Odenton Pastor to Offer Keynote at MLK Breakfast

Jimmy Rollins of the i5 Church will spread a message of service and community involvement.

Jimmy Rollins likes to use sports analogies. 

It's the fourth quarter, he says. Who will step up?

This is the challenge he extends to hundreds of worshipers each Sunday at the i5 Church in Odenton. And he'll also do it Monday as the keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast at Anne Arundel County Community College.

"I believe difference makers and game changers are made in the fourth quarter," he said. "I believe that our society is in the fourth quarter ... no one really wants to take the responsibility of making significant impacts. But I believe that on Monday, I'll come to wake up the game-changers and wake up the coaches."

As pastor at i5, Rollins preaches a message of helping others both locally and abroad, urging worshippers to be the "tangible hands of Christ." The motto of the i5 Church is "Impacting You to Impact the World."

"Our vision, if you will, is to create a vehicle and a movement that will facilitate change in the community and be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem," he said. 

The i5 Church was formerly known as Living Waters. It changed the name last year to reflect five key things that the church has decided to focus on in its community service—food, water, clothing, invitation and care. They are items mentioned in a portion of the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus asks his disciples to honor him by caring for the less fortunate. 

The church has launched a series of iniatives with these things in mind. It operates a food pantry each Saturday and has delivered hundreds of bags of groceries to needy families. It has a massive back-to-school supplies drive each August, and supports local groups including the People's Community Health Center and Sarah's House.

Members have gone on mission trips to Tanzania to build wells, and the church is contributing $20,000 to build a school in the slums of Kenya. 

The church also operates an elite track and field program for kids, known as i5 Elite. 

And, the church can respond quickly. When the power was out at thousands of homes last June, Rollins organized a free continental breakfast to anyone who stopped by. 

While most of the worshippers at i5 are African-American, he is wary of being categorized as merely a "black church." He has encouraged the church to welcome everyone, and noted that it was King who observed that churches have historically been among the most stubbornly segregated institutions. 

Rollins said he has watched or listened to King's speeches counteless times, but will frequently recall the message behind the well-known "Drum Major Instinct" sermon. In it, King sought to deliver a message of achieving greatness through service. 

King's most famous speech, of course, is the "I Have a Dream" message on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. 

"The dream was 50 years ago and the reality still needs to be lived out," Rollins said. "Although we have made outward progress, have we really made inward progress? By that, I mean that we have white hands that write in black ink and we have black hands that write on white paper. But are white and black hands holding hands?

"Until you feel it in your heart a need to embrace everyone, we really haven't progressed as much as we thought."


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