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A fiery sermon on God’s Promise by the Rev. Al Sharpton (listen below) was the climax to a moving ecumenical service that combined hip hop praise dancers, Baptist preaching, personal testimonies and a formal ordination in the Disciples of Christ faith tradition as Dr. David A. Hampton was installed Sunday as the new Senior Pastor of Light of the World Christian Church. Rev. Sharpton, who has known for many years Resident Bishop and outgoing Pastor T. Garrott Benjamin of Light of the World Church and worked with incoming Pastor Dr. David Hampton was one of the many VIP’s who made this installation service an extra special occasion.

Bishop Benjamin presided over the formal installation of Dr. Hampton, which adhered to the tents of the Disciples of Christ church, which included Dr. Hampton being anointed with oil; and in a scene matching Christ’s humility, Bishop Benjamin washed the feet of Hampton signifying service of one spiritual leader to another. In the most moving and emotional

Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin (far left) Gives the Charge to Dr. David Hampton (far right) at Light of the World Installation Service

Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin (far left) Gives the Charge to Dr. David Hampton (far right) at Light of the World Installation Service

part of the installation, Benjamin, who had pastored Light of the World for forty-three years, growing the church from its Second Christian Church roots into one of the largest and most influential churches in Indianapolis, “charged” Hampton, to become the church’s next leader.

Bishop Benjamin outlined the mission and meaning of the church, the role of a pastor and spiritual leader and asked if Hampton accepted these responsibilities.  To which Hampton replied quietly “I accept”. Bishop Benjamin lifted up Hampton during his charge saying, “Today I know no greater joy to throw this mantle on David Alan Hampton. He wears this shawl, this mantle not because I gave it, but because a small voice told me to”. And Benjamin added, “You (Hampton) do not have to fill my shoes. You have your own. Just walk in the same direction.”

Before the formal installation, there was a series of tributes from Light of the World members, who included stories about Hampton’s life in Indianapolis and his success as a track star in high school. Hampton was presented with a small helmet, inscribed with the local of the Disciples of Christ Church.  Video tributes from members of Hampton’s former church, Bethany Baptist in Brooklyn, NY were also shown. Martin University President Dr. George Miller, City-County President Maggie Lewis and Congressman Andre Carson represented the larger Indianapolis community with their in person appearance and comments.

Said Carson, “While Washington is dealing with fiscal cliff, we need leaders to help us with our moral cliff and spiritual cliff.” The Congressman, as did many others saluted the service of Bishop Benjamin saying he appreciated Benjamin’s “candid humor and anointing and being a strong mentor.” And Carson saluted Hampton saying he “isn’t afraid to speak truth to power”.

Rev. Sharpton’s sermon closed out the service. Sharpton praised Benjamin for the grace and style of the pastoral transition at Light of the World, “Rarely do you see someone move on while he’s in his prime. Most folks would have you wait for them to fall out.” Then Sharpton added, “I admire the spirit and grace you have shown.”

At the service’s end, Pastor Hampton and his wife First Lady Hope Hampton were humble in thanking the church’s members and community for their support.  Said Pastor Hampton, “Thank you all for being so gracious.” And added a salute to his predecessor, “Thanks for sharing Bishop (Benjamin) with us.” Click Arrow to Hear Rev. Sharpton’s Sermon At Light of the World Pastoral Installation. Provided by Light of the World.  

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