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Restoration Praise Center Leader Named ‘Pastor of the Year’

Story by Barbara Laws and Jewel Walwyn

Praizevision, an online worship site, recently presented Paul Graham, senior pastor of Potomac Conference’s Restoration Praise Center in Lanham, Md., its first Pastor of the Year award. The announcement came during Praizevision’s 5th anniversary celebration and concert at Mt. Vernon church (N.Y.). Members of his congregation chartered a bus to surprise their senior pastor and witness this exciting moment.

“I’m extremely honored that they would think of me when there are so many other pastors doing so many other things,” Graham said. “I also thank God for the award because it helps me to want to keep on working and help others understand that this is the work that we do—not to get an award but to get the reward—which is heaven.”

Pastor Graham’s wife, Windy, presented the award. During the celebration, a video was shown depicting his successes as pastor of Restoration Praise Center, a church that grew from a small family Bible study to over 600 weekly attendance. Everyone in the video expounded on his character as a leader who would lead this congregation with a conviction of loving Christ and being ready for Jesus’ return.

“For teaching us all how to journey by bravely and transparently journeying with us, for consistently meeting this cyber generation where they are, for these reasons and more, there could have been no better choice for Pastor of the Year!” Shari Loveday exclaimed.

“In October or November 2008, it had been two years since I’d been to church. My sister told me about a church that was going to be starting in Bowie. My kids and I went to the very first service at [RPC],” shared Miriam Taylor. “I was so impressed with Pastor Graham’s honesty, his conviction and his enthusiasm for the message. He taught rather than preached, and I learned to love the message once again.”

Kelvin L. Mitchell, administrative pastor, says his colleague’s “willingness to be vulnerable and transparent in his preaching/teaching allows him to connect with others, and others to connect with Christ. Congratulations Pastor Graham keep allowing the Holy Spirit to use you!” provides 24-hour video streaming of live and archived church services, concerts, and events, as well as 24-hour radio stations.