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Pastor Preaches Sermon While Ziplining Over Congregation

Updated on August 23, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

You have to see it to believe it. There is a video online of a Mississippi pastor who wanted to get the attention of his congregation. He wanted them to look up and see his entrance. Therefore, he ziplined and began his sermon.

Churches today are doing everything they can to get the attention of congregants. However, this is the most unusual thing people have seen in this particular church to date.

Pastor Bartholomew Orr had everyone looking up when he made his entrance into the church sanctuary while ziplining. The video of that spectacle has gone viral because viewers have never seen anything like that before.

The pastor of the Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Mississippi wanted to make sure his 11,000-member church is ready for Jesus' return. Therefore, he didn't just say it. He showed the members by role-playing the part on a zip line while his legs dangled over the congregation as he introduced his sermon from the book of James. His question to the congregation was "Are you ready for the second coming of Jesus?"

Pastor Bartholomew Orr of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Mississippi.
Pastor Bartholomew Orr of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Mississippi.

Pastor's Object Lesson

The Mississippi preacher has been pastor of the church for over 30 years. He said he likes to use props while he is preaching. That means his congregation has seen him use other props over the years. However, this is the one that has gone viral with over two million views on YouTube.

He said ziplining into the sanctuary fit right into what he was preaching about. His sermon was about Jesus' second return to earth. Therefore, his entrance was an object lesson.

Criticisms About the Pastor's Entrance

Pastor Orr didn't expect the video to go viral, but it did. Afterward, he was interviewed by several national news outlets. While the pastor thought his unusual entrance was praiseworthy, it was met with some criticisms because everyone was not impressed. In fact, there have been negative comments about Pastor Orr's dramatic entrance into the sanctuary to illustrate the second coming of Jesus.

The pastor's entrance into the church on a zip line raised some eyebrows, shocked others and made some people laugh. It has been described by some as a viral sensation while others are frowning upon the whole thing.

Some people who saw the video said props are not for preaching God's word. They said props of this kind are for stage acts and not to be used during sermons. One person commented by saying he guess the pastor will try to walk on water next.

Orr's attempt to show his congregation how Jesus will return has been met with criticisms from Bible scholars. The scholars agree that Jesus will return to earth as the Bible states. However, Pastor Orr's demonstration was not according to the way the Bible says it will happen. Jesus is not coming back to earth on a zip line no matter how many views the video gets.

Pastor Defends His Entrance

When people criticized Pastor Orr for spending the people's tithes and offerings on a zip line, he was quick to let everybody know that the apparatus was not installed in Brown Baptist Church just for that particular sermon.

He explained in an interview with journalist Roland Martin that the zip line had already been installed previously for the upcoming annual Christmas play that will be used by actors, and it was paid for by donations. Therefore, it did not cost the church any money to install it. Since it was already there, the pastor decided to take advantage of it.

The video has been viewed over two million times on YouTube, and the number is still increasing. Orr said people have been touched by the visual and the word of God in such a way that they are talking about the second return of Jesus just as he wanted them to do.

In spite of the criticisms, the longtime pastor said he will not stop using props. He added he won't say what he will do or not do while preaching. For now, he is calling himself "the flying preacher."

He has used other props for his sermons over the years. He said once he preached from the top of a ladder instead of from behind the pulpit.

By the way, the free annual Christmas production where the zip line will be used again will be held at Brown Baptist Church on December 5 and December 7, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Not the First

Pastor Orr is not the first pastor who has used unusual methods to preach sermons. A television pastor preached about the rapture. He wanted the congregation to know exactly what he was talking about. Therefore, he had rapture practice. On the count of three, he told the congregation to jump up as if they were being raptured up in the air.

Three years ago, Bishop Brandon Porter received backlash when he rode a hoverboard into the church to deliver his sermon. The pastor explained that sometimes rules and traditions should be broken so the activity might touch someone's heart and come to know Jesus Christ.

In 2012, a prominent pastor and his wife preached about marriage while in a king size bed on the roof of their Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas for 24 hours. Pastor Ed Young and his wife Lisa did what they called a “sexperiment.”

Do you think the pastor's entrance into the sanctuary on a zip line was in good taste?

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