O’Ree: Pastors need to work for God, not man

Published 1:46 am Saturday, September 12, 2015

Christ Way Ministries Pastor Michael O’Ree said it is time for the clergy to stand up and spread the truth about Jesus.

O’Ree has pastored Christ Way Ministries for the past 18 months. He and his wife, Christa, have been married for seven years. They are the parents of five children. He is a former member of the Bogalusa City Council.

“The biggest issue in the church is it’s time for leaders to stand and represent God’s principles.” Michael O’Ree said. “At any job you go to, the supervisor or manager holds all employees accountable for their job performance. If they tell you to work certain hours or work overtime or take a drug test, you’re expected to do it.

“But in the church, all accountability seems to be lost. We have people in the church molesting children, who are active participants in worldly circles and misleading people with their false lifestyle.”

O’Ree said people have lost the reason for attending church.

“The meaning of the word church is lost,” he said. “The average person thinks of church as a social club. Church means to be called out of the world. Believers are the body of Christ. I’m called out to be different because I’m a believer in Jesus Christ.”

O’Ree said church needs to return to its roots.

“Today the church is worried about being accepted by the world and all the politicians of the world,” O’Ree said. “People show more love to you on the street than in church. Pastors and leaders are afraid to tell the truth and spread the Gospel. We’re more concerned about being accepted and filling the pews.

“How can you love an individual without telling him or her the truth? As a pastor, you are the shepherd and supposed to protect the sheep. You do that by telling the truth, showing love and having patience.”

O’Ree noted that tough love is sometimes necessary.

“As a pastor, how could I say I love my members and know they’re not living right and I don’t say anything to them,” he said. “Every parent is going to tell their kids when their clothes don’t match or to settle down when they misbehave in school. They’re going to protect their child from danger and warn them about bad choices.”

O’Ree said his church is not perfect, but he believes in accountability.
“God didn’t call me to try and win a popularity contest,” O’Ree said. “He called me to bear witness to the truth. It’s not about denominations or race. It’s about the truth. Segregation ended in Bogalusa in the 1960s. Segregation in the church hasn’t ended. It’s time for all believers — white and black — to come together and spread the word of God.”

O’Ree said God put it on minister Dave Ziegler’s heart to come to Bogalusa’s Cassidy Park for a day of prayer on Saturday, Nov. 7, in an effort to bring all races together.

First Lady Christa O’Ree said her calling is to assist her husband in every way.

“I love my husband and my church family. I support my husband 100 percent on the word of God,” she said. “God has placed me here to be his helpmate and support the position God has placed on Michael in our growing ministry.”
Christ Way Ministries has grown to 275 members in 18 months.

“There are over 50 churches in Bogalusa and over 200 preachers. Honestly, most of these people don’t work for God; they work for themselves or a family in the church,” the Rev. O’Ree said. “We have to preach the word in an uncompromising way. If we are sincere in leading people to Christ, we need to make a stand ourselves and pick a side so we can pull people to Christ.

“If we’re afraid to make a stand, how can you pull anyone to Christ? You can’t. I grew up in the church and saw a lot of things that weren’t right, including things I was doing. It’s time for the real believers to stand.”