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Jim Somerville

In interfaith dialogue, representatives from other religions talk about their individual faith and practice and what makes it so unique. But how do you transition to interfaith friendship? In one case, it was bowling. […] Read More

I may have pushed too hard in my sermon last Sunday. For three weeks after white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, I mentioned racism in my sermons and how we need to root it out of our hearts and out of our nation. I received an email from one television viewer who said I had […] Read More

Usually, before I go to bed at night, I make coffee, or maybe I should say I get my coffeemaker ready to make coffee. I empty the carafe, rinse it and put it in place. I grind the beans and measure them into the filter. I fill the reservoir with cold, clean water. And then […] Read More

Jim Somerville is pastor of First Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. Jim’s articles that have appeared on EthicsDaily.com are available here, and his Skype interview is available here. 1. Where did you grow up? I was born in Selma, Alabama, in 1959, but I grew up in rural, poverty-stricken, Boone County, West Virginia. 2. What […] Read More

At one point on my recent trip to the Middle East, a U.S. Army chaplain said to me with tears in his eyes, “We are at the beginning of something like the Protestant Reformation, and Father Nabil Haddad is like Martin Luther.” Father Nabil Haddad is the Catholic priest who invited six of us to […] Read More

Good Try, Peter!

A sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. August 10, 2014 The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain […] Read More

Just Like Jesus

A sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 14:13-21 At one point in my sabbatical I went to see my daughter Ellie in Charleston.  Ellie has spent the last few years working for some very glamorous magazines in New York, but Nick, her Australian husband, was […] Read More

A sermon by Jim Somerville, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. June 8, 2014 The Day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-21   In a way, the story of Pentecost is a ghost story.  It’s about the coming of the one the King James Version refers to as the “Holy Ghost.”  And although it isn’t a scary story, […] Read More

A sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. June 1, 2014 The Seventh Sunday of Easter John 17:1-11 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority […] Read More

A sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. May 25, 2014 The Sixth Sunday of Easter John 14:15-21 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom […] Read More