Michael A. Walrond Jr., one of New York City’s most influential pastors who leads the more than 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, is coming under fire online for telling his congregants that the belief that Jesus is the only way to Heaven is “insanity.” Prior to preaching one of his sermons at First Corinthian just over two weeks ago, Walrond asked the congregation to recite their purpose statement, which he said “shape[s] our identity as a congregation.”
“We are an ever-evolving community of visionaries, dreamers, and doers who have been called by God to live the lives we were created to live; commanded by God to love beyond the limits of our prejudices and commissioned by God to serve,” the statement read. It was while explaining the statement to those who were not familiar with the church’s position that he explained his multiple ways to God concept. “If you are a person who believes in God, these words can apply to you, no matter what your faith background. We get so twisted in this country and in many cultures, to create divides and boundaries and barriers between human beings because of our faith difference,” said the pastor, who was named “One of the Lord’s Foot Soldiers” by Newsweek magazine.