Spaulding raises red flag over City-County MLK Jr. celebration pastor selection over gay rights
BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for January 15, 2010

MLK Jr. city-county planning committee responds to pastor selection question

A quick update from the City-County employee celebration planning committee that organized today's celebration of Dr. King's life. The committee has released a statement for the media addressing the choice of Pastor Greear to deliver the keynote address:

J.D. Greear was selected as the keynote speaker because we identified a person that services our community.  We did not select Mr. Greear based upon his teachings.  None of our speakers have been selected based upon their teachings.  Our selection is driven by our belief that the keynote speaker will deliver a message based upon Dr. King’s ideals that align with the responsibilities of both City and County workers.  These are beliefs that focus upon public service to others.


Steve Graff

So tell me again how the City-County planning committee believed that this man would "deliver a message based on Dr. King's ideals" if they "did not select Mr. Greear based upon his teachings." Did they put a Durham map on the wall and throw a dart at it, then choose the pastor of the church closes to the dart?

Unbelievable! Have we learned nothing?


Mr. Graff,

Implicit in your comment is the idea that a handful of snapshots of a pastor's teaching can comprise a complete and comprehensive description of who he is and what he believes, which seems pretty unreasonable to me.

Pastor JD represents the Summit church, which, over the past couple of years has invested money and hundreds if not thousands of man hours into the local community - volunteering at low-income schools, mentoring students, providing meals for the poor and supplies for young mothers who struggle to pay for the needs of their children.

I offer one of many, many examples:

I attend the summit, and in December, my small group (a Bible study that meets weekly at a home in Raleigh) gathered some money and funded a proper Christmas for a neighbor family that is struggling financially.

The family is from Morocco, and they are Muslims.

The gifts came with absolutely no strings attached.

I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. would be completely supportive of the work being done at the Summit church and the focus on community involvement that pastor JD has lead.

Don't you? If not, then why wouldn't he?

Erik Landfried

You funded a proper Christmas for a Muslim family? I don't see any issues there...



Proper as in gifts for the kids and dinner.

Many Muslims, like many christians, choose to celebrate the customs of their present culture!


So then christmas is a custom and not a religiously based observance? Perhaps we should then also respect the American custom of freedom of conscience and equality to all?

Just sayin'.


Hi Natalie!

Glad you brought that up!

That's exactly what pastor JD spoke about today!

You can read the whole thing here:

John W.

Congratulations to Pastor JD and the Summit church. Way to give hands and feet to your beliefs. You have earned the right to speak to the community, and you've chosen to use that opportunity to share the Gospel and make much of Christ. And along the way, I pray you would stir up one another to more love and good works! (Hebrews 10:24)


~"Take government out from under God and government will become the God."~

Social conservatism has landed in Durham!
Doesn't it seem oddly inappropriate speaking to a community that you have condemned to hell?

I read his "speech" and is somewhat amazed how this man was allowed to speak. A progressive forward thinking city like Durham, should not be allowing these people to honor our heroes.
Misquoting Dr. King and then comparing a godless government to the Nazi and Communist

This guy is a ~~Expletive~~...... He used this opportunity not to honor MLK but to use the MLK name to justify his beliefs and promote himself and his church.
Just because a church spends countless hours helping the community and "making it better", does not excuse the fact that the church is polarizing. .

Congrats Pastor JD, you are unoriginal.




Are some of you forgetting Dr. MLK was also a pastor...and believed the Bible. JD Greear preaches from the same Bible...which outlines the saving grace that Jesus offers. This man's leadership has aroused hundreds of persons volunteering their time to clean, paint, improve some of our public schools and other places in need. Those young school students matter to them and that many care for and want to help those less fortunate.

Show me a speaker that you'd approve of who can immobilize hundreds to show up and help in the community and do such good. This man is able to teach the Bible in such a way so that so many see their need for saving grace of Jesus and that spurs them to want to return that gift to those in need.

Was this day to celebrate MKL or what MLK's wife's beliefs were?

Is all of the public ever going to endorse the choice of a speaker?

All this criticism speaks more negatively about the criticizers than the speaker.

Good choice City of Durham planning committee!!!


I agree. It is very difficult to get hundreds of immobilized people to show up to do anything. If JD Greear can do that, he can work miracles. PRAISE!

Cardinal Léger

Well I was at the service and heard and saw Pastor Greear preach. I don't know if he was good or bad, inclusive or divisive. I only know the experience left me longing for the experience I had in church as a young man in Quebec: a chance to sit in solitude and silence in my church with my god, and to reflect in peace without influence.

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