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The St. John's Pulpit

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Dennis W. Foust, PhD
Senior Minister of St. John’s

It is a privilege to be the eighth senior minister in the history of this great congregation of believers. Through the nine decades of our congregation’s history, more than ten thousand sermons have been proclaimed from the St. John’s pulpit. Men and women of various faith traditions have stood behind the sacred desk in our sanctuary to offer a message. Yet, these words, once proclaimed, have not stayed in the sanctuary. After St. John’s people hear a sermon, they carry the message from our sanctuary to the communities of metro Charlotte, North Carolina, our nation and the world.

The opportunity and challenge of preaching each Sunday to students, children, medical professionals, teachers, lawyers, corporate executives, communication and technology specialists, bankers, accountants, artists, laborers, counselors, retirees, community leaders, engineers, university professors, school administrators, business leaders, homemakers, care givers, religious leaders and people from a variety of other vocations is a sacred trust. I am humbled to be entrusted with such a blessed commission.

It is my commitment to approach this aspect of my pastoral ministry with serious study. This congregation has always been committed to a free pulpit and expects excellence from the senior minister’s preaching ministry. Thus, the people of St. John’s pray for their senior minister and express support as I invest my weekday mornings in study and preparation for my preaching/teaching ministry. It is my intent to offer a message of relevance that helps the hearers to express their commitments to the lordship of Jesus in their daily living. In a world that presents many gifts of grace while offering tremendous challenges and opportunities to be the people of God through diverse faith perspectives, I seek to proclaim the Truth of God, using the words of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Scriptures as foundational guides. In my preparations, I listen and look for connections between the historical text, the Life of God’s Spirit, the literature of history and our contemporary context. As a pastoral preacher, it is my intent to guide the congregation in living honestly in relation to core questions of life; to offer positive messages that inspire; and to offer guidance along the journey of discipleship unto Christ.

It is my belief that the spiritual life, character and integrity of the proclaimer either helps or hinders the way in which a sermon is heard. As a pastoral preacher, my messages are planned to be relational, authentic and honest. While effective pastoral preaching must have a positive energy, be prophetic and directional, it must also guard against being manipulative. My role is not to entertain, perform on stage or provide dogmatic answers to life’s questions. Nor is it my role to tell the worshippers how or what they should think. It is my purpose to provide pathways for the human will to say ‘yes’ to God.

On this website, you will find Sunday morning sermon manuscripts proclaimed from the St. John’s Pulpit. From week to week, some people are unable to be present in the sanctuary and may desire to read the sermon manuscript from the previous Sunday. Or, a person may want to reflect more on a particular sermon from a few weeks or months ago. And, if in some small way the Spirit of the Lord speaks to your spirit through an idea or thought in these messages, my prayers will have been answered and my investments of labor affirmed. Shalom!