Be Careful, Pastor Derrick Harkins
Dr. Derrick Harkins is senior pastor at the Nineteenth street Baptist Church in DC, where Obama and his family worshiped the Sunday before his inauguration. The church dates back to 1802 and has a storied history.
Through the years, the church has been progressive in its teachings and actions. In the early 1980s, the Rev. Jerry A. Moore Jr., the pastor at the time, joined other local Baptist ministers in defying an unspoken ban within black Baptist clergy to ordain a woman. Under Harkins, who became pastor 11 years ago, the church has been outspoken on issues involving HIV/AIDS, with bold talk of condoms and other prevention methods.
I wonder if the right wing is going to make sure that all his sermons fit their views, that his preachings don’t offend them, and that Harkins never criticizes America. Maybe they ought to see if there’s a DVD of his most dynamic messages and see if he knows Louis Farrakhan before they give Obama the seal of approval to join the church.
Harkins is a member of Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which preaches that we “love and care for the stranger among us.” As such, Harkins faced Lou Dobbs on the issue in May 2007.
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