Okay, he didn’t say that, but close to it.
One of my heroes, Oscar Romero (August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980), knew extraordinary political social upheaval. He experienced significant blowback due to the social implications of the gospel demanded of Christ-followers. He faced judgement from inside and outside the Church, contending with delusion, conspiracy theories, blame shifting, and alternative facts every day. He was branded by some to be a heretic. Many decades later his words and work would prove his critics unwise. I read him often.
I imagine I’ve shared this on my blog before. I imagine I will share it again. It’s a word I resonate with. It’s a word I wish I would’ve written with such eloquence. It’s a word I’ve needed to share with folks who’ve accused me of the same. Plainly, it’s just a strong word. Heres his word.
“Those who have listened to me here in church on Sundays with sincerity, without prejudices, without hatred, without ill will, without intending to defend indefensible interests, those who have listened to me here cannot say I am giving political or subversive sermons. All that is simply slander.
You are listening to me at this moment, and I am saying what I have always said.
What I want to say here in the cathedral pulpit is what the church is, and in the name of the church I want to support what is good, applaud it, encourage it, console the victims of atrocities, of injustices, and also with courage disclose the atrocities, the tortures, the disappearances of prisoners, the social injustice. That is not engaging in politics; this is building up the church and carrying out the church’s duty as imposed by the church’s identity. My conscience is undisturbed, and I call on all of you: Let us build up the true church!”
~ Oscar Romero, September 10, 1978
Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience.
Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas.
Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.