Pray, believe and lean not on your own understanding…


“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive…” (Matthew 21:22)

This morning I received heartbreaking news that the pastor of my church had passed away. The news left a lump in my throat and sent unstoppable tears rolling down my face. It was just something I didn’t expect to wake up to this morning. I immediately started flipping through my church notes just trying to find comfort in words I know Pastor Tyson left with us.

I joined First Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church as a young adult during my college years. My previous church on a military base had closed due to government cutbacks and we were church shopping. As a young adult I was really just riding the wave–I knew I would only attend whatever church during summer breaks and other holidays, so “the church shopping process” was one I wasn’t concerned with. When we visited FJMBC the music was good, the preaching was good and the atmosphere was homey despite the church size. We attended for nearly a year before joining the church.

At 24 years old I can reflect on just about every sermon that was preached at me from Pastor Tyson. I used the term “at me” because I felt like his sermons were always pertaining to something that was going on in my life. I can think of every mistake I made, the tears I’ve cried and then the scripture I was directed to along with the sermon notes. As the shepherd of First Jerusalem his way of teaching the word had that much of an impact on my life as well as countless others, especially the youth and young adults. Pastor Tyson made church engaging, made it feel like pleasure instead of a necessity and made you understand why it is so important to live by the “Blueprint” that God had given us.

The scripture used in the introduction was one Pastor Tyson preached from on May 22, 2011, during his sermon titled “Believe.” He preached about the desires of your heart and then praying on them and believing. He walked down the aisles with the word Believe in his hand and kept saying, “Believe–Believe–Believe…” That sermon helped me the most throughout my senior year of college as I was waiting and watching for my dreams to unfold–and is still very relevant today. When I returned home from my internship in New York, Pastor Tyson stopped me in the foyer to ask about my trip and then asked me what were my future plans & then told me to pray & believe. As I looked through my 2015 notes from Pastor Tyson this morning, they spoke volumes. “Under New Management”– “Living By the Blueprint”–“Commitment”– “Let it Go.”

My heart is heavy because the man who kept me engaged in the word during the years I needed it the most has passed. During the months my daddy was in the hospital, he was there to comfort my family and remind us that God was in control despite all that was happening. Pastor Tyson came to the hospital to visit my Daddy on his first day in the step-down unit before my daddy was a Member of FJMBC. When I think about how Pastor Tyson helped to bring my daddy back to the church after his car accident, I truly become emotional. It just all seems unreal to me. Through his teachings I know that this is no time for our faith to waiver. More importantly this loss hurts as I think about his mother, his wife, his children and the walk they will have to take. I know that in the midst of it all… God has a plan.

Pray and Believe… as this is just another reminder why you should continue to strive for all that you’re meant to achieve. Secondly, trust in the process because the person you are meant to become may impact so many lives without you noticing.

Words to remember during this time: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)… Believe & Lean Not on Your Own Understanding…

Thank You and I love you Pastor Tyson.


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