Pastor Ivan C. HortonPastor Nicole M. Horton
By Christine Brooks MartinSentinel Contributing Writer
Ministries throughout the United States are experiencing the passing of the pastoral baton from legendary fathers to their children or other delegated leaders. The process of transition and succession is facilitated gradually to retain the function and flow of the ministry, which is beneficial for leadership, congregants and ultimate growth.
The most recent deaths of well-known leaders like Pastor Zachery Tims and Dr. Billy Ingram has resulted in these ministries having to process transition and succession in a totally different dynamic. They are challenged with having to assimilate the loss of their shepherd as well as make immediate decisions concerning succession of leadership and the business of the ministry.
Dr. Robbie Horton, pastor and founder of Anointed Connection International Ministries in Los Angeles, passed away in May of this year. He preached the word of God for over 37 years and was an apostle, professor at Ministerial Training Institute (MTI), a counselor, author, and community activist. Under the ministry umbrella of IAM Fellowship, he oversaw churches and ministries throughout the world.
As a 26-year veteran communicating via the medium of the Internet, radio and television, Dr. Horton's reach was global. His weekly telecast was presented on The WORD Network along with archived teaching and ministry available on StreamingFaith.com. Dr. Horton was heard regularly on four continents through various radio stations and for over 25 years on KTYM 1460AM based locally in Inglewood.
The ministry baton was assumed by two of his children, Pastors Ivan C. and Nicole M. Horton, with the brother-sister duo taking on the pastoral responsibility and oversight of Anointed Connection. Pastor Ivan cites that Dr. Horton was a great pastor and father. Recognizing the gifting in his children, he trained them early for ministry. Given the opportunity to learn all about radio broadcasting and telecasting, they were encouraged that it is more important to flow in the Spirit of God.
During the last three years, Pastor Ivan traveled extensively throughout the United States with his father. "I learned the necessity of being instant and ready-not getting ready, but being prepared in the word of God and being ready. My father was an example of integrity and holiness, and he believed in the Word, the principles of God and taught foundational truths. He also believed that when the baton is passed, it is only to those who are ready to receive it," said Pastor Ivan.
He also recalled that his father had a consistent life of fasting, prayer and seeking God's face. "He was always on his knees and the miracles would manifest as he flowed in the Spirit. I value every moment of mentoring and tutoring. It was not just in knowing scriptures, but my father exemplified how to receive and respect pastors, leaders and the vision of other ministries.
"He covered other churches, gave advice and structuring. These churches changed and people were empowered by the anointing that was on my father's life and have committed to continued fellowship with us since his passing."
Pastors Ivan and Nicole Horton are dedicated to honoring their father's name and legacy by walking in the same integrity: walking with God, seeking His face, empowering His people and feeding His sheep.
"I liken Dr. Horton to Moses. Moses did not leave Egypt until all the people came out of the bondage of Egypt. I was excited that my father was here to see me delivered out of some things that would hinder the continuation of the ministry. A good father would not leave until all his children are prepared. Moses, like a good father, trained the people to enter into, occupy and remain in the territory of their inheritance--God's best.
"Just as Joshua sat under and was trained by Moses in the law and protocol on how to enter into and obtain the inheritance, I was trained in the law (the word of God) and the pattern of effective and anointed ministry," said Pastor Ivan.
He and his sister, Nicole, are committed to observing, executing and making use of the pattern that was set for them. They study and rehearse the pattern, which is the culmination of their father's 37 years of ministry and exemplary life.
When asked about the direction of the ministry, both pastors readily pronounced that what leads them is the motto, ‘Don't remove the landmark that the Apostle set.' Their goal is to carry on with the landmark, the vision that Dr. Horton saw and spoke out. Just as David designed the pattern of the temple and prepared for it, Solomon built it. Solomon didn't seek a new pattern, but constructed what David designed.
The vision of the ministry is to facilitate outreaches, like Youth for Excellence, to mentor young men and women; utilize radio, television and Internet to reach globally and teach the gospel for the name of Jesus Christ.
"We have been shown the pattern. Our goal is to increase, multiply and go toward the greater. That is what fathers would want their children to do - increase in the wisdom of God, power of God, and glory of God. Multiply and go into the greater," said Pastor Ivan.
Pastors Ivan and Nicole Horton are excited about Anointed Connection International Ministries and the future. They believe that if the appropriate steps and initiatives are taken, God will meet them and bless as they go into the greater.
Anointed Connection (A.O.C.O) International Ministries services are held every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., at the Courtyard by Marriott, located at 6333 Bristol Parkway in Culver City. The ministry website is www.anointedconnection.org.