A little about Rev. Dr. Michael A. Foster
"Rev. Foster’s teaching philosophy is 'in order for the 21stcentury church and to be successful it must incorporate evangelism and discipleship as integral priorities in its ministry strategies, and it is the church that has the awesome responsibility of transforming sinners into saints, the helpless into the helpful and believers into Christians'"
Rev. Dr. Michael Anthony Foster, a native of Brundidge, Alabama, and a Pike County High School graduate. Dr. Foster is also a graduate of the Alabama Advanced Criminal Justice Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Foster furthered his education by graduating from the Enterprise State Community College in Enterprise, Alabama where he received an Associate Degree in Social Science, Personnel Administration. He graduated from Troy University, in Troy, Alabama with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Public Administration; he continued to enrich his learning experience by earning a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Troy University, where he later taught as an adjunct professor. He also graduated with an additional Master’s Degree in Theology from the University of Mobile’s School of Religion with the prestigious highest Graduate School of Christian Studies Achievement Award and with Academic Distinction Honors. He is also a graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary with a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership. In Dr. Foster's dissertation, he analyzed pastoral-led and committee-led leadership models to improve congregational health in the New Antioch-Bethlehem District Association in Tuscaloosa, Alabama's metropolitan area.
Dr. Foster's ordination took place in 1999, and he took on the role of Senior Pastor at The Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Alabama. He has diligently fulfilled his responsibilities with unwavering commitment for two decades. From 2002 onwards, he fulfilled the role of Vice-President for the Southeast District of Butler & Crenshaw County Congress of Christian Education. In 2005, he was chosen as President of the Butler & Crenshaw District Congress of Christian Education, and he faithfully fulfilled this position until 2015. At this time, he was elected as Moderator for the Southeast District of Butler & Crenshaw Counties. He is a proud member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
In August 2019, the Historical First African Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama sought God’s direction and called him as their Senior Pastor. He has an astounding enthusiastic passion for teaching. His teaching philosophy is that “in order for the 21st-century church to be spiritually relevant and successful it must incorporate evangelism and discipleship as integral priorities in its ministry strategies, and it is the church that has the awesome responsibility of transforming sinners into saints, the helpless into the helpful as well as believers into Christians”.
Dr. Foster is happily married to the love of his life, Beverly D. Foster. He is a devoted Bible teacher and a fervent gospel preacher. Dr. Foster has motivated and inspired thousands throughout the length and breadth of this country. He believes the Bible in its entirety, he believes we can have what it says we can have, be what it says we can be, and do what it says we can do. Through the Anointing of God’s Precious Holy Spirit, Pastor Foster has a unique gift of reaching the young and inspiring the old leaving them saying “Preach Michael Foster!”
PASTOR FOSTER’S THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF PREACHING
The late Deacon Cal Foster, my deceased grandfather said to me on his death bed, “The Devil don’t care nothing about the Bible, it’s just another book to him, but you (Michael) can put him to flight if you preach it”. If proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly important, and is placed as imperative, above everything else then the preacher must develop a personal theology and philosophy of preaching. He must decide what he believes most deeply about the nature and practice of preaching. Moreover, he must decide what he wants to embody theologically in his own preaching and what is he most passionate about conveying to the congregation of believers and potential believers. My Theology and Philosophy of Preaching when proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Chris is, preaching must be Biblically Based, Existentially Empowering, and Pastorally Pertinent.
Preaching should be unmistakably and without a doubt Biblical. There is no other book or place we should derive our sermons other than the Holy Bible, the literal Word of God. The Bible, which clothes the Word of God within its pages, should be given high importance and prominence in our preaching. Moreover, the totality, sum and substance of our preaching must derive from the Bible because the Bible comes from God, and any messenger of God is divinely obligated to proclaim the Word of God. Additionally, it is imperative to biblically preach the Word because “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1;1, KJV). In peaching biblically, it goes without saying it has to be contextual. Since no text exists without a context, it is imperative that any text read, quoted, referenced, or explained in a sermon be labored in a manner that is consistent with its historical, cultural, theological, and literary context. We must Biblically preach the Word of God.
In determining what I perceive concerning the nature and practice of illuminating in my own preaching and what I’m most passionate about as being my theology and philosophy, is that of existential theology of preaching. There are so many questions that people have about life, destiny, and purpose, and the world does not have, nor does it need to have the answers. These questions can only be answered by God through His called preacher. In this theology, preaching offers a divine Word that answers a crisis or conflict at the heart of human existence. The gospel should be presented as the basis for eternal life and for the Christian life as well. It is for unbelievers who does not know Christ and is yet to figure out the direction in which He is leading them. Paul reminds us in Romans that “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 KJV). Life has meaningful questions, and Jesus has meaningful answers. We must preach existentially the Word of God.
In Timothy Keller’s book entitled Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism suggests, “If you want to preach to the heart of humanity, you need to preach from the heart of humility”. One must have a Pastor’s heart and that is a heart for God's people. God gives Pastors after his own heart but he also gives Pastors a heart for His people. God said, “And I will give you Pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you...” (Jer. 3:15, KJV). The Pastor must feed the flock truth in a gentle, kind, and loving way with genuine concern for their spiritual growth and maturity. He must never forget the conversation Jesus has with Peter as he admonishes him... “Do you love me”? Peter replies, “Lord, thou knowth all things; thou knowth that I love you”, Jesus said, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17, KJV). There has to be great care and concern for the people of God. Their diet must be a steady flow of the Word of God. Therefore, the Pastor has to preach Christocentric sermons. I personally believe a good sermon should make you shout, laugh, think intensely, change your way of living and even become mad at times. In other words, a good Pastor’s sermon should endeavor to show how the text or topic relates to the Centerpiece of redemptive history through Jesus.