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Forward Thinking: The Message




Pastor E.A. Deckard

By Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times

“When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.” – Harvey Mackay

Forward Thinkers, Harvey Mackay is a bestselling author writing such books as “Swim with the Sharks, Without Being Eaten Alive and Dig Your Well Before you’re Thirsty and his positive attitude approach have allowed him to become a very wealthy man.

Forward Thinkers, before we get to the text for today let’s establish a foundation that will allow us to continue to operate in the “Favor of God”.

It’s no coincidence Forward Thinkers, everywhere I go and everyone I’m connected to is referring to this season as the FOG “Favor of God” season.

Forward Thinkers, there are four major foundational factors I have created which will raise the level of awareness and if we continue to operate under these factors I can guarantee the best is still yet to come for us.

We need faith to receive the Favor of God because the bible says it shall be done for us according to our faith. Forward Thinkers without faith it is impossible to receive the Favor of God.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God therefore by me continuing to teach on the favor of God it has created an atmosphere where people are expecting and looking for the Favor of God in every situation. Forward Thinkers you can’t win in life being disconnected from the word of God.

Our thoughts build our lives because the bible says so as a man thinks so is he therefore I have learned to control my thoughts to focus on the Favor of God showing up and turning things around in my favor. Forward Thinkers never give anyone or anything control of your thought life. Forward Thinkers we must think we are great therefore we are great and what anyone thinks about what we think has no bearing on our thoughts of greatness.

The power of life and death is in our mouth so we must choose to speak the Favor of God in every situation and by speaking and thinking the Favor of God in faith we receive the Favor of God to win in life.

Forward Thinkers I’m committed to creating a winning atmosphere where people are reaching their full potential; today I challenge you to operate under the FOG at all times.

Luke 18:35-43 The Message (MSG)

35-37 He came to the outskirts of Jericho. A blind man was sitting beside the road asking for handouts. When he heard the rustle of the crowd, he asked what was going on. They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is going by.”

38 He yelled, “Jesus! Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”

39 Those ahead of Jesus told the man to shut up, but he only yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”

40 Jesus stopped and ordered him to be brought over. When he had come near, Jesus asked, “What do you want from me?”

41 He said, “Master, I want to see again.”

42-43 Jesus said, “Go ahead—see again! Your faith has saved and healed you!” The healing was instant: He looked up, seeing—and then followed Jesus, glorifying God. Everyone in the street joined in, shouting praise to God.

A blind man

Forward Thinkers, his condition was blindness. I’m declaring today our conditions will no longer define our identities. Get this in your spirit, your condition (and yes we all have a condition and have had some conditions) is present in your life so you can release the faith needed to receive the Favor of God. Yes, Forward Thinkers I’m saying God saw enough in you to bless you with that condition because he has already created a breakthrough for you.

Sitting beside the road

Forward Thinkers, the enemy desires to keep you sitting because, as long as you’re sitting you’re making no forward progress. Also notice he was not on the road but the side of the road. Forward Thinkers on the road you travel besides the road you watch others travel. The enemy plans to use your condition to keep you stuck watching others succeed in life.


Forward Thinkers, the enemy wants you to be in a negative position where you feel you have to depend on others to make it. The moment we start begging is the moment we stop believing God. We must never lose sight of the fact God has the ability to supply all our needs.

The crowd around Jesus was making enough noise that it caught the blind man’s attention

Forward Thinkers, my desire is to make enough noise to get the attention of the underdog, the lost, the poor, the uneducated, and the blind. Forward Thinkers we must be careful that we are making the right noise, make sure we are making a Jesus kind of noise. We must make a difference in making noise. Forward Thinkers it’s time we make a noise of hope for the hopeless.

The blind man started yelling Jesus have mercy on me

Forward Thinkers, he finally took his attention off the people and put it on Jesus. I have a question who has your attention? We must understand who or whatever has our attention also has our minds and as the NAACP declares, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”.

Those ahead of Jesus told him to shut up

Forward Thinkers, these are the kind of church people I have a problem with instead of encouraging the man they try to shut the man up. Have you ever noticed their position, the bible says they are ahead of Jesus. Whenever we stop following Jesus we stop being about Kingdom business and we start being about our business. We must come together and realize the strong has a God-given assignment to build up the weak, not cut off the weak from their potential source of strength.

The blind man got louder

Forward Thinkers, this season you must have enough faith to get louder in spite of your condition and your opposition. We must press harder and make up our minds that we will not be denied another day of our lives.

Forward Thinkers, Jesus asked the blind man what do you want from me? I wonder do we actually know what we want from Jesus.

Forward Thinkers, the blind man said, “I want to see again because he was convinced Jesus had the ability to restore his sight. Today we must have the faith that Jesus has the ability to restore and renew our conditions and began declaring the Favor of God can turn my situation around in my favor.

Forward Thinkers, Jesus replies to the blind man go ahead and see your faith has saved you and your faith has healed you.

Forward Thinkers, in conclusion, I’m declaring your story has the potential to ignite a praise party, because the Favor of God is getting ready to turn your story around in your favor; in such away it will get the attention of everyone who counted you out and left you begging on the side of the road.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at or the church website

Bay Area


Parks Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 476 34th Street Oakland, California is excited to announce that Rev. Dr. Rosalynn Brookins, senior pastor was awarded the auspicious Jarena Lee Award.




Historic rendition of Jarena Lee, the first female preacher in the A.M.E. church

  Dr. Rosalyn Brookins. Courtesy of Parks Chapel A.M.E. Church.

Parks Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 476 34th Street Oakland, California is excited to announce that Rev. Dr. Rosalynn Brookins, senior pastor was awarded the auspicious Jarena Lee Award.

Jarena Lee (February 11, 1783 – February 3, 1864) was the first female authorized to preach in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. History shows she was born into a free, Black family. Lee saw the immorality of slavery.  At a time period of segregation and inequity, A.M.E. Church founder Richard Allen gave her the opportunity for her voice to be heard despite the fact that there were no provisions for a female to preach. Rev. Lee showed determination to let her voice be heard and to share the holy word, despite racial and gender issues.  Further, Lee was the first African American woman to have an autobiography published in the United States.

During the 5th Episcopal District A.M.E. Founder’s Day Service, the Award was presented to Brookins by Rev. Carieta Grizzell, president of Women in Ministry and pastor of Murph-Emmanuel Church in Sacramento, Ca.  This esteemed award is the highest commendation that a female minister can receive in the A.M.E. Church.

There are many parallels between  Lee and  Brookins.  They both blazed a path forward through adverse circumstances and applied the lessons they learned to their spirituality.  Their similar experiences as female ministers reinforce their relationship with God.  They maintained a steadfast hope in and a strong love for his divine majesty.  

Brookins is the only Episcopal supervisor of the Women’s Mission Society for the A.M.E. Church to be given a pastoral appointment as senior pastor.

Brookins earned her doctoral degree from Payne Theological Seminary in 2018, making her the first inaugurated female to be conferred with the noted degree.  She was the commencement speaker during the graduation.  Her dissertation was entitled “The Rebirth of the Woman’s Prophetic Voice: Using Liberation Theology to Impact the Local Congregation.” 

In 2018, Brookins presented a pilot program in South Africa and subsequently launched the Global School of the Prophets.  While there are many prophetic schools, this is the only type of school that ministers to both clergy and lay women. Brookins exudes great enthusiasm and passion about teaching and she graciously shares her expertise regarding prophecy.  Her courses provide an overview and structure that encourage individuals to develop, explore and expand their prophetic knowledge and understanding.   

The highly organized and comprehensive curriculum includes coverage of the Introduction and  Origin of the Prophetic; Prophetic Call;  Prophetic Ministry;  Prophetic Terminology; Nine Prophetic Traits, and Prophetic Training and the Church.   Students currently participating in the second cohort of the Global School are from the United States, India, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Belize and Trinidad. 

Just as Lee showed a drive and commitment to serve,  Brookins has the same qualities.  She is an honorable, steadfast pastor who is obedient to all that God has called her to do.  She is a strong leader, and a visionary who genuinely loves preaching the word of God.  Rev. Brookins’ unconditional love and genuine personality has touched the hearts of many.  Her prophetic ministry, powerful sermons and prayers consistently instill hope and inspiration. 

Lee traveled extensively preaching the word of God.  Rev. Brookins has preached the gospel in multiple pulpits across the country, including Canada, Zambia, India and South Africa. 

Regarding his mother’s receipt of this prestigious award, Sir Wellington Hartford Brookins said “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of my mother.  She is an example of perseverance and daring determination.  She inspires me to move forward every single day and that’s why this award means so much to her and to me.”

Brookins said she is “humbled that the men and women of God felt I deserved such an award. I am moved that God saw it fitting for me to receive such an honorable award.”

The Jerena Lee Award is an amazing recognition of the contributions of Rev. Brookins to the theological foundations of the church as a whole.

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Bay Area

Phyllis Scott is First Woman Elected President of Pastors of Oakland




Pastor Phyllis Scott leads Tree of Life Ministries in Oakland

Pastor Phyllis Scott, founder and senior pastor of Tree of Life Empowerment Ministries church, has been elected to become the first woman pastor to hold the position of president of the Pastors of Oakland Association.

Pastor Scott brings 17 years of pastoral leadership experience in the city of Oakland. 

She said, “given the times that we live in now where we are being challenged daily by the COVID19 pandemic, racism, poverty, homelessness, closed schools, closed houses of worship and racially motivated violence, we need a vision for the Pastors of Oakland that unites us in bringing about the Shalom of the city through our interfaith solidarity and community awareness.”  

Scott told the Post that the association is a body of Pastors that reflect the city’s diverse cultures.  “We are an association made up of men, women, Black, Brown and Asian brothers and sisters, all with one thing in common. We know that Jesus Christ is LORD.”

For more information on the Pastors of Oakland, please call 510688-7437 

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Faith-Based Groups Support Councilmembers Bas, Fife in Call to Support Asian Residents

“I am very appreciative of the community efforts and leadership of Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato-Bas, Councilmember Carrol Fife and the Black Housing Union promoting unity, solidarity and peace in the streets of Oakland,” said Chambers who is pastor of West Side Missionary Baptist Church




More than 50 cars paraded last week in a caravan of support for Asian residents who have been recently targeted for violence. Left to right, Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas is shown with Michelle Myles Chambers, Rev. Ken Chambers, and District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife who called for community support

Last Saturday, members of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC) joined with Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife, who organized a broad-based community demonstration of support for the Asian residents that have recently suffered violent attacks since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country.

Besides the name-calling and other overt and subtle racism that have arisen with the encouragement of former Pres. Donald Trump, at least 20 attacks and robberies have occurred in Oakland’s Chinatown since the New Year, mostly targeting women and elders.

To support Oakland’s Asian businesses and residents, Fife and ICAC organized a caravan demonstration of support of about 50 vehicles. They started in DeFremery Park and wended their way up 14th street and over Webster street to the heart of Chinatown at Ninth street where they were greeted informally by about 25 business owners who showered the demonstrators with tea and snacks.

District 2 representative and City Council President spoke from the back of a pick-up truck where she was briefly joined by Fife.

The caravan then continued, passing Laney College and then up International boulevard to China Hill by San Antonio Park, traveling through a section of Oakland’s Little Saigon.

Although this is the only event of its kind planned at this time, ICAC President Rev. Ken Chambers said he hoped that a more formal meeting between the Asian and Black communities can be arranged in the future.

“I am very appreciative of the community efforts and leadership of Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato-Bas, Councilmember Carroll Fife and the Black Housing Union promoting unity, solidarity and peace in the streets of Oakland,” said Chambers who is pastor of West Side Missionary Baptist Church.

“I am saddened by the tragic events that happened in Oakland Chinatown, yet very happy for the leadership of Councilmember Carroll Fife in organizing last Saturday’s caravan of solitary throughout the Oakland communities,” said Rev. Thomas Harris, pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and a founding member of ICAC.

Michelle Chambers, director of the FAITHS Program of the San Francisco Foundation, said she would send an announcement of the demonstration of support for Oakland Asian residents to other faith-based institutions in the five Bay Area counties that are members of the FAITHS program to encourage expanded support for the Asian population in the Bay Area.

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