Salem Baptist Pastor Dr. Charlie Dates Speaks at Olivet

Dr. Charlie Dates of Chicago’s Salem Baptist Church Examines the Story of Moses
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Seth Hurd

March 7, 2024 Spiritual Life

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Reverend Dr. Charlie E. Dates has experienced one of the most unique ministry journeys of any speaker to fill the pulpit at Centennial Chapel at Olivet Nazarene University. At the age of 30, Dates became the youngest Senior Pastor of historic Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago in 2011, and now leads Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, which serves more than 15,000 members.

In a recent chapel, Reverend Dates focused on the theme of drawing nearer to God and the transformative power of this pursuit, eloquently stating: “There is a promise in scripture that as we draw near to God, He promises to come near. We ought to engage our hearts to ask for more of Him.”

Rather than a “spiritual to-do list,” Dates issued a call to introspection and action. He challenged the audience to examine their hearts’ desires, urging them to give full access to God for a more profound transformation. “The promise is, God, that you come near in those moments,” he emphasized, highlighting the reciprocal nature of God’s relationship with believers.

Delving into the story of Moses from Exodus, Reverend Dates explored the complexities of human action and motivation, particularly in the context of justice and equality. He reflected on how Moses, though raised in Egyptian luxury, never forgot his Hebrew roots and stood up against oppression, albeit in a flawed manner. This narrative led to a broader discussion on the role of individuals in addressing societal injustices and the need to remain connected to one’s heritage and community.

Moreover, Reverend Dates’ message was a reminder of the essential human struggle between right and wrong, and how sometimes, our intentions, though noble, might lead us down a problematic path. “You can know the difference between right and wrong, and yet, sometimes wrong can find you at the right time,” he remarked, pointing out the moral gray areas we often navigate in life.

The pastor also emphasized the importance of acknowledging and embracing one’s identity and roots, particularly in a society that often tries to erase or overlook them. He encouraged the students, especially those from minority backgrounds, to remember their heritage and use their education and privileges to uplift their communities.

For the full message from Reverend Dates, click here to watch the video.

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Seth Hurd

Seth Hurd (’06, ’08 MOL, ’12 M. Hist) is the founder of Manx Solutions. He lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife Amanda, and daughters Ava and Emery.

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