The Right Reverend Vashti Murphy
McKenzie - Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Roderick D. Belin,
Mr. John Thomas III, the 21st
Editor, The Christian Recorder
EDITORIAL – MUSIC CAN WRECK OR ENHANCE A WORSHIP SERVICE:
Rev. Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III
retired 20th Editor of The
want to remind us again about church musicians, which include the choir
directors, organists, pianists, other accompanists, choir members and soloists.
is an important part of worship. Music can wreck or enhance a worship
service. Liturgically, the choir
selections should compliment and be an “anchor” that inspires and compliments
the sermon. The choir music should not be a “stand-alone” and
entertainment-focused entity of worship. The music should have some
connectivity to the liturgical event.
the musician doesn’t know how to “connect” the musical selections to the
worship event, the musician should coordinate and learn from the pastor how to
do so; and hopefully the pastor would be knowledgeable to provide guidance.
should be familiar with the AME liturgy (or whatever denomination he or she
plays for) and understand the appropriateness of the selection of hymns or
gospel music at particular points in worship. For instance, and I have said
this more than once, the opening hymn and the opening part of worship is always
in adoration of God. “Jesus Be a
Fence All Around Me” or “I Been ‘Buked and I Have
are not appropriate opening hymns.
we kneel for prayer in Methodist churches, so musicians should know what a
prayer response is and not attempt to “sneak” in another choir selection during
the prayer response. The prayer event is not concluded until the end of the
prayer response has been sung. And, to keep clergy and those who are kneeling
in prayer for long periods of time is inconsiderate.
Hymn of Invitation should be carefully selected. A rousing gospel song might
work, but sometimes an appropriate selection that allows parishioners to
reflect on the sermon and the challenges of the message might yield more
decisions for Christ and encourage people to live more Christ-like. In other
words, the music needs to be appropriate for the entire worship setting – from
beginning to the end.
many of us have seen choirs “wing it” and sing their favorite selections over
and over again and the selections had nothing to do with the worship event?
suspect some pastors need training in the area of music and the appropriateness
of music in liturgy.
do not regularly watch televangelists, but sometimes I surf the channels and
watch a portion of a program and I notice their music is appropriate to their
worship style and that some thought went into the selection of music.
to say, some of our churches are missing the appropriate music link that
augments liturgy and sometimes the result is disjointed worship. When worship is disjointed, parishioners can
meander in at any point of worship and leave at any point without missing the
liturgical connectedness of worship.
in the day, I played for a church and it didn’t matter when parishioners
arrived or departed. The worship was designed in such a manner that
parishioners could come and go at any point in the service; a parishioner could
“get his or her shout” and be on their way. The church sold dinners every
Sunday and that was a part of their stewardship ministry. The dinners were
outstanding! Parishioners could get something to eat before, during and after
worship. The meal ministry was a part of the church’s program.
churches do not, and should not function in such a casual manner. The AME
Church has a liturgy crescendo, which should reach its apex at the sermon.
Music plays an important part in the worship event.
a reminder, music is an important part of worship. It can wreck or enhance a
worship service. I suspect church attendance is affected more by the music than
church with a mediocre music ministry probably experiences mediocre attendance.
have put together some thoughts entitled:
“The Sins of the
1. The musician who is always late for worship.
2. The musician who decides what the choir is
going to sing after the worship service has begun.
3. The musician who has not familiarized him or
herself with the African Methodist Episcopal liturgy.
4. The musician who tries to “make something
happen in worship” by playing the so-called, “Pentecostal shout chords.”
5. The musician who does not know how to teach
the choir members their parts, i.e., S.A.T.B., who encourages loudness rather
than teaching choir members their musical parts.
6. The musician who has to always leave early
and can’t stay until the end of the worship service and who probably arrived to
7. The musician who doesn’t remain in the
sanctuary during the sermon. They leave the sanctuary and return after the
sermon has been preached.
8. The musician
who doesn’t know how to coordinate the music with the sermon text or the
liturgical season. (Of course the pastor has some responsibility in sharing
with the musician the biblical text and the liturgical emphasis that the pastor
would like to musician to follow).
9. The musician who gets angry with the pastor
and “sits down” on the pastor in worship, and tries to dampen worship.
10. The musician who does not arrive in time to
play a prelude and/or in a rush to depart that he or she does not bother to
play a postlude. And, choir members who meander to the choir loft, chatting and
jostling with each other as they amble their way to their seats. And they
meander out of the choir loft at the end of worship.
11. The musician who day-dreams, engaged / engages in conversation with
choir members during the worship service, and especially during the sermon and
during the Communion Service and as a result hinders the liturgical or
spiritual movement of the worship service.
12. The musician
who doesn’t know how the play hymns and who doesn’t practice or learn to play
hymns and anthems. And, also the musician who doesn’t know how to play gospel
music and who doesn’t practice or learn to play gospel hymns.
13. The musician who doesn’t know how to play in
all of the musical keys; who only plays in a couple of keys like C major, F
major, G major, major (?) and B flat.
Hymns, particularly, are written in certain keys because the hymn can be sung
better in certain keys. Ever wonder why some musicians carry their own
keyboards when the choir goes out sing?
If, during worship, another musician plays in a key that they can’t play
in; they can transpose the key on their keyboard.
14. The musician who only teaches, what I call,
“7-11” songs; seven phrases sung
11 times, over and over and over again.
15. The musician who is excited when the choir is singing or when he
or she is playing the musical instrument, but tunes out during the sermon and
other parts of the worship service.
16. The choir director /
musician who allows choir members to
sing even when they fail to attend choir practice.
17. The musician who allows choir members to sing even when
choir members arrive after the worship service has begun and allow choir
members, “who have something to do” to leave worship services early.
18. The musician who doesn’t insist on having choir rehearsals.
19. The musician who is engaged in his or her
cellphone during the worship service.
20. Musicians who
chew chewing gum throughout worship. If they struggle with halitosis (bad
breath); a mint, used discreetly, might be a better option.
21. The musician
who thinks that he or she, instead of the pastor, is the leader for worship.
2. THE 2016-2020
ASSIGNMENTS / RETIREMENT DATE OF THE BISHOPS OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL
District Assignment / Name / Retirement year
Officer – Bishop Frank Madison Reid III - Frank Madison Reid III - 2024
- Bishop Gregory Gerald McKinley Ingram - 2020
- Bishop James Levert Davis - 2028
- Bishop McKinley Young - 2020
- Bishop John Franklin White - 2024
- Bishop Clement Willie Fugh - 2024
- Bishop Reginald Thomas Jackson - 2028
- Bishop Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr. - 2036
- Bishop Julius Harrison McAllister, Sr. - 2024
- Bishop Harry Lee Seawright - 2032
- Bishop Vashti McKenzie - 2020
- Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. - 2024
- Bishop Michael Leon Mitchell - 2036
- Bishop Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath - 2032
- Bishop E. Earl McCloud - 2028
- Bishop David Rwhynica Daniels - 2032
- Bishop Anne Henning Byfield - 2024
- Bishop Wilfred J. Messiah - 2028
- Bishop Stafford Wicker - 2036
- Bishop Paul Jones Kawimbe - 2036
- Bishop Ronnie Elijah Brailsford - 2032
3. RECAP AND
FOLLOW-UP NEWS - THE CLIMATE CHANGE RESOLUTION:
the Director/Consultant of the Commission on Social Action and Former
Commission Chair, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson
Quadrennial Session AME Church General Conference
see the link below to the video and to a recent story in the Guardian. Again, we give thanks to the AME Church
leadership and delegate body for catching the vision and making the commitment
to take leadership for our communities and people.
watch and help us tell the story to all those who were not at the General
Conference, and those who were there, but missed the action taken.
the Director/Consultant of the Commission on Social Action, Mrs. Jacqueline
DuPont Walker and Former Commission Chair, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson
4. CHURCHES CALL ON
AFRICAN-AMERICANS TO LEAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE:
Bolstad, E&E reporter
Friday, July 15, 2016
African Methodist Episcopal Church pledged this week to support climate
policies that will protect people and build a clean energy future, part of the
growing movement by faith-based organizations to bring attention to the social
justice inequities in adapting to climate change.
AME Church, a predominantly African-American denomination of 2.5 million
members and 7,000 congregations, has a "deep history of ministering to the
social, spiritual, and physical development of all people," church
officials said in a statement.
to our climate puts the health of children, elderly, and those with chronic
illnesses at greater risk and disproportionately impacts African
Americans," Bishop John White, president of the Council of Bishops of the
AME Church, said in a statement. "We believe it is our duty to commit to
taking action and promoting solutions that will help make our families and
communities healthier and stronger."
AME Church said that the goal of its resolution is to reduce damage to the
climate as well as to inspire others to lead on climate solutions in their
homes, congregations and communities. In its resolution, the church noted that
about 39 percent of the people who live near coal-fired power plants in the
United States are in low-income communities and are people of color. They are
most impacted "but not fairly represented in the decision making processes
that would lead to a clean, healthy, and prosperous environment," the
church also points out in its resolution that its members in Africa face many
of the most adverse impacts of climate change, including floods, droughts, the
increased spread of infectious diseases and changing weather patterns that
challenge their ability to provide food. In the Caribbean, its members are
especially vulnerable to more extreme storms and rising sea levels. Such
conditions especially impact the rural and urban poor, the resolution notes.
AME Church is a founding partner of Blessed Tomorrow, a climate leadership
program for faith organizations that will help with resources for future
engagement and action. Blessed Tomorrow's partners include organizations like
the Catholic Climate Covenant, Disciples of Christ Church and U.S. Baha'i
Office of Public Affairs.
Tomorrow, in a list of talking points to help churchgoers discuss climate
change in their communities, acknowledges that the church wasn't always a
leader in climate change. But its leaders "have come to realize that
addressing climate is an essential part of how we fulfill our responsibility to
protect and provide for our congregation, children and country."
AME Church joins other U.S.-based denominations and world religions that
already have come out in support of the mitigation and adaptation goals in the
Paris climate talks. Pope Francis last year called on Catholics worldwide to
embrace action on climate change, and Muslim scholars from 20 countries also
issued the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, calling on the globe's 1.6
billion Muslims to be stewards of the environment.
May, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs passed a resolution updating the
Jewish community's climate change policy that supported the Paris Agreement and
reiterated its support for renewable sources of fuels that threaten security in
the Middle East. The council framed the issue not just as one of a moral
obligation, but one of national security.
energy is critical to ensuring global and national security while climate
change continues to threaten our pursuit of peace and economic stability, in
the U.S., Israel and around the world," said Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb,
chairman of the council's Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.
religious leaders and movements, including the AME Church, have begun to frame
climate change as a moral challenge that people of faith have a responsibility
to address. It's notable that the AME Church, which is a mainstream
denomination with deep roots in African-American communities, has taken this
on, said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of Green Faith, whose
mission is to "inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious
backgrounds for environmental leadership."
move by the AME Church adds a "distinctive voice" to the issue in
America, Harper said.
know that the African-American community is disproportionately impacted by
climate change," he said. "And we know that it is very legitimate to
frame civil rights as a civil rights issue and a human rights issue, as well as
an environmental issue. By the church speaking out and recognizing it in the
way that they did, it is an important way of featuring or raising awareness
within their membership that this is something that's important to them."
5. THE TRUTH IS THE LIGHT:
*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins
Dr. Watkins’ column will resume in the next
*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.,
is the pastor of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
6. GETTING TO ZERO: AMEC PASSES HIV/AIDS POLICY IN HISTORIC 200TH
The 50th General Conference of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) held July 2016 in the birthplace of
America—Philadelphia— is in the annals of history. It was monumental in many
The stature of Bishop Richard Allen was
dedicated. The beautiful intricate mural featuring our first bishop was
unveiled. Faithful-serving general officers and bishops retired. Anointed new
general officers and bishops were elected. Members were trained and old friends
greeted. The worship services—singing, dancing, praying, and preaching— were
phenomenal. And new legislation was passed.
We Move Forward to Stop HIV
Two of the proposed bills passed by delegates to
the historic 50th General Conference, labeled HALT-1 and HALT-2,
address how the connectional AMEC can help to eliminate HIV/AIDS. These bills
also are directly related to the great legacy of Richard Allen and the first
members of the Methodist Society. They bravely moved forward in service to
impact lives during the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic.
The Methodist Society and the 1793 Yellow Fever
Yellow fever epidemics are caused by mosquito
bites that transfer the yellow fever virus. In the summer of 1793 death and
sickness from yellow fever shut down city and national governments. People, who
could, fled out of Philadelphia to other places. That summer yellow fever
killed over 5,000 people.
The then Rev. Richard Allen, Sarah Allen and the
early members of the Methodist Society were asked to remove and bury the
onslaught of dead bodies and to nurse the sick. In these pre-emancipation
years, there was a misconception that “the Negroes were immune to, not affected
by the fever, aches and agonizing death from yellow fever.”
Although this is false (yellow fever virus
carried by mosquitoes is an equal opportunity pathogen), early members of the
Methodist Society served bravely in Philadelphia to care for the living and
bury the dead. They did not leave the city, but served faithfully until the
epidemic ended in late October with the onset of colder winter temperatures
when mosquito carriers did not survive.
AMEs Get “Back to the Future”
It seems fitting that 200 years after its
official birth in 1816-- also in Philadelphia, the AMEC should faithfully and
bravely move forward towards ending the pandemic from infection of another
virus-- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is fitting that we commit to
actions that will help reduce preventable loss and deaths from acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
At this 50th General Conference, in
the birth city of this denomination, we honored the great legacy of visionary
leadership, brave engagement and faithful service of the AMEC.
This July 2016, the AMEC proposed, carefully
examined, vetted and almost unanimously approved revolutionary HALT legislation
that will apply throughout the Connection. We have agreed to do what, to my
awareness, no other denomination has done.
HALT-1 and HALT-2 (HIV/AIDS
Legislation Team) are the culmination project of
eighteen members of the March 2016 week long CM243 intensive class at Payne
Theological Seminary (PTS). Interestingly, rather than coming from several
denominations, all eighteen members in this class were AMEC clergy or lay
After they understood the global and USA impact
of HIV/AIDS as “our disease” and that this is a fragile virus that can be
transmitted by only four fluids, they wanted to know what they could do in
addition to working in their own family, church and community. They organized
to write and submit legislation to put into action what a forward-thinking AMEC
is uniquely situated to do.
The proposed HALT legislative bills were among
the first introduced to the great assembly gathered on the floor of the
ballroom of the Pennsylvania Center for the 50th General Conference.
Each proposed bill was read the required three times. Questions from the floor
were addressed. Delegates from over 40 countries voted. Both HALT bills were
passed into official AMEC policy on the first vote!
Content of HALT-1 and HALT-2 Legislation
The two HALT bills are independent, but related.
They require no associated additional cost. They are modeled after ideas that
have been successful policy in our Zion for many years.
HALT-1 that was voted into AMEC legislation
states: “We propose adding the following question to be answered on the
required Annual Report form submitted by the pastor and steward board of each
charge/church to their Annual Conference:
New Question: Health Ministry
a. Does your charge/church
have an active Health Ministry?
Yes___ No___ In progress____
b. Did your charge/church
engage in ministry or awareness events towards eliminating or addressing
congregation or community needs associated with the HIV/AIDS pandemic?
Yes ___ No____ Optional to provide info on event(s):
HALT-2 that was voted into AMEC legislation
states: “We propose that: Clergy, at all
levels, and appointed or elected officers shall be required to obtain a basic
scientific foundation to understand HIV/AIDS. This can be summarized as 'What
effective religious leaders should know about HIV/AIDS' (see content below).
Mandatory training shall be provided annually throughout each Episcopal
District, at ongoing or special planned sessions as directed by the Presiding
Bishop and Presiding Elders. Each clergy person or officer is required to be
certified and/or updated at least once every four years through this offering.”
Further, “The annual training should provide at
least three or more contact hours about HIV/AIDS. Content should provide
understanding of: (1) current prevalence and impacts of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
in local communities and globally, (2) the biology of the virus and its
disease, (3) community resources available and (4) practical ways religious
leaders can help to eliminate HIV infection, AIDS and death from AIDS-related
A Simple Question to Our Zion
The content of a G20 column in January 2016,
suggested that “the AMEC is ideally structured and situated to make a
substantial difference in eliminating HIV/AIDS especially in African and
African-American communities that we serve. The AMEC connectional structure,
leadership opportunities and key Commissions and Departments (e.g. Health,
Church Growth and Development, Social Justice) are in place. Multiple local and
connection conferences and meetings throughout the year provide an established
network to move what we know into practical use.”
It further stated, “We know the issues. We have
the means to deal with the issues. Do we have the will to get it done?”
“New legislature will be instituted at the
historic General Conference in Philadelphia as part of the Bicentennial
Celebration. We could use the knowledge gained and demonstrate the will that is
consistent with our founders by approving legislation to require each church to
engage in addressing HIV/AIDS. This expectation could be fortified through two
simple questions added to the annual conference report form completed by the
pastor and officers of each congregation. These two simple Yes/No questions
are: 1) Does your church have an active
health ministry or health focus? And, 2) Did your church have an event or
ministry to address HIV/AIDS this conference year?”
“Yes, we have the means. Among the multiple
issues confronting our people, here is ONE that we (not dependent on some other
entity) can do something about. Do we have the will in the historic year of
2016 to get such legislature in place so to move closer toward zero with
The AMEC Answers in July 2016
A response resounds from the CM243 class of March
2016, PTS leadership, members of the Revisions Committee, the General
Secretary, the Judicial Council, bishops and officers who examine all proposed
legislation, and importantly the plethora of delegates from all 20 Episcopal
Districts who voted on behalf of AMEs that they were elected to represent. We
have the will!
We have the will to do what we are uniquely
prepared and situated to do. We received and passed pioneering policy. As the
answer is implemented, the resulting actions will positively impact lives our
clergy, officers, members and people in communities around the world.
Into an Incredible Future
First, we are profoundly grateful to God for
guidance in the past and in these times. Second, we take a moment, only a
moment-- to breathe deeply and celebrate the pioneering move forward of the
AMEC to propose, adopt and now implement HALT-1 and HALT-2. It is the right action for such as time as
this. We are the right people.
The new HALT policies of the AMEC approved at
this historic 50th General Conference stand on the foundation laid
by many known and unknown-- missionaries, clergypersons, laypersons, family and
church members-- who have battled HIV/AIDS as they knew how to do from the
early 1990’s so we can get to this monumental move of God.
Third, now we must prepare together for what is
required to effectively implement the HALT policies throughout our Zion to make
a difference in lives affected by HIV/AIDS.
At this historic time of transition for our
beloved Zion, I do not know what is next for the Getting to Zero column. I
thank the editor, The Rev. Dr. Calvin Sydnor, for his stellar service and his
vision of publishing a weekly column on HIV/AIDS as part of The Christian
Recorder. I am grateful to the many Masters of Divinity students from
across the USA and to the leadership of Payne Theological Seminary for
responding to what is taught about HIV/AIDS in the CM243 intensive class. I am
grateful to friends, family and colleagues in Zambia and South Africa who have
faithfully embraced research to establish the Trusted Messenger Intervention
for stopping HIV/AIDS. I am grateful to each person who has ever read,
commented on or shared any part of the content of this column.
Now, by the Almighty power of God, let us
together use all that is available already to move forward day by day, person
by person to stop HIV/AIDS. It is done! Let us move towards an AIDS-free
generation and into an incredible future.
*The Rev. Dr. Oveta Fuller is finishing up
her Sabbatical leave from the
Michigan and has recently returned to the U.S. and will submit her column as
her schedule permits. She is the
incoming Director, African Studies Center Associate Professor Dept Microbiology
and Immunology University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan
SCHOOL LESSON BRIEF FOR SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2016 - DEATH BECOMES LIFE - ROMANS
6: 1- 23:
Key Verse: Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into
death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of
the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (NRSV)
Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin) was an early 19th century
English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and
travel writer. She was best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein
published in 1818. The focus of her thought provoking novel was to highlight
the advantages and unintended consequences of scientific curiosity “making”
life from death. The central character of the book is the mythic monster
named after his “creator,” Dr. Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein’s
creation is a motley collection of cadavers and organs recovered from deceased
humans. With the proper voltage from electrical storms the patient is
reborn. However, much to the chagrin of Dr. Frankenstein his creation is
not a benevolent creature but embodies fear and terror for people in the
mythical British town.
topic for the Adult AME Church School Lesson for July 31, 2016 is Death
Becomes Life. Paul’s commentary in Chapter Six of
Romans illustrates how we can obtain life thru death. Unlike Dr. Frankenstein,
Paul has no aspirations of creating life. That enormous task is way above
his “pay grade” and beyond his area of expertise. Instead, the great bard
of the Gospel uses convincing allegory to demonstrate that we can live
because of the voluntary death provided by Jesus. Let’s see how Paul
develops this position in our next section.
Lesson - Power of Baptism
lesson text intersects the role of baptism, sin and eternal life. Baptism
represents an important rite in our Christian odyssey. Romans 6:1-4
metaphorically describes the act of baptism as an act where we are participants
in Christ’s death. Our sinful character is submerged and we are freed of
the power and penalty of ungodly behavior. In short we are dead to sin so
that we might experience life when we honor the sacred sacrament of
baptismal. We can now walk with confidence in our new life (Romans 6:4)
is a quality trait admired by many, practiced by few. Discipline separates
the great athletes from the average athlete. Discipline
differentiates a great army from a rag tag militia. Paul understands
the importance of discipline in verses 5 -16. Since we are now dead to
sin we have life in Jesus. However, this does not imply we should have a
pass to sin without consequence. We should remain resistance to
sin. Sin is now in the proverbial “rear view mirror.” Reject who you
were or what you used to do. This can only be achieved with a disciplined
lifestyle. Discipline promotes maturity. Maturity promotes
obedience. Obedience promotes character.
Christ brings not only life but eternal life. The penalty of sin died
with Christ’s redemptive act on Calvary. Jesus is now the propitiation of
our sin so that we can enjoy eternal life We are no longer slaves to sin
but servants of righteousness. The wages or consequences of sin - death.
In contrast, the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23)!
Lives Matter (BLM) is a new social movement aimed at articulating why the value
of black life is important. In addition, BLM speaks unequivocally with
clarity and volume that indiscriminate killing of young black males by law
enforcement officials is morally unacceptable and must cease and desist. Black
lives matter is a self-evident truth. As a community of faith we
align ourselves with BLM because we understand the value of life.
Collectively, we understand and are thankful for the sacrifices (some by death)
made by our ancestors to allow us to enjoy life today. BLM because God,
the authentic creator of life, values life. Jesus values each individual
life. Let’s choose life! QED
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 African Methodist Episcopal Church
8. MEDITATION BASED ON ROMANS 8:31-39:
Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby
I took the time while attending the 50th
Quadrennial General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to do
a little Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “sightseeing.” I visited Independence
Hall, where the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed and visited Mother
Bethel AME Church, the congregation founded by Richard Allen and his followers
who refused to accept second-class, racially tinged Christianity.
Those very different historical sites are just
a few blocks apart on Philadelphia’s Sixth Street. The members of that
first Bethel included slaves and former slaves who were determined to exercise
their religious freedom, while those who met right down the street at the same
time were white, wealthy and influential men who sought political freedom from
England - in spite of the fact that many of them “owned” slaves.
Those familiar with both movements in the late
1780s would have probably been optimistic about the possibility of a United
States of America, but doubtful that a small church created by black folk would
amount to much or survive. Two hundred later, however, the United States
of America and the African Methodist Episcopal Church are both alive,
flourishing and affirm the truth that regardless of who you are or what you
have or where you start out - as a familiar hymn says - “It is no secret
what God can do.”
Remember that in a time when many of us feel
that we can’t make it because of our limited resources, ethnicity, education,
mistakes or relationships and when many of our young people are written off and
give up because of what they think they can’t do. The USA and the AME
Church had very different beginnings, but their endurance bears witness to why
the Apostle Paul told Christians in Rome, “If God is for us, who can stand
Look beyond the limitations imposed by this
world and those in it. Look to the God Who specializes in using ordinary
people and Whose Christ came into this world to save us in spite of our sinful
unworthiness. When you do, you’ll see new blessings, discover new hope,
claim new victories and understand why one modern spiritual says, “Little
becomes much when you place it in the Master’s hands.”
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
9. CLERGY FAMILY
-- Mrs. Ella Belle
Richardson Couch Celebrates 106th Birthday
August 2nd, Mrs. Ella Belle Richardson Couch will be 106 years old. St. Peter AME Church, Clarksville, Tennessee
where the Reverend Lisa Hammonds is the pastor, celebrated her upcoming
birthday along with the recently past birthday of Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath,
Presiding Prelate of the 13th Episcopal District at St Peter AME Church's 150th
Church Anniversary on Sunday, July 24th.
Ella Belle Richardson Couch is the widow of the late Reverend W. T. Couch of
the Tennessee Annual Conference. Mrs. Couch is currently the oldest member of
St. Peter's AME Church, Clarksville, Tennessee. She continues to play the organ
at the church located at 518 Franklin Street as she has done for fifty plus
years. Mrs. Ella B. Couch takes pride in
being a lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a Life
Member of the Women's Missionary Society.
cards and well-wishes can be sent to:
Calls: (931) 645-6965
FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
regret to inform you of the passing of Kenna Christopher Owen, age 56, the
brother of Paul Joseph, husband of Marcia Fugh Joseph; daughter of the Right
Reverend Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District AMEC
and Episcopal Supervisor, Dr. Alexia Butler Fugh.
for Kenna Christopher Owen:
Visitation: 6:00 PM
& Wright Funeral Directors
Right Reverend Clement W. Fugh, Eulogist
of sympathy may be sent to:
Paul Joseph and Mrs. Marcia Fugh Joseph
11. CLERGY FAMILY
is with regret that we announce the death and the funeral services for Mr.
Eugene Victor Woolridge, of Devonshire, Bermuda, which occurred on Monday, July
25, 2016, the father of the Rev. Trevor E. Woolridge, pastor of Johns Chapel
AME Church, Enterprise Alabama, Ms. Pandora Woolridge, Ms. Michelle Grimes and
Mr. Marvin Woolridge all members of St. John AME Church, Hamilton Parish,
following information has been provided regarding the funeral arrangements.
Visitation: Wednesday, August 3, 2016
of Life Service: Thursday, August 4,
Viewing: 3:00 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
and Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:
Rev. Trevor E. Woolridge
12. CLERGY FAMILY
Third Episcopal District regretfully announces the passing of Mr. Thurman
Miller, Sr., the grandfather of the Reverend Dr. Brandon A. A. J. Davis, pastor
of St Andrews AME Church Youngstown, Ohio.
will be held Saturday July 30, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Chapel Free Will Baptist Church
The Reverend Braxton Fredrick
Services Entrusted to:
Davis can be reached via email
13. CLERGY FAMILY
are saddened to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Vernadine Carter, wife of the
Reverend Dr. Carrington D. Carter, pastor of Mt. Moriah AME Church in
Annapolis, Maryland. Mrs. Carter passed
on Sunday afternoon, July 24, 2016.
arrangements for Mrs. Vernadine Carter:
Services entrusted to:
Reese & Sons Mortuary, P.A.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Services entrusted to:
of sympathy may be sent to:
Reverend Dr. Carrington D. Carter & Family
14. CLERGY FAMILY
is with great regret that we share the passing of Mr. Andrew Jackson, Jr, father
of First Lady / Evangelist Peggy Jackson Wright and the father-in-love of the
Rev. Charles T. Wright, pastor of Holy Trinity AME Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Homegoing Service for Mr. Andrew Jackson Jr. will be held:
July 30, 2016 - 11:00 am
Missionary Baptist Church
North Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
(850) 222 8440
Rev. Dr. R.B. Holmes, Pastor
are being handled by:
and Jones Funeral Homes Service
(850) 224 2139
may be sent to the family in care of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Strongs
and Jones Funeral Homes or via email to:
Rev. Charles T. Wright
15. BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Telephone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Telephone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
16. CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend
Vashti Murphy McKenzie; the Publisher, the Reverend Roderick Belin and the
Editor of The Christian Recorder, Mr. John Thomas 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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