Let’s Talk Religion: The big misconception

Let’s Talk Religion: The big misconception
March 12
09:08 2020

We have all seen that preacher riding around in a flashy car, with nice suits and gaudy jewelry. That leads many to believe that most, if not all, pastors are living the good life from the pulpit. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As a child I would see certain pastors on TV and hear the jokes from comedians about how good church pastors live, especially in the black church. Even into young adulthood, I had the misinformed idea since the black church was thriving, so were most of the individuals who lead them.

As we age, most of us become smarter and wiser, as did I, which led me to stop assuming or listening to gossip and hearsay, as I did in my youth. Once I had the opportunity to obtain this position at The Chronicle, it gave me access to those in the pulpit that many others do not have. I was able to see that many pastors have a fulltime job, while others don’t take a salary from the church at all.

Now I know there are some pastors who are living well from the fruits of their labor in the church, but I have seen that they are the minority. In the city of Winston-Salem, the vast majority of the pastors I have spoken with are not fulltime pastors, but have a normal 9-to-5 job, while also completing all of the duties a pastor has on his/her plate.

I think mainstream America has been fixated on what they see on television with these mega churches and they assume that most churches are doing the same. I also feel that the scandals that we see and hear about do not help, because those are the stories that stick in our minds for some reason.

I feel blessed to have met so many men and women of faith who not only do what millions of other people do every day by going to work, but they also do the things that are not seen by many that make a big difference in people’s lives every day. That is not to discount what fulltime pastors do, because most of them are making tremendous impacts in the community on a daily basis as well.

My question is, why do we focus on the negative so much when it comes to those who lead our congregations? I am not passing judgment, because I have been guilty of this as well, by having preconceived notions about pastors. It is only through my position at The Chronicle that I have been given the opportunity to personally meet so many pastors that I was able to dispel some of those preconceived stereotypes.

I feel it’s a blessing to have had the opportunity to meet many of these men and women who are unsung heroes in our communities. My only hope is that their stories are shared just as much as the gossip-worthy ones are.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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