The Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland - Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder

-- National Black HIV AIDS Day – February 7, 2016

-- Ash Wednesday - February 10, 2016
-- Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016
-- Good Friday – March 25, 2016
-- Easter - Sunday, March 27, 2016
-- Pentecost - Sunday, May 15, 2016

-- Richard Allen Birthday – February 14, 1760
-- Jarena Lee Birthday - February 11, 1783
-- Morris Brown - February 13, 1770. 
-- Daniel Payne - February 24, 1811
-- Massacre of Emanuel 9, June 17

-- Daylight Saving Time (United States) 2016 begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, 2016
Thought for the Week: Seven last words in a church: "We never did it that way before."


Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III
The 20th Editor of The Christian Recorder

I was never so happy to be an AME as I was on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 when I arrived at Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend the Dedication Service of the Forever Stamp honoring Richard Allen.  I have to admit that I was one of the persons, more than once or twice, to ask Ms. Jacqueline Dupont Walker about where we were concerning the postage stamp honoring Richard Allen.

I was excited as I turned on 6th Street in Philadelphia and saw all of the activities of the traffic backup, which indicated something was going on “down the street,” the flashing blue lights of the police vehicles, the presence of media personnel, the sanctuary completely filled, the overflow congregation in the basement, the presence of bishops, general officers, AME Judicial Council members, connectional officers, presiding elders, clergy, laity and visitors. “Anybody who was anybody in the AME Church” was present at the Dedication Service of the Forever Stamp honoring Richard Allen. 

It’s an event that will be talked about for years to come. Anyone who was not there missed an important event of history and a historical moment of that magnitude won’t be repeated anytime soon. The event at Mother Bethel was a “once in a lifetime” historical moment.

Mother Bethel exuded the presence of a historical event and the spirit of Richard Allen could be felt by everyone in attendance. The energy of the service was electrifying. 

The oral presentations were dynamic.  The musical tributes were stirring and the Mother Bethel Mass Choir led by Jonas Crenshaw, the Director of Worship and Arts at Mother Bethel set the tone and enhanced the atmosphere by its magnificent musical selections. The music of Ms. J’nai Bridges, Ms. Regina Jackson, Dr. Joshua Colin and young Bobby Hill who sang during the visit of Pope Francis contributed to the “first-class” order of events of the Dedication Service.

The Dedication Service of the Forever Stamp honoring Richard Allen lasted one hour and fifteen minutes and it was an hour and fifteen minutes of excellence, because every speaker was on-target!  Every participant was “on top” of his or her game!

Vernon Jordan, the Master of Ceremonies, comments by the Rev. Dr. Mark Tyler, pastor of Mother Bethel; Senior Bishop John Bryant, Host Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, AMEC Social Action Commission chair; retired Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath former pastor of Mother Bethel, the Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, AMEC Historian and Mrs. Jacqueline Dupont Walker, Director of the AMEC Social Action Commission were excellent in their presentations. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney gave superb remarks and brought greetings on behalf of the City of Philadelphia and said Philadelphia is looking forward to the arrival of the General Conference. Mr. Richard Lawrence an 8th generation direct descendant of Richard Allen gave electrifying and relevant comments on behalf of the descendants of Richard Allen whose presence enhanced the event.

Bishop McKinley Young, Bishop William P. DeVeaux, Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Bishop Preston N. Williams II, Bishop Wilfred J. Messiah, Bishop James L. Davis, Bishop Julius H. McAllister, Bishop John F. White, Bishop Clement W. Fugh, and Bishop Robert V. Webster were also in attendance.

The following General Officers were present: Dr. Richard A. Lewis, the Rev. Dr. Daryl Ingram, the Rev. Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the Rev. Dr. Jeffery Cooper and the Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown.

Judge Glenda F. Hodges and Judge Tania E. Wright, Members of the Judicial Council of the AME Church were also in attendance as were AMEC Connectional Officers.

Clergy and laity from across the United States and from several overseas districts were in attendance of momentous event.

What does all of this mean?

The African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2016, not only celebrates the issue of the U.S. postal stamp in honor of Richard Allen, but also commemorates its bicentennial celebration.  What a confluence of events!

We should all be proud! Ebonically speaking, “This ain’t no regular year because 2016 is not only the celebration of the bicentennial of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but also the bicentennial of the AME Church episcopacy because Richard Allen was elected and consecrated in 1816.

Just think about his life

Bishop Richard Allen was born 256 years ago, came into this world as a slave, he and his family were sold by one slave master to another, he did not have the opportunity to attend public or private school, was not a high school graduate, purchased his freedom by the time he was 20 years old, never attended college, did not have an opportunity to attend seminary, had no Wall Street investments, was considered a second-class citizen because of his race, was rejected by his fellow church members at St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church, pulled off of his knees while in prayer, and criticized, even when he attempted to do the right thing. 

Each of us can learn something

Richard Allen’s life had the formula for failure and mediocrity, but he did not let the circumstances of his birth, his station in life or what other persons' thoughts about him, define his reality.  In spite of all of the negativity in his life, the economic constraints, and the racial and religious prejudice he experienced; Richard Allen excelled and proved himself to be a leader.

His legacy and leadership lessons are worthy to be emulated by clergy and laity, not only clergy and laity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but by people of all denominations and faith groups.  His life and leadership lessons are universal and timeless.

Richard Allen’s model of leadership is relevant and effective today. Organizations will be more efficient if persons in leadership positions, clergy and laity, would follow the leadership lessons of the Right Rev. Richard Allen. 

In Standard English: “This is not a regular year and 2016 is a year to be celebrated and the 2016 Founder’s Day in every church and in all of our academic institutions should be memorable and exemplary.

We have so much for which to be thankful! Mother Emanuel AME Church nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Wilberforce University is accredited are among the good AME things that make us proud.

Happy Founder’s Day! Today is a great day to be an AME! 2016 is a great year to be an AME!


--To the Editor:

Re: TCR Newsbreak - USPS Media Center video highlights of the video coverage of the Dedication Service of the Forever Stamp honoring Richard Allen

Congratulations to our sister church, the AME Church. This is a great honor which is long overdue. Thank you for sharing the video of this momentous occasion at Mother Bethel AME Church.

The Rev. Dollie Howell Pankey
Pastor, St. James CME Church, Cordova, Alabama

Birmingham Region--CME Church, Director of Social Concerns

Fifth Episcopal District Representative--CME Church Commission on Ritual & Worship and Connectional Music & Arts Ministry

Vice-President; Co-chair, Faith in Community Workgroup, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Birmingham, Alabama


-- AME Church founder honored with postage stamp. The stamp art is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled “Bishops of the A.M.E. Church” from the collection of the Library Company of...

-- Philadelphia AME Church Founder Honored With Postage Stamp...

-- New stamp honoring AME Church founder celebrated in Tacoma

-- Emanuel AME Church has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

-- Congresswoman Robin Kelly Joins Fellow Members in Nominating Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for Nobel Peace Prize

-- For Emanuel AME Church, Nobel Peace Prize nomination a "phenomenal" honor

-- Richard Allen descendants expected to attend postage-stamp ceremony.


Message from the Rev. Dr. Mark Tyler

Here is the link to our Ustream page which has part 1 and part 2 of the unveiling. Unfortunately, it cut off most of the remarks by the descendant of Bishop Allen. Maybe we can get that from portion from Rev. Roderick Belin. I understand he was streaming it live from his phone. In any event, most of it is available at this page. Please feel free to share: 

*Mark Kelly Tyler, Ph.D, Senior Pastor, Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 419 South 6th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147


ORANGEBURG, S.C. – One of the nation’s first and most horrific tragedies of the Civil Rights Movement occurred nearly 50 years ago at then-South Carolina State College. The senseless tragedy known as the Orangeburg Massacre took place Feb. 8, 1968 on the campus.

On that fateful evening, three young men, Samuel Hammond Jr., Delano Middleton and Henry Smith, were fatally wounded and 28 students were wounded after S.C. Highway Patrolmen fired into a crowd of students and others on the SC State campus. The student activists gathered that evening in protest after three nights of escalating racial tension over efforts to desegregate All Star Bowling Lanes, which was located in downtown Orangeburg.

To honor the legacy of the Orangeburg Massacre, SC State University will hold the 48th Orangeburg Massacre Commemoration Ceremony at 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 in Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium. The Reverend Joseph Darby, presiding elder of the Beaufort District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), will serve as keynote speaker.

The Rev. Joseph Darby

As a minister and civil rights activist, Darby is committed to a life of service. A fourth generation minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Darby served four congregations in the midlands of South Carolina, including the historic Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A life member of the NAACP, Darby has held statewide leadership roles in the association and currently serves as first vice president of the Charleston Branch NAACP. Darby co-authored the 1999 national NAACP resolution for economic sanctions that led to the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the dome and legislative chambers of the South Carolina State House. Darby is a sought after political commentator who has appeared on local, national and international media outlets, including CNN and the BBC.

The program’s theme, “Social Change Inspires Freedoms,” seeks to empower attendees to courageously stand up against some of the world’s greatest injustices to help make positive changes for others, whether locally or globally.

Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers Jr.

In keeping with the event’s theme, the university will recognize Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers Jr. and the Orangeburg Chapter of the NAACP as recipients of the 2016 Smith-Hammond-Middleton Social Justice award. This year marks the second that the university will present the award to an individual or organization that has demonstrated a commitment to using their influence to eliminate injustices.

Sellers, president of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, will be acknowledged for his long standing commitment to social justice. The Orangeburg branch of the NAACP will be honored for its ongoing work to eradicate racial discrimination more than a century after the organization’s founding in New York.

The program will also feature community leaders including Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler and Orangeburg County Development Commission Chairman Kenneth E. Middleton. University Interim President Dr. W. Franklin Evans and Claflin University President Dr. Henry Tisdale will both deliver a response following Darby’s keynote. The SC State University Brass Ensemble and Claflin University’s Concert Choir will perform at the program. The program will conclude at the Orangeburg Massacre Legacy Plaza with the lighting of the memorial flame, which will be lit by family members of the deceased victims.
 The annual ceremony is free and open to the public.


By Jeanette T. Johns

A visitor entering the sanctuary of Bethel A.M.E. Church, 291 Park Avenue, Huntington would have been startled at first glance. Many of the members were attired in jerseys representing their favorite football players as they participated in the Sunday Worship Service of the morning. The visitor would have soon learned that Bethel was celebrating “Super Bowl Kickoff”, sponsored by the Jessie Lee Johnson Memorial Scholarship Committee. However, the visitor would not have felt out of place for long because there were jerseys available to wear that day selected from the enormous collection of Sister Jeannie Marve and her brother, Joseph, both avid sports fans.

The pastor had first mentioned this kind of event to Sis. Jeannie Marve as a “fun-fundraising” possibility and she developed the first Football Jersey Day with the Sunday School as financial recipients of the proceeds. As a member of the Scholarship Committee she, along with Committee President, Sister Elizabeth Etheredge, and other Committee members, developed this one along different lines, celebrating one of the most popular sports events of the year.  It was held the Sunday before the actual event. The pastor started the service wearing his clerical attire, but after the opening portion of the service he shed his robe and appeared before the congregation in a striped shirt and suspenders, plus a whistle, announcing that for this "game of Worship and Praise”, he would be serving as our “Referee”. With that he sounded the official whistle and the service continued. This was a big, joyful surprise to everyone and the unexpected gesture of pastoral support was much appreciated as it set the tone for the day.

At the conclusion of the service, everyone was invited for the “Super Bowl Pizza Party” held downstairs where the appropriate, exciting decorations brought the whole party to life as they carried out the entire theme of what the Super Bowl is all about, noting that this year’s Super Bowl is the 50th. Children received free pizza. There were also football-decorated cupcakes, chips, and other popular Super Bowl “eats” available. The fun concluded with door prizes among which there were several footballs signed by Emerson Boozer, well known in the Huntington Station community where he lives.  He is a former star player with the New York Jets and in addition to having been voted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Jets’ Ring of Honor, he is also the owner of a Super Bowl ring. One of the signed footballs was won by Sister Yolanda Turner and another winner of a Boozer-signed football was Sean White, a Kindergartner who is 5 years of age who, coincidentally, was wearing a Jets T-shirt. 

Bethel’s Scholarship Fund was started by the late Rev. Clarence B. Johns, Jr. soon after he became pastor of Bethel in 1991, with Bro. Rodney G. Marve as its first President. The goal, at that time was to be able to provide each college-bound high school graduate of the church with a $1,000 scholarship. The Committee has been able to provide scholarships for every one of our graduates since that time, approximately 30 of them, receiving a total of approximately $30,000.

During those years we sometimes had 3-4 graduates and each one was taken care of. One of the most ardent supporters was Sis. Jessie Lee Johnson, an original member of the Committee, who stated upon its inception, “I’ve been waiting for something like this!” She monitored closely the Committee’s progress and offered encouragement in a number of ways. After her death, as a tribute to her and in appreciation of her constant interest in its success, it was decided that the Committee would be named in her honor.

After many years, Bro. Marve resigned as President and Sister Carolyn Bentley became the leader of our Committee, continuing to guide it in a positive direction. We are very happy now to have as our President, Sister Elizabeth Etheredge, who is the granddaughter of the late Sister Jessie Lee Johnson, for whom the Committee is named. She has many goals to fulfill and has made an excellent start in that direction. Since the cost of higher education has skyrocketed in recent years, we would like to be able to increase the amount of our scholarship at some point.            


On January 26th, Emory University’s Candler School of Theology was honored to host Bishop Clement Fugh as the Preacher for the Annual Pan-Methodist Connection Chapel Service. Bishop Fugh masterfully weaved his focus text, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 into his sermon, “Witness Only to What You Know for Sure!”  Candler Dean Jan Love called his sermon, “deeply meaningful and inspiring.” Assoc. Dean of Worship and Music, Barbara Day Miller said, “[His] wisdom and voice of experience was a focused and settling word of affirmation and a call to authentic ministry.” Bishop Fugh moved everyone to critically examine both why and how we approach our call to ministry and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Fugh was introduced to the congregation by AME General Officer Dr. Teresa Fry Brown (Candler Bandy Professor of Preaching; Faculty Advisor to the Pan-Methodist Connection). Since it was a Service of Word and Table, Bishop Fugh graciously shared Celebrant responsibilities with Candler Bishop-in-Residence Woodie White (UMC).

Also serving during communion were Candler faculty and AME Elders: the Rev. Toni Belin Ingram (Assistant Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology; Director of Black Church Studies) and Dr. Nichole Philips (Assistant Professor of Sociology, Religion, and Culture). Assisting during the service were current Candler students the Rev. Elliott Robinson, JD (President, Pan-Methodist Connection) and the Rev. Marguerite Doctor, MD.

In attendance at the service were retired General Officer Dr. Jayme Coleman Williams, Dr. McDonald Williams and Donna Williams. We also had the pleasure of having the President of the Connectional Presiding Elders Council and current Presiding Elder of the East District of the Atlanta-North Georgia Annual Conference, Earl Ifill. The Rev. Thelma Minor was also in attendance along with Candler AME students the Rev. Priscilla Adams (Th.M), the Rev. Robin Henry (MDiv), the Rev. Cheryl Swanier (MDiv) and Licentiate Constance Daise (MDiv).

Prior to the Chapel service, Bishop Fugh gracious shared his time with the Candler AME students during a breakfast at the popular Atlanta eatery, The General Muir. There Bishop Fugh shared wisdom and insight that is sure to enhance both the lives and ministries of everyone who was in attendance. The entire Emory community is grateful for his presence, his life and his ministry. We are all changed for the better thanks to Bishop Clement Fugh.

The Rev. Elliott Robinson, JD
Candler School of Theology, Class of 2016
Saint Philip AME Church (Atlanta)


*Sister Delanda S. Johnson

As the North Texas Conference Tyler District starts a New Year, it brings about changes. The Tyler District has a new Presiding Elder, the Rev. Mittie C. Muse, Sr. who was appointed to this position at the 10th Episcopal Planning Meeting that was held on November of 2015.  The Rt. Rev. Vashti Murphy McKenzie is the Presiding Prelate of the 10th Episcopal District.

Presiding Elder Rev. Mittie C. Muse, Sr. held his first Tyler District Worship Service on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at Grant Chapel AME Church in Palestine, Texas. The Rev. Harrison Wilson is the pastor of Grant Chapel.

The Worship Service was called to order by newly appointed worship leader, the Rev. Kennen Jackson.

The Contemporary Voices led the congregation into praise and worship, which was followed by a powerful prayer given by the Rev. T. J. Miles.

Brother Keith Andrews, Minister of Music for the Tyler District kept the flow going with a moving selection, “Yes God Is Real” that stirred the people off of their feet.

The Rev. Joan Nickerson introduced P. E. Rev. Mittie Muse, Sr. to the waiting congregation with the spirit still on a high note.  The Rev. Muse stated, “For the Tyler District this is going to be a great and Blessed year.   I’m looking forward to doing wonderful things on the Tyler District and I know that with your help and by the GRACE of GOD, we will succeed.”

The guest speaker for the worship service was the Rev. Michael Thompson, pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Elkhart, Texas. 

The Rev. Thompson is married with three children and states, “I have a passion to share the word of God with the people of God. God has equipped me with a special anointing to Minister to the needs of people.  Although there have been many challenges in life, yet I know God to be an awesome God.”

The Rev. Thompson's theme for the occasion was “Blessings We Can Learn from Some Leopards,” which was taken from Luke 17:11-19.

The Rev. Thompson shared with the congregation that there are things that we can learn from people who are in bad conditions; people who don't even know that they are in a crisis.  “Today, we have people with conditions that we say we don't want to be around, however, we can learn from lepers, who were considered to be unclean."  He went on to say, "God will look past your conditions, this will give people the power to go when they don't want to go.  God looks beyond all our faults and tends to our needs,” said the Rev. Thompson.

“We let our conditions bind us. Churches are empty because people don't want to flock together. When we are in this situation, we should have sense enough to say. “Lord have mercy,” no matter the circumstance. 
"Sometimes we have to “Yell” and learn to make sense of difficult situations and to ask for help; meaning to obey the command when God has given it to you.  If you're in a bad condition and God has brought your out; you must give God Praise.  You got to get ugly, clap your hands, stomp your feet, throw-up your hands, shout, etc., give Him your thanks,” said the Rev. Thompson.

The Rev. Thompson’s final statement was to let the congregation know that we can't do anything without thinking about the goodness of God.  He’s Alright!

*Sister Delanda S. Johnson is the Tyler District Reporter


-- IRS YouTube Security Summit Video Series:
-Video #1: Security Summit Identity Theft Tips Overview English
-Video #2: What Changes Can Taxpayers Expect this Year? English
-Video #3: Check your Credit Report Annually is available English
-Video #4: Secure Your Tax Return is available English
-Video #5: Be Careful When Using Wi-Fi English
-Video #6: Update Your Password Regularly English

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a filing season alert warning taxpayers to watch out for identity theft at tax time and highlighted the crime as the first scam in the agency’s “Dirty Dozen” series.
Over the course of the past year, as part of the Security Summit initiative, the IRS partnered with states and the tax industry to enhance coordination and create a more secure system for taxpayers.

Security Summit participants, including the IRS, will regularly share details of fraudulent schemes detected this season so industry and government have the same information and can adjust accordingly to provide increased protection. Many changes will be invisible to the taxpayer, but the more than 20 shared data elements are critical to making sure the IRS, states and industry can better verify the taxpayer and the legitimacy of the tax return.
“Our collaborative efforts with the Security Summit have given the IRS additional tools to stop fraudulent returns at the door," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The criminals continue to look for increasingly sophisticated ways to breach the tax system. While the IRS has improved prevention and detection efforts, we’re calling on taxpayers to protect their private information so thieves can’t steal personal data to file fraudulent returns."

The IRS also joined with industry and states on a public awareness campaign to provide taxpayers with easy tips to better protect themselves.  The “Taxes. Security. Together.” campaign includes YouTube videos, Tax Tips and fact sheets to help taxpayers stay safe online.

The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so.

“We urge people to use caution when viewing e-mails, receiving telephone calls or getting advice on tax issues because scams can take on many sophisticated forms," Koskinen said. "Keep your personal information secure by protecting your computers and only giving out your Social Security numbers when absolutely necessary."

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. While the IRS has made significant strides over the past several years to address this issue, it remains a top concern for the IRS, which is why identity theft remains on the Dirty Dozen list again this year as the IRS works to protect taxpayers and help victims.

In the most recent three fiscal years, Criminal Investigation (CI) helped convict approximately 2,000 identity thieves. In fiscal year 2015, the IRS initiated 776 identity theft related investigations, which resulted in 774 sentencings through CI enforcement efforts. The courts continue to impose significant jail time with the average months to serve in fiscal year 2015 at 38 months— the longest sentencing being over 27 years.

The IRS understands that identity theft is a frustrating, complex process for victims. While identity thieves steal information from sources outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first to inform a victim that identity theft occurred. The IRS is working hard to resolve identity theft cases as quickly as possible. 

For more information, see the special identity theft section on IRS.gov, as well as:
·                     IRS Fact Sheet 2016-1: IRS, States and Tax Industry Combat Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts,
·                     IRS Fact Sheet 2016-2: IRS, States and Tax Industry Urge Taxpayers to Join the Effort to Combat Identity Theft,
·                     IRS Fact Sheet 2016-3:  IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works,
·                     IRS Fact Sheet 2016-4:  How New Identity Security Changes May Affect Taxpayers for 2016


Today, National Public Radio (NPR) reports, "U.S. Added 151,000 Jobs in January, Unemployment Dropped To 4.9 Percent."  My comment is not directed to NPR, but to politicians, especially Republicans. In the past, when positive economic news was released by the media, the serving president was given credit for the improvement of the economy.  It doesn't happen under President Barack Obama and I wonder why?  Just a rhetorical question, because I know why!


TCR Editor’s Comment: Thought this article would be a quick refresher for preachers and laity who are interested in predestination and free-will

Calvinism and Arminianism are two systems of theology that attempt to explain the relationship between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility in the matter of salvation. Calvinism is named for John Calvin, a French theologian who lived from 1509-1564. Arminianism is named for Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch theologian who lived from 1560-1609.

Both systems can be summarized with five points. Calvinism holds to the total depravity of man while Arminianism holds to partial depravity. Calvinism’s doctrine of total depravity states that every aspect of humanity is corrupted by sin; therefore, human beings are unable to come to God on their own accord. Partial depravity states that every aspect of humanity is tainted by sin, but not to the extent that human beings are unable to place faith in God of their own accord. Note: classical Arminianism rejects “partial depravity” and holds a view very close to Calvinistic “total depravity” (although the extent and meaning of that depravity are debated in Arminian circles). In general, Arminians believe there is an “intermediate” state between total depravity and salvation. In this state, made possible by prevenient grace, the sinner is being drawn to Christ and has the God-given ability to choose salvation.

Calvinism includes the belief that election is unconditional, while Arminianism believes in conditional election. Unconditional election is the view that God elects individuals to salvation based entirely on His will, not on anything inherently worthy in the individual. Conditional election states that God elects individuals to salvation based on His foreknowledge of who will believe in Christ unto salvation, thereby on the condition that the individual chooses God.

Calvinism sees the atonement as limited, while Arminianism sees it as unlimited. This is the most controversial of the five points. Limited atonement is the belief that Jesus only died for the elect. Unlimited atonement is the belief that Jesus died for all, but that His death is not effectual until a person receives Him by faith.

Calvinism includes the belief that God’s grace is irresistible, while Arminianism says that an individual can resist the grace of God. Irresistible grace argues that when God calls a person to salvation, that person will inevitably come to salvation. Resistible grace states that God calls all to salvation, but that many people resist and reject this call.

Calvinism holds to perseverance of the saints while Arminianism holds to conditional salvation. Perseverance of the saints refers to the concept that a person who is elected by God will persevere in faith and will not permanently deny Christ or turn away from Him. Conditional salvation is the view that a believer in Christ can, of his/her own free will, turn away from Christ and thereby lose salvation. Note - many Arminians deny "conditional salvation" and instead hold to "eternal security."

So, in the Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate, who is correct? It is interesting to note that in the diversity of the body of Christ, there are all sorts of mixtures of Calvinism and Arminianism. There are five-point Calvinists and five-point Arminians, and at the same time three-point Calvinists and two-point Arminians. Many believers arrive at some sort of mixture of the two views. Ultimately, it is our view that both systems fail in that they attempt to explain the unexplainable. Human beings are incapable of fully grasping a concept such as this. Yes, God is absolutely sovereign and knows all. Yes, human beings are called to make a genuine decision to place faith in Christ unto salvation. These two facts seem contradictory to us, but in the mind of God they make perfect sense.


*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.

Based on Biblical Text: Isaiah 35:5-6 KJV: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Our text, very obviously, begins with the word “then”.  “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb sing”.  To many it may be even more obvious that the immediate question we raise is “when”? When will all these miracles take place? Verse 4, just prior to our text, says, “Behold, your God will come. He will come and save you.” I contend that again we immediately want to ask, “When”?

“When”’ is the pressing question for all of us. It is the pressing question for all those who need help, whether it be ill health or marital woes. “When” is the pressing question for those who find themselves spinning out of control from addiction. It is the pressing question for the folk who are wringing their hands over wayward children, or those weighed down with the responsibility of caring for ailing parents. The preacher in me is compelled to ask, “Am I on your row yet?”

The prophet Isaiah helps us find the answer to our question. The text is historically centered on the time Isaiah has been setting forth the Lord’s judgments and the impending deliverance of Israel from its oppressors. Isaiah’s whole focus is their return from exile. In fact, the entire chapter paints a rather poetic picture of the vividness of their return juxtaposed against the bleakness of the pervasive question, “when”.

When we read Isaiah’s prophecy, we notice lame men leaping under a power - not of their own. We find that blind men suddenly see, and the dumb are no longer speechless. As we read on we find that dry and thirsty lands burst forth with sudden streams of refreshment. In our mind’s eye we can see the vast wilderness stretching across the desert. It is a place too plain to be missed, but yet too high to be occupied by our adversaries. We can envision Isaiah’s troops cheerily leaping along singing as they make their way home from exile. There is an unexplainable hope in their hearts as they journey to Zion to claim their miracle. They all hope for the same thing! They all long for a joyful home no longer marred by sadness. A home where they will never again hear sighing and never again feel sorrow. Still the question is, “when”.

Isaiah was a poet however; there is a fuller meaning to his prophetic song. This poetic piece is not just a creative way of exalting the ‘coming of the Lord’, by stringing together images of vanishing evil and subsequent good. Isaiah is actually painting a picture of seasons of miracles. The first season is the song of celebration for the Jews returning from exile. Another season that shines through Isaiah’s poetic prophecy is the promise of undying possession of the Promised Land. That does not however exhaust the seasons of this text. Isaiah points us to the fact that God is revealing the great gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. And yet, there is still more. The final season the second coming of Christ! In Isaiah’s song we see the shadow of all of these seasons of miracles in which God comes to deliver us. The same principles are at work in each event, and each ends in the similitude of joy.

All of the miracles of Isaiah’s song are symbolic, just as Jesus’ miracles were symbolic. The outward and visible always harmonizes with the inward and the spiritual. These miracles of Isaiah’s song demonstrate the power of Jesus Christ to restore us to our spiritual capacities, which are all but destroyed. When we read this chapter of Isaiah, we discover, we may be a mess now, but Jesus Christ has a miracle for our mess. We may be sorrowing now, but Jesus Christ has a solution for our sorrow.

To the utmost, Jesus saves! He is able to restore our understanding, our actions, and our speech. To all of us seeking higher knowledge, Jesus offers a higher gift. He offers the gift of healing. He can bring healing to the nations, but by the Grace of God, He can also bring healing to our situation.

*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina


*Dr. Oveta Fuller

In this Black History Month, the set aside day to focus specifically in African American communities on getting to an AIDS-Free Generation is February 7.  In 2016, this 15th annual commemoration of NBHAAD falls on a Sunday – the Lord’s Day. What an opportunity for highlighting what is occurring and needs to continue even more fervently with our people to halt HIV infection and AIDS as a fatal disease.

As a TCR reader, by now you know that we have the medical tools to conquer HIV/AIDS. What is needed; is the will, understanding and resolve to act and sustain action on what is known until HIV/AIDS is no longer. We have what it will take to get to an AIDS-free status!

I have said it before, and say it now once again.

With the history, the assess to communities, the influence and connection to both the ”common man” and “people in high places”, with the talented people of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC), we should be leaders and an exemplary community engagement model in making sure that HIV drops to zero—especially in African American communities.

We should document these actions and results in HIV testing and linkage to care as required to prevent progress to AIDS. We can work in partnership with others—Christians, other faiths, non-believers, local, state and national governments, school systems, universities, civic and social organizations to reduce and measure the reduction in HIV infections and AIDS disease until new infections are measuring zero.

No child, woman or man in neighborhoods served by the AMEC or its sister church denominations should become infected with HIV or deal with the disarray, illnesses and death that AIDS can bring about.

When the AMEC as a collective decides to seriously declare and implement an organization-wide war on HIV, not only in consistent pockets of effort such as the New Jersey Human Development Corporation (NJHDC) (www.njhdctrenton.org) (1), but globally across this vast Zion, we will move in a major way towards an AIDS-free generation. We have access, effective models, programs, organizational methods and protocols, contacts, experts, commissions, preachers, teachers, legislative process, buildings and opportunities abound in meetings and conferences.

Here is one vivid reminder of why the AMEC is called to be systematic in a war to reduce impacts of, even eliminate, HIV/AIDS.

The office of the New Jersey Health Commissioner O’Dowd will join on February 7 at 9:30 a.m. with the NJHDC in Trenton to commemorate NBHAAD at the Greater Mt. Zion Church. He states, “Although we have made great progress in reducing transmissions of HIV/AIDS, disparities remain." "African Americans make up 14 percent of New Jersey's total population but account for 52 percent of the more than 37,900 people currently living with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey." (2)

The need is real. Some proven ways to address the need are known.

So what is the problem? What is the hold-up? Why is this not happening? Or where happening, why is it occurring in such a scattered here and there approach, effective in areas, but not with the power that could get HIV/AIDS to zero?

We are people of faith. Where is the power, will and resolve to get this done?

Please Lord, have mercy on us! Jesus will you please have mercy on us? Father, have mercy on us!

Holy Spirit convict us, prepare us and guide us to answer well this one call for which the AMEC was brought into existence some 200 years ago. Help us to live up to the great legacy of our founding for effective impact and outcomes in such a time as this. We ask, believe and receive, in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.

(1) Contact the NJHDC as a longstanding HIV/AIDS awareness model or get info on their NBHAAD 2016 events at (609) 396-7474 or from its CEO, The Rev. J. Stanley Justice at jsj4all@hotmail.com. 

Conversation of D.M. Brooks excerpted from a post of AIDS Blog.gov


January 29, 2016 • By Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy 

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with my good friend and colleague, Jamal Brown, Press Secretary for the White House Office of Management and Budget, to talk about priorities for achieving the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy through 2016 and my personal connection to HIV/AIDS work.

The bottom line is that we, all of us—the Federal government, state and local governments, people living with HIV, advocates, service providers and other stakeholders across the nation—need to have a laser focus on these four areas:

Widespread HIV testing and linkage to care; Broad support for people living with HIV to remain engaged in comprehensive care; Universal viral suppression among people living with HIV; and Full access to PrEP services for those whom it is appropriate and desired.

If you haven’t read the (USA HIV/AIDS) Strategy, I strongly urge you to do so! It’s our nation’s roadmap for responding to HIV through 2020.  You can use it along with our Community Action Plan Framework to create a tailored strategy for your organization or community.

To hear more of our conversation and watch additional footage, including a discussion of PrEP, stigma, and our goals for the next 12 months; visit the AIDS.gov YouTube page.

The (Obama) Administration has less than a year left in office, but our collective work must continue beyond that. If we stay focused and do the work, we, as a nation, can actually end HIV as a public health threat in our lifetime, which was unfathomable just 20 or even 10 years ago—so let’s get it done, together.


*Dr. Oveta Fuller

On February 1, 2016 the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) met to assess the threat from Zika virus. The WHO has declared “a public health emergency of international concern” and states that “Zika virus is spreading explosively” in the Central and South Americas. This is the same status used with Ebola virus. Such conveys that focused attention, surveillance and use of resources should be a high priority for control of the emerging epidemic.

What is Zika virus? How is it transmitted and to whom?

This virus is closely related to insect born viruses (arboviruses) that cause yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile and some other encephalitic infections e.g. Western Equine encephalitis (WEE). These zoonotic viruses (from insects or animals) replicate in the tissues of mosquitoes as their natural host, but can infect humans. The virus reproduces to high numbers in the insect gut. When an infected female mosquito feeds on a person, the new virus progeny are deposited into the blood. This virus can be taken up by another mosquito that bites the infected human carrier. Virus is further amplified to high numbers in that mosquito.

What are symptoms of Zika virus infection?

For 4 of every 5 people infected, there are no symptoms. For others, symptoms that appear from 2-7 days after exposure can include fever, rash, joint pain and red or runny eyes. There are more severe symptoms in a few cases. 

The major concern with infection with Zika virus is for the developing fetus of a woman who is pregnant.  Though not yet proven as causal, there is a strong association of infection with Zika virus during pregnancy with micro-encephalitis and some neurological disorders including stunted brain development and smaller heads (microcephaly) in newborns.

Zika virus is not known to be transmitted from person to person except from an infected mother to her child in utero.

Where is this virus prevalent?

Zika virus was discovered in Uganda in 1947. An outbreak of Zika virus fever occurred in French Polynesia in 2014. It was first noted South America in May 2015 in Brazil. By February 1, 2016 it has spread to regions of a growing list of countries-- Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, French Guinea, Suriname, Venezuela, Bolivia, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Cape Verde, Guyana, the Dominica Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rico. All are areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes or closely related species are present.

The confirmed 31 cases of Zita virus infection in the USA are for travelers to regions where virus-carrying mosquitoes have been detected. Thus these infections are from mosquitoes at the travel destination.

The Aedes mosquito species is widely distributed. As with most seasonal insects, it is more prevalent in a warm, rainy climate where mosquitoes flourish. Aedes mosquitoes are especially adaptable to thrive in urban areas in any form of standing water-- in gutters, flowerpots, puddles, sewage drains, etc.

How to prevent Zika virus infection and Zika fever

There is no vaccine or specific treatment. Minimizing mosquito populations and preventing mosquito bites are major controls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that travelers to regions affected by Zika virus should wear light colored long sleeved clothes and long pants, use mosquito repellent containing DEET, stay indoors and use air conditioners and screen covered windows and doors, sleep under mosquito nets.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito feeds mostly in the daytime. To protect against Zika virus, bed nets are needed more for people who sleep during the day such as night laborers. However, since mosquitoes can carry other infectious microbes, when traveling to affected locations, to reduce exposure to malaria and other vector-born microbes it is wise to sleep under mosquito nets whether in the day or at night.

Zika virus controls include reducing standing water and use of safe levels of insecticides to destroy mosquitoes and their breeding sites. In a few locations, genetically modified mosquitoes that are sterile or resistant to virus infection are released to breed with or over-populate virus-carrying vectors.

Alerts, precautions and predictions

Although precautions have been issued, currently there are no travel restrictions for Zika virus. Women who are pregnant are advised not to travel to countries of known or potential Zika virus presence.

Residents of the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Pacific or Caribbean Islands and countries of Central and South America can expect to see an increase in subclinical and clinical infections and in microcephaly among newborns. Women (and their children) who live in affected areas are of major concern. This is especially true for those who live in highly populated urban areas where infection surveillance, regular pre-natal care and controls to reduce vector breeding sites are more difficult.

The WHO predicts that potentially three to four million people could be affected in this epidemic and thus issued the international emergency status. Fortunately, the CDC has developed diagnostic tests that use serum from patients to detect evidence of new Zika virus infection within the first week after exposure. Research is needed to understand this virus, its pathogenesis and effective ways to stop infection. Meanwhile, for those in or traveling to affected locations, precautions and suggestions on how to avoid mosquito bites should be heeded. 

Additional information is available at these websites:

The Rev. Dr. Fuller is currently on Sabbatical leave from the University of Michigan and will submit her column as her schedule permits. 


*Brother Bill Dickens

Key Verse: This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. — Exodus 12:14

Introduction - Why we should remember

Sunday, February 7, 2016 is the last Sunday of Epiphany.  Contemporary society recognizes the important custom of remembering key events.  Collectively and individually we are admonished to remember a myriad of anniversaries, birthdays, sporting events (Super Bowl 50), wars between nations and scientific accomplishments, e.g., first moon landing in 1969.  These milestone events are significant because they have profoundly impacted our quality of life.  They should not be forgotten or be the victim of social amnesia.  When Diaspora Jews proclaim – “Never Again” this is a direct reference to their historical experience with the Holocaust. 

The Adult AME Church School Lesson for February 7, 2014 examines the reasons why early Jews should remember the Passover.  The Passover was a life defining and life changing moment.  While the actual event is gone it is never forgotten!  Let’s see why we should remain vigilant against spiritual amnesia.

Bible Lesson - Planning for Passover (Exodus 12: 1 – 7) 

The name “Passover” symbolizes Yahweh’s direct historical and theological intervention in the lives of Jews in the Book of Exodus.  The name becomes synonymous with liberation for the Jews under Egyptian captivity and slavery.  The tenth and most devastating plague against Egyptian authority was the death of the first born male (human or animal).  The death angel granted protection and asylum to only those homes that displayed the necessary sign of the blood of the lamb on the outer door post needed for the death angel to “Passover” the home.   The doorpost credentials made the angel an angel of mercy in the process.  The author of Exodus outlines specific instructions to plan for this event.  Adhering to the custom meant celebrating the custom in a particular month and consuming a particular meal.  The name of the month in question is given as “Abib” in Exodus 13:4. This month corresponds with late March and early April.   The meal was to consist of a lamb roasted over fire served with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  The lamb must be without defect or deformity.  The unleavened bread symbolizes the haste of consumption to exit Egypt.  Time was of the essence so waiting for bread to bake fully was not an option.  With the planning complete it is now time for the participants to partake in the custom of the Passover Meal.

Participating in Passover (Exodus 12:  8 – 11)

The author of Exodus provides a specific protocol for consuming the meal.  Passover custom required the meal to be consumed the night of preparation. The lamb should not be eaten raw or with boiled water.  The entire lamb is roasted over fire.   If there are any “leftover portions” in the morning those items should be completely burned.  A dress/clothing requirement was also part of the Passover protocol.   The meal is to be consumed with a belt around your waist, shoes on your feet and a staff in your hand.  The Passover attire complemented the objective of having a meal and leaving Egypt with a sense of urgency.

Power of the Passover (Exodus 12: 12-14)

The Passover is a symbol of liberation and freedom for early Jews.  The tenth plague effectively caused Pharaoh to recognize that his power was no match for the power of Yahweh. With Egyptian deaths rising Pharaoh had no choice but to “Let my people go!”  Passover is a memorial in the lives of Jews.  It is to be observed not only today but for posterity as well.  Because freedom is not free the Jews saw this memorial as an important event they should preserve.

Bible Application - Arlington National Cemetery

On February 1, 2016, I visited Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.  I stopped by to pay my respects to a late friend who was recently buried in this historic site.  We were members of Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee, Florida.   Arlington National Cemetery is the resting place for men and women who have died for the uplift and advancement of our country.  We remember their dedication to God, country and neighbor.   Viewing the many graves and Arlington House (where President Kennedy and his family members are buried) allowed me to reflect on the true meaning of sacrifice and service.   Never again will I take for granted the liberties I enjoy.  Never again will I overlook the important sacrifices made by these quintessential heroes.  Founder’s Day in the AME Church provides a collective opportunity for parishioners to reflect, remember and reengage our commitment to God and our Zion.  Like the fallen soldiers, Marines, airmen and seamen at Arlington Cemetery, we should never forget the power of God in our lives.  QED

*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 African Methodist Episcopal Church


*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby

I’m writing this Meditation at the beginning of Black History Month 2016, when I’ll also be among those celebrating the Centennial year of my Alma Mater - Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, South Carolina.  “Booker T.,” as the school was fondly known, was founded in 1916 and was actually the first Columbia public school to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Booker T. flourished during the years when public schools were separate and unequal in South Carolina. Those of us who attended the school often had to deal with out-of-date textbooks, limited facilities and inadequate funding until the school finally fell victim to “urban renewal” and was closed in 1974 - not long after public schools in Columbia were officially desegregated.

Booker T.’s alums, however, include a Federal Judge, lawyers, doctors, educators, business people, trade persons, military officers, professional athletes, artisans, engineers, clergy and countless other individuals who rose to the heights of their chosen professions.  That happened because the dedicated administrators and faculty refused to accept the assertion that their students couldn’t learn because of their race.  They taught us to ignore the “nay-sayers,” strive to achieve and to be better than others thought that we could be.

Remember the example of Booker T. Washington High School as you face life’s challenges.  Too many good people never reach their potential because they let the doubts, fears and criticism of this world’s “nay-sayers” restrict their growth and limit their well-being.

When we take the time, however, to trust in and follow the God who created us and knows us best to lead and guide us, we can forget what the world says that we must be and let the God who - as the old saying goes, “makes no junk” - lead us to new success, give us new confidence and bring us new victories that confound our critics.

Look to the Lord, even in a world where others may seek to define and limit you.  When you do, you’ll reach your potential, you’ll be an achiever and your life will be a reminder and a blessed affirmation of why an old hymn of the church says, “It is no secret what God can do, what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you.”

Get Ready for Sunday, and have a great day in your house of worship!

*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


We regret to share news of the transition of Mamma Mosidi Aletta Lebotse, born 09 December 1928 and gone on to receive her rewards in glory 01 February 2016.   

Mamma Mosidi Aletta Lebotse is the mother of Mrs. Mmamogotsi Lebotse-Messiah, spouse of the Reverend Paul Messiah, pastor of Gow Chapel AME Church in kraaifontein-Cape Town, South Africa.

“Not now but in the coming years, we'll understand."

Email tributes may be sent to:

The Rev Paul J. Messiah: revpjmessiah@yahoo.com


It is with heartfelt sympathy that we announce the passing of the Reverend Dr. Joseph H. Cyprian, Sr., a retired presiding elder of the Louisiana Annual Conference of the Eighth Episcopal District. The Reverend Dr. Cyprian served faithfully as a pastor and then later as a presiding elder.  At several of the AME General Conferences, he served as a member of the Episcopal Committee.  He was married to Mrs. Lois Cyprian.  Mrs. Cyprian served for eight years as the Episcopal President of the Women's Missionary Society. 

Mrs. Cyprian is in the hospital recovering from the tragic automobile accident.  We ask that you lift her in prayer as well as the entire Cyprian family.

The Cyprians have two sons: Douglas (Pamela) Cyprian of Folsom, Louisiana and the Reverend Derrick (Chalita) Cyprian, the pastor of Clear Lake AME Church, Houston, Texas.

The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Greater Payne Chapel AME Church
84053 LA Highway 25
Folsom, LA 70437


Friday, February 5, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.
Celebration of Life
11:00 a.m.

First Baptist Church
16333 LA Highway 1085
Covington, LA 70433

Life Celebration Service for the Reverend Dr. Joseph Cyprian, retired Presiding Elder of the Eighth Episcopal District, will be streaming live 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 5, 2016, from First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana.

The link is: www.fbccov.org/live 

The Reverend Lloyd Guy
Pastor, Greater Payne Chapel AME Church
Folsom, LA

The Reverend Jacob W. Hilton, Jr.
Presiding Elder, Central New Orleans-Bogalusa District
Louisiana Annual Conference

Eulogist: The Right Reverend Julius H. McAllister, Sr., Presiding Prelate, Eighth Episcopal District

Arrangements have been entrusted to:

Crain and Sons Funeral Home
2000 Washington Street
Franklinton, LA  70438

Condolences and Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:

- Mrs. Lois Cyprian
P. O. Box 615
Folsom, Louisiana 70437
Telephone: 985 796-3495

- Mr. Douglas and Mrs. Pamela Cyprian
P. O. Box 271
Folsom, Louisiana 70437
Telephone: (985) 373-8880

- The Rev. Derrick Cyprian and Mrs. Chalita Cyprian
4322 Oak Forest Drive
Missouri City, Texas 77459
Telephone: (281) 782-1318


This comes to share the Celebration of Life Worship Services for Mr. Ricky Martin, the brother of Presiding Elder Randolph W. (Charolett) Martin of the Hot Springs District, West Arkansas Annual Conference.

Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 5, 2016 at Bethel AME Church, 3085 K Street, San Diego CA 92102. Presiding Elder Martin will be the Eulogist. Mr. Martin was a member of Chollas United Methodist Church in San Diego, California.

Arrangements have been entrusted to:

California Cremation & Burial Chapel

California Burial
2200 Highland Ave.
National City, CA 91950

Telephone: (619) 229-2747

Cards may be sent to:

Presiding Elder and Mrs. Martin
218 Pebble Beach Dr.
Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913

The immediate family will receive cards and condolences at:

5425 Creson Drive.
San Diego, CA 92114


It is with heartfelt sympathy that we announce the passing of the Reverend William Phillips, pastor of Mt. Herman AME Church in Grenada, Mississippi.  He was a member of the North Mississippi Annual Conference of the Eighth Episcopal District. For many years, he served faithfully as a pastor in that conference.

The Reverend Phillips was married to Mrs Stephanie Phillips who was a wonderful partner in his ministry. 

The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.


Friday, February 5, 2016
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Celebration of Life Service:

Saturday, February 6, 2016
2:00 p.m.

St. Samaritan AME Church
13536 Arkabutla Rd
Coldwater, MS 38618

The Reverend Roy E. Johnson, Pastor

Eulogist: The Right Reverend Julius H. McAllister, Sr., Presiding Prelate, Eighth Episcopal District

Arrangements have been entrusted to:

Rogers Funeral Home
10296 Hwy 51 North
Coldwater, MS 38618
Telephone: (662) 622- 5608
Condolences and Expressions may be sent to:

Mrs. Stephanie Phillips
14085 Arkabutla Road
Coldwater, MS 38618
Telephone: (662) 292-0399

The Rev. William Hardiman, Jr.
Presiding Elder, Grenada District
North Mississippi Conference


Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Email: Amespouses1@bellsouth.net      
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/   
Telephone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Telephone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751


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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