Everybody is a minister

Meet another member of South Florida's many-sided faith community. This week we're talking with the Rev. Dwayne Black, spiritual leader at Second Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale.

Q: This church has been through some hard times. What do you plan to do?

A: The Presbytery brought me here to turn this church around. We're starting a contemporary worship service on Sunday evenings. We'll also go outside our walls and help people: caring for the marginalized, widows, foreigners.

Q: How did you get into your vocation?

A: The last thing I ever wanted was to go into the ministry. My father is [the Rev.] Dwayne Black, and I saw how hard it could be on people. My wife and I went into planning special events for corporations.

The business was very lucrative, but 18-19 years into it, I starting waking up in the middle of the night, saying "OK! I will! I will!" After 6 months I said to my wife, "You're going to think I'm out of my mind, but I think God is calling me into the ministry."

Q: Do you have an overall philosophy of ministry?

A: I think all people in church are supposed to be ministers and priests. They go out and do the work.

Q: What book have you been recommending lately?

A: I've been re-reading "Strength to Love" by Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.It calls me back to what Christianity is supposed to be about. I'm also reading "Radical" by David Platt. It calls for stripping away all the garb from Christianity, and how it can change people deeply if we allow it to.

Q: What's your favorite vacation spot?

A: Key West. I can sit and relax and read and look out over the water and do a lot of reflection.

Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows?

A:"Burn Notice,""Royal Pains,""Real Time with Bill Maher."

Q: How about favorite films?

A: "Rear Window"is one of my all-time favorites. I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. And Grace Kelly is stunning.

Q: Favorite music? Favorite performer(s)?

A: Among Christian performers, I like Gungor, a Christian music group. They did a song called "God is Not a White Man."

Q: What's the best sermon you ever preached?

A: A spiritual vision of aging. I think we've got it all wrong, that we become less flexible. But scripture says we become the village elder, the person you come to with issues and problems. We need those people.

Q: Your worst moment in the pulpit?

A: At First Presbyterian Church, I took the first step up to the pulpit and stepped on my robe. On the second step, it pulled my chin down to my knees. No one saw it but the choir. But I had to get on my tush and pull the robe back to I could stand up and walk in a dignified manner.

Q: Something most people don't know about you?

A: I'm a big fan of Monty Python. I love British humor.

Q: What one thing would you change about yourself?

A: I'd add 20 more years to my life.

Q: Is there one thing you can't stand?

A: People who lift up their ignorance, as if it's a virtue. Let's get out of shallow end of pool.

Q: What's the most important thing you've ever learned?

A: God is love. That changes the way you look at everything.

James D. Davis

More about Black

Title: Pastor since December at Second Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale.

Other job experience: Former worship leader and youth pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Pompano Beach; former head of events planning company, Boca Raton; moderator for Tropical Florida Presbytery at end of February.

Education: Degree in fine arts at Florida Atlantic University; master's degree in divinity from South Florida Center for Theological Studies, Miami.

Personal: Age 56. Born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Family: Married to Cindy, an art teacher and Bible teacher at First Presbyterian of Pompano Beach. Two children.

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