It appears that Soulforce is angry about not getting their way at Hope Christian Church, pastored by Bishop Harry Jackson. Jackson allowed them to come but set up a debate with food. Its ironic that Soulforce director is calling Jackson “deceptive” when Soulforce’s entire “family outing” has been marked by lies and deception. Jeff Lutes called Bishop Jackson an “interlocutor in the grip of misinformation so profound that they do not treat us with respect and integrity” but praised TD Jakes for his personal phone call and “bridge building.”
Of note: is Soulforce a gay christian organization? Bishop Jackson calls them “sinners”, not brothers who are sexually immoral. If they are not a Christian organization, why are they only targeting Christian churches? When are they planning to target mosques?
WHAT HAPPENED AT NEW BIRTH
In our monitoring visit to New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday June 1st, we discovered something perhaps unique to all the other mega church encounters with Soulforce. This was a battle of pr strategies. Prior to the 10:30 am service, I spoke with New Birth Senior Marketing/Communications Director William Turner who sounded more like a savvy marketing exec who knew how to spin the game than a brother in Christ concerned about what the church was facing in a spiritual sense.
When asked if there was a meeting planned, Turner said “you and I are having a meeting”, then recalled that he and Sylvia Rhue had a “breakfast turkey biscuit” together (which he said was a meeting), then used a Barack Obama analogy to support his relative theory of what constitutes a meeting. Turner said that members of Soulforce would be out after service to talk to people and that we could also talk to them. He reinterated that Bishop Long probably would not be in any meetings and said they were following the Joel Osteen model.
Turner said he was not concerned about Soulforce spinning the visit to their advantage on its website.
For some reason, New Birth’s media director Dan Renee tried to cast the Sunday event as bad blood between GCM Watch and Soulforce ( perhaps more pr positioning?). He told the Southern Voice “any issues between Soulforce and Foster were not New Birth’s concern because the church isn’t politically involved in their conflict.” Does New Birth view this as politics?
Between New Birth personnel and Soulforce there seemed little difference in motives. Both eyed the Sunday encounter as a pr opportunity. Im not sure who won, but both sides certainly jockeyed for it. Although New Birth granted special parking and seats to Soulforce, a source told me they were seated well out of view of any cameras so they would not appear on any television broadcasts.
On a positive note, gospel music minister Darwin Hobbs led a very spirited worship service at New Birth.