March 22, 2023

There are four basic leadership styles:

° Democratic
° Laissez-faire
° Transformational

Most leadership styles have positive and negative aspects. While an autocratic leader might get things done, the costs can be high. Generally, an autocratic leader that just says, “Do it this way,” fails to inspire and demoralizes his or her followers because their full talents are not appreciated. A democratic leader surveys his team and makes decisions based on their consensus, but that style, while it can be acceptable, every member of the team has different talents and opinions. A Laissez-faire leader lets things — good or bad — take their own course without interference, but a transformational leader embodies a wide variety of skills and traits, chief among them are confidence, communication, and creativity.

Pastor Tolan Morgan is a transformational leader. In 2015 when Pastor Morgan was called to lead Fellowship Bible Baptist Church, it had been without a leader since the death of its founder, Pastor Willie L. Reid in 2012. Such a three-year absence in the pulpit would have severely hampered or doomed most churches other than Fellowship. However, following the Bible-based training of Pastor Reid, Fellowship survived and proved the axiom correct, “Good things come to those who wait.”

Pastor Morgan didn’t come into Fellowship like a whirling dervish. He took his time getting to know Fellowship and gave Fellowship time to get to know him. If there were a textbook about how to follow a church’s founding pastor, it would have to be authored by Pastor Morgan. One small example. Many times, after a leadership change, the former first lady ends up leaving her church home because she feels unwelcome by new leadership. Not so at Fellowship. Sister Gloria Reid still occupies an honored spot on the first row of the Faith Dome, and Pastor Morgan praises her late husband. While maintaining the staples of worship and innovation begun by Pastor Reid, such as “Victory Sunday,” Pastor Morgan has added, not subtracted, to Fellowship traditions.

Never was there a time more difficult for church leadership than the pandemic which stuck the world in March of 2020. Churches, schools and businesses were all shuttered, however, Fellowship innovated. FBBC’s presence on the Internet swelled and our outreach to members and the community increased. Needs were met — physically and spiritually — all while keeping the health and safety of our members as a chief concern. That’s what leadership looks like.

Pastor Morgan used the downtime to renovate the sanctuary and it became a venue that has world-class production capabilities. The makeover included infrastructure improvements to enhance streaming capabilities. Gone was the choir loft that strained worshippers’ necks. The stage was expanded, and new sound and lighting equipment was installed, including a 70-foot LED wall. Nothing was wasted. The old sound equipment was installed in the chapel, home to Fellowship’s “Lit Nation” youth church. Fellowship also hosts some of gospel music’s top performers.

Fellowship has always followed its motto: “A great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission makes for a great church!” Fellowship is a great church led by pastors who have guided Fellowship in the spirit of wisdom and truth.


Written by: Charles Richardson