The Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland
- Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr.,
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor
III, the 20th Editor, The Christian
1. TCR EDITORIAL – “THE BEST LAID PLANS CAN GO AWRY”:
The 20th Editor of The
The “truth” of Robert Burns’ poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her up in Her Nest with the Plough
” and John
Steinbeck’s 1937 novel “Of Mice and Men
based upon the Burns’ poem - “The best laid plans can go awry.”
No matter how well you think you have planned something, always
expect the unexpected because just when you think you've done all you can for
everything to go right, something can still go awry. The most carefully
prepared plans may not turn out as planned and the moral of all of this is to
always have a backup plan.
surprisingly the backup plan sometimes turns out better than plan “A.”
Sometimes in life and even in ministry, the best laid plans can
“go astray” and, if you always have a backup plan, the backup plan might just
work as effectively as “Plan A” would have worked.
And, that’s what happened to me this week.
Upon learning of the passing of Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson,
I had planned to write an article in tribute to his ministry and was going
reflect upon some of my interactions with him and use some of the content from
I even sent a message to
Ms. Jacqueline Dupont Walker requesting the Word copy of the obituary,
promising to embargo it until Friday, which she was kind enough to forward to
I then had another idea. Early in the week, I sent a message to
all of the bishops and general officers inviting them to share comments about
Here is where Plan “A”
started to go awry
My plan to include the comments from bishops and general
officers seemed like a great idea. I expected to receive three or four
comments, but the comments kept coming and soon I had more than I
I expected a short obituary, but it was longer than I thought it
would have been. The Bishop Vinton Anderson obituary was thorough and to take
away from it seemed, to me, to be a stretch because Bishop Anderson had done so
much for the African Methodist Episcopal Church, local churches, local communities,
and the Ecumenical community and had done so much for so many people.
And, added to that my dear friend and neighbor Michael Caver
added a letter and added to that, I received a message from our AME Chaplain
(Captain) Siebou in Bagram, Afghanistan who texted me during Bishop Anderson’s
Homegoing Service to share with me that he was watching the video-streamed
worship service; and how appreciative he was the experience.
“The best laid plans can
Vinton R. Anderson Obituary shares his life and ministry better than I can
share it and the bishops’ statement in their own words are better than any
paraphrase I can develop.
shares the comments of the bishops and general officers, my neighbor, Michael
Caver and Chaplain Siebou followed by the full obituary.
share my reflections in the next issue.
COMMENTS OF BISHOPS AND GENERAL OFFICERS IN
THE ORDER RECEIVED:
“Bishop Vinton Anderson had a great love in his heart for
children. All around the AMEC there are adults who talk about how they will
never forget how special the Bishop Anderson made them feel when they were
- Bishop John R. Bryant, Presiding Prelate of the 4th
Episcopal District and Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
-- The Rev. Dr. George F.
My fond memory of Bishop Vinton R. Anderson was when he served
as the Ecumenical and Urban Affairs Officer for the African Methodist Episcopal
Church from 1984-1988. He led the Church in celebrating its Bicentennial
Festival in Episcopal Districts around the Church in 1987. However, there were
two of the celebrations I bring forth for honorable mention:
Episcopal District hosted
a “Bicentennial Celebration” held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the 7th
Episcopal District hosted a “Bicentennial Celebration” held in Charleston,
The giftedness and superb leadership given by Bishop Anderson
gave me, as a young pastor, an opportunity to serve on the Connectional
Bicentennial Committee and impacted my ministry. South Carolina hosted a grand
event representing all the people of the Seventh Episcopal District.
Bishop Anderson had a shepherd's heart and spirit!
Global Witness and Ministry
-- Bishop and Mrs. A. J.
Mrs. Richardson and I will forever be grateful to Bishop and
Mrs. Anderson for the example they set in marriage and in ministry. I especially
treasure the opportunity to have gleaned from his wisdom and his largess over
Nearly 45 years ago, I was among several Turner Theological
Seminary students introduced to him by William Watley at a Connectional meeting
in Dallas, Texas. The then, Dr. Vinton Randolph Anderson was pastor of St. Paul
AME Church in St. Louis, Missouri and a candidate for episcopal service. He
came to our rescue when we were in distress.
He would soon become Bishop Vinton R. Anderson, presiding in
neighboring Alabama when we served in Columbus, Georgia. He preached for us at
Trinity AME Church in Atlanta; and there baptized the young children of his
sister, Sharon Crenchaw.
Through the years, he trusted me with great preaching
opportunities. It happens that he would be the Easter Sunday morning preacher
at Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee, Florida on the day that his pre-recorded
interview was broadcast on Face the
. It was a great day for him, of course; but, also for the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
My wife, Supervisor Connie and I had the opportunity, as the
Episcopal Team, to follow Bishop and Mrs. Anderson into the Second Episcopal
District was a signal honor. It is true, after eight years of our service
there, many of the people were still addressing us as "Bishop as Mrs.
Anderson." After a while, we no longer had the heart or the will to
From the Eleventh Episcopal District, our thoughts and prayers
are with Mrs. Vivienne Anderson, her sons and extended family.
Bishop Adam J. and Mrs. S. Connie Richardson, Episcopal Team,
-- Bishop T. Larry
Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson was the ultimate servant-leader
and friend to all who knew him.
counted him as a friend and he and Vivienne as members of our family. He was an
inspirer and a mentor. He set the example for the episcopacy and he loved
people. He loved his calling to the ministry and he loved his family.
He loved preachers and encouraged them to
strive to the highest good and to always strive to achieve their best and to
He loved the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
worship and liturgy and he loved creativity in worship.
He loved great preaching and one could see
the sparkle in his eyes when the preacher “brought the gravy home in a sermon.”
Sister Vivienne and Bishop Vinton R. Anderson were the ultimate
Episcopal Team and an example for all of us. He will be missed by the AME
Church and especially the 5th
-- Bishop David Rwhynica
I remember Bishop Vinton R. Anderson saying during one of our
Presiding Elders and Pastors Retirement Board Meeting that we must do all we
can to promote our Church at all cost wherever we were serving and at whatever
level of the Church. We owe it to God and our Church to give our Zion service
of Excellence and as he did during his episcopacy. I can hear him saying, “You
can’t give up, no matter what they do to you.”
Well, Bishop Anderson, “Rest in Perfect Peace and know that we
will never "Give up" in well-doing.
Bishop David Rwhynica
Daniels, Jr., Presiding Prelate of the 15th
-- Bishop Reginald T.
Bishop Vinton Anderson was the premier example of a churchman. His
love of worship, excellence in service and commitment to ecumenism has been a
blessing, not only to African Methodism, but to the body of Christ. It is an
example each of us should seek to emulate. Thank God for him, his service and
Bishop Vinton R. Anderson was a Servant Bishop and an incredible
- Bishop John F. White Presiding Prelate of the 16th
-- The Rev. Dr. Teresa
Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson taught me two valuable spiritual
lessons as he taught me how to navigate the path of ministry.
I remember him beginning sermons with "I would have lost
heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the
land of the living" or the refrain from "There's Something Mighty
Sweet about the Lord" as he recounted his childhood in Bermuda; the lesson
was regardless of what we encounter or the circumstances of our origins, God is
faithful. There is room at the table for each person's gifts and graces. We
must take seriously all opportunities to serve.
The second lesson came though working with Bishop Anderson on
the Faith and Order Committee. I am continually inspired by his love of liturgy
as a means of honoring God and his ecumenical leadership. He modeled that all
persons have equal access to worship God "under their own vine and fig
tree" and, as well as in diverse languages, varied rhythms, and different
liturgies as covenant sons and daughters of God.
I thank God that Bishop Anderson's soul is shouting in the
presence of the inclusive, sweet and faithful God.
The Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, AMEC Historiographer and
Executive Director of Research and Scholarship
For eight years I was with Bishop Anderson in Washington, DC
when he was the Presiding Prelate of the 2nd
Episcopal District. He
was an excellent mentor and always remained the same. He was spiritual, yet,
“down to earth.”
Everyone loved him!
Dr. Richard A. Lewis, Treasurer/CFO, AMEC Finance Department
--Retired Bishop Carolyn
Because of Bishop Vinton Anderson, I am a Bishop in the AME
It was he who gave me a major
church appointment and later appointed me to be a presiding elder…and as
"they" say, “the rest is history!”
Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Retired
-- Bishop Clement W. Fugh
Bishop Vinton R. Anderson (92nd elected and consecrated Bishop)
on the subject of the Episcopacy: "There are new demands and larger
responsibilities, but no automatic endowment of wisdom or holiness."
Bishop Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Prelate, 14th
-- Bishop E. Earl McCloud
Bishop Anderson like few others who served The Lord under the
banner of African Methodism enjoyed the hymns of the Church.
He did not abbreviate them, by singing some
verses and leaving out others, rather he celebrated them and enjoyed their
availability to the Church.
bless more of his memories.
Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr., 127th
consecrated Bishop, AME Church
-- Paulette Coleman,
Ph.D., Retired General Officer
Bishop Anderson was a wonderful human being who loved God, his
family, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
It was wonderful to watch him in ecumenical
settings and his amazing gift for being calm and even-tempered; even in intense
He loved worship and was
meticulous in designing worship experiences, particularly evident in
Connectional settings, which were biblically and liturgically sound; yet gave
room for praise and free spiritual expression.
I got to know him when he was responsible for leading the
denomination in celebration of the 1787 walk-out of St. George's Methodist
I always think of the 1987
celebrations as the “bicentennial” of the conception of African Methodism.
Obviously, my thoughts of Bishop Anderson are
even more vivid as we prepare for the bicentennial of our legal incorporation
of 1816 and our system of General Conferences.
“God be praised that we have made it thus far.”
Bishop Anderson cared about people. I had the good fortune of
traveling to the Fifteenth Episcopal District for lay ministry coincident with
Bishop and Mrs. Anderson leading a delegation from the Fifth Episcopal District
to the World Council of Churches of which he was a President from 1991-1998.
Even with his official responsibilities, Bishop Anderson always
made time for his group and included them in all of the proceedings. He had a
heart for God's people and demonstrated it in innumerable ways.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Anderson and their sons
and their family during this new season in their lives without their beloved
husband, father, grandfather, and friend.
Paulette Coleman, Ph.D., retired General Officer
--Michael Caver, A person
Bishop Anderson never personally met
I shared Bishop Anderson's poem, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE with my
neighbor Michael Caver and he had shared that he was blessed by the prayer and
had shared it with his parish prayer group, Sunday School class and the parishioners
at St. David's Episcopal Church in Nashville. Upon hearing of Bishop Anderson's
passing, he wrote a message to Mrs. Anderson:
Bishop Anderson's prayer is among my truly treasured prayers. It
speaks to us all in the best tradition of pulpit preachers and authors of hymn
texts and poems in the wording of the people.
However, Bishop Anderson did something far more precious: He
dealt directly with our self-imposed curse- comparing our realities with our
fantasies: In the unreal world of our imaginings we overlook the most
fundamental fact we are created in His image. Overlooking that by comparing
ourselves to our baseline of fantasies denigrates this fact. I say “curse”
because we carry this cross through our lives: Never reaching our fantasies while
denying God the Father, unconscious as it may be.
I give thanks for the Bishop’s gift to me whenever I reread his
Please accept my condolences on your loss.
Bishop Anderson's Prayer
When I question who I am
and fret about who I’m not,
I listen quietly to YOU,
I love whom YOU made me to
What I am and what I’m
Because that’s who I am
and that’s not who I’m not.
Forgive me the sin of
Filled with YOUR love
I will love without
All and everything YOU put
in my life.
Teach me to pass on to
others that love;
To love who they are and
who they are not.
For in YOUR image YOU made
To love unconditionally
and never not.
For the soul I shout
And for all whom YOU have
For the person I am and
for the person I’m not,
And for the soul I shall
Mr. Michael Caver is a neighbor of the Rev. Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor
-- From Chaplain
Captain Samuel D. Siebo in Bagram, Afghanistan
Bishop Vinton Anderson Homegoing Seen Around the World:
I am writing to express special thanks and appreciation to my beloved
Zion, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the family of our beloved
Bishop, the Right Reverend Vinton Randolph Anderson for affording thousands of
AMEs and others around the world including myself, currently serving our troops
in Afghanistan, as Battalion Chaplain of 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment,
headquartered in Fort Bliss, Texas, the opportunity to pay our final respects
to Bishop Vinton Randolf Anderson, through the Celebration of Life Service that
was video-streamed on the World Wide Web.
I was on Battlefield Circulation (visiting my troops) in South Eastern
Afghanistan; providing spiritual fitness and resiliency events to the soldiers
on the Battlefield, but I was also in prayers for the Anderson family and our
great Zion, as I did my job.
Fortunately for me, I flew into Bagram Airfield (BAF) time enough to tune
in and watch the service.
Upon landing at the airfield, I quickly plugged in my iphone and went
into my email and I was blessed to see The
Christian Recorder Online with the link Chaplain Colonel, the Rev. Dr.
Calvin Sydnor III sent out with the link to the live service. I, at Bagram Air
Base in Afghanistan, clicked the link and there I was, connected to the
Celebration of Life Service at St. Paul AME Church in St. Louis, Missouri in
the United States of America.
I did not only watch the service online but I was a part of the service,
in that, I sang along with the choir, supported Bishop Kirkland as he preached
a wonderful sermon, which energized me to serve my troops to the best of my
ability and serve God in the beauty of holiness.
I enjoyed the tributes and testimonies of the life of a great Churchman,
he Reverend Father in God, Bishop Vinton R. Anderson; truly, he was a man of
My tribute to and testimony of Bishop Anderson is the fact that I can
vividly remember when a good friend of mine, an AME minister from West Africa;
Liberia, to be exact, needed theological education. He called Bishop Anderson
from Africa and asked for scholarship to attend Payne Theological Seminary, so
as to become a better minister in our church. Bishop Anderson did not know this
brother and had never seen him. Bishop accepted the request and granted this
brother full-scholarship to Payne Theological Seminary.
Today, the young man is a seminary-trained minister in the African
Methodist Episcopal Church. This is a true attribute of a Godly man, who will
reach out to the less-fortunate in our world.
Mother Anderson and family, Bishop Anderson lived the life of a servant
–leader and as Bishop Kirkland preached in his sermon, Bishop Anderson fought a
good fight and ran a successful race; and through my eyes of faith, I can see
the Righteous Judge, the Great God of Hosts, placing on the head of Bishop
Anderson, the “Crown of Righteousness” and saying to our beloved Bishop “Well
done thou good and faithful servant, come now and enjoy the place of eternal
We will miss our Bishop, father, husband and friend; we love him but
Jesus loves him best.
Bishop Anderson, I wish you Good Night, for on that great “getting up
morning,” when souls and bodies meet again, we will see you standing in the
Presence of the Most High God.
To God be the glory for the life of Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson.
Chaplain Captain Samuel D. Siebo, an AME Itinerant Elder is stationed in
-- The Rev. V.
Gordon Glenn III
On the Homegoing of Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson, 92nd
Bishop Our Church:
In the summer after I was born, the Rev. Vinton Randolph Anderson was
elevated from being pastor Anderson to Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson by way
of election at the 1972 General Conference.
When I joined The AME Church in 1999 and went to my first General
Conference in 2000, Bishop Vinton Anderson was entering his last quadrennial
before officially retiring in 2004.
Even in his 10 years of retirement, I remember his sage advice, careful
leadership and powerful preaching whenever the 5th Episcopal
District met in St. Louis. His photo still hangs outside the pastor’s study of
the first church he served as pastor, St. Mark’s AME in Topeka, Kansas.
I didn’t know him, personally, obviously many did. In fact, prior to,
during, and following his Homegoing Service, FaceBook, and other social network sites were filled with people expressing
fond memories of him as their pastor, bishop, mentor and friend.
Unable to be present for the service at St. Paul AME Church in St. Louis,
Missouri, I watched with awe as he was described as “A princely man of godly
grace” and an “outstanding Episcopal father.” He was lauded for his “life,
legacy, and work” and “… for what he has taught us.” Dignitary after dignitary
stood and paid homage to Bishop Anderson’s love for family exemplified by his
marriage to his wife Vivienne for 62 years, and his warm relationship with sons
It was particularly moving when his youngest son stood to give personal
stories, not about him as a bishop, but as a father and one who showed great
and genuine love for his wife and family.
When Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, the presiding prelate of the 5th
Episcopal District, stood to offer the eulogy, it was more than lofty words
offered to impress those in attendance. The eulogy was more than a preacher
offering kind words to a “good person” who had passed that would be missed.
Bishop Kirkland’s words were those of a friend who had lost a friend. In fact,
Bishop Kirkland hinted in his opening remarks that perhaps he should be
“sitting with the family instead of in the pulpit.”
I was struck by the pastoral nature mixed with the familial nature of his
words of comfort. Bishop Kirkland preached from the subject, “Ministry
Fulfilled” at the behest of Mrs. Anderson. His text was taken from 2 Timothy
4:6-8, particularly from the words, “I
have fought the good fight, kept the faith, now there is a crown of
righteousness waiting for me...”
Bishop Kirkland noted that, “If there was anyone who had fulfilled his
ministry, it was Bishop Anderson, for he was the epitome of excellence and
experience; a unique gift to the body of Christ. He served with dignity,
determination, poise and professionalism…”
As the recessional song was being sung and the Bishops, General Officers,
members of the Judicial Council and other dignitaries filed past the family
leading the covered casket out of the sanctuary, the live-streaming paused as
the purple draped casket wheeled by. In the center of the draping was the AME
crest and in the center of the frame was the top of our crest, which simply
Bishop Anderson taught so many of us by word and living example, what it
meant to be Methodist in general and a part of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church in particular, it was fitting that the live-streaming was buffering just
at that moment.
Truly, “when we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.”
“God, be with you,” Bishop Anderson, “… until we meet again.”
*The Rev. V. Gordon Glenn III is the Director of Public Relations for the
Midwest Conference, 5th District and pastor of St. John AME Church in Topeka,
--- BISHOP VINTON RANDOLPH ANDERSON OBITUARY---
A Season of Birth and
Vinton Randolph Anderson
was born on July 11, 1927, in Somerset, Bermuda. In his early years he went to
live with Aunt Fannie and Uncle Lawson, bonding with this extended family,
which included a foster brother—Malcolm Eve. It was at home and his home
church, St. Paul AME, where he was taught skills to navigate life, to assume
leadership among his peers, and to appreciate worship.
He assumed leadership in the ACE League
Fellowship, Sons of Allen, and Sunday School. Vinton attended private
elementary and high schools on the Island where he distinguished himself as a
After graduation, he was
apprenticed to the docks to be trained as a carpenter, but felt unfulfilled,
yearning to use his intellect more.
Consequently, when Bishop R. R. Wright, Jr., after hearing this “onion
exhort,” invited him to leave the scenic beauty of Bermuda and travel across
the ocean to the USA to study at Wilberforce University, with only $ 700 in his
pocket and a promise that “the bishop” would take care of him, Vinton gladly
accepted the challenge and migrated to the USA in 1947.
Beginning a Season of
became attracted to Vivienne Cholmondeley when she visited her grandparents’
Vinton found reasons to get her
attention with his athletic prowess and win her affection, which led to
courtship as teenagers. Allen Temple AME Church was their favorite meeting place.
Later, their courtship continued long
After his first year at
Wilberforce, he convinced his childhood sweetheart, Vivienne, to also journey
to Wilberforce University.
graduated Vinton and Vivienne became one in marriage on that campus, the
wedding reception being held in the home of Drs. McDonald and Jamye Coleman
Williams, who had served as their surrogate parents. From there they began
their partnership in marriage and ministry that has spanned 62 years. From
their union four beloved children were born: Vinton Randolph, Jr., Jeffrey
Charles, Carlton Lawson, and Kenneth Robert.
A Season of Study - To
Show Himself Approved
simultaneously enrolled at Wilberforce University and Payne Theological
Seminary, was graduated with honors, earning the Bachelor of Arts and Master of
Later, he earned a
Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Kansas, pursued
continuing education at Yale University Divinity School, and became an alumnus
of the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission, Chicago.
received honorary doctorates from Paul Quinn College, Wilberforce University,
Payne Theological Seminary, Temple Bible College, Morris Brown College,
Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), and Eden Theological
After retirement, he became an
adjunct faculty member at his alma mater – Payne Theological Seminary.
A Season of Pastoral
The Rev. Vinton
pastoral experience in local churches encompassed Kansas and
Embracing the motto: “Love the
People You Serve,” he was assigned to the pastorates of St. Mark A.M.E. Church
- Topeka, KS (1952–1953); Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church - Parsons, KS (1953–1955);
St. Luke A.M.E. Church - Lawrence, KS (1955–1959); St. Paul A.M.E. Church -
Wichita, KS (1959–1964); and
A.M.E. Church - St. Louis, MO (1964–1972).
His pastoral ministry is highlighted by a strong commitment to
involvement in the total community as demonstrated by the development of an
adult education program, summer youth program, promotion of the first
Black-owned supermarket in St. Louis, development of 162 units of low income
housing in St. Louis County, chairmanship of Vanguard Bond and Mortgage Co. (a
community funding effort), and his continuing role as an effective and vocal
advocate in civil rights and ecumenical issues.
A Season of Episcopal
using the theme Profile of a Servant: 12 Priorities for Progress, was elected
and consecrated the 92nd Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in
He vowed to, “Encourage an
episcopacy which exercises a servant role in the life of the Church.”
As a Presiding Bishop in the A.M.E. Church, he was assigned to
Episcopal District (Republic of South Africa) in July,
1972, then immediately re-assigned to the 9th
(Alabama, 1972–1976). He also served in the 3rd
(Ohio, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, (1976–1984); Office of
Ecumenical Relations and Development,
1984–1988 (including Chair of the AME Bicentennial Celebration in 1987); 5th
Episcopal District (14 states west of the Mississippi River, 1988–1996); and
(Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 1996 - 2004). As a
bishop, he was elected Chairperson of the General Board (1996), and served two
quadrennials as Chair of the General Conference Commission (1984, 2000).
Over a 42-year period (32 active years) of the Episcopal
ministry of Vinton R. Anderson
planned and inspired a series of visions and dreams.
Bishop Anderson said, “God has mentored me
into His notion of holy festivals for all of my Episcopal ministry, starting
with the Agape Fest in 1976, at the completion of our assignment in the 9th
Episcopal District, repeated in the 3rd
and the 5th
The Festival of the Church, held in the summer of 2001 was both
the fulfillment of the vision and dream. There have been five high festivals:
The Festival of Pentecost and The Festival of the Holy Spirit – 3rd
District; The Festival of the Holy Trinity and The Kerygma Fest – 5th
District; The Koinonia Jubilee and The Festival of the Church – 2nd
Little did the more than
10,000 persons who attended know that they would be a part of a covenant made
with God and be so blessed by the complete attention to physical, emotional,
educational and spiritual growth and well-being.
preached and lectured internationally, including all regions of the United
States, the Caribbean, South and West Africa, South America, Canada, Taiwan,
He presented at Harvard,
Howard, and Drew Universities, the Universities of Kansas and of North Carolina
and Morris Brown College.
1993, Bishop Anderson
series of sermons at the Mar Thoma convention in India, where 150,000 people
were in attendance.
vision of furthering the legacy of self-help and self-reliance led to the
founding of Second District Religious, Educational, Charitable, Development
Projects, Inc. - a.k.a. Second District RED, Inc., a regional community
development corporation that will facilitate the work of ministry in the
territory covering Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and the District of
Its projects include I-AIM
(Intergenerational Adult Immunization Project), Ready. Set. Go (an IDA
program), the A.M.E Homeless Shelter, an HIV-AIDS research project, and
Kittrell-Anderson Village, a 237-acre planned community.
trailblazer in his commitment to the leadership of women.
He appointed the Church’s first
female presiding elder in the USA (The Rev.
Cornelia Wright in Ohio) and the first woman pastor of a major metropolitan
church (The Rev. Carolyn Tyler Guidry in Los Angeles). His considerable
influence led to the appointment of the first woman president of Wilberforce
University, Dr. Yvonne Walker-Taylor; election of first woman bishop, Bishop
Vashti Murphy McKenzie – 2nd
Episcopal District; and the appointment
of first woman president of Payne Theological Seminary, Dr. Leah Gaskin
A Season of
ecumenical and inter-faith involvements were numerous and included the World
Council of Churches (a constituency of over 560 million representing 330
denominations) in which he actively engaged as early as 1972 and became a
trusted voice, which led to his election as the first African-American
President for an 8-year term (1991 – 1999). Other ecumenical and interfaith
groups are the World Methodist Council, National Council of Churches, Congress
of National Black Churches (CNBC); Churches United in Christ (CUIC), formerly
Consultation on Church Union; and the United Methodist Church General
Commission of Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns.
In 1976, Bishop Anderson
was a member of a team of Black church leaders visiting Nationalist China and
he also toured the Middle East, Europe, the South Pacific, Singapore, Chile,
and Russia. In 1994, Bishop Anderson
led a delegation of 24 church leaders on a "Solidarity Journey" to
Southern Africa (including the Republic of South Africa and the kingdom of
A Season of Motivating,
Inspiring, Encouraging, Mentoring
encouraged hundreds to pursue an education and mentored them as they sought a
place to work in the AME Church. Those who went to Wilberforce and Payne could
anticipate a “check up” visit, during which he had prepared to leave each of
them with at least $100 to “tide them over.”
love for and commitment to Payne Theological Seminary is legendary. He was the
longest serving Board member of Payne Theological Seminary when he became the
Chair Emeritus in 2008, after more than 20 years as Chair and over 32 years on
During that period, the
Seminary achieved its 10-year accreditation status, received a $1 million Lilly
Foundation Grant, and the curricula expanded to include online study.
In addition to being encouraging, Bishop Anderson
was generous. Payne Seminary received the proceeds
of over $60,000 from the book, My Soul
. In 2004, he presented earnings from the Bicentennial Fund to Payne
Seminary ($115,000) and Turner Seminary ($100,000). The Bishop Vinton R. Anderson Ecumenical Leadership Scholarship Fund
was created to provide support for African Methodist Episcopal students
attending the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies. With initial capital of
$250,000, the fund was established as part of the Ecumenical Trust in New York,
USA, which, among other functions, collects donations in favor of the
"We thank God
for giving Bishop Anderson the gifts and graces for empowering us in the work
of ecumenism," said the Rev. Philip Blair and the Rev. W. Lynette Taylor,
the first beneficiaries of the Bishop Vinton R. Anderson Ecumenical Leadership
Scholarship, at their graduation ceremony in Bossey, Switzerland.
love for the whole church also led him to embrace lay ministry, and pledge to
give special attention to the questions of ministry, as it relates to the
“laos.” In 1972, at the biennial Connectional Lay Organization’s meeting, he
proposed a new name L.I.F.E.
Initiative For Evangelism), which was roundly defeated, yet, undaunted, he had
opened doors over the years encouraging laity to take stands for the good of
internationally acclaimed writer and scholar.
In 2002, he released, My Soul
an unusual collection of conversations about God that can be
understood by anyone. As chairperson of the Commission on Worship and Liturgy
for the A.M.E. Church, Bishop Anderson developed a new A.M.E. Church Hymnal and
the first A.M.E. Book of Worship
established and edited the Connector
a bicentennial information publication; produced and edited a Syllabus for
Celebrating the Bicentennial; compiled and edited Proclamation from a Bench;
contributed articles entitled, "What
Is the Ecumenical Agenda
?" and "Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Whole Creation
” in Ecumenical Trends;
published "Black on Black Crime
Magazine; "When the Saints Go Marching In
Digest; "On the Image of the
" in The A.M.E. Church
, and numerous other articles in publications of the A.M.E.
As COCU’s Chairperson of
Commission on Worship in 1978, he compiled works for Word, Bread, and Cup
authored and delivered the Episcopal Address for the 44th
the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1995 he
authored a chapter, "Under Our Own
Vine and Fig Tree
" in The Sunday Service of the Methodists, and wrote
the “Introductory Note” to Carolyn Beck’s, Under
My Own Vine and Fig Tree
In February, 2004, a new publication was released, A Model of a Servant Bishop: The Ministry of
Vinton Randolph Anderson
authored one chapter, and in separate chapters 5 writers—the Rev. Louis-Charles
Harvey, PhD; the Rev. Dr. Lee P. Washington; The Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton;
the Rev. Dr. Michael Thomas; The Rev. Barbara Glenn; and Sister “Jackie”
Dupont-Walker--responded to his reflections.
A Season of Service and
numerous civic and community activities included the National Census Advisory
Committee on the Black Population for the 1990 Census; the Joint Appeal by
Religion and Science for the Environment; the National Commission on the
School/Community Role in Improving Adolescent
Health; Past Chairperson, Wilberforce University Board of Trustees and
Payne Theological Seminary Board of Directors; Life Member and Past
Chairperson, Labor and Industry Committee, St. Louis Chapter, NAACP; Past
Chairperson, St. Louis Urban League; Past Chairperson, Wichita Urban League;
Alpha Phi Alpha - Life Member and member of International Policy Council; and CEDPA
(The Center for Development and Population Activities).
A Season of Receiving
Notable among the honors received by Bishop Anderson
were the Lifetime Achievement Award from Wilberforce
University (2002), Chautauqua Institution Chaplain (2002), Honoree in 1993
Historic Calendar, Saluting UNC (month of November); 1993 Scroll of Merit Award
by National Medical Association; 1992 Daniel A. Payne Award for Ecumenical
Leadership by A.M.E. Church, Religion Award, American Black Achievement
Awards(Johnson Publications)–1991; Distinguished Alumni Honoree by National
Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education – 1988; Religion Award
(citation by Ebony Magazine)–1988, Listing in Profiles in Black (100 living
Black Unsung Heroes) by CORE – 1976; Who's
Who in America
, Who’s Who in the
, Who’s Who in the World
, Who's Who Among Black Americans
, and Who's Who in Religion
received many proclamations, citations, and plaques from municipal and state
government, along with keys to many American towns and cities.
Among his many media appearances, Bishop Anderson
has been seen on Face The Nation
, Tony Brown's Journal
” and was a frequent guest at The White House under several
Left to cherish his life and precious memories are his loving
and devoted wife of 62 years - Vivienne; Sister Sharon Crenchaw, foster
brother, Malcolm Eve (Elvia); and sister-in-love Madge Daniel (Arthur).
Having created wonderful memories and
modeling black manhood, he leaves to carry on his legacy their four sons:
Vinton Jr., Jeffrey Charles (Edie), Carlton Lawson (Sheila), and Kenneth Robert.
Also those who “Grandpa” invested in are four amazing grandchildren: Natina
Louise; Carlton, Jr.; Jordan Isaiah; and Christian Andreas, and a host of
devoted aunts, nieces, nephews, and adopted young folk who were loved,
challenged, inspired, and dared to go the extra mile.
We are left to find ways to carry on the legacy of Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson
He leaves a rich heritage of unshakable
faith, unconditional love, unmatched generosity, inspired scholarship,
commendable courage in the face of insurmountable odds, and a good name.
Each of us was privileged to interact with Vinton Anderson
here, and when we
reflect on those encounters, whatever you gained … Pass it forward!
2. READER RESPONSE
TO EDITORIAL AND OTHER ISSUES:
RE: Link to the Vinton R. Anderson Homegoing Service
Thank you very much for this link to view the Homegoing service of Bishop
Vinton Anderson as I was not able to view the funeral live due to time
differences. Now I can view the Homegoing Worship Service.
Question: Do you by any chance
have the live video for the late Bishop Sarah Frances Davis?
Botswana Annual Conference
18th Episcopal District (Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Botswana)
3. THE BISHOP
ANDERSON HOMEGOING SERVICE CAN BE VIEWED IN ITS ENTIRETY:
4. TRIBUTE TO THE
LATE VIDA MAE (HARRIS) BRIGHT, 93, FORMER EPISCOPAL SUPERVISOR:
Written by and Courtesy of The
Philadelphia Tribune Staff
Vida Mae (Harris) Bright, who loved the Lord and her beloved husband the
late Bishop John Douglas Bright Sr., who served as the seventy-ninth Bishop of
the African Methodist Episcopal Church, died on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. She was
a loving, doting mother to her children, Gwen and the late John, Jr.; and,
adored her precious granddaughter, Jonell. She, along with her husband, shared
a love of service to the people of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She
was born one of five children on Dec. 26, 1920 in Frankfort, Ohio to devout
Christian parents, Earl and Essie Mae Harris. At an early age she converted and
joined the family church.
From the time of her marriage to the late Bishop on June 30, 1942 she had
been devoted to the A.M.E. Church. She was educated in the schools of
Frankfort, Ohio and later received secretarial training. However, her true
passion centered on loving and encouraging people. She was the perfect
minister’s wife, and later Bishop’s wife. Mrs. Bright served alongside her
husband during his pastorate at A.M.E. churches in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Upon
coming to Philadelphia, she was the first lady at Allen A.M.E. Church and in
1950 served as first lady for ten years at the historic Mother Bethel, A.M.E.
Church. She loved her role as an Episcopal Supervisor and served diligently
with her husband upon his election and consecration as a Bishop during the
A.M.E. General Conference in Los Angeles, Calif. in May of 1960. When
describing her life as a Bishop’s wife, she expressed, “Bishop and I had a very
beautiful and interesting life together. We have served in various sections of
the church at home and abroad.” Their first assignment was to the then
Seventeenth Episcopal District in Central Africa. From there, they served the
Twelfth Episcopal District, covering Arkansas and Oklahoma. The final
assignment was from 1964 until Bishop’s death in 1972 to the First Episcopal
District encompassing the Northeastern states and Bermuda. She was known for
her elegance, grace and fashionable style, but it was her sweet, humble, loving
spirit that most stood out. She loved helping people and was passionate about
missions, especially in Africa.
In her words, “I always enjoyed missionary work. I guess because there is
so much to be done. It was the joy of working with people who were willing and
anxious to work and spread God’s message around the world.” When asked about
her advice to a new Bishop’s wife, Mrs. Bright replied “…learn people, be
patient and understanding. Listen to the needs and concerns of people. Include
the people because they want to be a part. I always tried to draw them as close
to me as I could and say… help me and we’ll do this together. In working
together you can accomplish a great deal. “She had a way of drawing people
close, whether it was to give family and friends refuge in her home, a
delicious meal or just a kind word. Her ready smile and soothing spirit will be
missed. She had to kiss and hug everyone before leaving a church service or
meeting. Her family was often the last to depart; and, at times it took a tired
Bishop to finally admonish in his bellowing voice…. “Come on Vida, it is time
to go home.” The family takes comfort in knowing that she was at peace when God
called her to Glory with her beloved husband reaching out to let her know it
was “time to go home.”
She is survived by and will be lovingly missed by her daughter, the
Honorable Gwendolyn Bright; granddaughter Jonell Bright; nephew Rear Admiral
Sinclair Harris and wife Cora; nieces Gloria Alford, Betty Bright and Sylvia
Henderson; a host of other relatives, adopted families who called her “Mom” and
“Momma Bright”; her church family and friends. “When you’re down to nothing,
God’s up to something. Don’t tell Jesus how big your problem is; tell the
problem how great Jesus is. “Happiness keeps you sweet, trials keep you strong,
sorrows keep you human, life keeps you humble, success keeps you glowing, but
only GOD keeps you going.” The funeral will be held Tuesday July 1 at Mother
Bethel AME Church, 419 S. 6th St. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Service is at 10 a.m.
Burial will be at Ivy Hill Cemetery. Terry Funeral Home handled all the
**Reprinted with the permission of The Philadelphia Tribune
5. HOW SOON WE DO
*Bishop Reginal T. Jackson
A couple of weeks ago, I read in the newspapers and saw on the television
a story about a poll stating that Barack Obama is the worst president in the
last fifty years. This had to be disheartening to the president and his
supporters, combined with the lowest poll numbers of his presidency and
increasing questions about his competency as president. As I listen and read
all the critiques and criticisms of this president, I think to myself, “how soon
we do forget.” I strongly disagree with much of the criticisms spoken about
President Obama. First, let me make it clear, I do not agree with the president
on a number of issues and do not believe he has been as strong and capable a
president as he could be. For example, President Obama has compromised too much
on his priorities and principles, when Republicans have been unwilling to
compromise. President Obama has not played hardball when he needed to,
especially when others have lied and misled the American people about him and
his policies, and President Obama has not held his own staff accountable when
they have not gotten the job done. For example, the disastrous Affordable Care
Act roll out, the Benghazi incident and other miscues, no one was held accountable.
The worst president? Seriously?
How soon or how conveniently we forget. Let’s look back. With the exception of
Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, no presidents have had as much on their
plate as Barack Obama. In January 2009 when he was sworn in the nation was in
the throes of a recession. The housing, banking, and automobile industries were
in free fall, hundreds of thousands of jobs were being lost every month, the
nation was in deep debt and we were in two wars, costing us hundreds of billions
in dollars and thousands in blood. What the nation faced required immediate
action and bipartisan cooperation. Yet, Republicans had already decided to
oppose everything President Obama supported; with Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell stating, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for
President Obama to be a one term president.”
President Obama proposed a $831
billion dollar stimulus package, measures necessary to aid the automobile,
banking and housing industries and sought legislation to create jobs, including
to address infrastructure needs to fix our highways and bridges, and to enhance
our technology. True to their word, Republicans opposed everything President
Obama proposed. The vote in Congress on
the stimulus bill was strictly partisan, not one single Republican in the House
of Representatives and only three Republicans in the Senate, voted for it, claimed Obama’s economic recovery plan would
fail; that the national debt would increase, and every month Speaker Boehner
ask “where are the jobs.” Finally, only one Republican voted for the Affordable
Care Act, again Republicans claiming the Affordable Care Act would drive up
health care cost and cause people to lose jobs.
Well let’s look at where we are today. The financial markets have
rebounded and are as strong as they have ever been; the automobile industry is
back, has repaid its loan and produced profit for the national treasury. The
housing industry is rebounding with home sales increasing and foreclosures
decreasing, the banking industry is again strong, the national debt has decreased by $300
billion dollars, and more than 5,630,000 private sector jobs have been created,
(4,151,000 lost under Bush) a net gain of 1, 479,000 jobs since President Obama
came into office. The Affordable Care
Act which every president over the last seventy years has tried to achieve was
passed; insuring millions of uninsured and despite claims to the contrary is
reducing national healthcare costs and creating, not losing jobs. President
Obama kept his campaign promise getting us out of two wars, Iraq and
Afghanistan, neither having had the support of the American people.
The biggest mistake President Obama has made is not telling the American people
at the beginning of his first term, that it would take his entire first term to
turn the economy around. Most of the people expected a quick recovery and
because of this many people were disappointed when the recovery took so long.
This miscommunication left the President vulnerable to false and misleading
criticism from Republican leaders, many of them the same ones who supported
Bush Administration, tax cuts and excessive spending which created the
recession. How soon they forget, or think we forgot the mess they left the
American people to reckon with.
Many people, including myself, are disappointed with the polarization and
inability of President Obama to work with this Congress, but as the saying
goes, “it takes two to tango.” Republican leadership intimidated by the so
called “Tea Party” and fearful of primary challenges refuses to work with this
president. Their goal is to oppose this president on everything; they want it
to be a failed presidency for their own partisan and personal interests. A few
weeks ago former Republican Senator and Majority Leader Howard Baker of
Tennessee died. He was the best example of a time in Washington, when partisan
interests were put aside and compromises reached between the two parties in the
national interest. Today, he would certainly be challenged as not being
conservative enough for the Republican Party.
The United States today is certainly better than when President Barack
Obama was sworn in. The economy is rebounding, the automobile, housing and
banking industries are back, the national debt is declining, unemployment is
lower than it has been since 2007, and the United States is no longer the only
industrialized nation without national healthcare. Despite the turmoil in Iraq,
the United States is leaving two wars which the American people didn’t support
and we never should have entered.
Today we hear a continuous negative drumbeat about President Obama and
how disappointed people are with his presidency. But look at where the nation
was when he took office, and where it is now. He has not lived up to all my
expectations, but what elected official lives up to all of our expectations?
But to say he is the worst president of the last fifty years. How soon we do
forget. I wish the best, and support our president as he leads our nation and
the world in these difficult and complex times.
*Bishop Reginald T. Jackson is the Chair, Social Action Commission and
Presiding Prelate of the 20th Episcopal district and Ecumenical
As we approach their 100 days of captivity on July 22, let us turn it up
with prayers and action.
Let us pray to our Father who art in heaven, bring back our girls.
Two-hundred-and-twenty-three precious young women are still lost to
us. We are weeping for our children,
hear our prayer.
We are grieving and we are angry. So angry that our beautiful girls have
been abducted, stolen, from their lives and their innocence by such unspeakable
evil. We are desperate for their return, and we are desperate for someone to
pay attention to them, to save them, to rescue them.
Our pillows are soaked with tears. We carry our grief in our wombs. We
cannot be comforted while our daughters, our brilliant and beautiful daughters,
are in the hands of extremists who are threatening to sell them. Dear God.
Why does no one care about our girls, Abba? I am angry because I believe
that if they were 200 students from Ontario or Ohio, the world would have
turned itself inside out until they were found but because our girls are in
Nigeria, they are just another story, another “what a shame” story.
But I don’t want to remain isolated in my anger; I want my anger to work
for our girls. Use my anger, Jesus; turn the force of it towards justice.
Abba, I pray for rescue. I pray for ways to escape and favour for the
I pray for people on the inside who are filled with doubt to begin to set
the girls free. Reach into their hearts, into the shred of humanity that is
still left, and may they stand up against their leaders and fight for justice
from within this evil. Repent; and may they repent!
I pray for governments to move to action. I pray for the United Nations
and the leaders of Nigeria and Cameroon, the people of influence all within the
region, may they lean heavily and hard into the evil, until all of our girls
are free. From the north and the south, from the east and the west, may we
begin to rise up against such evil, such common evil.
We know that if this group succeeds, it will only be the beginning. Give
us the courage and the resources to end this, now. Compel our leaders and wake
them from their slumber. Dismantle the self-preservation instincts of
I pray for courage to be in each school – the students, their parents,
their teachers – who still stand in the crossfire between extremists and
education even now today. They are feeling vulnerable and afraid, please guard
them. Give them friends. May their communities rise up and surround them. This
school, the girls are hope to a nation and to a world and let our hopes not be
Father, among all of the devastation that this group has wrought
throughout their region, all of the deaths, so many sparrows falling to the
ground, may we notice it, may we have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts
to understand, and may we grieve our brothers and sisters, may we rise up and
say “NO MORE” with you.
I feel so helpless. All I know to do this morning is to pray. It feels
futile, but take this small seed...
May we help rescue, restore, and redeem our girls and their
neighbourhoods from this evil still stalking the land.
We don’t understand it; this is complex in some ways but glaringly
So we are fasting and we are praying and we are standing. We will use
everything we have to help, everything.
Jesus, bring back our girls, whether by miracle or by diplomacy, bring
back our girls. We will lean heavily on our leaders until these girls are as
dear to them as they are to you and to us.
I pray for an earthquake and for the jail doors to be swung open only by
the Spirit. I pray for safety. I pray for courage.
Abba, be near to our girls and keep them safe, envelope them in courage
and in love. Speak hope to them: someone is coming for them. We have not
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - Amen!
*Sister Loy Brown, NGO Delegate, Missionary from Canada
7. NEW MOUNT
MORIAH AND FUTURE GENERATION YOUTH CO-SPONSOR REGIONAL BACK-TO-SCHOOL RALLY:
*The Rev. Dr. Carlos Antonio McCloud
Mount Moriah joined efforts with the Future Generation Youth of
Swainsboro, Georgia in its annual Back to School backpack giveaway.
Newly appointed pastor, the Rev. Dr. Carlos McCloud says, “We at Mt.
Moriah have always looked for ways to better support our community, especially
Mt. Moriah AMEC wanted to ensure that all 4,500 children of Emanuel
County have a backpack on the first day of school.
“No child in Emanuel County should return to school without a backpack.
We owed it to the children to provide them with what they needed to be
successful, and we at Mt. Moriah wanted to do our part,” McCloud said.
It was Mount Moriah’s pleasure to collaborate with Mr. Ronnie Shuemake,
founder of Future Generation Youth, to make this event a success. Pastor
McCloud said, “Mt. Moriah is a church with the community at heart.”
This year’s back to school event includes a session for parents that will
be held at the church on August 1, 2014 at 6 p.m. The Emanuel County Parent
Involvement Coordinator, Mrs. Susan Stevens will present parents with important
information to ensure that the students have a successful beginning at the
start of the school year. Door prizes wills be awarded.
On Saturday, August 2, 2014, the book bag giveaway and Fun Day will be
held on from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. All 4,500
children in the county have been invited.
The children will receive information about health screenings,
pre-college information and they will participate in recreational activities,
including face-painting, jump houses, music, and delicious barbeque.
A special Children’s Day program was celebrated and a portion of the
proceeds went directly to the effort to the program to provide each child with
a book bag.
The goal of the New Mt. Moriah AME Church is to minister to the social,
emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and physical needs of the whole person.
*Carlos Antonio McCloud, B.B.A., M.Ed, M. Div., D. Min. is the pastor of
New Mount Moriah AME Church in Swainsboro, Georgia
8. PLEASANT GROVE
AME CHURCH CELEBRATES 145TH CHURCH ANNIVERSARY, BURNS MORTGAGE:
On Sunday, June 22, 2014, at the 10:00 a.m. worship, a great host of
members and friends gathered for the celebration of the 145th Church
Anniversary of Pleasant Grove AME Church located in Hinesville, Georgia. The church is on the Savannah West District,
the Georgia Annual Conference of the Sixth Episcopal District. The Rt. Reverend
Preston Warren Williams II is the Presiding Bishop. Dr. Wilma Delores Webb-Williams is the
Episcopal Supervisor, and the Reverend James E. Taylor serves as Presiding
Elder. The Reverend John E. Morse, Jr. is the Pastor.
The theme for the celebration was “Continual Praise unto our God” (Psalm
34:1). Superior Court Judge, Pastor John
E. Morse, Jr. urged all present to engage in joyful praise to God for the
blessings of 145 years of ministry and service.
Soul-stirring music, traditional as well as contemporary, was rendered
by the Pleasant Grove Mass Choir, directed by the Reverend Debbie Morse, spouse
of the pastor.
Presiding Elder Taylor read Psalm 34:1-10 and preached powerfully from
the subject “A Reason to Praise the Lord.”
The Holy Spirit came, the people rejoiced, and souls were set on fire. Sister Shirley V. Taylor, past Conference and
Episcopal President of the A.M.E.
Minister’s Spouses, Widows/Widowers Organization Plus Preacher’s Kids,
joined the celebration.
Following the worship service Pastor Morse assembled the trustees for the
Multi-Purpose Building Mortgage Burning Ceremony at which the Presentation
Address was read by Brother Robert Campbell.
The twenty-year mortgage was paid off in three years. The congregation rejoiced with thankful
hearts over their accomplishment achieved through cooperative efforts and an
abiding faith in God. Following the
ceremony Presiding Elder Taylor gave the grace, pronounced the Benediction and
the people of God moved to the beautiful multi-purpose building for a sumptuous
meal and fellowship.
Sister Delores Frasier, Reporter
9. DOING AN AME
FUNERAL IN A NON-AME SETTING:
As an AME pastor, I have had the duty of presiding over many funerals,
either at the churches I’ve been the pastor of, or at the Funeral home, or at
some other non-AME venue. I have found that there are certain protocols which
we employ at each that may cause some anxiety in the inexperienced.
You get the call. Brother Steward or Sister Trustee has just passed and
their non-member family person has called to let you know. They come from a big
family that will be coming in from all parts of the country. They were very
active in the community and had retired from their jobs after working in
several positions for many years. With all this, the family does not believe
your sanctuary will hold all the mourners comfortably.
They suggest having it either at the mortuary or at their good friend’s
non-AME church down the road from you who just finished a building project
enlarging their sanctuary considerably.
In my experience, the first thing you want to know is, “Are you the
Officiant or a program participant?” If the latter, your role is much more
muted in the funeral - whether that means saying the opening prayer, reading
the scripture, or offering the eulogy/words of comfort.
If asked to be a program participant, you are not the one in charge. I
know that’s hard to hear. After all, you were the one who went to see them
every month to give them Holy Communion. You were there to offer pastoral care
to the deceased when they needed it the most. But, just because you’re not the
one in charge, does not mean you have permission to high-jack the funeral. Say
your prayer. Deliver your sermon. Read your scripture with dignity and proper
reverence and "sit down."
Now, if asked to be the officiant, even though it is not at your church,
you have been placed in charge. According to the World English Dictionary, an
Officiant is “a person who presides and officiates at a religious ceremony.” As
the officiant, it is your responsibility to be in contact with the family to
ensure that, even though not at an AME venue, that it is an AME service,
following our order of worship and practices.
In other words, even though at the funeral chapel or at the large
“non-denominational” church across town, it should still look and feel like an
AME service. As the officiant, you should make sure of it.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do…” does not apply here. You may feel
the pressure of complying with all of the local customs just because you are not
at the church building in which you serve as the pastor, but resist that
When in an AME worship service, those gathered should know it. Our order
of worship is designed to, with purpose and meaning, usher in the Spirit of God
and usher our people into God’s presence, so don’t compromise.
There is purpose and theological significance to our closed casket
service - the casket is not to be opened again for any “parting view” that many
pastors are pressured into allowing. Other traditions have been allowed to
encroach upon our sacred traditions. But just because that’s the way they do it
there does not mean we should allow it at our services even if our services are
not held in our churches.
Funerals are great teachable moments. When in a non-AME venue for a
funeral, as the officiant or AME minister on-site, it is okay to let the
bereaved know how, and more importantly, why we do what we do. There is a
reason why many AME pastors don’t open the casket up at the end of the service.
There is a reason why we have the prayer before the scripture. There is a
reason why we read scripture as we process in and as we recess out of the
If it’s an AME funeral, let it be that - AME worship. If it’s not, follow
local customs with dignity, honor and respect.
*The Rev. V. Gordon Glenn III is the pastor of St. John AME Church in
10. CME CHURCH
PRAYERS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS:
The Connectional Prayer Ministry is calling our CME Family to prayer for
all our churches and our leaders in this season of new beginnings.
Upon the completion of the 2014 General Conference, seven Episcopal
Districts received new Bishops. However,
all our Bishops and the Districts they lead begin a new season in ministry. Let us pray for wisdom, strength, and favor
for our Episcopal Leaders, and for a spirit of unity and blessing on all our
The new list of Episcopal Assignments is as follows (asterisk by
Districts with new Bishops)
• Senior Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick - Eighth Episcopal District*
• Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr. – First Episcopal District*
• Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr. – Fourth Episcopal District
• Bishop Kenneth W. Carter – Sixth Episcopal District
• Bishop James B. Walker – Seventh Episcopal District*
• Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr. – Third Episcopal District*
• Bishop Teresa E. Snorton – Fifth Episcopal District
• Bishop Godwin T. Umoette – Tenth Episcopal District
• Bishop Bobby R. Best – Ninth Episcopal District*
• Bishop Marvin F. Thomas – Second Episcopal District*
• Bishop Charles J. King, Jr. – Eleventh Episcopal District*
Please pray for these leaders by name, along with their spouses and
Let us continue to pray for our retired Bishops and their families: Bishop
William H. Graves, Bishop Othal H. Lakey, Bishop E. Lynn Brown, Bishop Paul A.
G. Stewart, Sr., Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham, and Bishop Marshall Gilmore.
We offer this
prayer during this new season
“Great God, like our Lord Jesus, we
pray that we may all be one in Christ.
Help us to embrace Your Will and Your Purpose for us in this new season
in the Church. In this time of
tremendous transition, give us all the ‘peace that passes understanding.’ Relieve us of the anxiety that comes with
change and give us the wisdom and courage to stay focused on the ministry to
which You have called us.
We especially lift our Episcopal Leaders,
both active and retired, for wisdom for the work in this present age. Please keep them healthy and strong through this
Annual Conference season and the powerful work that is before them.
Bless us all as your people, lay and clergy
alike, to work together for Christ and His Kingdom; in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
The Connectional Prayer Ministry
The Rev. Kwesi R. Kamau, Coordinator
11. RETIRING BUT
ALWAYS FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT:
Bishop Don DiXon Williams
Earlier this year, I announced my retirement from Bread for the World.
I’ve been reflecting on this a lot these past few months. After 26 years of
fighting hunger and poverty with this great organization, I’ve decided it’s
time for me to spend more time with my family and help the cause in a different
It has been a blessing to work with Bread for the World in the fight to
end hunger. The relationships I have been able to nurture and grow, the people
I have been blessed to work with, and the people I have been privileged to help
have made this past quarter-century of my life truly fulfilling.
It’s no secret that hunger and poverty disproportionately impact our people.
That’s what drew me to the position in the first place. I wanted to do
something that would address the root causes of hunger and poverty and help
give our community a voice. I wanted to enact changes that would ensure my
grandchildren never have to go to bed hungry.
During the search for Bread for
the World’s next associate for national African-American church engagement, I
kept all of this in mind. Our main focus was to find someone who would build on
our foundation and continue this calling. We were looking for someone who would
continue to amplify African-Americans’ voices in this fight to end hunger. We
found the ideal candidate with the Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith.
I met Angelique years ago and have had the pleasure of getting to know her
at various conferences and events since then. I have seen some of the
relationships she has fostered with communities here in the U.S. and in Africa.
I have seen that she is filled with the Holy Spirit. Her experience with the
National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, and experience within
the African Diaspora will be crucial in helping write hunger into history not
only in the United States but around the world.
While I will truly miss the work and my Bread “family,” I know
Angelique’s passion for justice and strong relationships will help take the
organization to new heights and further augment our work in the
As I spend more time with my family, I will continue to be a part of
Bread and its mission to eradicate hunger by praying, acting, and giving. Thank
you for allowing me and Bread to be a part of your lives. Please join me in
giving a warm welcome to the Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith. I wish her and
all of you the best. This is not goodbye, but "Until next time.” Know that
I will still be around, fighting the good fight.
12. BREAD FOR THE
WORLD WELCOMES REV. DR. ANGELIQUE WALKER-SMITH:
Washington, D.C., July 18, 2014 –Bread for the World welcomes the Rev.
Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith as the new associate for national African-American
church engagement. Walker-Smith succeeds Bishop Don DiXon Williams, who
announced his retirement this spring after 26 years with the organization.
“It’s no secret that hunger and poverty disproportionately impact people
of color,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We
are excited to have someone with such passion and experience build upon the
solid foundation Don has laid for Bread for the World over the last
quarter-century to ensure that African-Americans have a voice in this fight.”
Walker-Smith formerly served as the executive director of the Church
Federation of Greater Indianapolis for 19 years, overseeing a broad range of
ecumenical activities. Her diverse background also includes years of experience
with the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, and as
moderator of the Justice Plenary, among others. Her resume also includes
experience in Africa. She plans to expand Bread for the World’s focus to build
bridges to and within the African Diaspora.
“It has been a blessing to work with Bread for the World in the fight to
end hunger,” said Williams. “While I will truly miss this work and my ‘Bread
family,’ I know Angelique’s passion for justice and strong background will help
take the organization to new heights and further augment our work in the
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Walker-Smith is a graduate of Kent State
University. She earned her master’s degree from Yale University Divinity School
in 1983, and went on to become the first African-American woman to graduate
from the doctor of ministry program at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Walker-Smith will assume her new role on July 29, 2014.
Please click http://www.bread.org/what-we-do/mobilize/mobilize-people-of-faith.html for more information on Bread for the World’s
work to mobilize people of faith.
13. HISTORY OF
HYMNS: “JESUS, SAVIOR, PILOT ME”:
-- "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me" by Edward Hopper - The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 509 and
the AMEC Hymnal, No. 372
over life’s tempestuous sea;
unknown waves before me roll,
hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee;
The sea is a favorite image of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century hymn
writers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Traveling by ship, although an
adventure was also potentially a long and arduous journey fraught with danger;
especially storms and unseen rocks. Even a short list of hymns that incorporate
the sea and storm metaphor is impressive:
-- “Jesus, lover of my soul”
(1740) by Charles Wesley (The United Methodist Hymnal, 479) / AMEC Hymnal No.
592 (anthem), No. 253 (MARTYN) and No. 253 (REFUGE):
...while the nearer waters roll,
while the tempest still is high;
hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life is past…
-- “When peace, like a river”
(1873) by Horatio Gates Spafford (The United Methodist Hymnal, 377) / AMEC
Hymnal No. 448:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll. (Stanza one)
God is often depicted as one who has control over the storms:
“God moves in a mysterious way” (1774) by William Cowper:
God moves in a mysterious way,
He plants his footsteps in the sea
and rides upon the storm. (Stanza one)
“O Worship the King” (1833) by Robert Grant (The United Methodist Hymnal,
73) / AMEC Hymnal No. 12:
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm. (Stanza two)
Of course, the United States Navy hymn is a case in point. “Eternal
Father, strong to save” (1860) by William Whiting:
Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
who bids the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea. (Stanza one)
For those with further interest in this theme, refer to an address by
John Townley, www.astrococktail.com/hymnody.html.
“Jesus, Savior, pilot me” falls in a long and rich tradition of hymns
that draw upon the imagery of the sea to establish the relationship between the
believer and Christ. Edward Hopper (1816-1888) was inspired by the accounts of
Jesus who stilled the storm found in all of the synoptic gospels (Matthew
8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25). Written at the request by George S.
Webster, secretary of the Seaman’s Friend Society, the hymn was first published
in the Society’s magazine, The Sailor’s Magazine and Seaman’s Friend in the
March 3, 1871 issue. The designation was, “By the Rev. Edward Hopper, D.D.,
Pastor of the Church of the Sea and Land.”
Hopper, a graduate of New York University (1839) and Union Theological
Seminary (1842), was well acquainted with the sea, pastoring the Sag Harbor
Presbyterian Church on Long Island for eleven years, and then spending the
majority of his ministry at the Church of the Sea and Land in New York City. It
was in this latter congregation that he became well known for his ministry to
Stanza one demonstrates the poet’s knowledge of both the synoptic
narratives and the sailor’s life with references to “unknown waves,”
“treacherous shoal,” and “chart and compass.” Stanza two begins with a maternal
simile, “As a mother stills her child, thou can hush the ocean wild.” The poet
cites directly from Scripture the words of Jesus, “Be still,” demonstrating
that Christ is the “wondrous sovereign of the sea.” Stanza three acknowledges
the dangers of sea travel when one approaches the shore. In this case, the
shore is the fear of death. The hymn ends with the comforting words of the
Savior, “Fear not, I will pilot thee.”
Originally in six stanzas, the missing three follow, the first of which
draws heavily on the synoptic narratives:
When the Apostles’ fragile bark
struggled with the billows dark,
thou didst walk upon the sea;
and when they beheld thy form,
safe they glided through the storm.
Though the sea be calm and bright,
sparkling with the stars of night,
and my ship’s path be ablaze
with the light of halcyon days,
still I know my need of thee,
When the darkling heavens frown,
and the wrathful winds come down,
and the fierce waves, tossed on high,
lash themselves against the sky,
over life’s tempestuous sea.
While these stanzas demonstrate the author’s knowledge of the sea and the
life of the sailor, they add little in terms of literary quality or narrative
value to the hymn.
John Edgar Gould (1822-1875), a Bangor, Maine, native who was a composer,
publisher, and merchant in New York City, composed the tune. He gave it the
name PILOT when it appeared in The Baptist Praise Book (1871). A compiler of
gospel song collections in Philadelphia after 1866, he was well acquainted with
sea travel himself, dying in Algiers, in northern Africa in 1875.
C. Michael Hawn is University Distinguished Professor of Church Music,
Perkins School of Theology, SMU.
Categories: History of Hymns
**Used with permission of the United Methodist News Service
14. TOP HONORS AT HBCU
2014 AWARDS CEREMONY:
Dillard President Walter Kimbrough was named Male President of
the Year, one of three awards for the host institution which also earned awards
for female alumna of the year Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, and best nursing
program. The awards ceremony also featured its first back-to-back winners in
Alabama State for best fine arts program, Oakwood University for best choir,
and best female coach at Prairie View A&M University, whose former coach
Toyelle Wilson won last year, and this year went to Dawn Brown; both who
captured SWAC women’s basketball titles in their respective award years.
The awards ceremony was part of the 2014 HBCU Media Week
Presented by Dillard University. The two-day conference drew more than 40 HBCU
communications executives, faculty members, presidents, alumni officers and
vice-presidents from HBCUs around the country. Highlights from the event
included a remote Q&A session with national Craig Melvin, host and
correspondent for MSNBC, and Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now on the TV One
Best Marching Band - Southern University Human Jukebox
Best Choir - Oakwood University Aeolian Choir
Best Student Government Association - Prairie View A&M
Best Student Organization - Fisk University HCASC Team
Best Student Newspaper - Morehouse College Maroon Tiger
Best Alumni Publication - The A&M Magazine, Florida A&M
Best Research Center - Hampton University Minority Men’s Health
Best Fine Arts Program - Alabama State Univ. Department of
Best Business Program - Morgan State University Earl G. Graves
School of Business and Management
Best STEM Program - Johnson C. Smith University College of STEM
Best Nursing Program - Dillard University College of Nursing
Best School of Social Work - Clark Atlanta University School of
Male Faculty Member of the Year - Greg Carr, Howard University
Female Faculty Member of the Year - Ayoka Chenzira, Spelman
Male Coach of the Year - Dawson Odums, Southern University
Female Coach of the Year - Dawn Brown, Prairie View A&M
Male Athlete of the Year - Dray Joseph, Southern University
Female Athlete of the Year - Jazzmin Parker, Texas Southern
Men’s Team of the Year - North Carolina Central University
Female Team of the Year - Hampton University Women’s
National Alumni Association of the Year - Florida A&M
Male Alumnus of the Year - Michael Strahan, Texas Southern
Female Alumnus of the Year - Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, Dillard
Male Student of the Year - Kelcey Wright, Albany State
Female Student of the Year - Priscilla Barbour, Prairie View
Male President of the Year - Dr. Walter Kimbrough, Dillard
Female President of the Year - Dr. Carolyn Meyers, Jackson State
HBCU of the Year - Hampton University
15. VICE PRESIDENT JOE
BIDEN TO DELIVER REMARKS TO NAACP NATIONAL CONVENTION ON JULY 23 IN LAS VEGAS:
Members of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most widely
recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization gather to address voting
rights, health care, economic opportunity, educational equality, and criminal
justice reform among other priorities.
JULY 16, 2014—Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks to
thousands of delegates, members and guests of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), at its annual convention on July 23. The
event is being held from July 19-23 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention
Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Vice President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for Wednesday, July
23 at 11:00 a.m. (PST)
The 2014 NAACP convention, “NAACP: All In for Justice and Equality,”
occurs in a year of important civil rights anniversaries and milestones,
including the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, 60th Anniversary of
Brown v. Board of Education, and the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer. It
also occurs on the heels of the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court decision, which
invalidated Section IV of the Voting Rights Act.
WHO: National civil rights leaders, elected officials, and
policymakers including: NAACP National Chairman Roslyn M. Brock; NAACP National
Vice Chairman Leon Russell; NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks;
former NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller; Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid; U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge; U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz;
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; former Republican National Committee Chairman
Michael Steele, and more.
WHAT: 105th National Convention of the NAACP, the nation’s
oldest and largest civil rights organization, with members and digital
WHERE: Mandalay Bay Convention Center, 3950 S. Las Vegas
Boulevard, Las Vegas NV 89119
MEDIA: The Vice President’s remarks will be open press.
Additional logistical details for media are forthcoming.
For more information, please visit http://www.naacp.org
16. AN EXCELLENT LESSON
IN GRAMMAR AND A GREAT REFRESHER TOO:
View the video in the link below.
An excellent message in grammar:
17. POLITICIANS SHOULD MAKE SURE THEIR ETHICS
TOOL BOX IS WELL STOCKED:
A few nights ago, I saw the film "Freedom Summer," a
documentary by Stanley Nelson about 10 weeks in 1964 when more then 700 student
volunteers from around the country went to Mississippi to try to shatter the
foundations of white supremacy. At the conclusion of the film, one of the
panelists who had been involved in the effort, urged the young people to
"Make some noise," to help dismantle the entrenched inequality that
still exists in this country. While I believe young people need to raise their
voices against present day inequality, I believe young and old need to raise
their voices against those who have forgotten the price paid for our freedom
and continue to engage in corrupt activities that undermine the cause of
We continue to witness the downfall of the African American
politician elite. Those with the best education and the best
connections and often from the best connected
families continue to lose valuable political offices because of conviction of
engaging in (or guilty pleas) corrupt behavior, behavior that often has been
captured on tape or other electronic means. Among those who have squandered hard
won rights are: Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.; former Mayor of Detroit Kwame
Kilpatrick; former District of Columbia Councilman Michael Brown, son of former
Commerce Secretary Ron Brown; former District of Columbia Councilman Harry
Thomas, Jr., son of former Councilman Harry Thomas, Sr.; former District of
Columbia Council Chair Kwame Brown; former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin; former
Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson (along with his wife).
When we voted for these people, we rightly expected that they
would continue to ascend the political ladder and be powerful voices for the
masses who are not so well educated or connected.
Instead, we continue to witness the parade of
horrors (consider the recent indictment of the Mayor of Charlotte, North
Carolina). To magnify the loss and the impact on African American, minority and
poor communities, these fallen warriors (or at least expected warriors) are not
being replaced by those who have shown much of an interest in continuing the
struggle for freedom and fighting against the new Jim Crow.
All of the people mentioned above had two things in common.
First, they forgot who they are and whose they are, and in the forgetting, sold
themselves for thirty pieces of silver.
They were greedy and focused on no one but themselves.
Second, these corrupt "leaders"
ignored certain foundational principles that at one time were a central part of
the African American community (at least the community in which I was raised)
and that the African American leaders of old followed with fidelity.
How do we stop the cycle?
We must redouble efforts to pass on the
well-tested foundational principles to our young, so that they not only will
make some noise, but they will operate with a well-equipped tool box that that
will allow them to ascend the halls of power and to remain firmly perched, even
when storms roll in, as they inevitably will.
Here are nine principles that I believe will help plant anyone on a firm
1) Become familiar with moral and theological philosophies that
predate modern rules of conduct and that in fact serve as the moral
underpinning of our society.
standards, which often are based on religious foundations, leave less wiggle
room about what is acceptable than do ethics codes, which have been drafted by
lawyers and often have loopholes.
Book of Proverbs, one of the oldest codes of conduct, offers a wealth of
guidance on how to operate ethically, dispensing advice on a wide range of
topics, from honesty and integrity to the value in seeking counsel from
The Book of Proverbs and similar
codes of conduct in other religions (Judaism, Islam, and Taoism all have codes
of conduct) offers sound guidance whether one is Christian, of another
religion, or disclaims being "religious."
Anyone who keeps the following principles in
his tool box will be well on his way to leading a moral and ethical life.
For example, Proverbs cautions that
ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but practicing what is right always
delivers one from an ignominious downfall (Proverbs 10:2); that the wages of
the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them
punishment (Proverbs 10:16); and that the integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity (Proverbs 11:3). All of
these Proverbs caution against the very kinds of activities that continue to
ensnarl young African American politicians who should be moving up the
2) Be knowledgeable about your organization's code of conduct.
Although the book of Proverbs is the starting
place for building an ethical foundation, whether you are a politician or are
employed in the government, a corporation, or a non-profit, you should become
familiar with and ardently follow your organization's code of conduct.
Know what activities are prohibited.
If the rules are unclear or if you disagree
with them, speak with someone who can interpret them.
In fact, if you are a senior executive with
decision making authority, you should consider hiring an attorney to brief you
on the detail of your governing codes as well as applicable laws that govern
3) Have a line that you will not cross when it comes to ethics.
Before being confronted with an ethical dilemma, a thoughtful person will have
given some thought to the things she will not do, regardless of the possible
adverse consequences or who makes the request. The strongest moral decisions we
make are ones we make before we are tempted.
In his book, Street Smart Ethics: Succeeding in Business Without Selling
Your Soul, Clinton W. McLemore calls these advance decisions "preemptory
decisions," saying that an ethical person makes the decision one time - in
advance of trouble.
4) Recognize that small or initial ethical compromises open the
door to further compromises. Let your conscience be your guide; if something
does not feel right, it probably is not. This means you also must make it a
habit to do the right thing.
1951 by noted theologian and philosopher Dr. Howard Thurman in his book Deep is
the Hunger is just as relevant today.
said: "We are living in the midst of events that [demand that we stand up
and be counted. The options are often very few. . . . It might not be a bad
idea to get in the practice now and develop the climate within [yourselves]
that makes it possible for you to make up your mind to be counted." Making
up your mind to be counted as an elected official means you make up your mind
to do the right thing and to make decisions that benefit other than yourself.
5) Operate on a buddy system, and choose as a buddy someone who
is not a "yes" person. Most people who want to do the right thing
have confidants with whom they vet difficult issues. Develop such a
relationship with people who have a reputation for doing the right thing.
As Proverbs 28:23 cautions, the one who
criticizes should in the end gain more favor than the one who offers empty
praises. True leaders value honesty. (Proverbs 16:13).
If someone who loves and respects you warns
you against doing something, you should at least think critically about the
planned action before doing it.
nations fall because of a lack of guidance, but succeed with advisers (Proverbs
11:14), so do people.
6) Have the ability to work independently as well as part of a
team. This will help you to resist negative pressure. The ability to work
independently comes from having confidence in one's own ability and in not
needing the approval of others.
7) Do not use as a motto, "Everybody else is doing
it." This approach is almost guaranteed to lead you to trouble.
If you are certain of the foundation on which
you stand, you will not be so concerned about what everybody else is doing.
8) Recognize that the temptation to engage in unethical conduct
often sneaks up on you, especially if you do not have the proper ethical
foundation. As noted philosopher C. S. Lewis said, such temptation often comes
"over a drink or a cup of coffee, disguised as a triviality and sandwiched
between two jokes, from the lips of a man or woman, whom you recently have been
getting to know rather better and whom you hope to know better still.
It will be the hint of something [that
violates] the technical rules of fair play … something which the … ignorant,
romantic public would never understand … but something, says your new friend,
which 'we' and at the word 'we' you try not to blush for sheer pleasure -
something 'we always do.'" C.S. Lewis, as quoted in Street Smart Ethics:
Succeeding in Business without Selling Your Soul, Clinton W. McLemore.
Recognizing this should keep you in a
questioning mode about certain proposed or planned conduct.
9) Remember, you can never win by engaging in unethical conduct.
Proverbs 21:6 illuminates the folly of engaging in corrupt activities by reminding
us that a fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly
snare. The probabilities of being caught and punished are high. It is not a
matter of if you will be caught; it often is a matter of when you will be
caught and brought to justice.
Thus, in conclusion, while all of us need to keep fighting and
remain engage in the political process to advance the cause of freedom, a part
of that fight is to speak out against corruption, irrespective of who commits
the corrupt act and to remind those elected to political office to make sure
they carry the right tool box into office with them.
When they do not, we must not hesitate to
hold them accountable.
18. THE EIGHTH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT
AFRICAN 2014 SCHEDULE OF ANNUAL CONFERENCES:
Reverend Julius Harrison McAllister, Sr.
McAllister, Episcopal Supervisor
South Mississippi Annual Conference
Saint John A. M. E. Church
Biloxi, Mississippi 39532
Church Telephone: (228) 553-9976
The Reverend Sherry Tillman, Host
The Reverend Joseph Young, Host
The Reverend George W. Tyler, Associate
The Reverend Sylvester Marshall, Sr.,
Associate Presiding Elder
The Reverend Anthony Mills, Associate
North Mississippi Annual Conference
Church Telephone: (662) 741-2648
The Reverend Horace McKay, Host Pastor
The Reverend John L. Moore, Jr., Host
The Reverend William Hardiman, Jr.,
Associate Presiding Elder
The Reverend Archie Smith, Associate
Central North Louisiana Annual
Alexandria, Louisiana 71302
Church Telephone: (318) 448-0137
The Reverend JioVonte` Watkins, Host
The Reverend Lloyd Washington, Jr.,
Host Presiding Elder
The Reverend Michele Goodloe, Associate
Louisiana Annual Conference
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
Church Telephone: (225) 344-6931
The Reverend Herman O. Kelly, Host
The Reverend David Campbell, Jr., Host
The Reverend Otis S. Lewis, Sr.,
Associate Presiding Elder
The Reverend Jacob W. Hilton, Jr.,
Associate Presiding Elder
Post Conference Planning Meeting
19. THE TRUTH IS THE
*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.
Based on Biblical Text: Ezekiel 37:14: And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place
you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and
performed it, saith the Lord
Not many ministers of the Gospel have been able to resist
preaching from this very familiar vivid yet intriguing text known as the “Dry
Bones.” It could be the brilliant manner in which the writer describes how
sinew comes upon sinew or how bone attaches to bone that attracts us to this
magnificent resurrection story. Maybe it is that missionaries, exhorters and
each of us called to Pastoral ministry have an innate desire to speak life into
spiritually dead men and women. Our desire is that those we are charged to lead
would find resurrection power for their own lives in this exciting passage of
All who have answered the call to serve want to do the best job
possible for the Lord. It is clear to me, after years of work, that no matter
how prepared we are, no matter how dedicated we are, no matter how committed we
are, we are nothing without the Holy Spirit!
Like many of my colleagues, I love all of the members of my
congregation. There are many of us who truly love the souls of the men and
women we are charged to lead. And we truly desire to preach and teach with all
diligence to bring these men and women to believe in Jesus Christ. But, it is
impossible for us to accomplish this feat on our own as this is the sole work
of the Holy Spirit.
We can however, begin our work according to the Word of God, prophesying
with God’s help. However the truth is, if we proceed in our own power we will
find ourselves confronted with a wall that we can not get through on our own.
We will invariably meet with a wall that we cannot get over or around by
ourselves. Even our most fervent effort will not be sufficient as we will find
men and women behind that wall that we still have not reached. No matter how
much we may want to strengthen their resolve or cause them to be stronger in
faith, we cannot because we by ourselves lack the power to do so.
Thank the Lord, there are many things that we are able to do. We
can, like the Word challenges us, lead by example, letting our light so shine
that others may see God’s good works in us. We can be faithful to preach the
Word in season and out of season. We can be examples of righteousness, not only
talking the talk but walking the walk. We can be examples of faith in prayer,
fervently praying without ceasing trusting and believing that prayer changes
things. We can be role models for seeking first the kingdom of God in any and
everything thing we undertake.
When I think of the many demands associated with the call to
ministry it congers up several vivid even though unrealistic pictures of what
one must be like to be considered anywhere near perfect. I have a humorous
mental picture of what, for example, must constitute perfection as a pastor.
One picture of a perfect pastor is one who preaches exactly 20-25 minutes, then
sits down. He or she condemns sin but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He or she
is dedicated to work from 8 AM to 10 PM doing everything from preaching to
custodial service. He or she demands a meager salary yet wears good clothes,
buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a good car, and gives most
of the salary back to the church. He or she stands ready to contribute to every
good work that comes along. No matter how old the preacher is they have been
preaching for 30 years. The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with
teenagers, and spends all his or her time visiting with older folks. The
perfect pastor makes 15 visits a day on church members, spends all his or her
time evangelizing the unchurched, and can always be found at the office.
The perfect missionary using similar criteria is one who puts
everything and everybody before themselves. One who is never down, never
“blue.” He or she spends two-thirds of every day tending the needs of other
families, the final third seeing to their own while keeping themselves fit to
serve the rest of the week. He or she receives no salary yet wears nice
clothes, has a nice family, drives a good car and can be counted on to purchase
several tickets for the “Gospel Fest” and a few dinners for the “Building Fund
Rally.” They have a burning desire to work with the young folk and spend many
hours visiting the nursing home yet can always be counted on to answer their
But, even for the “perfect” minister of the Gospel, when it
comes to the creation of life and the task of saving men and women’s souls from
spiritual death, they will find they have come upon a mysterious territory into
which they cannot infiltrate. Here they will uncover their limitations. They
will, in fact, find that they have entered the domain of miracles, where God
alone reigns Supreme. God alone has the power to give life and God alone has
the power to take life away. We can never raise a single person from the grave
of sin neither can we bring a single sinner to the feet of Jesus Christ. That
is the work of the Holy Spirit!
So how does this truth affect the “called to serve”? If we are
powerless, should we just not do anything? Should we just not care? Should we
rest believing, “God’s Spirit has to do the work, so I’ll just fold my arms and
take it easy?”
Of course, we can not do
that. Our heart's desire must be that every one of us be saved. Our prayer for
mankind is that they might be saved. So then we can not just sit still and do
We would do well to realize that we must be practical. We must
understand that in our own power we are unable to command the winds to assemble
from the “four corners of the earth” to stand men’s spiritually dead souls
upright. However, we can use the wind from whatever direction it may blow.
I have friends who love to sail. The sailors I know understand
that they can not stop the storm, nor can they create the storm. However, they
do not just sit still. The sailboat, I have learned, has different shaped and
different size sails. The boat has sails of different cuts and forms that
enable them to use every ounce of wind that comes. Sailors understand how to
unfurl the sails in case the wind becomes too strong for the boat. In other
words, although sailors can not control the wind, they can use whatever wind
God is pleased to send.
Like the sailor, we who have picked up the mantle of service,
can not control the wind. We are unable to, in our own power; command the
mighty wind of influence that streams from the Omnipotent Spirit of God. We
recognize that we are not able to control the wind nor is it within our power
to turn the wind or cause it to blow anyway other than the way God wills it to
blow. We understand by faith that as the Bible says, “The wind blows where it
wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and
where it goes.” However, with God being our helper we can make full use of the
wind. In our inability to save men, we have to turn to God and we have to lay
hold of God’s power.
Every time and everywhere we are blessed with an opportunity to
share God’s Word of Truth with someone, from the pulpit or on the street we
come face to face with spiritual death. We must however be conscious of the
fact that we cannot, by ourselves, remove it. We are fully aware that only the
Holy Spirit can quicken men’s dead souls.
There is however an undeniable attitude of the heart that we
must assume. By faith we can know that there are certain results that we can
expect as a result of our obedience. The first thing that must happen is that
our heart must be deeply humbled. Our heart must be completely emptied and
disconnected from the carnal us. Our heart and our mind must be focused on the
things above recognizing our position in the world and the Lord’s admonition
not to be worldly.
The fact is we may study the message we intend to deliver,
checking it and re-checking it for validity doing all the work necessary to
examine the original text. We may even deliver the message with perfectly
correct interpretation and expression. However, we cannot by ourselves quicken
a soul with our message.
I must confess that I may ascend to the pulpit preach with
power, illustrate with eloquence, explain and reinforce the truth with mighty
oratory that charms the hearers. It may even be that I, on a good day,
am able to hold the hearers in awe for
several minutes. However, no eloquence of mine can raise the dead. I confess
today before God and every reader that I have no power on my own. I submit that
a voice other than mine must be heard and a power greater than that of thought
or persuasion must be brought to bear or no soul will be saved.
What I am trying to get someone to understand is that only as
the Spirit of God shall bless men by me, shall they receive a blessing through
me. Whatever my ability or my experience, it is the Spirit of God, who must
bless my labor to save souls. Therefore, the scripture says we do not glory in
this work, for necessity is laid upon us.
What I learn from Ezekiel’s story in our text is that no servant
should dare take on the critical work of ministry with the slightest bit of
confidence in self. To approach God’s people thinking that we are anything by
ourselves would certainly prevent the Holy Spirit from working through us.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of
hosts". I want somebody to understand that by ourselves we have no Word
that will lift and no Word that saves. We have no power by ourselves. All power
is of God alone. We must understand that no soul will be saved apart from the
Spirit of God, and we dare not venture into the mission field without prayer.
No matter how skillful we may claim to be at exegeting biblical
text, making the first century wording relevant to our right now concerns, it
is through constant dialogue with God that our heart is clear as to what God
would have us say. In other words, the message could not be delivered without
our constant groans and cries to God for help in every sentence that we
And when the message is
communicated, the work has only begun. The messages are but a test, and we must
cry out continually in prayer; asking, pleading for the anointing to fall fresh
with our every attempt to minister. Our prayer must be "Let the Spirit of
God be upon me, that I may speak deliverance to the captives; else men will
still remain in the prison house in spite of all my toil."
It is comforting to know that the Holy Spirit does not depend
upon our mind or our abilities. The preacher in me is forced to add, “Somebody
ought to say amen!” Even Jesus Christ laid aside all inventiveness and
originality as He uttered only the words of his Father, the words which the
Holy Spirit brought to him. He said to his followers, in that unforgettable
communication, before he went out to Gethsemane, "The word which ye hear
is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." So it is our duty as the
“called of God” to imitate Christ, dispensing with our own originality willing
not to think our own thoughts, or to speak our own words, but speak only those
words, which God shall give to us. It should be our desire that we would rather
speak a few words out of the Holy Book than thousands of words from some
philosophical interpretation. We should rather be a fool with God than be a
wise man with the most gifted academics, for "the foolishness of God is
wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of
Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina
20. EBOLA OUTBREAK IN WEST
AFRICA WORSENS AS DEATH TOLL TOPS 600:
July 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM EDT
The deadliest-ever epidemic of the Ebola virus has claimed 603
lives in West Africa since an outbreak was confirmed in February, the World
Health Organization said Tuesday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that 85 new cases and
69 deaths were reported between July 8-12, indicating a “high level of
transmission” of the hemorrhagic fever across Sierra Leone, Liberia and
The WHO anticipates the virus
will spread to neighboring countries as efforts to contain the outbreak
continue to fall short.
Health workers are having difficulty accessing affected West
African communities because there’s a deep mistrust of doctors, and many
patients believe that hospitalization is a “death sentence.”
The Ebola virus, which has no cure or vaccine, is easily
transmitted by bodily fluids or infected tissues and has a fatality rate of up
to 90 percent. In Guinea, government officials banned public funerals for Ebola
victims to reduce the risk of exposure. Sierra Leone officials have advised the
public to not consume "bush meat,” or dead animals found in the bush,
including monkeys, chimpanzees and bats.
Symptoms of Ebola include vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding and can
emulate other tropical diseases such as malaria and cholera.
Named after the location of its first appearance, the virus was
first documented in a village near the Ebola River in 1976. The death toll then
was 280. WHO said the current strain is unrelated to past outbreaks.
21. THE 14TH
EPISCOPAL DISTRICT: ELIZA TURNER MEMORIAL AME CHURCH REACHES OUT TO EBOLA
An ongoing epidemic of the deadly Ebola virus disease has spread
throughout Guinea and beyond the nation's borders in West Africa. At least 844
infections and 518 deaths have been reported.
In a statement on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the World Health
Organization (WHO) said the latest figures from health ministries in Sierra
Leone, Liberia and Guinea showed a total of 844 cases since the epidemic began
Between June 23, 2014 and
July 8, 2014, health officials in West Africa say about 25 more people have
died from Ebola, taking the total number of death to 518. The WHO said 50 new
cases of the deadly disease had also been recently reported. It said Sierra
Leone had accounted for 34 of the new cases and 14 deaths, while Liberia
reported 16 new cases and 9 deaths. This Ebola outbreak is the most severe in
recorded history, both in the number of cases and deaths.
In Monrovia, the Liberian Capital, individuals confirmed as
positive with the Ebola Virus are quarantined at isolations centers managed by
the government. One’s chances of survival are very, very slim. To most of them,
their “death warrant” is already signed.
In Monrovia, the Eliza Turner Memorial AME Church of the 14th
Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church committed its
midyear outreach to people quarantined at isolation centers most of whom have very
little chances of survival. Items worth close to $1,000 including beverages,
eggs, toiletries and gospel tracks were donated to the Liberian Ministry of
Health to support its work in catering to people in the isolation centers.
Speaking during the presentation of items on July 9, 2014 to the health
authorities, Rev. Alvin E. Attah, Pastor of the Church thanked Health Workers
across the country who risks exposure to the virus to help save people who are
infected. In his words, “we are all vulnerable, but to our brothers and sisters
in there: we love them; we are praying for them; we share their pains, and this
is our widow’s might to encourage them. Let them keep trusting Jesus for He is
able to see them through.”
Receiving the items, the health authorities thanked the Eliza
Turner AME family for the thoughtfulness, the concern and boldness to reach out
to these inmates. “This is the first of its kind since the outbreak of the
Ebola virus, and we hope other religious organization and humanitarian organizations
could emulate the good will of the AMEs”, said the Assistant Health Minister
Bishop Clement W. Fugh is the Presiding Prelate of the 14th
22. GETTING TO ZERO: THE
BLACK CHURCH AND HIV - RESOURCES:
The National HIV Testing Day was June 27
Many Episcopal Districts are preparing for or have recently
assembled and completed their Christian Education Congresses.
AME churches with the fall series of Annual Conferences are
thinking about pastoral appointments and pastors and congregations will make
their annual pastor’s report.
Some churches also use the pre-Annual Conference time to plan
for the next conference year. It is a time of focus for AME Churches all over
National HIV Testing Day is relevant to every AME member, every
Christian and every human being. As the news media reports concern for the
currently uncontrolled nature of an Ebola virus epidemic (the largest ever) as
it occurs in West African countries, it is an opportune time to give special
attention to National HIV Testing for control of HIV/AIDS. (More will come on
the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic.)
Anytime is a great time to attend to HIV Testing! By now you
Here are two helpful resources available for wide use. Both are
tailored to The Black Church and HIV. Both correctly recognize HIV/AIDS as an
infectious disease that is a health equity and social justice issue. They
recognize it as an imperative for the Black Church- its leaders, its members
and those served in the larger community.
One resource, The Black Church and HIV Toolkit is discussed
below. The other, a Healthy Churches 2020 Conference will be discussed at a
later time; however, it can be accessed anytime at http://healthychurches2020.org/about-the-conference
The Black Church and HIV
Through engagement with the Commitment to Action of the Clinton Global
Initiative (CGI), the Health Department of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has launched the Black Church and HIV
Initiative. The NAACP provides a toolkit as part of this national programming.
The Black Church and HIV Initiative provides multiple resources
tailored to meet church needs. These include a Pastoral Briefing, Activity
Manual, AIDS Vu map links, HIV Testing, Sermon Ideas on HIV and other
resources. All can be accessed by free download from http://www.theblackchurchandhiv.org/toolkit/
The NAACP Pastoral Briefing and Activity Manual provide an
understanding and call to action for HIV/AIDS as a Social Justice issue. The Health
Equity resource page places HIV in the Black community in the context of
overall health issues. The HIV Testing resource explains the importance of
testing and contains a highly relevant list of useful user-friendly internet
resources for planning an HIV testing campaign.
The Activity Manual contains a list of items that can be
effective in planning a day of focus on HIV/AIDS engagement. The manual states
“Specifically, we are inviting pastors, like you, to do any of the below:
• Preach a sermon about HIV as a social justice issue or the
disproportionate way it is impacting the Black community; Film your sermon and
upload it to YouTube to share with others;
• Promote the Day of Unity on your social media channels; If you
are on Twitter, use the hashtag #DayofUnity to join the NAACP conversation.
• Provide HIV screenings at your church in partnership with a
local health agency;
• Include information about the impact of HIV in your church
• Announce collaboration with other local churches to tackle HIV
in your community;
• Incorporate HIV into your health ministry;
• Start an HIV ministry and announce it on the Day of Unity; (or
World AIDS Day, National Day of Testing, etc.)
• Host an educational workshop for your congregation;
• Mobilize volunteers from your congregation to work with people
living with HIV;
• Host an event that highlights the disproportionate impact HIV
is having on the Black community;
• Encourage other pastors in your community to participate in the/a
Day of Unity.”
These are effective feasible items that a church and its
leadership can do.
The NAACP is stating that the Black Church must engage; HIV/AIDS
is an infectious disease that we can stop. Many of the suggestions in the
Activity Manual have appeared in the TCR G20 column. Some AME leaders and
churches already are engaged in such, and they can do more. Other churches need
to get started. Every church or church leader can do something. This includes
promoting an HIV test taken voluntarily by each leader. Actions in the manual
are consistent with effective ministry preparation in the Payne Theological
Seminary required course “What Effective Clergy Should Know about
We must effectively engage.
We are on one accord. Effective sustained action by clergy, as
leaders of the Black Church will move closer towards control and elimination of
HIV/AIDS. Effective sustained engagement of the Black Church is necessary to
stop HIV/AIDS. Effective and widespread sustained engagement can be done.
If questions, or if further information is needed about the
NAACP Black Church and HIV Initiative: A Social Justice Issue, contact The Rev.
Keron Sadler, Manager or Shavon L. Arline-Bradley, Director, of the NAACP
Health Programs Department at email@example.com
AMEs and others are on one accord. We are strategically and
divinely placed “for such a time as this.” As recently reported and celebrated
in the TCR
, the Rev. Attorney Cornell
William Brooks, an AME Itinerant Elder is the newly appointed National
President and CEO of the NAACP. Further, the Rev. Dr. Thelma Bryant-Davis
served as a co-author of the Activity Manual.
On the inside cover of the Pastoral Briefing, Senior Bishop John R.
Bryant, Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District, aptly sets the
agenda and states the undergirding reason for The Black Church and HIV Initiative
“The Black Church is the only institution that has loved our
people from the cradle to the grave. We loved them through slavery, through
poverty, and through racism. We cannot make HIV the exception to our love. As
the Mother Institution, we must love our people through the valley of HIV.”
- Bishop John Bryant, Chicago
Enough said. Get this resource and use it!
The Rev. Dr. A. Oveta Fuller is a tenured professor in
Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Director of the African Studies
Center at the University of Michigan. An Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist
Episcopal Church, she is a former pastor and 2012-13 J. William Fulbright
Scholar to Zambia. She works with community partners for HIV/AIDS elimination
and teaches a course, “What Effective Clergy Should Know about HIV/AIDS.”
Contact Info: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Phone: 734 647-3830
23. iCHURCH SCHOOL LESSON
BRIEF FOR SUNDAY, JULY 20, 2014 – “THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE JUST “- I
Bill Dickens, Allen AME Church, Tacoma, Washington
The motto of the United States Marine Corps is captured in the
Latin phrase – “Semper Fidelis
Marines shortened to "Semper Fi
The translation of “Semper Fidelis
” into English means "forever faithful" or
Contemporary American society seems inundated with antisocial
behavior that calls into question, "To what or to whom we are
Reckless behavior and criminal malfeasance transcends race,
income, gender and class categories.
one it seems is immune from the probability of personal theft, sexual
debauchery, robbery, assault or most alarming, being a homicide victim.
How did American life become synonymous with a “taste for
The obvious answer is the ubiquity of sin.
How can we circumvent this social evil so
that our quality of life will not be compromised, diminished or cut short?
The not-to-obvious answer to the latter
question is the focus of the June 20, 2014, Adult AME Church School Lesson.
In I Corinthians Chapter 10:1-22, Paul provides a response to
dysfunctional behavioral patterns by drawing upon the lessons of history and
the practical applications of responsible conduct and wholesome living.
Paul reminds the Corinthian members that their Jewish ancestors,
like themselves, were prone to behavioral abnormalities (vss. 6-13).
The Exodus experience saw many Jews engaging
in conduct unbecoming of followers of YAHWEH.
Many engaged in idolatry, riotous living, and sex orgies and became
serial transgressors of the Mosaic Law.
The young Corinthian church also consisted of members who
displayed similar characteristics. As the old saying goes, “the more things
change, the more they remain the same.”
The risk the Corinthians faced was that their lifestyle
preferences could have lead to the same consequences of the Exodus Jews –
punishment and wrath from YAHWEH.
Paul exhorts his readers to eschew and remain free of such
Our fidelity and loyalty
should be firm in the salvation work of Jesus.
Maintaining a proper distance with such immoral behavior is important if
we are to have a consistent and clear witness.
We are indeed a peculiar people and in training to becoming Ambassadors
Illicit conduct is
unbecoming of a follower of Jesus.
doesn’t mean we are “holier than thou,” but, it does mean we understand the
importance of striving to distinguish between doing what is right as opposed to
what is expedient.
Living a Godly lifestyle will put us in a minority position
given society’s preference for "anything goes."
However, like the Marines, we may be few, but we are proud
*Brother Bill Dickens is currently the Church School Teacher at
Allen AME Church in Tacoma, Washington.
He is currently a member of the Fellowship of Church Educators for the
24. MEDITATION BASED ON
I’m writing this week’s Meditation from Florence, South Carolina
- the site of the Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church’s Annual Summer
When traveling out of
town on Tuesdays in the past, I sent out the Mid-Week Meditation a day early,
since doing it on my iPad instead of on my home desktop was more than a little
bit difficult and inconvenient. That changed a few months ago when my desktop
was showing signs of an impending crash.
Instead of getting a new desktop, I opted for a laptop.
It stays in my home office most of the time
but when I’m traveling for more than a day or two, I simply unplug it and take
it with me.
It’s portable, but powerful
and enables me to do things on the road that I formerly had to do at home.
I can now almost literally take my office
with me and be more productive.
Portable technology makes me more productive and less stressed
and what could creatively be called “portable faith” can do the same for our
Many decent and
well-meaning people limit their relationship to God to an hour or two on
Sundays, when they worship with those who share their faith and then go home
and leave their “Sunday religion” in the pew with the hymnals and Bibles.
“Sunday morning religion,” however, can’t help you to cope with
life’s daily rough spots and challenges or enable you to love God and love
others as God’s Word directs us to do - it can leave you feeling isolated and
incomplete for the rest of the week.
When we take the time each day, however, to pause, pray and count our
blessings, we’ll have more than “Sunday religion.”
We’ll love serve, praise and call on the Lord
each day, realizing that God gives us peace of mind and productively guides us
through each new day.
We’ll find new meaning, completeness and assurance in our lives
when we take God off of our “to do” list and allow God to direct our thoughts,
words and deeds.
Give God control of
your life and take the Name of Jesus with you wherever you go.
You’ll make new progress, experience new
peace of mind, and be able to joyfully say with those who continually called on
the Lord in spite of slavery’s chains, “I woke up this morning with my mind
stayed on Jesus.”
This Meditation is also available on the Beaufort District’s
Get Ready for Sunday, and have a great day in your house of
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby is the Presiding Elder of the
Beaufort District of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the Seventh
Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
25. EPISCOPAL FAMILY
-- First female Presiding
Elder in our denomination will observe her 102nd birthday on July 21st
The Reverend Dorothy Millicent Morris of Georgetown, Guyana,
first female Presiding Elder in our denomination will observe her 102nd
birthday on July 21st. Greetings and/or gifts may be sent to:
The Rev. Andrew Grant, Presiding Elder/Pastor
St. Peter's A.M.E. Church
-- Julius McAllister III
inducted into the Tallahassee Chapter of Distinguished Young Gentlemen of
Congratulations to Julius Harrison McAllister III, grandson of
Bishop McKinley and Dr. Dorothy Young (3rd District) of Columbus, Ohio and Bishop
Julius and Mrs. Joan McAllister, Sr. (8th District) of Jackson, Mississippi and
the eldest son of the Reverend Julius and Mrs. Deana Young McAllister, Jr.,
Pastor and First Lady of Bethel A.M.E. Church, Tallahassee, Florida.
In June Julius was inducted into the
Tallahassee Chapter of Distinguished Young Gentlemen of America, Inc.
The DYG of America, Inc. firmly stands on the
principles of Manly Deeds, Academic Excellence and Servant Leadership
-- Jennifer Renee Lowe
graduated from Claremont High School in Claremont, California and will continue
her education at Hampton University
Congratulations to Jennifer Renee Lowe, granddaughter of Bishop
McKinley and Dr. Dorothy Young (3rd District) of Columbus, Ohio and Mrs. Leola
Lowe and the late Mr. Edward R. Lowe of Brunswick, Georgia.
Jennifer is the eldest daughter of Mr. Ron
and Mrs. Karyn Young-Lowe of Alta Loma, California.
Jennifer recently graduated from Claremont High School,
Claremont, California and will continue her education in the fall at Hampton
University in Hampton, Virginia.
Jennifer and her family are members of Ward AME Church in Los Angeles.
-- Ms. Stephanie Young
appointed as Associate Communications Director for the White House
Congratulations to Stephanie Young, youngest daughter of Bishop
McKinley and Dr. Dorothy Young (3rd District).
On Monday, July 14th the Office of the House Minority Whip, Steny H.
Hoyer D-MD, announced that Stephanie Young, Hoyer's National Press Secretary,
will be heading to the White House.
Hoyer said, "Stephanie has done a tremendous job as my National
She has been a
wonderful resource for the press and a key part of House Democrats' messaging
efforts, and I wish her all the best as she heads to the White
Stephanie will serve as an
associate communications director for the White House.
She has already worked with President Barack
Obama, first as the regional press secretary in Florida for Obama's re-election
campaign and again in 2013 as director of constituency press for the
presidential inaugural committee.
Stephanie is a member of Allen AME Church in Washington, D.C.
Congratulatory responses may be emailed to:
Supervisor Dorothy Young:
Bishop McKinley Young: email@example.com
-- Dr. Eraina M.
Ross-Aseme and Mr. Patrick Chukwidifu Aseme Announces the marriage of their
Please join us in congratulating our daughter, Pamela Ifunanya
Aseme and new son-in-law Samuel Elliott Terrell II for their moment of Holy
Matrimony on July 5, 2014.
The happy couple will honeymoon in the Bahamas. The Rev. Barbara
A. Ross performed the marriage ceremony. We are very proud of our daughter and
new son. May God bless them with many years of happiness and sweet memories!
Dr. Eraina M. Ross-Aseme is the Pastor of Gregg Tabernacle AME
Church in Kansas City, Missouri and Mr. Patrick Chukwidifu Aseme, R.N. is the 1st
Note of congratulations and well wishes can be emailed to:
Mr. And Mrs. Samuel Elliott Terrell II: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Eraina M. Ross-Aseme and Mr. Patrick Chukwidifu Aseme: email@example.com
26. CLERGY FAMILY
West Kentucky Conference Evangelist, Sister Theresa C. Leavell
transitioned from this life to eternal rest on July 12, 2014. She was a member
of Saint Mark AME Church and a Life Member of the Women's Missionary Society.
Sister Leavell served faithfully in ministry as an Evangelist and she was
elected and served as a delegate to three Quadrennial Sessions of the General
Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Additionally, she has served as President of the
West Kentucky Conference Lay Organization.
Services for Sister Theresa C. Leavell were held Wednesday, July
16, 2014 at Greater New Beginnings Christian Church, 2100 W. Oak Street in
27. CLERGY FAMILY
The Third District Office is saddened to announce the passing of
Mrs. Ella Mae Whitted, mother of Presiding Elder, the Rev. Dr. Betty Whitted
Holley, on Thursday, July 11, 2014. Dr. Holley is the Presiding Elder of the
Springfield/Xenia District of the Ohio Conference and the Professor of
Environmental Ethics and African American Religious Studies at Payne
Arrangements for Mrs. Ella Mae Whitted are as follows:
Home Going Service was held on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at
Victory Temple Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Condolences/words of comfort can be sent to:
Telephone: (937) 974-3502
28. CLERGY FAMILY
It is with deepest regret that we announce the passing of Willie
Ullysee Peter Moon, Sr. on July 9, 2014.
Willie Ullysee Peter Moon, Sr. was the father of Rev. Sherita M.
Seawright the Assistant Pastor of Union Bethel AME Church and the father-in-law
of the Rev. Dr. Harry L. Seawright, pastor of Union Bethel AME Church in
Brandywine and Temple Hills, Maryland. Please keep the family in your prayers.
Memorial Service was held on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the
Beasley Funeral Home in Laurens, South Carolina.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
The Rev. Sherita M. Seawright
Fort Washington, MD 20744
29. CLERGY FAMILY
BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/
Telephone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Telephone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
30. CONDOLENCES TO THE
BEREAVED FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend T.
Larry Kirkland; the Publisher, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour and the Editor
of The Christian Recorder, the Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III offer our
condolences and prayers to those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the
peace of Christ will be with you during this time of your bereavement.
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