In what has been a newsworthy week of proactive decision making, Mayor- Elect Joe Hogsett showed once again on Sunday morning that he will not waste time getting down to the business of running this city. Sunday, David Hampton, senior pastor of Light of the World Christian Church announced to congregants that he would be taking on a new role as deputy mayor in the newly-elected mayor’s office.
Hampton’s appointment comes just days after the resignation of current Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Rick Hite and the re-hiring of former public safety director Troy Riggs in Hite’s soon-to-be former role. Sources say Hogsett is scheduled to make an official announcement on Tuesday naming Hampton and one other yet-to-be named individual deputy mayors.
In an exclusive interview with the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, Hampton shared that the appointment has been in the making for quite some time.
“Joe Hogsett and I have actually been friends since seminary,” said Hampton. The pair attended Christian Theological Seminary together in the late 1990s and kept in touch throughout the years. When Hogsett ultimately made the decision to pursue the office of mayor, he asked Hampton to be a member of his advisory team. Once he was elected, Hogsett pegged Hampton to join him once more as a member of his transition team. The possibility of Hampton becoming his deputy mayor was something the two had been discussing for a while.
When asked what his official duties will entail, Hampton was careful to state the specifics of his position are still currently being worked out.
“Olgen Williams is in that current role as deputy of neighborhoods. We’re probably going to reconfigure that role and I can’t speak on it yet.”
Of his predecessor he said, “Olgen has to me been a great personal friend. I think he’s done a fantastic job in his role and I’m looking forward to being his successor to some degree… I want to see the best not just for the African-American community but for our whole community. (Hogsett) has been really emphasizing that we’re one city and I want to continue to espouse that philosophy.”
The announcement was met with both congratulatory and cautious responses from churchgoers and community residents as some wonder how he will be able to pastor a growing congregation while working a full-time governmental role.
Hampton said the criticism is understandable.
“I let my church know this in no way an exclusion of ministry to me. It is an extension of ministry to now be able to do what I do. I’ve been a community activist, I’ve been engaged, I’ve sat on boards and committees and given my time so for me to be able to actualize that now in this official role and capacity is a great honor but not one that is without challenges.”
“I say to the critics - How am I going to do it? With your help and support. When they say, 'Well, Pastor Hampton is trying to serve two gods,' my push back is, 'no I’m serving one and he’s the same God that ordained every government and is over every nation,'” he said quoting Romans 13:1.
“I know there is a lot of worry and concern but I say that we should just give it a chance. Give me a chance and give the new administration a chance. I think I’ve already proven that I care about the community. Let me prove that I can do this job.”