While there are myriad challenges being married to her “workaholic” husband, who earned his doctor of ministry degree from New Jersey’s Drew University last November, Jacqueline remains her husband’s best friend and biggest supporter.
She says he is influenced by “the Spirit that’s within him that drives him to do good. He’s always working. He comes from a family that always did things for others and tried making life better for humanity. I think that was instilled in him growing up…. He feels like he needs to make things better for humanity and by making it better for humanity he’s making it better for himself and his family as well.”
The Rev. Horace C. Walser, presiding elder of the Winston-Salem District of the AME Zion Church, says Lartey is willing to venture into ministries that would scare off other ministers.
“He has a sincere calling to do the work, and he takes it extremely seriously; he lives it,” Walser says. “He goes where the needs are the greatest, and he has a keen sense of the needs of his fellow man.”
Goler Memorial’s motto—“Equipping, evangelizing and expanding the kingdom of God through the word and the power of the Holy Spirit’’—inspires Lartey’s vision.
“We’re going to focus on evangelization, discipleship and equipping the saints for the work of ministry,” he says. He cites the fourth chapter of Luke’s Gospel as further inspiration.
“Jesus says that the Spirit of God is upon me. He has anointed me to do something for the poor. He’s anointed me to preach good news. He’s anointed me to set the captives free,” Lartey says.
Although he has now lived most of his adult life in this country, Lartey maintains close ties to his African homeland. In December, he traveled to Liberia to “assess the educational and health needs of children,” many of whom have been displaced by civil war, and to determine what can be done in the U.S. to help Liberians.
The presence of United Nations peacekeepers in Monrovia, the nation’s capital, makes it safe to travel there, says Lartey, who organized a campaign in Winston-Salem to send a shipment of food, clothing and medical supplies to Liberia.
“I see myself as one who is never, ever satisfied with seeing people in the state that is less than,” he says. “I’m always encouraging them, and wanting to see them do better.”
Patrick O’Neill is a freelance writer based in Garner, N.C.
His most recent article for Divinity magazine was
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