SC Pastor Calls Youth 2015 to Foundation of Love


The Rev. Telly Gadsden, pastor of St. Mark’s UMC in Taylor, SC, speaks at the 2015 Youth 2015 event in Orlando, FL

ORLANDO, FL — The Rev. Telly Gadsden, pastor of the St. Mark United Methodist Church in Taylor, South Carolina , challenged participants at the Youth 2015 event in Orlando, Fl to ask themselves if their lives were built on the foundation of Jesus’ love. Her sermon was part of an evening worship service in which youth and their leaders also danced, laughed, sang, prayed, and participated together in taking communion.

Gadsden, who has become known throughout the church for her powerful preaching, shared that in the days following the shootings at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, she had found herself in a period of lament. Gadsden was friends with the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, pastor of the Emmanuel Church, and was related to the Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, both of whom were killed in the shooting. However, while attending a prayer vigil in the days after the shooting, Gadsden became convinced of the reality that in the power of love, and that love conquers all things. “Hate cannot and will not win,” Gadsden said.

Telly2Drawing on Matthew 16:13-20, Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah, and Christ’s blessing upon Peter as the foundation of the church. “The church,” Gadsden said, “is the heart that Jesus has given us.” Gadsden then asked participants to ask how if their own foundations of life (as the church) were firm and built on the key of love.

Gadsden ended her call to love with what she called the church’s four foundations of love. “I believe that the church should be on the MOVE,” Gadsden said, with MOVE representing four actions, the MOTIVATION to do God’s will, OPERATING by the power of the Holy Spirit, being chasers of God’s VISION, and ENGAGED with the love of Christ to change the world.

“I took a flight from Atlanta to Orlando,” Gadsden said, “to come share with you the love WILL overcome evil, so church we need to be built on the foundation of the love of Jesus Christ.”

The Youth 2015 event, hosted by the Division of Young People’s Ministry of Discipleship Ministries, will continue through Saturday. Click here to view other stories about this event at The MethoBlog.

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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