he Right Reverend Vashti Murphy McKenzie - Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Roderick D. Berlin, Publisher
Mr. John Thomas III, the 21st Editor, The Christian Recorder


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

I want to address the Decalogue again!

There are so many changes taking place today in the world, our nation, in our local communities, in our schools, in our relationships, and in our homes. Change is everywhere.  Changes are taking place in churches all over the world. The AME Church is changing.  Changes are taking place in our worship services.

Some of our pastors are modifying the order of worship and some; I have heard have flat-out eliminated some of the worship rubrics. The traditional Call to Worship has been modified or eliminated and the Decalogue has been eliminated because some pastors feel that it is out of date and takes up too much time. 

Others have modified parts of the worship rubric because they are trying to make the worship experience into a more lively liturgical experience. 

Some preachers have not been thoroughly trained in the rudiments of AME worship and the theological foundation of liturgy.  One of the problems is that we still have untrained preachers on the Boards of Examiners training applicants for ministry.  I am distressed when I hear about preachers who take the position that the Decalogue is not needed in the order of worship because the Decalogue is too boring and that it takes up too much time.

Truthfully, we need the Decalogue now more than we have ever needed it. Folks are turning' to other gods like, money, homes, cars, clothes and they need to hear, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." 

Some of our young people make graven images and turn them into bling-bling and worship and commit murder over the jewelry that they wear around their necks and the sneakers they wear on their feet.

We have turned their possessions into gods.  Yes, we need to hear the Word of God telling us, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

We need to hear the Commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.”  We hear profanity on the radio, when we look at television, at the movie theater, at school, in our homes, and sadly in the vicinity of our churches.  Young people use profanity with flair and see no offense in using bad language. Preacher even use God’s name frivolously.

We need to hear, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” because most of us, clergy and laity, just run, and run, and run, neglecting our bodies, our spiritual lives, our families and the church because we are too busy. We do not take time for Sabbath rests.

We need to hear the Commandment, “Honor they father and thy mother that thy days might be long upon the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee.”   There is an increased disrespect of the elderly today.  Young people curse their elders and adult children are too busy to take care of their aged parents.  Churches work folk to death and when they get old, and some pastors won’t even take the time to make a pastoral visit and take Communion to them.  When old folks die, unless they have a large family, their funerals are poorly attended.  The old folks just drop off of the “radar screen.”

Young people are killing each other in the black community.  We have lost the proud traditions of the warriors who fought, bled and died for equal rights.  Many of us don’t think about Martin Luther King, Jr. until January and Frederick Douglas, W. E. B. DuBois, Harriet Tubman and Booker T. Washington are remembered in February; and Richard Allen is hardly mentioned except in February. 

We need to hear, “Thou shalt not kill every Sunday.”  We need to be reminded again and again that killing / murder is wrong and sinful.

Sexual misconduct permeates every facet of our society.  The HIV/AIDS pandemic is just one example of how badly we need to hear, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  Women have to be concerned about men on the down-low and folks are committing fornication and adultery without a blush of shame. Preachers are also advocating “open marriages.”

We need to hear the Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” because we rob God of God’s tithes and offerings and are not good stewards of our own resources. We spend and “we spend until we bend” and “shop until we drop” and run up credit card debt and live beyond our means, and so we not only steal from God, but we steal from ourselves.

Church folks, and especially AMEs, need to hear, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” because there is a lot of false witnessing going around.

The King James Version of the Bible uses the soft term, “false witness” instead of the term, “lie – ‘thou shalt not tell a lie on thy neighbor.’”  We bear false witness in our secular lives and in the church too.  Dr. Dennis Dickerson shared some years ago the words of his father who said, “The truth is boring, a lie is more exciting.  A lie has gone around the world three times and truth is still trying to put its pants on.”

We live in a society where it is the norm to "keep up with the Joneses."  If we see it, we have got to have it.  We covet and we covet and we covet. 

The truth is we need to hear the full Decalogue every Sunday. 

There is a contemporary version of the Decalogue and those preachers who think that it is too long should look in the African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal on page 797 for the contemporary version of the Decalogue that can be completed in about one to two minutes. For musicians who cannot read music, it only has three chords and one of those is an inverted chord and so he or she really only need to know two chords.

Admittedly, some of our worship services need to be a little more upbeat, but we need to hear the Decalogue, the Doxology, the Gloria Patri, The Apostles’ Creed, and some well-prepared, Spirit-filled preaching with Holy Ghost power. 

Preachers need to do a better job of sermon and teaching preparation. The issue is probably preparation and commitment to worship rather than the irrelevance of the liturgical rubrics. 

I am afraid that some of our young ministers, and old preachers, too, have committed their Sunday morning worship to "thrilling the folks instead of "filling'" the folks. 

It seems to me that a lot of people go to church to get thrilled, rather than to be filled.  Church folks need to come to worship more spiritually prepared and prayed-up to receive the Word of God.

The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were when Moses brought them down from the Mountain.

The Ten Commandments

I.  Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

II. Thou shalt not make a graven image… 

III. Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

V.  Honor Thy father and Thy mother …

VI. Thou shalt not kill.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

X.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house …

Summary of the Law

Hear what Christ our Savior saith: thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets.

The Shema

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (Deu. 6:4) In Hebrew, “Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad.”


 -- Herman Felton Jr. Named President of Ohio's Wilberforce University

Herman Felton Jr. has been selected the 21st president of Wilberforce University located in Wilberforce, Ohio, the country's oldest private HBCU.


Bishop Harry L. Seawright, 133
Bishop Michael Mitchell, 134
Bishop Anne Henning Byfield, 135
Bishop Ronnie Elijah Brailsford Sr., 136
Bishop Stafford Wicker, 137
Bishop Frank Madison Reid III, 138


Treasurer: Dr. Richard Lewis
Secretary/CIO: The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Cooper
Retirement Services: The Rev. Dr. Jerome Harris
Global Witness: The Rev. Dr. George F. Flowers
Historiographer: The Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown
Sunday School Union: The Rev. Roderick D. Belin
Editor, The Christian Recorder: Mr. John Thomas III
Department of Christian Education: The Rev. Garland Pierce
Church Growth & Development: The Rev. Dr. James C Wade

Judicial Council Clergy:

The Rev. Thomas Bess
The Rev Eduardo Curry Esq

Judicial Council Lay: Patricia Mayberry-Tania Wright-Derek Anderson-Warren Dawson

Alternate: Starr Battle


Episcopal District Assignment / Name / Retirement year

Ecumenical Officer – Bishop Frank Madison Reid III - Frank Madison Reid III - 2024

1 - Bishop Gregory Gerald McKinley Ingram - 2020
2 - Bishop James Levert Davis - 2028
3 - Bishop McKinley Young - 2020
4 - Bishop John Franklin White - 2024
5 - Bishop Clement Willie Fugh - 2024
6 - Bishop Reginald Thomas Jackson - 2028
7 - Bishop Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr. - 2036
8 - Bishop Julius Harrison McAllister, Sr. - 2024
9 - Bishop Harry Lee Seawright - 2032
10 - Bishop Vashti McKenzie - 2020
11 - Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. - 2024
12 - Bishop Michael Leon Mitchell - 2036
13 - Bishop Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath - 2032
14 - Bishop E. Earl McCloud - 2028
15 - Bishop David Rwhynica Daniels - 2032
16 - Bishop Anne Henning Byfield - 2024
17 - Bishop Wilfred J. Messiah - 2028
18 - Bishop Stafford Wicker - 2036
19 - Bishop Paul Jones Kawimbe - 2036
20 - Bishop Ronnie Elijah Brailsford - 2032


*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins

Based on Biblical Text: Romans 10:10-11: For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Becoming a Christian can be similar in some ways to starting a new job. Similarly, there are new rules to follow and new schedules to adopt. Like on the new job there are new people to meet and quite possibly a new mindset to accept. Embracing the changes can be a bit overwhelming, maybe on some level even a little scary.

Becoming a Christian could be a problem especially if not everyone in our household is saved. It could be stressful if the folk where we used to hang out are teasing us and laughing at the fact that we chose to follow Jesus Christ.

Think about it Beloved, we chose to follow a leader who was essentially homeless, broke, and alone in His hour of need. We were not promised financial security, comfort or stability. The truth of the matter is, what we were promised was persecution. However, in spite of everything we read and heard we said yes to the offer of salvation. We put our name on the role and vowed to wear this new garment of servanthood.

The question is what does all this mean? In other words, what does it mean to be a Christian? In becoming a Christian how is it that we change our entire existence, put on a completely new image and become a whole new human being? How can we be sure it is even possible?

To help us understand this new job, this new life, this new commitment and these new requirements we can look at it from a life in Christ, with Christ and for Christ perspective.

Life in Christ is the starting point. This is where we begin. Sign up day, and we have just landed the job of Christian. We are excited, enthusiastic and on fire with new possibilities. We have come to this point with high expectations and even higher hopes.

What should we be feeling, relief, liberation or exoneration? I contend we should feel all of that and more! Think about it, we have just started over. We have just exchanged our old life for a new one. In fact, this is our fresh start. 2 Corinthians says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” This new life means that we have been released from condemnation, set free from sentencing and banished from blame. All that stuff that weighed heavy on our heart has been lifted. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” It is as if our sin sentence has been converted to time served.

How did all this happen? How could all that guilt we have been lugging around suddenly disappear? Maybe we are not quite sure however, we do know for sure it feels good and we owe it all to Jesus! Romans 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

We are brand new living life in Christ, next comes life with Christ. Our heart has been sanitized, but now it needs to be sanctified. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) There is a new resident in our earthly house. His name is Jesus Christ.

Our old friends will start to wonder why we are not present at some of the places we used to go and why we don’t talk like we used to talk. In fact, folk may think we are missing in action. The Bible says, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3). That old self was buried with Christ and we are resurrected with Christ to a new way of life our old friends won’t recognize.

Living with Christ, He helps us develop new relationships, new goals, new habits, new attitudes and new responsibilities. Christ sets a new standard of living that begins with our heart.  He teaches us how to be holy and how to follow His example. Suddenly we find ourselves hungering and thirsting for His righteousness. We don’t worry about the past or the future anymore, because God’s got us in the palm of His hands.

We are a work in progress. We are being molded and shaped for our new assignment, life for Christ! Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). We find out that there is work to be done. We must share our testimony with the ones who have yet to hear about Christ. In the Parable of the Great Supper, Jesus tells us to “go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

Christ’s love motivates us and His Spirit anoints us. Christ’s hand guides us and His Grace energizes us. By His wisdom and through His power, God directs us to accomplish what we could never do by ourselves. We are becoming obedient soldiers because Christ is in us and with us. We are laborers but we are laborers together with God. We no longer live for ourselves. Christ “died for all, that [we] which live should not henceforth live unto [ourselves], but unto Him which died for [us], and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

Living for Christ God’s love is our motivation and His Word is our inspiration. The Blood of Christ is our justification. Living for Christ we will grieve over the sin in our life instead of trying to justify it and earnestly pursue holiness as our new way of life.

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


*The Rev. Dr. Oveta Fuller is finishing up her Sabbatical leave from the
University of 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


*Brother Bill Dickens

Looking to be blessed with Brother Bill Dickens’ column next week.

*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 week’s meditation after a two week break while attending the 50th Quadrennial General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  I had planned to write about what happened at that productive and historic meeting - and I may write about that next week - but God has a way of changing our plans.

God led me to watch the first night of the 2016 Republican National Convention that featured a speech by Melania Trump, the wife of GOP Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.  Her speech was heartfelt and articulate, but it wasn’t entirely original.  Entire passages of her speech were literally identical to the words of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Beyond the humorous irony that Mrs. Trump plagiarized the words of a First Lady who has - with her husband and our current President - been criticized, reviled and ridiculed by Donald Trump and those in their political party, it’s obvious that she was striving for authenticity and trying to paint her husband in a kinder light.  She was so focused on that goal that she relied on words crafted by others and failed to be “for real.”

What Mrs. Trump did in her speech - no matter how ill advised, hypocritical and politically damaging - isn’t that different from what many of us do.  We live in a world that emphasizes success through conformity, and the best of us sometimes say what we think that this world and those in it expect us to say instead of what we really think so that we can be praised, accepted and impressive - the best of us often fail to “keep it real.”

We’d do well to remember that those of us who are Christian believe in a Savior Who never failed to “keep it real” in what He said and did - even when His words offended the religious “powers that be” of His day - and who “kept it real” when He died on the cross as the price for our sins and then arose to assure us of everlasting life.

Take the time to walk with our Savior and to “keep it real” in all that you say and do and in spite of this world’s expectations and criticism.  When we do so, the God of our Salvation will bring us hope and joy, give us enduring victory and peace of mind and remind us in ways great and small of why those who faced the reality of American slavery still sang, “Whatever you do for the Lord, let it be real.”

*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


-- The Reverend and Mrs. Calvin Griffin, Sr. celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

The Reverend Calvin Griffin, Sr. and Mrs. Dorise G. Griffin will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday, July 23, 2016 on the same day and date they were married 50 years ago, July 23, 1966 at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Panama City, Florida.

The Griffins reside in Lynn Haven, Florida and the Reverend Calvin Griffin is pastor of Springfield AME Church in Gretna, Florida.  The Griffins have two children and three grandchildren. They are active members of the Marianna District, Florida Conference, Eleventh Episcopal District.

They will celebrate their anniversary with their family, friends and church members on July 23, 2016.

Congratulatory expressions can be sent to:

The Rev. Calvin & Dorise Griffin
1415 Louisiana Avenue
Lynn Haven, Florida 32444


Lola Hines Forbes transitioned from labor to reward on Thursday, June 30, 2016. A memorial service will be held on July 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm at Ebenezer AME Church in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ebenezer AME Church
3808 Cleaver II Blvd
Kansas City, Missouri

The Rev. Brenda J. Hayes, Pastor

Mrs. Forbes is the spouse of retired Presiding Elder Joseph Forbes.  She served as past Conference Branch President of the Kansas Nebraska Women's Missionary Society and she was a member of the Midwest Clergy Family Organization.  She was a member of the Ebenezer AME Church.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to her spouse and family:

2429 Washington
Kansas City, Kansas 66102

Condolences can be faxed to the following:

Thatcher Funeral Home
1520 N 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101

Telephone:  (913) 321-1211
Fax: (913) 321-1267

Ebenezer AME Church 
Telephone: (816) 861-8742


Dianne E. Freeman transitioned on July 15, 2016. Services will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Bethel AME Church in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bethel AME Church
2329 Flora
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

The Rev. Robert Shaw, Pastor

Dianne was the spouse of the Rev.  Warren Freeman, pastor of Cain Grant AME Church, Kansas City, Missouri.  Dianne was currently serving as the President of the Midwest Conference Clergy Family Organization. She was also a member of the Midwest Women's Missionary Society.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent to her spouse and family:

1932 NE Knollbrook Street
Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086

Condolences can be forwarded to:

Bethel AME Church

Serenity Memorial
2510 E. 72nd Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64132

Telephone: (816)599-2939
Fax: (816) 321-1891


It is with heartfelt sympathy that we announce the death of and the funeral services for Mrs. Betty Owens, a member of Metropolitan AME Church, Austin, Texas.  Mrs. Owens is the sister of the Reverend Sylvester Marshall, Presiding Elder of the Natchez-Port Gibson District, of the South Mississippi Annual Conference of the Eighth Episcopal District and the sister-in-law of Mrs. Bobby Marshall, District Consultant of the Natchez Port Gibson District. 

The following information has been provided regarding the funeral arrangements.

Celebration of Life Services:

Saturday, July 23, 2016
11:00 a.m.

St. John AME Church
2415 Burg Jones Lane
Monroe, Louisiana

Services entrusted to:

Smith Funeral Home
907 Winnsboro Road
Monroe, Louisiana 71202
Telephone: (318) 361-9295

Condolences and Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:

The Reverend Sylvester Marshall, Presiding Elder
2503 Rue Simone
Hammond, Louisiana 70403

Telephone: 985 687-9217


We regret to inform you of the passing of the Rev. Peter Stephen. He was a superannuated pastor from the 16th District.

The Reverend Peter Stephen migrated to Georgia, USA.

Arrangements are as follows:

Visitation: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 – 12:00 Noon-8:00 p.m.
Family Hour: 6-8 p.m.

Gregory B. Levitt & Sons Funeral Home
Gwinnett Chapel
914 Scenic Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30045

Telephone: 770-338-5558


Wednesday, August 3, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Gregory B. Levitt & Sons Funeral Home
Gwinnett Chapel
914 Scenic Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30045

Telephone: (770) 338-5558

Messages of condolences may be sent to the family of the Rev. Peter Stephen via Gregory B. Levitt & Sons Funeral Home


Presiding Elder Emeritus, Tyson L. Coble, Sr., transitioned from labor to reward on Saturday, July 15, 2016.

His funeral will be held on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at Mt. Zion AME Church.

Mt. Zion AME Church
5124 NC Highway 86 N
Hillsborough, NC 27278
(919) 732-5450

Presiding Elder Coble served our Zion well.  He loved the Lord and loved the Western North Carolina Conference and The Eastern District.  After his retirement he worshipped at his home church, Hunter's Chapel.

Services are provided by:
Blackwell Funeral Home
1292 Rauhut St.
Burlington, NC 27217
(336) 229-1939

Online Guest Book:

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to his wife and family:

Mrs. Robbie Coble & Family
1111 South Shambley Road
Mebane, NC 27302-8547
Telephone: (919) 563-2601

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 Vashti Murphy McKenzie; the Publisher, the Reverend Roderick D. 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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The Right Reverend Vashti Murphy McKenzie - Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Roderick D. Berlin, Publisher
Mr. John Thomas III, the 21st Editor, The Christian Recorder

The 50th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference has been adjourned


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

The journey comes to an end!  I am so blessed to have served as the 20th Editor of The Christian Recorder, the official newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church since 2004.  The Christian Recorder is the oldest existing black periodical in America, and the only one in the United States whose existence dates before the Civil War. It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part of this ministry and to be a servant of Jesus Christ and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

I am grateful to both clergy and laity, who gave untiring support to the ministry of The Christian Recorder. Members from across our Zion, Episcopal Districts 1 – 20 have been generous in sharing news about the ministry in their local churches, presiding elder districts, annual conferences, episcopal districts, as well as sharing Connectional news articles. 

A special thanks to AMEC Clergy Family Information Center (Mrs. Ora Easley) for sharing timely Clergy Family Bereavement Notices and Clergy Family Congratulatory Announcements.  A special thank you to all of the weekly columnists for TCR Online: Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, the Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby, the Rev. A. Oveta Fuller, Ph.D; Dr. William “Bill” Dickens, the Rev. Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr. and Mr. John Thomas III for his initiative in setting up the Foreign Language program for TCR Online and for his assistance in increasing the online subscriber base. A special thanks for the first TCR weekly columnists, the late Rev. N. T. Pitts and the late Bishop Richard Allen Chappelle.  Special thanks to the Rev. Alton Paris, TCR Technical Advisor and special thanks to the faithful editorial reviewers, Mrs. Jeanette T. Johns and Attorney Loretta Moore.  All of them went above and beyond the “call of duty” in helping the editor to publish The Christian Recorder each week for the last 12 years. Their faithfulness was herculean!

The news articles and news releases from Episcopal Districts from across the United States and from Episcopal Districts 14 – 20 have been invaluable in keeping the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church informed about what was happening around the AME Church and around the world.

I am grateful for our Chairpersons for the last twelve years: Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram and Bishop T. Larry Kirkland for their support and encouragement. I am thankful for the support of the members of the Commission on Publications. 

I am also appreciative of the support of the President/Publisher of the AMEC Sunday School Union, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr. and his competent and efficient staff.  The AMEC Sunday School staff is the “backbone” of The Christian Recorder and the other AME periodicals and they are the unsung heroes at the AMEC Publishing House. Special thanks and appreciation to Messrs. Micheal Russell, Andrew Stanfield, Orlando Dotson, and Ms. Sheila Collier, Ms. Mary Dunn and Administrative Assistant, Mr. Andre Wright and all of the folks who work downstairs in the printing areas.

I am so grateful and indebted to the African Methodist Episcopal Church for the opportunity and the honor given me to serve as the 20th Editor of the oldest African-American periodical in America. It has been a great honor because The Christian Recorder has been in existence since 1852.  In addition to the print edition, The Christian Recorder has a well-read online edition and a multi-lingual Internet presence. The Christian Recorder Online began in 2004.

I am most appreciative of my wife, the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor, my partner in ministry and marriage for 54 years! She was no campaign manager when I started out on this journey and served as the Assistant Editor. She has been an exemplary wife, mother, comforter, mentor and my best friend.

My wife, Charlotte, joins me in thanking the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for the opportunity to serve. The AME Church has been a blessing to us and our family.

When I gave my quadrennial report, I was in pain and perhaps that was what caused me to fail to say thank you to my bishop, the Right Reverend Jeffery N. Leath, Supervisor Leath and the 13th Episcopal District. Bishop Leath and the 13th Episcopal District and all of the presiding prelates - former, retired, deceased bishops of the district have been wonderful mentors and supporters. Thank you all!  Thanks to Shorter Chapel AME Church in Paris, Kentucky and to St. James AME Church in Danville, Kentucky. A vigorous thanks to the clergy and laity of the 13th Episcopal District; our partners in ministry since 1966. A special thanks to the Kentucky Annual Conference!

And a special thank you to St. Paul AME Church in Newport News, Virginia for their caring and spiritual oversight. Thanks to the pastor, the Rev. Dr. Aretha Cross and the officers and members of St. Paul AME Church! St. Paul is a wonderful church! 

The AME Church is indeed, “The church of my choice!”


Congratulations to Mr. John Thomas III, the 21st Editor of The Christian Recorder! He will do a wonderful job and will carry The Christian Recorder to new heights. I believe the African Methodist Episcopal Church is moving in the right direction. Congratulations to the newly-elected General Officers, Judicial Council members and Bishops.

Some of you might know that I had a medical issue in Philadelphia, which required surgery on Monday 11th at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Philadelphia. What a wonderful hospital with caring doctors and staff! They were thorough and what I thought was routine turned out to be serious! Our son, Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor IV, his wife Joanna and my wife, the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Sydnor understood the gravity of my situation; and the rest is history!

Thank you to the Rev. Dr. Miriam Burdette for coordinating the General Conference / St. Joseph Hospital relationship.

Thank you to Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram and Episcopal Supervisor, the Rev. Dr. Jessica Ingram and the First Episcopal District for throwing “on a superb party,” sorry I had to miss it. If you decide to “throw another party,” I will plan to attend! Thank you for all the gifts and the superb hospitality!

I am back home in Hampton, Virginia recuperating and am almost back to normal.  Mr. John Thomas III and I have agreed to a pass the “torch date” of responsibilities of August 1st.

Please bear with me as I take a day or two more to recuperate.

TCR columnists are invited submit their weekly columns.  If I receive articles will forward those to the new editor and I will also provide updated email address information.  

The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III
The 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
"The Official Newspaper of the A.M.E. Church"

This is a very modified version of The Christian Recorder Online!

Your prayers and thoughts are appreciated. I am recovering nicely.

Postscript 2 – I have over 1200 emails in my Inbox, so please bear with me.


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