By Christopher Kersey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffery J. Broughton Sr., senior pastor of Living Grace Worship Cathedral in Middletown, was appointed a bishop at the United Covenant Churches of Christ National Holy Convocation in Philadelphia the week of July 11.
Broughton will serve as diocesan bishop over international affairs and missions with jurisdiction over international churches including ones in India, Australia, west Africa, South Africa, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the West Indies and many others.
He took time to answer questions for the Transcript about his new role.
What’s your reaction to being appointed bishop?
I’m deeply humbled. I never have felt worthy of any positions I’ve held. I’m honored to serve others. I’m very grateful that others see the gifts in me for every opportunity I have had. When the announcement was brought to my attention, I was brought to tears. Many that know me personally would tell you titles and positions don’t change who I am. I treat all with love and respect the way we should treat one another. I must live and set examples. I’m very excited about my newly appointed position. I’ve started my first project. I can’t wait to get things off the ground.
What is the history of the Bishop’s office you now hold?
The episcopacy role of bishop ordinary or jurisdictional bishop, [means] a bishop has a territory over which his power governs, powers of government are entrusted to qualified persons over their specific dioceses.
Bishop ordinary is the senior individual in charge of an assigned territory. On July 14 during United National Holy Convocation in Philadelphia, confirmed by the Board of College of Bishops, I was designated bishop and assigned to govern and oversee the body of churches over international waters and affairs. My territory will include churches in West Africa, South Africa, India, Bahamas, Jamaica, Australia and West Indies. Our focus is missions and leadership. I will be tasked to bring education and training missions to the local body of churches to help assist in needs to better build and serve their local areas stronger by progressive theology, effective leadership, crystalizing communication, mastering business as well as addressing humanitarian needs.
Will you still be the pastor of Living Grace Worship Cathedral in Middletown?
Yes, very much so. God gave me a vision to plant a church here to build families and empower the community back in 2013. My family and I moved here from New Jersey where I pastored a church for [seven] years, to plant and launch our ministry to fulfil the vision of the Lord. Living Grace Worship Cathedral is the church that God entrusted me over his sheep to feed. It is my plan and desire to lead our church and the great families we have until God says otherwise. I will remain the chief servant of the Lord’s church here in Middletown.
What does becoming bishop do for the Middletown church?
Becoming a bishop of the local church and abroad means that I hold the highest order in the Christian churches’ functions as the head of the body. I serve in many roles in the Middletown community. More responsibility rests on my shoulders. As much is given, much more will be required of me.
I’m up for this new task and season in my life. I have total faith in the leadership of Living Grace Worship Cathedral, executive pastor Dawn Broughton, Board of Elders, deacons and executive leadership. [In] my absence, the church will continue to function, remain healthy in spiritual growth and provide support and community development continually.
What are your social views?
My social views are geared towards world peace, seeing the world function in unity, love and respect for all mankind according to the Holy scriptures, bringing education and solutions to resolve hunger, violence in the community, drugs and mental disorders, social and economic issues. [In the] Gospel of Matthew 25:42, Jesus says: For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Then they answer him saying when did we not do all of these things? Jesus replies inasmuch as you did not do it for the least of these, You did not do it to Me.
It is my responsibility to provide as much help and resources to those that are in need. I love people and, if I can bring glory to God, the father by helping and serving other locally and internationally, then I’m living my purpose here on Earth.