Your friendly neighborhood GetReligionistas always love story tips from readers.
I appreciated this one from Matt Carney in my home state of Oklahoma:
@bobbyross did you happen to catch Sunday's Tulsa World A-1? Had a nice profile of Billy Joe Daugherty's son taking over the family business
— matt (@OKmattcarney) July 14, 2014
I had not seen it.
The top of the story:
Paul Daugherty will turn 29 on Aug. 27, three days after he becomes the senior pastor of Victory Christian Center, one of Tulsa’s largest churches. His parents, Sharon Daugherty and the late Billy Joe Daugherty, were about the same age when they founded the church 33 years ago, and watched it quickly grow to one of Tulsa’s leading charismatic churches.
He will oversee a ministry that draws 7,600 weekly worshipers to its state-of-the-art facility at 7700 S. Lewis Ave., runs an international Bible school network of 1,542 schools in nearly 100 nations, and operates a major Christian school and the Tulsa Dream Center, an outreach to the north Tulsa community.
And he will remain in a neighborhood that has been central to his entire life.
I'll second Carney's opinion: It was a nice profile. Maybe too nice, but then we journalists tend to be contrarians.
Here's what I like about it: It gives prominent play to a major change involving one of the largest churches in the newspaper's coverage area. And it provides plenty of space for the new pastor to describe himself — and his journey to his new role — in his own words:
“The night my dad passed away, I was holding his hand ... and just, crying, ‘God, please let my dad live.’ And I just had this moment, where God was like: ‘He’s with me now, and he’s happy. Serve your mom and serve the church, and get ready because you’re going to step into this role one day.’ That scared me, because I had never thought about being the pastor of Victory.
“I was the youngest sibling. ... I didn’t say anything. But I took it to heart, and started serving my mom wholeheartedly.”
Confirmation came a year and a half later, he said, when his mother told him: “I think you should know that your dad had spoken that you would one day step into the role as pastor, but that you needed time to develop.”
But here's what I found lacking: context to help understand the significance of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa and the new pastor.
Rather than simply quote Paul Daugherty, I wish the World had included other voices to help flesh out the story — from outside observers (and even critics) to leading sources within the charismatic movement to ordinary members of Victory Christian.
By all means, read the full story and let me know if you agree — or heaven forbid, disagree — with my analysis.