published Monday, July 1st, 2013

TN pastor goes undercover as homeless man for week

The Rev. Willie Lyle rests along a curb in downtown Clarksville. The Sango United Methodist Church pastor went undercover living on the streets for a week.
The Rev. Willie Lyle rests along a curb in downtown Clarksville. The Sango United Methodist Church pastor went undercover living on the streets for a week.
Photo by The Tennessean /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — A pastor telling his or her congregation to love others and look out for the welfare of those less fortunate is not a major sermon. It’s said every Sunday from the pulpit by preachers, pastors and ministers all across America. But has it been said so often that people have quit listening or tuned out the message of “living like Jesus?”

Rev. Willie Lyle, newly-appointed pastor of Sango United Methodist Church, has delivered sermons over the years that challenged congregations to demonstrate the gospel of Christ. However, that is not what he decided to do on Sunday, June 23, his first day as Sango’s new pastor. He did something different. Preaching the gospel of Christ was part of his sermon, but this time he spoke from an entirely different point of view.

Three days after receiving the news in April of his appointment as Sango’s pastor, he was awakened by a dream at 2 a.m. This dream was different from any in the past. In this dream, God told Willie to do something very specific, and God promised Willie if he would do this, then He would provide for Willie and protect him.

There was a problem. What God asked Willie to do was not something Willie wanted to do, and he had no interest in doing it. It was clearly out of his comfort zone.

Read more from our news partners at The Tennessean.

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