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Wake Up Macon

 

 

 

 

Reverend R. L. White, Jr. Pastor, Vocalist and a King?

 

 

 

By:  Sydney Lynn Le-Bryce

 

(Reprinted from the August 2004 issue of The Georgia Informer)

 

An attempt to introduce or present Reverend R. L. White, Jr. would be futile in most circles; his notoriety is comparable to celebrities and national leaders.  Of course, he holds those titles as well.  Rev. White is an accomplished recording artist with well over 20 billboard chart songs to his credit. 

 

Inspirational tunes such as “There is A Fountain,” “Ain’t It Sweet” and “Hills and Mountains” have filled the Sunday morning air of many grandma’s kitchen with the aroma of homemade biscuits.  He recalls a chance meeting that he had while employed as a postman (early in his ministry), “a young woman in distress asked me to deliver a suicide letter to her mother and father and I had the opportunity to minister to her and ultimately encouraged her.”  The incident was the inspiration for his title song “He Really Loves Me.”  Over 20 years later that same woman approached him and said, “You helped me during my time of despair years ago, my mother died and I need you to help me again.”

 

 

Rev. White is currently serving his third term as the President of the NAACP Atlanta Chapter.  Although he had initial reservations, he accepted this role after 25 years of involvement with the organization.  Under his leadership, Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church has remained a substantial sponsor, offering $1,000.00 annually and fundraising for the NAACP.  He spearheads several of their initiatives concerning voter registration, homeownership and ACT/SO (a program for young people focusing on the sciences.)

 

 

Rev. White’s 34 years of service as Mt. Ephraim’s Pastor is impressive as well, realizing expansion from 13 members with $13.00 (in 1970), to the present 14,000 member congregation.  He is in the same league with media ministry brothers like Creflo Dollar and Bishop Eddie Long, but that only tips the iceberg.  Rev. White is also an ordained king of an African village, called Tima.  His title of “Torgbi Domingo the First” (king or head chief) was acquired during a 3 hour ceremony signifying his dominion as the “the great builder.”  This is a little known fact to most and the humble Rev. White shared it with me with refreshing modesty.  Rev. White ministers abroad; aiding in education and medical resources for the citizens of Tima.  The rewards of his efforts produced a medical facility and a church.  The people were so elated by his work that they donned him in tribal attire during the equita ceremony and basically crowned him king.  For a man who proclaims that, “the world is my pulpit,” Rev. White has a remarkable level of humility.  “My first love is preaching the gospel and the rest is fluff.”  He welcomes sponsors and participation in his campaign to fund tuition for the village children’s education.  His soul stirring sermons are televised on BET, reaching a countless number of viewers as the choir harmonizes compliments to his messages.  The Mt. Ephraim Mass Choir has made appearances on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel show and in England.

 

White believes that, “ministers and religious leaders who are not mobile can be left behind.  We need to keep an open mind in the approach to religion.”  Rev. White says that is more about a holistic approach, ministering to the body as well as the soul.  This requires outreach beyond the pulpit.  Mt. Ephraim facilitates a program that feeds 100 homeless men per day.  Rev. White reports that some become ministers and he was gratified by their expressions of thanks during a recent pastor appreciation service.  On different occasions, meal recipients in Texas and North Carolina have made testament about his aid to them during their time of dire straits (in Atlanta).

 

Rev. White and Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church are an integral part of the Boys II Men and Sister-to-Sister mentoring programs for youths that live in the housing projects of Atlanta.  Along with his ministerial and civic contributions, he is also the President of the National Alumni Association of ITC (Interdenominational Theology Center).  He earned both his Master of Divinity and Doctorate from ITC.  He administers an ITC extension school at Mt. Ephraim that offers students an accreditation in theology.  Rev. R. L. White exemplifies the Bible teaching of “to whom much is given; much is required.”  He executes a balancing act that is tiresome just to observe and he does it all with dedication, passion and the perseverance that is the essence of R. R.

 

 

 

 

You are Visitor #  Hit Counter   Updated Wednesday April 05, 2006 12:40:42

 

 

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