Minister Claude Cheatham


“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” - Psalm 100:1-2


A powerful declaration of faith happened during an interview with President Barack Obama, given with the Chicago Sun in 2004 when he was running for president. 


If you have yet to see it, read it, or hear about it, it's important that you do. In this powerfully defining interview, then Senator Obama ended his answers about faith and black culture with words that took everyone's attention away from the controversy at the time. He said, "Nothing is more powerful than the black church experience, a good choir, and a good preacher." It's hard not to be moved and taken away by a good sermon in a black church. Many of us can agree with President Obama's statement. The truth is that worship can take many different forms, but it all comes back to the fact that it makes us want to seek God. Dr. James Comb, the founder of Black Liberation Theology, wrote in his book "God of the Oppressed" that what people think about God affects how they live their lives. Likewise, Jesus and the church are connected to their own social and political status in society. 

"Yes, beloved, the black church must evolve and embrace cultural project progression except change and restructuring," says President Obama. "However, it is the black church worship experience that has mobilized millions of people during hard times and given them strength during the awkwardness of the struggle.




“I will bless the Lord at all times;  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” - Psalm 34:1


Today, I want to encourage you to go to the point where the power and presence of God consume us. Go to church to the point where you don't care who's looking at you, what they say about you, what they think about you, or how they feel about you because God's power and presence consume you. Let's go to church to the point where you feel unrestrained and free as you read this today.  Let's go to church according to Psalm 150: 6, which says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

In the Bible, they rebuilt the temple 80 years after the king of Babylon destroyed it. Imagine being mistreated by a king, which led to a spirit of stagnation, captivity, and complacency among the people. The Israelites had finally reached their rebuilding season. If we're like the Israelites, could it be that God gives us 80 years' worth of blessings if we praise Him? You should praise God for giving you the right to vote and the ability to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. 


Declare this today: "I came to give God 80 years' worth of praise, and it's about time I do!”




But what does it mean to have church? How do we have church?  


First, if we're going to have church, it must be an intentional time of praise. 


Sometimes we find ourselves sitting in worship with a percentage of our mind and a percentage of our mouth. What I've learned is that we must bring our ears, our hands, and our mouths. We can't worship God without our minds, and we can't worship God without our mouths.  John 4:24 says thatGod is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Unfortunately, there are times when we are teaching that we're not in the spirit. That's why Paul talks in Romans about the importance of renewing our minds. I would say this is more important than being moral. Because if we don't renew our minds, we'll bring the wrong spirit into our lives.




Psalm 100:1-2 implies that making a joyful noise is intentional.  The idea of “joyful noise” literally means to give a public confession of the goodness of God, and Psalm 98:4 says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” Throughout Psalms, we find praise after praise of the goodness of God.


In essence, if we're going to have church, we must have a party for the Lord. Therefore, our worship must be exciting, excellent, inviting, and active, as if we were at a party.


Have you ever noticed that when a party starts at 8, you get there around 10? But, if the party begins at 9, you would stay until about 11. Why? Because you wanted to see and experience the hype and momentum of the party. When the party is going strong, you want to get there when the DJ is playing and everyone is dancing. You want to get to the party when it's fun, but you might not realize that the same excitement we have in the world is what we should have in the sanctuary. We should be ready for the party when we come into the sanctuary. We should come with our hands raised, our mouths full of praise, our feet moving, and our hands clapping because no one wants to go to a boring party. 


This is what it means to have church. We must come ready for an intense party. Psalm 47:1 says that we should be clapping our hands loudly. In addition, Psalm 150 says the drums should be loud. Our voices should be loud because we come to church to have an intense party. If we go dancing in the world, we need to dance in the church more because we don't want the Lord to think we love anyone other than Him. 




Not only do we have to have intentional and intense praise, but we also have to have inspired praise. Psalm 100:1 speaks of all the people and all the lands giving praise to God. This means that the earth speaks and gives us a chance to give God glory. 


Whenever we see the mountains, it speaks of God's glory. Whenever we hear birds chirping, the birds speak of God's glory. When we hear the wind blowing and see the trees move, the trees are talking about the power and presence of God.  We must decide not to let the rocks cry out for us. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! 


Today, declare:  "I'm going to join the rest of the world in praising God. I'm not going to let the rocks speak for me.  I won't let the birds be louder than me. I won't let the wind be louder than me. I will intentionally, intensely, and inspiringly praise God whenever I come to church!” 

Atlanta Campus

4245 Cascade Rd SW
City of South Fulton, GA


Service Times 
Sundays: 7:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m.  12:00 p.m. (In-person and Online)

6:00 p.m. (Online Only)

Smyrna Campus

2581 Spring Road Smyrna, GA 30080

Sundays 8:30am

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2990 Bright Star Road
Douglasville GA 30134

Service Times
10:45 a.m.

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