to me.  And history bears out that prior to 1991 Temple was significantly relevant to many who owe their spiritual lives to its ministry.

Brad has always dismissed the history of Temple Baptist Church as irrelevant, which is surprising since his own success at North Ridge is due in large measure to the foundation laid by others throughout Temple’s long history.  For 40 years Dr. G. B. Vick labored as the faithful pastor of Temple, yet Brad can only say of this great leader and pastor that “he managed the ministry with consistent excellence and relative success,” (italics mine) even though, as Brad characterizes Dr. Vick, he was not the communicator or innovator the previous pastor was.   Brad has spent his entire ministry at North Ridge building on the foundation other men laid, especially those of this mediocre leader, Dr. G. B. Vick.

There is no question that Temple was in decline and dying when Brad arrived in the early 90s.  Brad and I fundamentally disagree as to why.  He points to “banjos playing in the basement” to illustrate the church’s cultural irrelevance. I would point to the failure of the church’s leadership to biblically deal with sin, both among themselves and the members of the congregation.  Temple died because the Spirit abandoned it, not because the culture found it irrelevant.

I would argue that Temple’s problem wasn’t its inability to connect with the culture. It had succeeded in connecting with the culture for 70 years before Brad arrived.  The gospel has always been and always will be foolish to the culture, but that doesn’t make the message irrelevant. It’s not preaching, or hymns, or traditional Sunday School, or soulwinning visitation, that kill a church.  It’s sin left unconfronted that kills a church.  The pastor who immediately preceded Brad resigned because of a “moral failure.” God knows, plenty of others should have hit the altar that day with confessions of failures, moral and otherwise, of their own.  But rather than point to spiritual decadence as the source of Temple’s decline, Brad blew past that and focused on “banjos in the basement” as the culprit.  And, of course, if indeed the decline were due to “banjos playing in the basement” and stern looking “arms crossed ushers,” it would be easier to convince the people that the problem was “relevance” rather than sin.

But if the problem is spiritual, well the answer to that problem is a different one altogether. Dealing with a spiritual crisis doesn’t require abandoning the historic biblical principles that got you where you are by throwing them into the same pile with banjos playing in the basement. A spiritual crisis requires repentance and confession and a recommitment to those historic principles. But if your goal is to tip sacred cows (like banjos, organs, and arms-crossed ushers) into a Golden Calf, some things that really aren’t sacred cows (like expository, evangelistic preaching and worship music with a solid theological foundation) get labled sacred cows so as to faciliate your goal of Golden Calf forming. 

Brad diagnosed cultural irrelevance as the disease that killed Temple and he presecribed a heavy dose of cultural capitulation as the remedy. It worked. And in a culture that values quantity more than quality, relevance more than spiritual depth, the fact that it worked is all that matters.  For Jesus’ attitude toward quantity over quality see Matthew 7:21-23 (note the words ‘many’ and ‘knew’ and you tell me what Jesus values more: what you produce or who you know – numbers or relationship?).

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About Paul Edwards

Paul is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of God and Culture in Detroit, Michigan and Founding and Teaching Pastor at Redeemer Church of Clarkston, Michigan.

74 thoughts on “Tipping Sacred Cows into a Golden Calf

  1. Ben, your logic only goes so far. Let’s try this:

    1. If there is fruit of the spirit, then the spirit is at work.

    2. Many (not all) seeker/seeker-sensitive churches exhibit clear fruit of the spirit (loving community of Christ followers, repentance/belief/baptism, and much more).

    3. Therefore the hand of God is upon many (not all) of these churches.

    The easiest way to test a church is by its fruit. There is clearly fruit. If one is discerning one can also sense the Spirit there. Measuring a church on its level of expositional preaching is absurd. Nowhere does the bible set it as a standard. Jesus didn’t teach only expositionally, he taught in many different ways. Is it SOUND teaching? I agree that many churches have turned towards the tickled ears demographics, but being relevant doesn’t mean a church is apostate.

    I am beginning to sense that I’m conversing with a very narrow view point here. This is probably my last post. The kingdom is broader than you imagine and more narrow than we realize. Preaching Christ is never wrong. Test the fruit.

    May we bring glory to the name of YHWH–Dave

    PS–my comments were directed at the comment section. I am still stunned by the level of personal attack and hatred for Brad. Some posts should have been moderated or deleted. However they were actually touted and praised.

  2. Dave,

    I appreciate the spirit of your posts. I am not seeing the in the posts ‘the level of personal attack and hatred for Brad’ to which you refer.

    Brad is only mentioned in the context of his own stated philosophy of sacred cow tipping. As I hope I have made clear in previous responses, analyzing a man’s way of doing church, especially a way which he claims is far superior to the way church has been done since circa AD 33, is not unkind or hateful. You well know that the word of God commands us to ‘prove all things: reject what is evil and hold fast to what is good.’

    I believe that is precisely what we are attempting to do here, but since we are fallen human beings certainly we will not succeed in doing it perfectly.

    There is a very narrow point of view being expressed in these posts – as compared to the open arms, open hearts approach of so much of contemporary Christianity. I don’t apologize one bit for the narrowness.

  3. Matthew 7:13-16

    “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Ye shall know them by their fruits”

    I thought I would put the quote in context.

    Unfortunately, I”m one of those Masoretic Hebrew and Textus Receptus types. This is why I quote
    from the Authorized version. It is part of my archaic training.
    Interesting however, that when a Bible verse is quoted from the KJV, most all who read it, recognize from whence it comes.

    Can this be said of the nearly 100 other translations? That was free of charge,.. Just because I like all you.. LOL

    Am I saying that I believe Pastor Powell is lost or not teaching the Bible?..NO!!.. I’m not, so don”t even go there. I’m only illustrating that the “way” is a narrow one, according to Jesus.

    TTFN

  4. Leading the congregation in “worship”.

    worship: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power.

    Every body sing;

    “what if God were one of us?
    just a slob like one of us,
    Just a stranger on the bus,
    Tryin’ to make his way home.

    Reverence?… How narrow to question!

    I suppose, if God were, just one of us, and a slob, like one of us, a stranger, trying to find his way,..this would not be offensive to me.
    However He’s not and I still am offended!

  5. So, I don’t know if I should say something here because I’m not a good arguer, and I feel like that’s what’s going to happen, but oh well.

    I’ve been going to NorthRidge Church for seven years, and I don’t think it’s self-centered at all to say that it’s “worked for me.” Over the last several years, I have seen the curch go through many changes-MANY. And along with those changes, I’ve been watching it constantly growing. This is a sign to me that NRC must be doing something right to be attracting all these people. This is not an important aspect because of the numbers they can record in their books, it’s important because all those people are hearing about Jesus. And maybe if NRC’s method doesn’t suit every individual that attends, at least it will have planted a seed, and they can continue to grow elsewhere.

    So the reason why some of the staff at my church seem so concerned with numbers and a method is because seeds are being planted in people that were not interested in The Word before. If the people don’t like NorthRidge, they should leave and find somewhere where they can grow. The important thing is that they have a relationship with Jesus, and are able to walk in his plan for them. Ultimately, it’s not about NorthRidge church or any church, it’s about The Church, as a people following Christ.

    In a few weeks or months or something like that, NorthRidge is going to discontinue midweek (Wednesday, just fyi…you never know) services except for the monthly communion/baptism. This is because a flaw has been found in the midweek service system, and it is showing to not reach people in the way church staff hoped it would. The services have become more of a knowledge-distributing rather than a relationship-building, and this keeps people from wanting to return to The Church at all. I don’t know all the details of what they plan on doing yet, so take this lightly, but I know they are trying to work out a more relational sort of way to seek people. It’s based on the idea that, as Rick implied a few comments up, people should know we are Christians by our love.

    All in all, NorthRidge is constantly changing, and of course it does things that might not work, but it tries to work out the kinks as it goes along. The goal is to get accros the message and the love of Jesus in a way that is effective today.

    Please be nice.
    Love,
    Valerie

  6. Valerie

    You said:
    “I’ve been watching it constantly growing. This is a sign to me that NRC must be doing something right to be attracting all these people.”

    Is the goal of Northridge to attract people or to make disciples? How would you define a disciple?

  7. My Brothers and Sisters in Christ

    Last night I spoke to my Father to inquire of my elder brother. I also asked Him to give me his thoughts as to the nature of these comments we all have been bantering. I was concerned that I personally, was allowing myself to become to harsh in my own demeanor. He advised me thus: I was all but clay in the Masters hand, a cracked vessel, if not altogether broken. He told me that I was a man of unclean lips, and froward thoughts. He said that at the very best, I was undone, unprofitable, without any righteousness of my own, matter of fact, he reminded me that all of my righteousness was as a pile of leprous rags…. He then reminded me that the key word, the operative vowel, in this assessment is “was”.
    He then put His arm around me and said;… but ye are washed, ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus..I felt the tears roll down my face. I thought to myself,… And can it be?… The only thing my wicked heart could utter was;… How great Thou art!…O Lord my God!.. I spiritually fell at His feet as dead. He spake and proclaimed,..Fear Not! I am the first and the last, I am He that liveth, and was dead, I am alive for evermore… I realized afresh, that most of us are in this together.
    Kurt, Rick, Kristi, and to anyone else that my words have caused offense, I offer my sincere apologies and ask your forgiveness.
    My intent was not to harm any of you. My motivation was to speak out, against a perceived injustice
    in favor of our Lord. He told me He could handle it, all He wanted from me was my undivided attention.

    In the future, should my flesh get in the way, I trust my Heavenly Father will once again remind me that, He can handle it.

    By the way, as to my first inquiry of my Elder Brother, He told me He was sitting next to Him at that very moment, even as we were speaking, and that He was constantly interrupting to make intercession on my behalf… As I thanked Him, and said good night, He reminded to look up, for my redemption draweth nigh.

    I went to sleep with the words to a great hymn in my mind,
    “O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemers praise”

    I slept like a baby!

    May the Lord bless his children.

    Don Sivyer

  8. Dave,

    your argument would work just fine if the premises were true. However, your first premise is the exact conclusion of the previous fallacious argument.

    Also, you can’t make a deductive argument and have a conclusion like “Therefore the hand of God is upon many (not all) of these churches.” A deductive argument is an argument where the conclusion must be absolutely right, it can’t be “many, not all”.

  9. Paul –

    If memory serves me correctly, I believe that you have been a long-standing critic of NRC. I have heard some of your expositories on the radio before, poorly disguised as a criticism on “Mega Churches” in general. Listeners, of course, know that NRC is the usual culprit in such rhetoric.

    Correct me if I am wrong, though, didn’t you actually apply for a staff position at NRC some years ago? I remember that you were not selected for the position, but I am wondering if these same criticisms would have been an issue if you were on payroll?

    Mark

  10. Mark,
    No one is surprised by your observation that I “have been a long-standing critic of NRC.” To suggest that my criticisms of NRC are “poorly disguised as criticism on ‘Mega Churches’ in general,” is to ignore what you have just read in the post you just commented on. How have I ‘poorly disguised’ my criticism of NRC when I have named Brad Powell and NRC in this post?

    I was on the staff of Temple Baptist Church in the early to mid-80s prior to its relocating to Plymouth and changing the name to North Ridge. After the church relocated to Plymouth I was invited to apply for a staff position for which I submitted a resume. You are correct that I did not get the position, as during the interview process it became clear that I had distinct philosophical and theological differences from that of NRC. You should get your facts straight before you publish half-truths.

    From what you have just posted here, it is apparant that NRC cannot keep confidential a resume and application for employment. You only make NRC look worse.

    CLARIFICATION: At the time I appled for the staff position the church was still named Temple Baptist, not North Ridge, though the church had already relocated to Plymouth. I never applied for a staff position at North Ridge Church.

  11. Ok, this debate is really interesting to me since I was on the pulpit committee that brought Brad to Northridge/Temple and was a personal friend also of Truman Dollar and was a member of his deacon board as well as being the chairman of the Temple baptist deacon Board in 1994 under Brad, when the decision to move was made. Further more I was a bus minister as a volunteer on weekends and used to go into Detroit and pick up poor kids whom our Lord died for and take them to church. I say with God’s grace, I was on the inside of all of this stuff. More than any of you, I am fairly confident of that.

    As far as the old Temple, I loved it with my whole heart. Still do. always will. Those banjo players in the basement were the same people who led me also to the Lord. The same people whom God sent to my door in 1980, who invited me to church and loved me in a way that I’ve never been loved before. The sense of community was greater than one could ever imagine. It was in my mind heaven on earth. The breakup up the old Temple was the most painful thing I ever experienced. I lost many friends and was called many unpleasant things for my role in the change process.

    Some of you may recall the closure of the old Temple Christian school and how painful it really was. How divided the church was over it.

    Further, the previous pupit committes called a fella by the name of lamar mooneyham to be the pastor. He turned it down. Then the church called this guy from south carolina to be the pastor. He turned it down, saying if we were a patient in a hospital we wold be in cardiac arrest as we were near death. We were. Finally, the pulpit committee led by Curt Wilson I believe called a fella by the name of Dan Gillette to be the pastor. He really wanted the job and was absolutely fabulous in my opinion and I was so excited. The divided church turned him down. I couldnt believe it. Why? beca
    se he was from the GRBC and not the BBF. How prideful and arrogant we had all become. A complete lack of unity. But the Spirit while grieved did not leave our church. He merely took it in another direction. A radically different direction.

    In my heart of hearts I personally wish I could go back and live in the 1980’s. It was my favorite time in life and Temple was a big big part of it. I would love to hear ol AV Henderson preach his twenty minute masterpieces. I’ve never heard a more gifted pastor in all my life at preaching the word. He was God’s man for the times for sure.
    While Brad has leadership gifts that AV never ever had, AV has pulpit gifts that were second to none.

    however, let me give you some logic for a moment, because I was in Brad’s office in 1994 before the move, and just after he shared with me in private that he believed with his whole heart that God had uniquely created him for this moment in time. The time of the move. The church was on its last gasps, trust me. People were angry and were leaving in droves. I was in private anguish, more than I can describe. Brad, I bel
    ieve after attending Willow Creek one sunday, for a pastors conference, shared that he realized that in effect he and his church were not on the same page, or words to that effect. Trust me we in the congregation werent on the same page with each other either. Brad beleived that afer the move God would provide a congregation that would be in harmony with him. I makes sense that if God calls a pastor, and uniquely gifts him for a job, that eventually God will accompish His will through that person whom he called. Its only logical. Why fault Brad for believing that if he was called, and uniquely gifted (he is unique among pastors in myopinion) that God’s will would be made known and a church membership of similar mind would develop.

    I say these things not as an apologist for Brad. Trust me, over
    the years we have had warm times together, but have exchanged some very sharp words during painful moments. He is far from perfect and so am I.

    All i’m saying is that if you ask every single man on the pulpit committee that brought Brad to Temple to be the pastor, they would all tell you they believed in their hearts he was called to be the pastor, and that is certain. However, it has certainly been a rough ride at times and it is time to heal and move on.

    God’s will be done.

  12. Mr. Johnson,

    Thank you for a loving, gracious response.

    My wife’s grandfather, Charles Steele, Sr., was also on the pulpit committee that called Brad. I had a lengthy conversation witrh him about a year before he died, and while I will not break confidence by repeating what he told me, I think it is safe to say that Mr. Steele is one member of the pulpit committee, at least after Brad was the pastor, who was extremely disappointed in the direction Brad led the church.

    However, I appreciate the inside view you have expressed here. Your faithfulness makes credible everything you say, and I respect you. My disagreement with Brad is not personal, but theological and philosophical. While I understand what you mean when you say that a congregation ought to be in harmony and of similiar mind with their pastor. I do not, however, agree that God shapes any church to fit the personality of it’s pastor. The character of the church is shaped by the word of God, not by human psychology and personality profiles.

    Thanks for your insight, Mr. Johnson.

  13. Ah yes I remember Mr. Steele, and his son who also was very involved with the bus ministry. Great great people, as is Melanie who was part of the Templetones.

    As I now recall Mr. Steele was very upset very early on with the new direction and changes. I had forgotten that. I stand corrected on my pulplit committe comment. You are I believe correct on that point.

    Take care. God bless. where are you at these days and what are doing? Are you a pastor? I personally am in wisconsin with my wife Jan.

  14. Mr. Johnson,

    I pastor a church in Waterford, MI where I have been for nearly six years now. Prior to that I was with Dr. Henderson in Arlington, TX pastoring a church he retired from and was Pastor Emeritus. I also host a talk program on Christian radio here in Detroit.

  15. I attended a service at Northridge Church last week. They Baptised 128 people. Lives are being changed and God is being honored. I know Brad personally, and I know his heart. He has always honored the heritage of Northridge and makes that well known. Can’t you find something better to do other than be critical of another brother in Christ? This sort of conduct is doing nothing more than cause more people to become disilusioned with Christianity and the Church.

  16. Tim,

    I, too, know Brad personally. Nothing I have written is “critical of another brother in Christ.” It is discerning a PHILOSOPHY of ministry that puts human ingenuity above the Holy Spirit.

    I couldn’t care less how many are being baptized and how many lives are being changed. “MANY shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…and I will say to them, I never knew you; depart from me.”

    Your reaction is similar to the ones The Apostle Paul received when he named Alexander for doing him much evil, and Hymenaeus for teaching false doctrine. You people have to get back to the Bible and get off this idea we can’t be discerning when it comes to what other “brothers” are doing in the name of Christ.

  17. Hey Paul,

    I just found this blog and I have read this entire section of comments with great amusement at times and frustration at others. I’m just blown away by the lack of the ability by many christians today to look at topics and situations through the lense of the Word of God. Why have our personal opinions and experiences become more important than the Bible? It’s called sin! Hey, that’s where this entire conversation started isn’t it?

    It has become fashionable for pastors to find a church with assets and seize control and turn it into what they desire. I have seen this happen before and it does not always work. Many times the result is a decimated church and the pastor just picks up and moves to greener pastures when he gets tired of the current location. Sad but true.

    I think if a man feels a desire to build a church he needs to just start from scratch and bypass the time it takes to destroy those things he dislikes and just start building a new foundation the way he wants it. Fewer lives are cast into turmoil that way. But then you might actually have to sacrifice and do without some of the perks that way!

    I too have been hurt over the years as I have seen and heard how the church of my youth has been denegrated and abused. To be certain there were times that criticism was warranted, but for the most part the “fruit” of Temple Baptist Church would have stood up to the inspection of the “Head Fruit Inspector”!!!

    Do you remember the time you and I took that little trip to 14th and Marquette and then to the Grand River building? That was a fun day thinking about what was done in those buildings back in the day! We both wished we could have been born 40 years sooner!

    Hey, pray for LB…now is the time he needs those of us who he influenced when we were younger. A phone call would make his day!!

  18. Hey Tim,

    My mom is in Henry Ford Hospital downtown which is right around the corner from 14th and Marquette. After I visited her last Monday I actually took a detour down 14th and sat in front of the old building there wishing there were a solid, gospel preaching church in the heart of this city like there was when the old Temple occupied that building. I wouldn’t go back, but I sure don’t want to forget, as so many of the young emerging “pastors” are just so anxious to do today.

  19. Yep…seems we were admonished not to “remove” or forget the ancient landmarks somewhere…Proverbs maybe? Now days we seem to want to bulldoze them…with “love” of course!!

  20. Paul,

    I can go back (way back) to Chapel services at Temple Christian HS and hearing you preach as a student! It’s great to see that you have remained faithful to your calling. I also can say that TBC laid my spiritual foundation for the rest of my life. How many great men of God passed through the pulpit! And as my Uncle Tom (Sluss) always said about Dr. Henderson’s messages–“we sure got a dose of cornbread and milk today”! If you are ever in the Dallas, Texas are–I live 23 miles east of Dallas (Crandall) and would like to take you to lunch! You can e-mail me at ttadfd25@aol.com. Stand Firm!

    Tim Atkins

  21. I am currently doing scholarly research on G. B. Vick and found this blog. It has been interesting to read the comments. In my days at GE we called the legacy businesses at GE our cash cows.They had the heritage, funding, and know how to operate without much overseeing. Their traditions were both a strenght and a weakness. Having my spritual stance gounded at Temple (Grand River and then Telegraph) I am thankful for the ministries that took impacted the Truth of God’s love and Grace. The cultural differences between the legacy of Temple and the new church reflect a shift in age as well as location. Indeed, it also reflects a shift in empasis in ministry and a move from the rich Biblical heritage that was a cornerstone of Temple. What I find odd is Brad’s harkening back to the J. Frank Norris time. Only 7 people voted to retain Norris’ pastorate. That vote took place well over a half century before the move from Telegraph road. The reality, long standing thithing members whose houses were worth little in the depressed Detroit market could not afford to move with the church. The disperment of faithful believers strenghten a number of churches in the Detroit and surrounding area. This move changed the tenor of core group. In addition, the public sin of pastor Truman Dollar further tarnished Temple’s membership. A great church is not one person, Dr. Vick knew this. Stan Kruse, Willis Dunn, Mr. Sealy, the Sunday school teacher that lead me to the Lord, Mrs. Harrison and countless others are the fabic of the church. However, the foundation of Temple was Christ. Each member was free to exercise their spiritual gifts under the leadership of Dr. Vick. Having just viewed Brad’s website one sees this reference to Norris as if he was a part of the conversation at Temple. I can say that the time from 1962 until 1973 when I left Cass Tech to enter college, his name was never heard. One can only imagine it did not magically resuface in the years following 1973. I therefore submit the drudging up of Norris’ name is for effect.

  22. I am currently doing scholarly research on G. B. Vick and found this blog. It has been interesting to read the comments. In my days at GE we called the legacy businesses at GE our cash cows.They had the heritage, funding, and know how to operate without much overseeing. Their traditions were both a strenght and a weakness. Having my spritual stance gounded at Temple (Grand River and then Telegraph) I am thankful for the ministries that took impacted the Truth of God’s love and Grace. The cultural differences between the legacy of Temple and the new church reflect a shift in age as well as location. Indeed, it also reflects a shift in empasis in ministry and a move from the rich Biblical heritage that was a cornerstone of Temple. What I find odd is Brad’s harkening back to the J. Frank Norris time. Only 7 people voted to retain Norris’ pastorate. That vote took place well over a half century before the move from Telegraph road. The reality, long standing thithing members whose houses were worth little in the depressed Detroit market could not afford to move with the church. The disperment of faithful believers strenghten a number of churches in the Detroit and surrounding area. This move changed the tenor of core group. In addition, the public sin of pastor Truman Dollar further tarnished Temple’s membership. A great church is not one person, Dr. Vick knew this. Stan Kruse, Willis Dunn, Mr. Sealy, the Sunday school teacher that lead me to the Lord, Mrs. Harrison and countless others are the fabic of the church. However, the foundation of Temple was Christ. Each member was free to exercise their spiritual gifts under the leadership of Dr. Vick. Having just viewed Brad’s website one sees this reference to Norris as if he was a part of the conversation at Temple. I can say that the time from 1962 until 1973 when I left Cass Tech to enter college, his name was never heard. One can only imagine it did not magically resuface in the years following 1973. I therefore submit the drudging up of Norris’ name is for effect.

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