During a masterful guest appearance where he employed both sobering scriptural insights and hilarious comic asides, Pastor Phillip George Goudeaux, Jr., exhorted members of South L.A.’s Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC) to continue to place their unwavering trust in God.
“God is faithful when men fail us,” said Goudeaux, Jr., senior associate pastor of Sacramento-based Calvary Christian Center. “God is good because He is God. His faithfulness is based on our faith in Him.”
Goudeaux’s comments were part of a sermon that frequently had the CCC congregation laughing out loud one minute and sighing in soulful agreement the next. Whether preaching about family, sports, and church matters, or citing the challenges faced by Biblical legends like Lot, Moses, and Noah, Goudeaux, Jr. spoke in contemporary, keeping-it-real tones that left congregants hanging on his every word.
Goudeaux’s guest sermon was the latest in CCC’s 50th Jubilee Celebration series. Guest speakers featured thus far in 2023 are Bishop Jarron C. O’Neal, Apostle Beverly “BAM” Crawford, Pastor Kenneth W. Hagin, and even Goudeaux, Jr.’s father, Dr. Phillip Goudeaux, among others. Upcoming scheduled speakers include Dr. Creflo Dollar (Sept. 24), Dr. William M. Wilson (Oct. 22), and Bishop Wiley Jackson (Nov. 26).
Acknowledging CCC as “the house that faith built,” the 44-year-old Goudeaux – sporting braided hair and a fitted plaid blazer that outlined his brawny physique – confessed he was nervous about standing on what he called the “anointed carpet.” It’s the same carpet where CCC founder, the late Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, made his indelible mark (and where his son, Dr. Frederick K. Price, now presides).
Demonstrating his powerfully relevant sermon style, Goudeaux, Jr. used tropical storm Hilary, which recently pounded Southern California, as a metaphor for the upheavals Christians will face throughout their lives.
“We all go through storms, and if you read the Bible, you realize that you ain’t the only one who’s been through something,” Goudeaux, Jr. said.
To underscore his point, the pastor shared some of the obstacles he endured on his journey from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Goudeaux, Jr. explained to those in attendance that he had not only endured a flight cancellation, but that his son’s football game almost made the family miss a rescheduled flight. As if all this wasn’t enough, the pastor shared news about the surprising, sudden death of a family member who passed after routine knee surgery.
Again and again, Pastor Goudeaux, Jr. punctuated the frailty of human beings, citing himself as an example. “I have made more mistakes than I can count, but here I is,” he said in his trademark, down-home style. “We can be hard on ourselves for our mistakes, but the Bible says count it joy when you fall. God is calling us to live a life of love and faith in Him, not a perfect life.”
“There will be a falling, but that don’t stop the calling,” he rhymed, drawing laughs for lightheartedly boasting that CCC pastor, Dr. Frederick K. Price, wasn’t the only Generation X “preacher’s kid” who could rap — referring to a video shown at the start of service as a historical moment of Hip Hop Sunday.
Pastor Goudeaux, Jr. cited James 1:2-4: “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
With his wife and five children looking on, Goudeaux expressed awe in the unwavering faith of CCC founding first lady, Dr. Betty Price. The visiting pastor also acknowledged the love and support of “Dr. Fred” Price, whom he called his brother.
“I have a lot of cherished memories in this place,” Goudeaux, Jr. said, informing congregants that he had attended CCC services since before he could even read. In a heartwarming illustration of his family’s affection for the South L.A. church, the pastor and his wife, Naomi, presented Dr. Betty with a box filled with self-penned notes of love and admiration scribed by their entire family.
Addressing both the sanctuary and those livestreaming, Goudeaux, Jr. cited scripture to illustrate that hardships are intended to make us stronger.
“When our faith is tested, it stirs up the power of our endurance,” the pastor said. “Don’t be sluggish. Don’t allow your hearts to grow dull, or to lose enthusiasm. Follow the example of shining faith and endurance. Use what you are going through to develop a spiritual six-pack.”
Goudeaux continued to encourage members to remain disciplined and devoted, saying God sent him there to bolster up their confidence in His faithfulness. “Whatever the Lord wants to do, know that He is not through,” Goudeaux said referring to Hebrews 6:11, which says: “And, we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.”
Goudeaux, Jr. reassured congregants: “God is not finished with us, and we shouldn’t be finished with Him. It’s a sin to doubt God. God ain’t never let you down. Don’t give up on Him. No one can talk you out of what God brought you out of.”