4th Sunday Fellowship - 3 pastors, 1 mission

February 14, 1998


Staff Writer

When Haru Carter came back from a Promise Keepers convention for pastors in Atlanta two years ago, he knew what he had to do.

"I knew that our churches and our people should come together," Carter said.

The message of reconciliation between all people and all nations was clear and he had to share it.

And share it he did.

Carter joined with pastors Brian Leiter, Don Kretzer, Henry Childs and Andre Blythe, and in 1996 they formed the 4th Sunday Fellowship Ministry.

"Pastors, places and speakers rotate," Kretzer said, noting that the gatherings begin at 4 p.m. "We've mixed a lot of things."


The effort started out small as people tested the waters to see if they liked this concept of no race, no denomination, no creed, no color.

Apparently it caught on as there wasn't an empty seat at the last event on Jan. 26, Carter said.

The next 4th Sunday Fellowship will be at Kretzer's church, The Tribe of Judah on Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. The church is on San Mar Road, right next to Greenbrier Elementary School.

"We've always felt there were barriers between people because of denomination and race," Kretzer said. But when this ministry began, all that faded away.

"We have some powerful services," Kretzer said.

Leiter said he likes getting to know all kinds of people as people, not just bound by the stereotypes of those people.

"There are picnics and dinners and other functions that have grown out of the ministry," Leiter said. "We've taken this way beyond just church."

Shucking the limitations of race and color was hard but so was the straightjacket of denominations, Kretzer said.

"Not just Baptist or Methodist, we find out we're real people," he said.

Carter pointed to the Bible for confirmation that the mission was the right way to go.

"In First Corinthians, it says we are one body, let there be no division among you," Carter said.

And Kretzer noted that Psalm 133, verse 1, says how good and perfect for us to be together.

"Love tears down all barriers," Kretzer said. "I just want to know they love the Lord."

Out of this two-year effort has grown another non-denominational effort that meets on the second Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m.

This program, which also rotates speakers and locations, is designed for pastors of any and all denominations.

For more information on these programs, call Kretzer as 301-797-6317.

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