Sunday, August 24, 2014


From Wednesday to Friday of the convention Elder Jeffrey Rainey, the Bible Expositor of the Convention, the pastor of the Christian Union Primitive Baptist Church Mobile Alabama and Vice Moderator of the West Alabama Primitive Baptist Association, stood to proclaim the word of God and expound on the theme of the year's convention. The theme for this session was, CELEBRATING THE CHURCH; TAKING THE GOSPEL TO THE NATIONS.

In his final exposition of the theme, delivered on Friday morning, Rainey declared to the convention that the churches must be prepared for those who will leave. Rainey called this, "The Leaving Possibility."

"When you teach and tell people the requirements, and the restrictions of membership, many will leave...This is important because when people unite with the Church, they do not bring anything. This is true for members. When a person unites with the Church, he or she is asked, "Are you willing to be governed by the rules and the regulations of the Church?" They don't not bring rules with them. They are not to come in and condemn what exists already in order to change the Church to do what they want. The fact is they did not unite with Pentecostals, Full Gospel Baptist, Non-denominational, Christian Center. They united with Primitive Baptist.

"This is true for ministers. When a minister is called to a Church, he does not bring anything with him. He does not bring his doctrine. He is to understand, undergird and uphold the doctrine of the Primitive Baptist Church.

"A minister is not to come in our Church and try to change what the Church is. He is not to bring with him where he comes from and what he is used to doing and try to impose that belief or that practice on our Church.

"When a member of minister chooses to not be governed by the teachings of the Primitive Baptist Church, they should depart of be dismissed."

The election for others officers were held in the final business session. Elder Kenneth Duke of Miami Florida was reelected as Vice President and the entire slate of officers will remain in office for another year. The final prayer was offered by Elder Kenneth Duke, pastor of the St John Primitive Baptist Church of Delray Florida and the son of the Vice President.
The National Primitive Baptist Convention was greatly tested this week in their 107th annual session. The question remains what foundation will they remain standing on? What decisions will continue to impact their destiny? Where will they go from here?      


Friday, August 22, 2014


On Thursday morning August 21, 2014 the ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel on Richard Arrington Boulevard was filled to capacity. The seating capacity of the ballroom was eleven hundred and every seat was occupied. The members of the National Primitive Baptist were in attendance to hear their president gives his third annual message.

The Vice President of the Convention Elder Kenneth Duke, pastor of the New Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church Miami Florida presented the wife of President Yates Lady Vonda Yates to introduce her husband,  a first in the National Convention.

Yates gave an incredible introduction as she spoke from her heart about her husband and their life together. Yates has been a constant encourager of her husband. Like her husband she is a powerful intercessor and a passionate worshipper. And she is a preacher. In the 2011 election that catapulted her husband to the presidency by a margin of seven votes many believed that her ministry as a preacher,  in a church that doesn't recognize her as  preacher, would cause her husband to be defeated in the election. However he prevailed and so has she.

Lady Yates said about her husband President Yates, "I have shared many mountaintop experiences with my husband and I have shared many valley experiences with him. We have known abundance and we have suffered great need. But every time I hear him proclaim the Word of God I have to say the man I thought I knew is the man I don't really know.

"There is a hidden part in my husband as there is in every preacher that is only revealed when he preaches."

President Bernard C. Yates stood to declare the Word of the Lord surrounded by the leadership of the convention. He shared his concern for expanding the convention outreach to gather the youth of the Primitive Baptist Church in their own convention/conference.

Yates preached from Nehemiah 6 "Keep on working." He encouraged the members to do the work, to remain focused and to see the work as God sees the work.

Yates declared that the Primitive Baptist church is in transition. There are Primitive Baptists who speaks in tongues and prophesy. The church is operating in the five fold ministry. Don't be afraid of it teach.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


Does God call women to preach? Should women preach and have ministerial responsibilities in the Primitive Baptist Church? Are Primitive Baptist churches that allow women to preach violating a law of the Primitive Baptist Church?

These questions and many others have entered the dialogue of the National Primitive Baptist Convention at various times over the last twenty years. In the mid nineties a resolution was proposed by the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church of Charlotte North Carolina to permit women to preach and receive ordination. Although the resolution was roundly rejected there was much debate and emotional outburst in that session.

Every year the Committee on Public Policy and Resolution has entered the official position of the National Primitive Baptist Convention that the Primitive Baptist Church does not condone the licensing or ordaining of women to the ministry. At various times Pastors have challenged this official policy.

But this year has offered a different presentation to this particular law. Elder Ernest Mathis, the pastor of the Friendship Primitive Baptist Church of Los Angeles, was selected to preach the introductory message for the official opening of the Convention. Instead of preaching a message Mathis took the opportunity to publicly challenge and address a letter written and distributed by Elder Ernest Ferrell. Mathis said that the former president, Elder Doctor Ernest Ferrell of Tallahassee Florida  who served for six years, never addressed the matter of women preaching during his tenure and why would he address it now?

The letter that Mathis addressed in his remarks is a letter that was sent to the members of the Convention in March of this year. The letter stated that the convention had become unstable because of administrative measures carried out by the present administration. It defended the presidency of Ferrell and the Convention Planner during Ferrell's administration Elder Lee Harris of Jacksonville Florida.

Ferrell also addressed the issue of women preaching and documented the discussion/debate offered during the Winter Board meeting in February in Nashville Tennessee. Mathis's daughter who pastored a Primitive Baptist Church in San Bernardino California was named in the letter in reference to a question offered by the moderator of the West Alabama Elder John Dees is it right to allow a church to register in the National Primitive Baptist Convention that is pastored by a woman?

Mathis offered his opinions on the matter of women in ministry, citing the daughters of Zelophedad in Numbers 27 as a biblical reference. Mathis named several other Pastors in his remarks who were also named in Ferrell's letter.

Although there was a deafening silence among the convention, for those who stayed; many walked out, there was outbursts of affirmation and applause directed to Mathis's words.

Anger and different emotions were on the faces of many delegates as they departed from the ballroom after the service was over. The emotions of the introductory worship spilled over into the first business session that convened that afternoon.

In the business session a resolution was offered by the St Mary Primitive Baptist Church of Tallahassee Florida that levied charges against pastors in  leadership in the National Convention. No names were offered in the resolution but some of the charges were, "Drastic actions must be taken against many of our pastors who are in leadership positions in the Primitive Baptist Convention and other pastors in some local churches who are disregarding our Primitive Baptist Discipline...The Discipline of the Primitive Baptist Church, established more than one hundred years clearly documents the biblical position on women preachers. Year after year the convention has reaffirmed its position on licensing and ordaining women as preachers...Throughout the United States of America many of our Primitive Baptist Pastors are circumventing the law by standing on the grounds that they have not licensed or ordained women preachers. the fact of the matter is if women are preaching in Primitive Baptist Churches, the discipline is being violated because without a license no one should be allowed to preach in the pulpit of Primitive Baptist churches."

The discussion that followed the reading of this resolution, after it was ruled out of order by the Parliamentarian, Elder Edward Hayes of Pensacola Florida, was acrimonious, contentious and combative.

The final speaker in the debate was Elder Yates, the President. He asked for a conversation on this matter stating that the Word of God is the only record that can't be revised and must be followed above the law of the Discipline. He also said that every document is open to revision but the Word of God. Yates defended Mathis saying that he was a father defending his daughter. Lastly Yates said that the convention should have a meaningful dialogue after prayer and fasting.

With the discussion ended the floor was open for nominations for President. The Vice President Elder Kenneth Duke of Miami Florida nominated Yates to serve a second three year term. Because there were no other nominations offered for President  the floor voted to elect Yates. Bernard C. Yates was elected for a second term as the thirteenth president of the National Primitive Baptist Convention.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Yesterday was both an ending and a beginning at the National Primitive Baptist Convention in Birmingham Alabama. For ten years Elder Doctor Larry Tatum, the pastor of the New Sardis Primitive Baptist Church in Cleveland Ohio for twenty six years, has led the Church School Congress as its president. But because of the limit of terms that a person can serve in the position of president Tatum reached his limit this year. And so an era of faithful leadership has come to an end.

Deacon Harold Batts has been the Vice President of the Church School Congress for ten years. Batts is a deacon at the Union Hill Primitive Baptist Church where the Elder Doctor Oscar Montgomery is the pastor. The church school congress promoted Batts to the office of president yesterday. This is a historic moment because only Pastors have led the Church School Congress. Batts will be first laymen to lead this congress.

In his closing message as President Tatum spoke to the body about "The Vital Signs of Leadership." In his farewell message Tatum addressed the need for vision in the Primitive Baptist Church. He encouraged followers to be followers and submit to leadership. He addressed the cahllenges in the church in this time and declared that the righteous pursuit of God's word will release blessings on his people,

With the election of Batts all of the auxiliary congresses and councils of the National Primitive Baptist Convention are now led by laymen and laywomen. Only the General Body is led by a Pastor. It will be interesting to see what fruit will come forth from this development of leadership in this National Convention.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Last evening the leadership and delegation of the National Primitive Baptist  Convention met for a Welcome Program in the ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Birmingham.

The welcome program is an opportunity for the host church, area associations and city officials to give addresses of affirmation and appreciation to the National PRIMITIVE  Baptist Convention for their presence in the respective city that they have gathered in. The mayor of Birmingham,  the honorable William A. Bell welcomed the members of the convention and thrilled the delegation with his humorous remarks and declarations of praise.

Presiding as Master of Ceremony was Doctor Richard Arrington, the first African American mayor of  Birmingham who lead this city from  1979-1999. Arrington, a national legend, brilliant politician, and innovative leader is a faithful and loyal member of the National Primitive Baptist  Convention. He serves at the Crumby Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in Fairfield Alabama as a Deacon.

The music was offered by the combined choirs of Central Alabama.  The convention was moved and thrilled by the variety of musical offerings that ascended to the throne of God through these incredible vessels of sounds.

The 13th President  of the National Primitive Baptist Convention Elder Bernard C. Yates commended the organizers and participants for a generous welcome effort.

Today is the third day of the convention gathering. On the third day of creation God called forth the land to appear from the water and God called the land Earth. And God called forth the seed to come forth and produce fruit. On the third day God called forth the fruit that was in the seed.

Today, the third day God is opening the ears of the members of the National Primitive Baptist Convention  to hear Him calling forth in them what HE has deposited and has hidden for such a time of this. Now it's time for manifestation.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Yesterday, the opening day of the National Primitive Baptist Convention was a day of spirit filled worship and fellowship. Elder  Brandon Mason pastor of the Locust Ridge Primitive Baptist Church in Arrington Tenn preached with power and persuasion, exhorting the people to stand still and see the salvation of God. Elder Mason said Many of us cant see the move of God because we won't stand still.

The Locust Ridge choir sang with great ability ushering the convention into the realm of worship where heaven and earth connects and the supernatural presence of God manifest, known as the shekinah glory.

At 5:00 p.m. the National Youth Congress assembled for worship. A praise team led by Brother Tim Barnes of the Mount Rose Primitive Baptist Church in Ferris Texas brought the convention into the courts of God where the throne of God is established and His grace is available to every one in need.

The message was delivered by Minister Reginald Yates of the Mount Lebanon Primitive Baptist Church. Reginald is the son of Elder Maynard and Lessie Yates. With great homilectical skill and spiritual ability Minister Yates preached from Jude 24-25, "God is Able."

Today the George Washington Gibson School of Religion begins. The school of religion was named after Elder George Gibson, an intellectual giant in his generation who contributed greatly to the educational dimension of the Progressive Primitive Baptist movement. Elder Gibson was a leader of Christian thought who's legacy continue to have influence and impact to this very day.

The school of ministry offer classes for the spiritual and ministerial development of the members of the convention. For three days, Monday thru Wednesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. hundreds of members will gather to receive impartation and instruction.

Pastor Bernard Boulton of the New Mine Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Blairs Va will be teaching Pastors and Ministers on the Preaching Life: Living Well to Finish Well. Last year Pastor Boulton introduced his book, The Prophetic Purpose of Preaching: Releasing the Sound of Heaven in the Earth. Some of the principles that Pastor Boulton taught were:

1. Prophetic Preaching is releasing in the earth the will and heart of the heavenly Father to reconcile men to Himself.

2. Discovering Prophetic Purpose.

3. The Prophetic Preacher: The warfare specialist.

The material of this book will bring great revelation and understanding to you regarding the prophetic nature of prophetic preaching. You can order a ebook copy of the Prophetic Purpose of Preaching: Releasing the Sound of Heaven in the Earth at    

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Today Sunday August  17, 2014 the delegates of the National Primitive Baptist Convention begins a week of fellowship, worship and education. For one hundred and seven years members of Primitive Baptist Churches in the south, west, east and north have traveled near and far to strengthened their bonds of fellowship, to trumpet the cause of  Jesus and to enjoy great singing and preaching and teaching.

This year will be no exception. The worship will combine the elements of the history of this church and the contemporary innovations that has been employed in the worship experience to make the pursuit of God a convergence of the past, present and future.

Historically the worship services of Primitive Baptists always begin with the deacons of the church leading in what is known as devotion. The deacons lead the congregation in song, scripture reading and prayers. The songs maybe congregational hymns that is familiar to the congregation or metered hymns which are songs that are led by a Deacon lining the words of the hymn and the congregation following by singing with him. Although many Primitive Baptist  no longer sing what is known as metered hymns it is still apart of the historicity of this church.

Following the devotion the convention will be ministered to by the singing of the choir. The National Primitive Baptist Convention is blessed with an exceptional National Choir. All week long this choir will usher the convention into the realm of glory with powerful and passionate singing. It is the vision of the President, Elder Bernard  Yates to capture the sound of this choir in recording. The convention waits with anticipation to this project taking form and releasing a  sound of excellence in the earth.

The message for Sunday Worship will be delivered by Elder Brandon Mason pastor of Locust Ridge Primitive Baptist Church in Arrington Tennessee. Elder Mason is a dynamic, charismatic preacher of the Gospel. The atmosphere will be charged with anticipation to what The Lord will declare to His people through His messenger.

Later today the delegates of the convention will gather for the  National President Vision Banquet. Another great voice in the church will stand to deliver a word. Pastor Maurice Watson of the Beulahland Bible Church in  Macon Georgia will be the guest preacher. PAstor Watson is known throughout the church in America for his unique dramatic presentation of the Word of God.

With this  being an election year and many challenges facing this convention, declining membership, challenges to the prohibition of women in the preaching ministry and a danger of deception blinding many of God's people this week will determine if  the Primitive Baptist have an opportunity to advance, retreat or stand still. By Friday the last day of the convention they will know what they have chosen to do.