Virginia Pastor Jim Somerville Launches New Company to Offer Sermons from Respected Preachers to Small Congregations

Jim Somerville
Jim Somerville

One of the most pressing needs of struggling churches — good preaching — has inspired a Baptist pastor to launch a company providing a streaming sermon service.

“This is something I have been thinking about for years,” said Jim Somerville, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Richmond, Va.

The thinking behind the paid resource, A Sermon for Every Sunday, began as more American churches began to struggle with declining memberships and revenues.

The ecumenical project is aimed at home churches or congregations served monthly by itinerant clergy. It’s also meant for Sunday school classes, Bible studies and individual use.

“I’m thinking about small churches that might not have a pastor or they might have an interim and their preacher is away on Sunday — I want to give them something good,” Somerville said.

That something is a website where a sermon can be rented for $1.99 or purchased for $4.99 from the video-on-demand site. Sermons will be 12-15 minutes long and posted each Sunday beginning Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent.

The preachers — more than 20 of whom already have been recorded — represent a number of denominations. They include Michael Curry, Brian McLaren and Karoline Lewis.

The opening sermon will be delivered by Will Willimon, a United Methodist bishop and former dean of the chapel at Duke University. Baptist Amy Butler, senior minister at Riverside Church in New York, has been contracted to preach as well, Somerville said.

He added he’s unaware of any similar services except those offering mostly audio sermons.

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SOURCE: Baptist News Global
Jeff Brumley