How Long Will the Honeymoon Last? Calvin Watkins Appointed Senior Pastor for City Temple SDA

cropped-mp90043050711.jpgWell I’m back! Miss me? For my loyal readers I received your emails, encouraging words, thoughts and prayers to continue the work of keeping this conference transparent and honest. To my critics I appreciate and welcome your debate, as it only promotes more transparency and thoughtful consideration of the factors that have contributed to the dysfunctional state of our conference. Our new president, Calvin Watkins, has made quite an impression on the lay people of SWRC. His charismatic demeanor, humor, and commitment to our plight has been the shot in the arm many have felt that they needed to reinvigorate every level of this conference to begin working towards winning souls. Let’s face it we need a legitimate “soul winner” at the helm. After all that is our mission…remember….”go into all the world?” Like every leader, including POTUS, they have lots of ideas and goals but as time goes on the focus has to narrow to get things done. So…with this I only have one concern…obliging a “honeymoon phase” this time around. I hope Pastor Watkins is more receptive to constructive criticism than my other presidential critics in the past. We have had twelve years of minimal committee oversight and unfortunately we do not have time to moonlight.

groupAs the feedback of this past weekend’s officer’s meeting rolled in, only one true issue caused me to pause to say…. “is this a honeymoon phase?” When it was announced that Pastor Watkins had been appointed the pastor of City Temple SDA church, I began to have concern on the legitimacy of this new executive committee and how they think and if they take their responsibility seriously. This announcement leaves me with only two questions…

  1. Did Pastor Watkins request this appointment and the executive committee obliged?
  2. Did the executive committee ask him to take this on?

nothingLet’s take the first question for further examination. Traditionally when a new leader is appointed there is a period for which they call the “honeymoon phase” this phase is a period where pretty much whatever the new leader wants or requests it is usually granted. Let’s assume hypothetically this was the case. Why request the largest church within the conference? Not that every church doesn’t need support, but they have a pastor, and they have seasoned lay leaders who can facilitate growth. It is my opinion that a better reflection of leadership would have been to “model” the leadership you are looking for from your leaders by taking a church, one that is struggling to keep their doors open or one of the churches that was up for being closed at the last constituency meeting. Taking the most successful church in the area that has an established tithe base, in my opinion, does not demonstrate an effective model of turning a church around which we all know many of these churches are in need of. He has the support of not only the members but also administrative officers who attend. Also let’s be honest, the demands to lead this conference with a territory this huge will be so great, he will hardly be present and it will exhaust his energy and we need him as our conference leader not a pastor of a single church. When you start a new job, you have enthusiasm, energy, and optimism, but as the demands weigh on you it spreads you thin, when the exhaustion of wearing so many unnecessary hats kicks in, you begin rethinking your strategy in an effort to save your energy and sanity.

My humble advice to Pastor Watkins is to rethink this position. Perhaps, taking thishired church would minimize the criticism of playing “favorites” and I could support that move if this territory was not, in my opinion, so huge and in a state of crisis both spiritually and financially. I respect that he is making efforts to unite the brethren and bring a sense of spirituality into the ministerial leadership. It is long overdue, however, ministers also want to see you make a decision and support that decision with transparency and clarity. Is there another option? I’m so glad you asked! A way to have navigated the very sensitive task of choosing the next pastor of City Temple could have been, in my opinion, to organize a search committee comprised of members from City Temple, local area pastors, and the ministerial director. This committee could review resumes, conduct interviews, and make a short list of recommendations to the executive committee. After all, that’s how our new president was elected, right? This would have kept the decision unbiased and fair.

So the next hypothetical is to assume this was the executive committee’s idea in an efforrt to squash and minimize the conflict happening within City Temple over the controversial removal of Pastor Polite leaving them an interim pastor. Cutting the members to participate in this decision continues to plague this conference. Who is going to reject having the president of the conference as their pastor?

conflict Perhaps they wanted to avoid conflict and took the easy route. Which will now leave us already behind before we even get started, in my opinion. A territory this large should have a full time president working to build each and every church within this conference. That takes time, planning, and most of all travel. A conference president should not have to be worried about the demands of a full time pastor, he will not be able to effectively model effective pastoral administration if he is delegating all of his work to his associate pastor. Most pastors in this conference do not have one, so the philosophy of “if the president can you can” goes right out the window by using City Temple as his flagship church. My advice to the executive committee is to READ……and learn how to work with a new “CEO” of sorts, so that you don’t make the mistakes that so many committees have in the past. A board is established for oversight, to ask the hard questions and hold the leader accountable regardless of a “honeymoon phase.”

I think our president has amazing qualities and has great intentions but we will not benefit from those gifts conference wide if he is ready to retire in four years. Let’s face it we are a tough people to lead and work for, knowing that, WE, need to be a board and constituency that evaluates every request from our leaders, from every angle, it’s just good leadership, good business, and most of all common sense.


About The Forgotten Shepherdess

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13 Responses to How Long Will the Honeymoon Last? Calvin Watkins Appointed Senior Pastor for City Temple SDA

  1. Anonymous says:

    We need an update


  2. Westillneedchange says:

    Pastor Jamie Kowlesser has now been appointed the senior pastor of City Temple. Pastor K has the energy and he is very witty. However I do not think he was what it takes to take our church to the next level. He is a social justice pastor and every Sabbath that’s what he preaches, social injustice. Souls cannot be won under such messages. The word of Jesus pure unadulterated needs to be preach. Marriages are in trouble and there’s no help coming from the pulpit. What’s going on…. Last year city temple only baptize 5 members something is wrong.


    • Anonymous says:

      He can’t do it by himself. How have you been helping in this process? Did you give a bible study this year? Did you invite a neighbor, coworker, friend or family to church? If yes, then well done. Stop criticizing the young pastor, help him


  3. Walter Brennan says:

    Congratulations but if I don’t have my way,there will be hell.


  4. Walter Brennan says:

    All the pastors should freely write on the blog without worrying over being terminated!It is the only voice they have!They need to form some type of union like the old negroe preachers wanted to do back in the 70’s!When you see the same old faces in the same places,it makes you wonder who the administration is really listening to!My hope is that he does better than listen to the same old want to have all the power people! Do not be a 1 term president go hard but don’t go crazy treat every worker equal,take care of the preachers and they will take care of the churches.Take care of the pastors and their families and you can be president until Jesus comes!
    The Civil War is over.


  5. Insider says:

    Elder Watkins requested to be assigned at city temple, since then he has spoken twice at the church. Has NOT be visible at the church any other times


  6. Anonymous says:

    What’s this about the secretary’s son employed as a pastor, just a couple of months ago, the previous executive board voted him to attend seminary????
    Secondly, why was the field secretary position not given to an energetic pastor, Ford is barely managing, why add to this plate? Or is a political move on the prez.


  7. Dolomite 9 says:

    I am back too and it is time before the new administration self destructs front over zealousness!!Think need and not speed think long before you think wrong!When “Walter Brennan ” announced that the Civil War is over and he has “connections with CIA to find out who writes on the blog,I felt sorry for the old angry man!What a gutless wonder!Put up or shut up! In fact we need a real rally day or called constituency meeting before the Prez and his generals do too much without consent of constituents!


    • Anonymous says:

      The “Civil War” is over? You mean, New Orleans(south) against Dallas(north)? Hope so. What happened at constituency reminded me of what’s going on in the Republican Party primary–people attacking each other for office positions. It was extremely distasteful for a Seventh-day Adventist organization.

      As far as the “CIA Operative” comment; It was sad, very sad!. Those type of comments fuel and give “the Blogg” oxygen-if you know what I mean. I did confront the newly appointed Filed Secretary about those comments privately. If he is reading this Blogg, he knows who I am. Fear and intimidation; its what Hitler and Mussolini used prior and during WWII. You can see where it got both of them: Hitler shot himself and his bride before they closed in on him in his cement bunker: Mussolini was hunted, caught, shot, and then hung in effgy in an Italian public square–fear and intimidation! Those were the only negative takaway’s from Workers’ meeting. On the other hand, the President at Workers’ meeting was quite “Presidential.” Give him his props. I think that City Temple dance will be short or temporary, and that it will work itself out. Give it to the President, he is quite an intelligent man. The field Secretary’s appointment concerns me.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Preachers will be hunted down and fired if they write on this blog😳


  9. CONSTITUENT says:

    As always forgotten shepherdess, before we get too complacent with ourselves, you remind us about good thinking and logical strategies and I want to thank you. I must however give our new President kudos for the whole weekend and I did hear some workers have positive responses and we haven’t heard too much of that for awhile, like, as in Elder Jones.

    I’m excited that he is excited. That for sure has gotta be a first good step forward. You can’t get too much done unless you can excite your team. The team we have, (although I will at least hold out hope for them, but right now, I can’t see it. Those good ole days may be gone forever.

    Already, this has been up for 2 days and the preachers are not talking. They should be the ones commenting. But, I suppose, they thought the last administration was going to work out, so maybe they are being reserve. I did hear that they are fairly obsessed with this type of media response and it’s just hard to believe, because you have done nothing but give us strong and accurate reporting and your sources are good. They may be slow to report but when they do, you have hot been wrong yet and no one has ever challenged you and stated your facts were inaccurate and the ones that did, maybe one, was never supported, so keep up the good work!

    Well, we will just watch and see, but right now I got a good feeling. To the point of this message however, I’m sure his appointment is temporary as in you are absolutely right this field is vast. It makes my head hurt just thinking about how anyone could come up with a plan to get this conference back on track. Many workers were probably hoping to get leadership positions and I just hope they think about it carefully now, This job takes careful study and choosing the right persons to advise you.and if he does not bring in the Pastors that have demonstrated a willingness to serve in spite of their colleagues out to get them, it will start to look like De’javu, and it looked like that to me this past weekend. From my vantage point just observing, it looks like the same picture but he appears to have so much going on in his head, that I will not ever be convinced that anyone will be making decisions for him. In fact, I like that very much, even if the decision is wrong, I have more respect for you to make a mistake, rather than be part of some devious plan to malign and hurt. We have had enough. In fact, I think it would be great for Elder Watkins to communicate with you, because this is part of the SWRC’s readership.

    STAY with us TFS, we missed you.


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