Sterling Severns is the “Senior Pastor” at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. That really is his title and role but big titles aren’t really in the ethos of Tabernacle BC, as I’ve experienced them. What is in the ethos of TBC is community, inclusion, education, love and empowerment. Almost everywhere I turn there are fruits, usually with names and faces, from its congregation.
Some of the names of seminarians that have been nurtured in their learning and leadership at Tabernacle include, off the top of my head, Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock, Kathryn Hall, Dan Schumacher, Kristen Koger, Joe Perdue, Susan Wells Compton, Sean Dotson, Khan Naw, Megan Strollo, SaraAnn and John Burgess, Julie Gaines Walton and Jeff Walton. There are also some seminary professors and leaders serving and worshipping in that community. And that is a seriously cursory view from someone who has only visited there a few times and been a Baptist myself for about five years. Some of them have been podcast guests and others are still being invited to future podcast episodes so they can encourage you even further. Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock is the Executive Director for the Beatitude Society and a board member with United Faith Leaders.
Please hear and honor what Sterling chose to “promote” when asked to do so in this episode. Please consider the Christian identity of hospitality. In the context of a moment in time when the Syrian refugee crisis is being conflated with acts of international terrorism, Sterling encouraged us to actively develop relationships with some people who are outside of our normal circles. He and I both believe that this is a way to change the world. It will grow and change who each of us is on the inside, especially as when we invite God to guide and participate in those developing relationships. The most important change needed in the world may be within us.