This Sunday, August 15, 2021, I was invited by my good friend, The Rev. Harvey Clemons, to preach at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Houston’s 5th Ward. Harvey has served this nearly 100-year-old church for 37 years, almost 38.

Harvey is a friend, fellow traveler, coworker in the gospel, and a mentor and understanding ministry in Houston. We have walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge together, visited the National Museum for Peace and Justice, prayed together at bombing site at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. We have fought together in Houston against payday lending and for custodial workers’ rights. He has been a staunch advocate of immigration rights. And a constant advocate for justice.

Harvey, Anthony and Jim Chatman, in Selma.

Pleasant Hill has been a leader in Fifth Ward redevelopment. They have done remarkable work in bridging the racial divide. It was an honor to be invited. The music lifted my spirits. It would have been impossible to stand still.

A video of the service is available temporarily at their website. Just scroll down and click WORSHIP SERVICES:

A taste of the gospel/jazz influences in this prelude:
“I Am a Friend of God” (James 2:23)
The Rev. Harvey Clemons
“It Is Well With My Soul,” soulfully.