The Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland - Chair, Commission on
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
1. TCR EDITORIAL – BISHOP VINTON RANDOLPH ANDERSON, THE 92ND
ELECTED AND CONSECRATED BISHOP OF THE AME CHURCH:
Editor of The Christian Recorder
Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson always seemed to have a gleam in
his eye. Even when you look at his photographs, the gleam is always there. I
was perusing his Homegoing Celebration Bulletin and sure enough the gleam was
in every photograph. Oh, there’s one other thing.
Supervisor Vivienne Anderson has the same
gleam in her eyes, and the gleam comes forth in photos.
And, Bishop John Bryant was so on-target in his remarks at the
Homegoing Celebration for Bishop Anderson when he said, “No one could articulate
the name of Episcopal Supervisor “Vivienne” like Bishop Anderson.
I noticed that too. Bishop Anderson had a way
of saying her name in such a way that it had a “ring to it,” almost as if he
adored the name, “Vivienne.”
he called her name, he had that gleam in his eyes. .
I first met Bishop Anderson when he was a candidate for
episcopal service prior to 1972. I was a young pastor in ministry and in awe of
the leadership of our Zion.
speak and keep moving.
I later had the good fortune of working with him a few years
later after he had been elevated to the episcopacy and had been assigned as the
AMEC Endorsing agent. The endorsing agent is responsible for certifying persons
for the federal chaplaincy. It was evident that he was concerned about the
chaplains and worked to make the AME Chaplain Association a more effective
organization and he was concerned that the AME Church was committed to sending
the most qualified persons to the chaplaincy. Bishop Anderson was pleasant to
work with and exemplified a genuine concern of people.
I next had the opportunity to observe and see his episcopacy
up-close when he was the Presiding Prelate of the 2nd
District. I was stationed at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.
He had a distinctive leadership style. He had a gentle spirit,
but I got the sense that you probably would not want to get on his bad side.
He had a gentle approach and the few times I suspected that he
was chastising a preacher, he did it with dignity, respect, and was so smooth
with his words that a person who was naïve might not known they had been
He chastised with a gleam in
his eyes and smile, and with love.
not believe that his pastors were fearful and I don’t believe that they felt
Bishop Anderson would retaliate against them.
He never missed a teaching moment and provided teaching moments
with dignity and respect. His teaching moments were as an adult speaking with
His pastors / preachers’ retreats were events that we all looked
forward to attending.
They were a blast!
I couldn’t wait to get to the retreat site.
He encouraged clergy to be themselves, act normal and have some
He encouraged the pastor to have
fun and to use the retreat to relieve stress find some sense of normalcy. He
wanted the preachers to relax and unwind. The man loved “table games.” He could
hang with the best of them! And seeing Bishop Anderson relax just helped
everyone else to relax.
Bishop Anderson cared about his “flock” and encouraged his
pastors to care for their “flock.”
seemed to me that he wanted pastors to be “down to earth” and to love the
people. He was stickler in encouraging pastors to take their prophetic and
priestly ministries seriously. In so many words he said, “Don’t ‘hoot and
hollar’ at the funeral if you didn’t visit the deceased when he or she was sick
or in the hospital.”
preachers not to let death catch them short-handed and in an embarrassing
situations because of their failure to make pastoral visits.
Not only were his teaching moments powerful, but his actions
were powerful. He treated pastors like adults.
We, the AME Church, do not make pastoral appointments as the
United Methodist do. Generally United Methodist clergy and congregation know
the pastoral assignments several months before the annual conference.
It seems to work well for them, but we are
“not there” yet.
I have heard several
“reasons” why we “can’t” utilize that system, sometimes our clergy and
congregations don’t know their pastoral appointment until it’s announced on the
floor when the pastoral assignments are read.
Bishop Anderson in the 2nd
Episcopal District had a
unique and creative process for handling the pastoral appointments. He didn’t
do it the United Methodist or the African Methodist Episcopal Church way, he
did it “Vinton Anderson’s way!
He met with all of the pastors prior to the Commissioning
Service and gave each pastor his or her pastoral appointment so they knew where
they were being assigned.
He had a
confidentiality agreement with the pastors not to divulge their pastoral
appointments to anyone. It appeared to me that the Commissioning Service
functioned less anxious because there was no element of surprise, at least, for
Bishop Anderson was a stickler for order in worship, and he
loved spirited worship too. He loved liturgy and he loved creative Holy
Spirit-filled worship. I would brand him as a dynamic, creative, Holy
His worship bulletins were creative and he was willing to try
new worship initiatives.
could be assured that they would get the best preaching and singing at Bishop
Anderson’s meetings, and “we were not going to be in church all night!”
Bishop Anderson’s actions spoke louder than words in the area of
gender equality. He insisted on gender-neutral language in sermons,
conversation and worship bulletins.
observant person noticed that women were always included in annual conference
or episcopal district worship services. Women were appointed to committees and
they were full participants in the life of the 2nd
District. He appointed women pastors, including my wife, Charlotte, her first
pastoral appointment; and he didn’t send the women miles and miles away and
didn’t relegate them to 2 and 3 member churches. The morale of the women was
high and their presence at meetings was indicative of their high morale. Groups
of women would travel to annual conference and district-level meetings together
because they felt as if they were a part of the team. They were a part of the
Bishop Anderson recognized that there was ministry apart from
the pastoral ministry. He honored and affirmed those who had ministries outside
of the local church, i.e., federal chaplaincy, institutional chaplains, clergy
involved in higher education and other ministry-related vocations.
Chaplains were expected to read their annual
Pastor’s Report as other Itinerant Elders.
Let me get off point just
one more time
Chaplains and other employed Itinerant Elders’ financial support
for the annual and district conference programs should be at the same level as
other Itinerant Elders. Ordained Chaplains benefit from their ordination status
the same as pastors benefit from their ordination status.
Bishop Anderson supported theological training, not only with
words, but with his money and with his actions.
He loved Payne Theological Seminary, but he also supported AME students
who attended other seminaries.
Bishop Vinton Anderson was not only active in the religious
community; he was active in the secular and ecumenical communities too. He
encouraged his pastors to be active in the community and emphasized time and
again that ministry was more than a Sunday morning preaching event.
Bishop Vinton Anderson was a model servant bishop who was a
pioneer in many areas – the religious, secular, ecumenical, inter-faith
His Homegoing Celebration modeled many of his varied activities
and involvement across the religious and secular spectrum.
St. Paul AME Church in St. Louis, Missouri was packed and every
seat in the sanctuary and the overflow area was taken. The worship service was
executed with dignity and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Parishioners from all walks of life were in
attendance. Bishops, general officers, members of the Judicial Council,
connectional officers, presiding elders, pastors, and laity from across the
connectional church were in attendance.
Bishop Phillip Robert Cousin,
retired Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was the presiding
liturgist for Bishop Anderson’s Homegoing Service. He majestically guided the worship service
from beginning to end.
The Senior Bishop from the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME)
Church, the Right Reverend Lawrence L. Reddick III was in attendance.
Ecumenical, inter-faith and civic leaders
were also in attendance to pay last respects to Bishop Vinton Randolph
The Celebration was video-streamed and AMEs around the world
were able to view the celebration – and maybe the first time people overseas in
Africa and our military members in Afghanistan confirmed viewing a Bishop’s
Pastor Spencer Lamar Booker, presiding elders, members of the
AMEC Judicial Council, special guests and the Bishops of the Church led the
procession of the family into the sanctuary singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Bishops Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath lined the Opening Hymn, Bishop
Clement W. Fugh gave the invocation, and the scriptures were read by Bishop
Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Bishop James Levert Davis, and Bishop Frank Curtis
Reflections were shared by Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop,
and Bishop Reginald T. Jackson.
The Rev. Dr. Staccato Powell of the World Council of Churches;
The Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith of the National Council of Churches; and
Dr. Robert Welsh, the Churches Uniting In Christ also gave reflections.
Words of Comfort were shared by civic leaders and the Alpha Phi
Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and by Attorney Benjamin Edwards a member of the
Judicial Council and a longtime member of St. Paul AME Church, the site of the
Retired General Officer, Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams gave a
stirring reflection and tribute of Bishop Anderson.
Kenneth Anderson, the Anderson’s youngest son gave an intimate
reflection of his father and mother. His reflection was moving and brought
tears to the eyes of many in the congregation. We learned a few things about
Bishop Anderson we didn’t know.
Anderson could imitate some of his associates.
The acknowledgements of the family were expressed by Ms.
Jacqueline Dupont-Walker; Bishop C. Garnett Henning prayed the Prayer of
Comfort and Bishop Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr. lined the Hymn of Assurance. .
There was not a eulogy in the usual sense of a eulogy, but
instead, a creative way of sharing the life and ministry of Bishop Anderson.
Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, Presiding Prelate of the 1st
Episcopal District shared intimate thoughts about the early ministry of Bishop
Anderson. His task was entitled, “the Ministry Begun. He gave warm comments
about the Bishop Anderson’s ministry, very much a short eulogy, but not called
Bishop John R. Bryant spoke about Bishop Anderson’s love of his
wife, “Vivienne,” his love for his family and his love for the AME Church – and
that too was a short eulogy, but it was not called a eulogy.
“The Ministry Fulfilled” was the task of Bishop T. Larry Kirkland,
the Presiding Prelate of the 5th
Episcopal District and his
delivery, starting out with the singing of “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow…”
lifted the congregation to its feet and he delivered a masterful sermon and
suddenly, those of us who were a “little slow to put it all together” realized
that the eulogy was really a three-part Vinton Anderson-creative eulogy. Bishop
Gregory G.M. Ingram masterfully handled the first part, “The Ministry Begun,”
Bishop John Richard Bryant delivered the second part of the eulogy with
intimate comments about Bishop Anderson as a husband, father and down-to earth
person; and Bishop T. Larry Kirkland delivered “the main course and the dessert
with his task of “The Ministry Fulfilled.”
We had “indeed been to church!” Not only were we “fed” by words,
we were “fed” by music – contemporary gospel and the great hymns of the church:
“Holy, Holy, Holy
,” “God be With you Till We Meet Again
,” “When I survey the Wondrous Cross
,” “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want
Peace Like a River
” and good old-fashioned AME singing led my Brother
Daeryl Scooter Booker and staff; the Reverend Anthony Vinson, Sr, Connectional MCAM
Director and accompanist Arthur
Toney. Ministry of music was provided by Psalmists Eboni Wilson, Samuel Huddleston,
Adrianne Felton and The Voices of St. Paul.
Participants in the Committal Ceremony included Presiding Elder
Brenda Hayes, retired Presiding Elder Felix Dancy, retired Presiding Elder
Malcolm Eve, the Rev. Spencer Lamar Booker and the Presiding Elder Edmund Lowe
The Reverend Spencer Lamar Booker, pastor of St. Paul AME Church
in St. Louis, Missouri opened their doors and their hearts and made us welcome.
St. Paul provided us food and comfort!
“We had Church” in the AME tradition and in the spirit of Bishop
Vinton R. Anderson!
AMEs know how to
have a Homegoing Celebration!
2. TCR OP-ED - REFLECTIONS ON THE GENERAL
BOARD MEETING COMMENTS BY PRESIDENT GLOVER:
*Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr.
I was pleased to read as I always do President Glovers' remarks on the
recent General Board meeting.
It has long been my belief that if the AME Church is to change, the CLO
must be the engine for that change.
President Glover touched on most of the important issues raised at the
General Board. But when will you go
further? For example, if we cannot
afford to have a General Conference, when will we face that fact and/or reduce the
number of day, reduce the number of delegates, cut back and down on all our
expenses. The truth may be that our
meetings are where some people make money.
For example, a hotel contracts a room for $100.00 per night and we sell
that same room for $130.00 per night.
There is rarely, if ever a report on offerings or other items.
Time has far passed for continuing to do the same things, the same way
and getting the same results. That time
should have long passed. Truthfully, the
Nashville General Board was significantly different only by the way Bishop
Leath chose to be invested as President of the Council of Bishops.
President Glover is correct regarding the silence of members of the
General Board. My concern is that most
of the members of the General Board do not understand what they are there to
do, other than answer the roll. Other attendees are there for the
As a people with limited resources, we make multi-million dollar
decisions with little or no discussion.
People are afraid to ask questions.
They do have questions as I often do, but the fear of isolation prevents
them from putting their real feeling on the table. Another example, when the matter of an
additional loan of 7.5 million dollars for Morris Brown College came before the
Council of Bishops, there was little discussion. I remember asking, if Morris Brown College
had any regular income? The answer was
no. Please tell me, where else in
America can you owe somebody, 5.1 million dollars, have no income and borrow
another 7.5 million dollars.
My notes will continue to isolate me from many of my Episcopal
Colleagues, but my love for the institution called the African Methodist
Episcopal Church, will not let me continue to be silent.
*Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr.
3. READER RESPONSE
TO EDITORIAL AND OTHER ISSUES:
RE: The Rev. Dr. William Brooks, President of the NAACP
I was blessed to hear our new NAACP President/CEO, the Rev. Dr. William
Brooks' address at the NAACP Convention.
Dr. Brooks was dynamic, energetic, enthusiastic, knowledgeable,
motivational, and the list goes on.
Part of his agenda includes getting support to the "field"
(those of us out in the various Units who are all VOLUNTEERS carrying on the
work of the Association all across this country). It's about time that someone cares about the
"work-a-bees" in the field.
I really think Dr. Brooks is going to "breathe new life" into
this Association. I look forward to his
leadership (another "product" of the AME Connection.
I have enjoyed reading every one of your editorials, especially the one
about the church women.
You have given us much food for thought. Your editorials, especially the
editorial about the “brand” of the A.M.E. Church are right on-target. There are
too many churches that are no longer using the liturgy of the Church, which I
happen to think that the AME liturgy is beautiful. I believe in an opening hymn
and occasionally may do a different one other than the traditional, “I was Glad
when they said unto me…”
It is a discredit to our founding fathers and mothers to dismantle what
has been working for almost two centuries. I hear parishioners complain that
the "Call to Worship" in their local church is different every week,
no longer using, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go in the house of
The Lord...” It truly stirs my heart and
my spirit. And many other staples that are “our” brand are not being used so
that “they can be like everyone else,’ while others are stealing from us
After attending the 2012 Quadrennial General Conference, I was doing the
complete Decalogue, which was a tradition at my home church. But, after the
2012 General Conference, I incorporated the General Confession and several
other collects into the Sunday bulletin. It gives everyone an opportunity to
read the confession, even visitors when members help them find the page number.
I just do the Abridged Decalogue every Sunday, and it does include "Nearer
my God to Thee..."
I hope when you retire you will continue to write for The Christian Recorder.
My “roses to you ‘in words’” for my appreciation of your informative,
funny, deep, and insightful editorials over the years.
May God continue to bless and keep you and your family.
The Rev. Minnie Autry – Michigan
I would like to contribute to the ongoing testimonies concerning Bishop
Anderson! Since not one of the many articles that I have submitted have been
published online, I ask you to consider printing this one!
As a young lady singing in Bishop Anderson's Washington Annual Conference
Choir, I got to see the Bishop celebrate God! This was my first annual
conference! I was the youngest person in a choir full of seniors and Bishop
affirmed me well for being there! I learned and loved to sing every verse of
each hymn too, while an acolyte in the United Methodist Church. Therefore, I
appreciated his style of complete worship! This Seasonal District Choir gave me
the opportunity to read musical notes again, which I learned while playing the
flute, and I watched and listened while sitting behind Bishop Anderson, a holy
worshiper of our Great God!
Desiring to know more, I purchased “My Soul Shouts!" And heard The
Call to ministry! I am the voice of the woman in #15 who shouts in the middle
of the night! Now as a Missionary, I
often visit AME Annual Conferences all over this Country, but never again have
I experienced the same sincere professional, holiness of true worship, or seen the
love like Bishop Anderson's love for Lady Vivienne! These stood out for me! She
had the finest hats, sparkle filled dresses and gracious patience and was
always adorned with a pleasant smile! Even her words were always well placed
and always kind! These things kept me coming back each Conference Season until
they retired and the seeds that they planted grew into fruit with more seeds
for me to go out and sow!
May the Right Reverend Vinton Randolph Anderson rest in great peace,
while lifted to the eternal pleasures of the closest worship of and walk with
our Holy Lord God! Thank you, Lord Jesus! The AME Church has been blessed with
a Good Shepherd, and he has shown us the WAY! May we find the wisdom to follow
Missionary Davetta Range, a sower of "godly seeds" from FAME
I'm amazed you expected a short obit for Bishop Anderson or that you
would not receive an abundance of replies for tributes. He served long and well and cast long shadows
during his ministry. I still consider him as my favorite bishop in the Third
District, most notably for his implementation of the Festival of the Holy
Spirit during his tenure - What a powerful series of meetings.
However, my first memory of him was when he gave a sermon during the
meeting of the Bishops' Council when it convened in Columbus and St. Paul was
the host church. I remember only one
thing (but it was significant) that he said.
This was following his illness (heart attack?) while on a plane
returning from Africa and he told about how he no longer had any fears of death
because he had already looked death in the face and could testify that Christ
was more powerful.
Although I did read about the live-streaming of the service in time to
view it live...and I'm not sure I would have sat through it all at one time, but
thanks for the follow-up reference in the last weeks issue of TCR and it is still there, at least for
now, to view at my leisure.
Now, as this and other local congregations utilize live-streaming, I
can't help but wonder if the "live" attendance remains the same or
does it drop or increase as a result.
We're considering using some live-streaming, but have other major
concerns (regaining ownership of our building, new roof, ceiling repair, etc.)
vying for our attention before that becomes a reality.
Also, with technology improvements since General Conference 2012, and
even some small congregations use live-streaming. What are the prospects for
Larry W Clark, Columbus, Ohio
4. RECENT RELEASED
OFFICIAL WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION EBOLA VIRUS REPORT – JULY 17, 2014:
The cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus disease (EVD)
stands at 1,048, including 632 deaths (60% fatality) as of 17 July, 2014.
The distribution and classification of cases in the three affected
Guinea, 410 cases and 310 deaths (203 confirmed, 95 probable, and 12
Liberia, 196 cases and 116 deaths (54 confirmed, 40 probable, and 22
Sierra Leone, 442 cases and 206 deaths (165 confirmed, 35 probable, and 6
Submitted by the Rev. A. Oveta Fuller, PhD
Faculty, African Studies Center
Associate Professor, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
5. VINTON RANDOLPH
ANDERSON - FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A PERSON IN LAY MINISTRY:
By SIStah “Jackie” Dupont-Walker
The Teaching Missions conducted by Bishop Anderson early in his
assignment to an Episcopal District provided him with an opportunity to
introduce his perspective on ministry, service, liturgy, mission, and the
legacy of African Methodism.
I met the Bishop when he was introduced to the Fifth District delegation
in Fort Worth, Texas, at the close of the 1988 General Conference. He exuded
positive energy and the remarkable traits of a gifted teacher. On that occasion he was immediately thrust
into the position of convening the annual conferences and I, along with others,
noted his deliberateness and focused-style of presiding at business sessions
that was instructive to all of us. He
was about the “work of the church.”
When the first “Teaching Mission” was held at the First AME Church in Los
Angeles, Bishop Anderson introduced the concept of service centers, with the
intention of persuading local congregations to create networks to better serve
the total community.
With my social work background in community organization and involvement
in local politics, I became excited by his idea and went home to write a
five-page paper on how the concept could work in Los Angeles.
Over the next eight years many laypersons thought it not robbery to take
some vacation time or leave without pay to attend meetings convened by Bishop
Anderson in order that they might be instructed in the ecclesiology of the AME
Church. It became immediately apparent
to a member of an Episcopal district where Vinton Randolph Anderson had been
assigned as presiding bishop that he did not fit anyone’s prescribed mold. While one might say that he is “just
different,” there were clear indicators that his “uniqueness by calling” was
neither happenstance nor a gimmick.
Those who knew him as pastor told of feeling “included and cared for.” As
a pastor, he regularly visited the sick, and included the laity in
ministry-planning. The laity traveled and fellowshipped with him, and he shared
his blessings with others in need.
Those who met him on the campaign trail as he sought the episcopacy
between 1968 and 1972 remember his 12-Point Program, “Give attention to the
questions of ministry as they relate to the laos” as the second item on his
agenda. Others who met him after his election will recall the thoughtful and
provocative paper he presented to the church’s organized laity in 1975,
entitled, “L.I.F.E.” which suggested a new and empowering movement for the Lay
Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
He always introduced himself as “Vinton Anderson” and on many occasions,
Bishop Anderson shared one of the basic tenets of his ministry by reminding the
clergy that the titles, “reverend” and “pastor” were not a part of their names.
He urged the clergy to permit the people to call them “pastor” or “reverend”
and in so doing, it signaled a desire for a sincere relationship and bond with
those they served.
In the covering of his casket by the “pall” carried out the belief that
the “pall” is the covering that makes all of us equal in the final earthly
appearance before God.
As we attempt to reflect upon this
servant, it was Bishop Vinton Anderson’s personal and professional integrity
that stood out. Similarly it was his
compassion for people, boldness for the causes he believed in, and his
propensity to not forget “from whence he had come” and that endeared him to
almost everyone. Those of us in lay
ministry, and I am one, proudly claimed Bishop Anderson as “boss, pastor,
mentor, role model, teacher, preacher, and friend.”
During his years of Episcopal service, Bishop Anderson included
laypersons on his team as assistants, program coordinators, liaisons and
He appointed the first layperson, Dr. Charles E. Taylor and a female
layperson, Dr. Yvonne Walker Taylor (not related), respectively as president of
our flagship institution, Wilberforce University, which was founded in 1856 as
the first black-owned institution of higher education in the nation.
Similarly, Bishop Anderson’s definition of roles for laypeople both
embraced lay ministries and taught ordained clergy creative ways to engage the
laity to become involved in the ministry of the Church. Many of us, who worked closely with him,
concluded that he was living out a strong commitment to heighten lay
involvement in the life of the Church.
Bishop Anderson had been consistently and pointedly vocal about the
calling to preach vis-à-vis the calling
to pastor, in view of today’s extraordinary reliance on preaching.
The reliance on “Preaching the Word” during worship is widely considered
the major way to grow one’s congregation.
For the laity, however, one must keep in mind that not having a pastor to
turn to when one is grieving, floundering in personal relationships, feeling
isolated, or in need of individual spiritual support, leaves one unable to hear
or heed “the message of the preached Word” so eloquently preached on a Sunday
morning. Bishop Anderson constantly reminded us that, “The only audience in
worship is God!”
Given the current disconnect between “pulpit care” and “pew needs,” it is
no wonder that few parishioners even remember the type of pastoral care
practiced when a pastor called just to check one’s absence from service.
Bishop Anderson ministered to “everyone in the household” in their times
of grief, fellowshipped with the family, congratulated achievers on special
occasions, and generally shared intimately in the life of the congregation.
Bishop Anderson admonished, “You can’t lay hands on the sick if you don’t visit
Pastoral care that demonstrates concern for the laity also teaches the
tithing of time, talent, treasure, and “trash.” When a pastor takes the time to give members
opportunities to use their own gifts and God-given talents, then the giving of
money becomes a natural extension of their commitment to the church. It was
evident, in his concern for pastoral care, that Bishop Anderson had a pastor’s
As Chief Pastor, Vinton Anderson set a goal of visiting every local
congregation under his care. If a worship or celebration was not possible, he
simply visited the church with a request to be met by the pastor and some members
for prayer on the grounds.
It was heart-warming to hear an elderly member remark, “I’ve been a
member for fifty years and have never seen a bishop until now.” Some pastors
have reported a noticeable revival of mission and involvement by the membership
because “the bishop” came and showed that he cared.
As in other professions, person involved in ministry and in the life of
the church need mentors. Mentorship in
the church crosses all boundaries. For
instance a community developer, a meeting or event planner, an educator or an
accountant can all mentor and evangelize when working with people on church
projects. With the right guidance and advice they can learn how to transfer
their skills from secular settings into sacred service. Bishop Anderson urged lay people to be
Bishop Anderson gave people a chance to “mold” an office, not just “hold”
A number of laypersons found God’s direction based upon Bishop Anderson’s
mentoring as he challenged their thinking and action.
When a person joined the Anderson team he shared his vision and gave the
members of the team great latitude, while expecting excellence. The adage,
“Give someone a fish and he or she can be fed for the time being, but teach a
person to fish and he or she can eat for a lifetime.”
When someone failed to heed Bishop Anderson’s advice, he responded with
firm and loving admonition, permitting the person to rejoin the team and give
them a second chance. In that spirit of forbearance, most of us, laypersons,
saw an enactment of God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
When a parishioner, steward board member or cadre of officers followed
the process as outlined in the AME Book
of Discipline and expressed a desire to find a solution to a problem,
Bishop Anderson repeatedly took the time to counsel a pastor, presiding elder,
and the people. By doing so, he modeled a technique for resolving problems.
Such interventions went a long way toward restoring the confidence of the
laity in the integrity of the process, and actually stimulated our spiritual
growth. It also taught patience and gave
special meaning to Psalm 27:14 “Wait for
the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (NIV)
Bishop Anderson often became frustrated with sycophantic behavior among
the laity. He did not have sympathetic ear for laity’s feeling of helplessness
or lack of approval from a pastor, or for other excuses for not taking a stand
for what was right and just in the life of a congregation.
The Bishop reminded clergy and laity that the early Christians risked
their lives, that the forbearers of African Methodism faced great odds, and
that Jesus set a standard for doing what is right, promising never to leave us
alone if we followed him.
If one look at the worship programs of any District-level gathering where
Bishop Anderson presided, you would find laypersons among the liturgists.
We lay ministers often joked about the clergy’s quest for the most
coveted positions on a program where the bishop would be present, but it is
significant that some layperson were always included when Bishop Anderson
planned programs. Bishop Anderson seized the moments as teaching opportunities.
He was noted for appointing laypersons to finance committees beyond the
conference level, to planning task-forces, resource panels, and even as keynote
speakers. He postulated that including laypersons in such key positions
provided a necessary presence for both accountability and inclusiveness. Of
special note was his teaching that a layperson is not only permitted, but was
definitely capable of offering the “call to Christian Discipleship” following a
Lay Witness Night at an Annual Conference was one venue where Bishop
Anderson heartened and instructed lay leadership to employ the best traditions
of African Methodist worship. He capsulated the essence of AME worship in the
Chapter entitled, “Under Our Own Vine and Fig Tree: Sunday Morning Worship in the
African Methodist Episcopal Church.”
On Lay Witness Night the one who brought the message had to be a lay
minister. Sometimes we, who are lay ministers, demean our calling by
discounting a lay speaker, but some of us have experienced a teaching moment
when, after a Lay Witness program, Bishop Anderson promised that if a lay
speaker is too difficult to find, he would simply follow his usual procedure of
choosing a preacher and refocusing the evening.
Vinton Anderson discovered ways to be a friend to so many.
For those of us who are laypersons, it was a distinct and unique honor to
be able to count our bishop as a friend. Did he passionately debate matters
with us to the last breath? “Yes!” Did he express disappointment, convey his
settled opinion and leave you to your own devices? “Indeed!” Did he go along in
order to get along? Unequivocally, “No!”
We had been warned about being sycophants in the local church and at all
levels of the Church. He warned us that God did not require slavish conformity,
nor is God pleased when we do not exercise the courage of our convictions. Bishop Anderson encouraged us to practice
standing, even if it means standing alone. He did not promise any certain
outcome for our courage, but helped us to understand that standing is an act of
faith. And as a friend of the laity, he
stood with us when we stood with God.
I am not alone in cherishing the hope that among the ordained clergy,
many will model Bishop Anderson’s style, commitment to ministry, refusal to be
put on a pedestal, and love of the church, in general; and African Methodism in
One of his favorite prayers was to ask God never to let him embarrass
God’s ministry. Reflecting on that
sentiment, I add my own prayer that the spirit of humaneness coupled with
divine guidance that made Vinton R. Anderson “a bishop among bishops,” will
find its way into the life of others who are called to the ordained ministry in
our Church. That is part of the legacy
of African Methodism that Bishop Anderson has carried forward into our time.
As for the laity, if Bishop Anderson conveyed that same legacy into our
ranks in the church, we must look within our own areas of responsibility for
ways of reshaping and retooling lay ministry.
We might begin by seriously reviewing the proposal, L.I.F.E.
Thirty-nine years after the bishop promulgated L.I.F.E., the issues and
challenges it threw out to us, remain relevant.
We are called to understand the biblical imperatives, to know The Doctrine Discipline’s directives and
to accept the individual and corporate mandate to make possible the
impossible! Bishop Anderson emphasized
that point in an address at Allen University in 1987.
Permit me the liberty of modifying his statement in order to direct it to
those of us who are in lay ministry.
“Making possible the impossible” is the challenge and obligation I lay before
all who share this moment in history. Every worthwhile goal will seem
impossible, and you will hear, “It can’t be done!” or “It is not possible.” We
must grow in the direction of truth and goodness, motivated by an unrelenting
faith in the victory of right over wrong. We must be absolutely convinced that
the ultimate human experience is life, not defeat and death. And we must help
make it possible!
In the end, it will not be machines, computers, weapons and gadgets that
will be judged for acting improperly or failing to tackle the seemingly
impossible tasks, it will be God’s people, God’s creation, made in God’s image,
“a little lower than the angels” and we must never forget, “With God all things
Viewed from the perspective of a lay speaker/preacher/minister on the eve
of Bishop Vinton Anderson’s Celebration of Life Services, I am persuaded that
what this man accomplished in his active episcopacy can be a part of the AME
Church’s rich heritage and future.
I envision a Lay Retreat open to all laypersons, perhaps at Payne
Theological Seminary, where courses would be offered that give recognition and
resources for the skills enhancement that is so beneficial for empowering lay
persons for ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The bishops, clergy and lay leadership,
working together can make it happen.
We, the laity, have much to learn and to do. It is our task in these
momentous years of the 21st Century to return to our roots, to be
faithful to the Christ-event, and to claim the Wesley/Allen/Anderson legacy.
As Mordecai chided Esther, I believe that Vinton R. Anderson is
cautioning us that we stand in the gap for “such a time as this.”
MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN
TO MARK 100+ DAYS OF CAPTIVITY OF THE NIGERIAN SCHOOL GIRLS:
On April 15, 2014 almost three hundred schoolgirls were kidnapped from
the Nigerian Chibok community. After
more than 100 days, Boko Haram, their abductors, is still holding them
captive. This despicable terrorist
organization has unleashed a rampage of violence in the region and has
reportedly abducted additional girls. To
mark the one hundred days of captivity, The Women’s Missionary Society of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church (WMS), Dr. Shirley Cason Reed, International
President, has initiated a campaign to reinvigorate the waning interest of the
press, international heads of state, the global community, and the Nigerian
As a faith based member of the global community, and a Non-Governmental
Organization (NGO) affiliated with the United Nations, we feel something must
be done to call further attention to this atrocity. Therefore, we have taken steps to reignite
the concern and release efforts that were so prevalent in the early days of the
Primarily, a 30-day prayer initiative has been commissioned. The offering of prayers will be ongoing until
August 22, by which time we pray the young women will be released. Through this
effort, every hour, somewhere in the vast A. M. E. arena, someone will be
lifting up the plight of the abducted Nigerian school girls.
Next, a Statement of Concern has been sent to the Supervisors of Missions
of the A.M.E. Church, the WMS Episcopal District Presidents and the NGO
District Liaisons in all 20 Districts. We encourage the immediate release of
the Statement to the press and other media outlets in their respective
Additionally, a form letter to be personalized by individuals and/or
organizations has been drafted and distributed.
We are asking that the letter be addressed to respective government
officials and heads of state around the globe, and be mailed in mass immediately.
Finally, we have engaged other Non-Governmental Organizations, religious
denominations, including the historically black churches; other faith based
groups, and the national and international fraternal, social and civic
organizations to join all aspects of our effort.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, born in a quest for justice, has
a long history of championing worthy causes.
The Women’s Missionary Society, steeped in that tradition, believes God
has called us to follow God’s mandate, to set the captives free.
We have attached the Statement of Concern and draft letter to heads of
state for your information.
The Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Telephone: 202.371-8886
Carolyn Scavella, NGO Representative - Telephone: 917. 826-5278; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline Mitchell Robinson, NGO Representative- Telephone: 313.
671-6620; Email: email@example.com
7. STATEMENT OF
CONCERN – 100 DAYS -WOMEN’S MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST CHURCH
Abduction of the
On July 22, the global community marked 100 days since Boko Haram
abducted nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls. In that same period, Boko Haram has
embarked on a violent rampage to silence protesters and opposition. The Women’s Missionary Society of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church (WMS AME) joins the United Nations, Non-Governmental
Organizations and the greater global community to condemn Boko Haram for the
abductions. Together, we implore the
Nigerian government to urgently pursue the immediate return of all the girls to
their families, and implement security measures to protect the Nigerian citizens
from Boko Haram’s unmitigated violence.
The International WMS, considered the first faith-based African-American
women's organization to receive accreditation with the Economic and Social
Council of the United Nations, declares Boko Haram to be a cruel and violent
militant group that uses vicious and abusive tactics to violate the Nigerian
people. This barbaric group of bullies,
and others like them, are robbing the girl-child of their rights to life,
education, liberty and happiness. The sole focus of this horrendous and
venomous act of violence is to stifle and squash the dreams and aspirations of
the Nigerian girl. Clearly, the universal rights of the abducted Nigerian girls
and their families have been unacceptably infringed upon.
The WMS NGO prays that the Nigerian girls are returned to their families
immediately. However, since their release doesn't seem imminent, we have
launched a global, 30-day prayer vigil and letter writing campaign to world
leaders. The 800,000 member faith-based
WMS organization spans four continents in 32 countries, including Nigeria, and
we seek the cooperation with other faith-based organizations. The letter
writing campaign implores world leaders to take immediate action to secure the
return of the abducted girls.
The WMS NGO is taking these actions because we uphold all 10 Principles
of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, particularly the 9th
Principle, which states: “The child
shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation.
He/she shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.” Moreover, we
recognize the global community has failed the final point of the UN
Declaration, which simply states: “Whereas mankind owes to the child the best
it has to give.”
As mothers, grandmothers and aunts, the WMS NGO feels the deep pain and
anguish of the Nigerian mothers. We cry
with our sisters and we pray for our sisters. We unite and stand in solidarity
with Nigerian mothers in seeking the return of our daughters. We will not leave them alone to deal with
this horrendous and unmerited crime against the Chibok community.
The WMS NGO appeals to the Nigerian government to actively and urgently
recover one of the nation’s most precious and vulnerable assets, the Nigerian
girl-child, and to implement security and protection measures to thwart future
abductions. We ask the Nigerian
government to accept all appropriate offers of help from UN member states.
Nothing short of the safe return of all the abducted girls is acceptable; any
result short of that is unacceptable.
The WMS NGO works untiringly for the empowerment of women and girls
locally, nationally and globally, and works to eradicate human trafficking,
barriers to education, domestic violence, child marriages and other violations
to universal human rights as outlined by the United Nations. We also uphold the
UN Declaration of Human Rights for all peoples throughout the world.
The WMS NGO joins with the 20 female U.S. Senators who have appealed to
President Barack Obama to urge the UN to designate Boko Haram an International
Terrorist Organization. While it might not help in the short term of
facilitating the immediate return of the abducted girls, in the long-term this
action can begin to diminish, dismantle and even eradicate this brutal rebel
group. Boko Haram must not be allowed
free rein to terrorize Nigerian families or anyone else. They must be stopped
The WMS NGO will continue to do all we can to end this nightmare for the
abducted girls and their families, and to pursue actions that will prevent this
from happening again.
The Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
was designated a Non-Governmental Organization in 1985 and holds Special
Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
(ECOSOC) and Affiliation with the
Department of Public Information (DPI). The WMS NGO works through
advocacy and direct action to change the lives of women and girls through
global and local initiatives. We believe women must be empowered to utilize
their creative spirits, unique skills, gifts and graces to change their
community, their nations and our world.
The WMS membership is comprised of women from North America, South
America, the Caribbean, Africa and South Asia.
For more information, or to schedule interviews, contact (ADD YOUR NAME
8. MESSAGE FROM
THE REV. CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NAACP:
Critics of the NAACP have found an interesting way of welcoming me as the
new president of this most prestigious civil rights organization.
They ask the question "Is the NAACP still relevant?" I'm sure
they hope I will find the question worrisome. I do not. I find it wearisome.
During my address to the 105th Annual NAACP Convention on Monday, I spoke
about why I find it so wearisome. It's because the answer is so obvious:
"Are they serious?"
My incredible mother marched for the right to vote in the late fifties
and sixties. Her father fought for the right before her. Today, a little less
able-bodied, she must use her walker to go around the house and search for the
proper ID needed to vote because jurists gutted the Voting Rights Act.
And some wonder if the NAACP is still relevant.
My oldest son is the same age Trayvon Martin was, and my youngest is the
same age Emmett Till was. Our children ask us to explain the morally befuddling
verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. They ask how a young man on the streets
of New York can be forced to the ground and choked to death.
And some wonder if the NAACP is still relevant.
On Sunday, six hundred incredible young people participated in the NAACP
ACT-SO competition. They are brilliant children—budding orators, scientists,
artists, and entrepreneurs. Too many of them face unfathomable challenges while
trying to get a quality education, disserved and abandoned by the public
schools in their hometowns.
And some wonder if the NAACP is still relevant.
This is no ordinary time in our nation's history, and progress requires
extraordinary effort and activity. If you are a son or a daughter, a parent or
a grandparent, a mentor or a role model; if you are a student or a member of
the workforce, the NAACP and the issues we fight for are VERY relevant to you,
and we need your help. We need the help of your family and friends. We need a
multi-generational NAACP, a multiethnic NAACP, a million-member NAACP, working
together to build a better future for all.
Calvin, it won't always be easy. But if Julian Bond did it then, we can
do it now. If Daisy Bates did it then, we can do it now. If Rosa Parks did it
then, we can do it now. We will stand for our youth, for our elderly, for our
collective future. We will go all in for justice and equality.
This is an extraordinary time. An NAACP time. And I am beyond honored to
work with you.
9. TWO AME PASTORS
RECEIVE D.MIN AND AN AME PASTOR DELIVERED COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS:
Dallas, TX. - The African Methodist Episcopal church was well-represented
recently at a graduation ceremony for Perkins School of Theology located on the
campus of Southern Methodist University.
At the spring commencement two AME pastors received their Doctor of
Ministry Degree while another AME pastor gave the commencement address to the
capacity crowd at Highlands Park United Methodist Church in Dallas.
The Reverend Ella Mae McDonald, pastor of St. Luke AME Church in Garland,
Texas and the Rev. Salatheia Bryant-Honors, pastor of Brown Chapel in Houston,
both received their Doctor of Ministry degrees during the ceremony.
McDonald and Bryant-Honors both completed their degree work in the
Preaching and Worship track.
The Reverend Dr. McDonald’s project focused on her work as a black female
preaching in diverse cultural settings. The Reverend Dr. Bryant-Honors' project
focused on worship reform in an historic church context. Bryant-Honors’ project
was passed with honors. McDonald and Bryant-Honors also received their Master
of Divinity degrees from Perkins.
In addition, the Reverend Dr. Michael Waters, the founding pastor of Joy
AME in Dallas, gave the commencement address.
The commencement service also attracted numerous of other AME clergy and
lay who came to support McDonald and Bryant-Honors as they received their
diplomas. Members from each of their congregations were present for the
Perkins is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in
Dallas. In recent years the seminary has experienced an increase in the number
of enrolled AME students.
10. PRESIDING ELDER ELLA
MAE SAMUELS RETIRES AFTER A LONG LIST OF “FIRSTS” AND STELLAR MINISTRY:
Ella Mae Samuels made a decision to retire from the Itinerant Ministry
following an extended bout with back problems while serving as the Presiding
Elder of the Augusta-Athens District AMEC.
Presiding Elder Samuels’ service in the African Methodist Episcopal
Church has spanned over 30 years. She
left her position as administrative assistant to the Principal of Twin City
Primary School in Emanuel County in May, 1994, where she had served 20 years to
become a full-time pastor. Presiding
Elder Samuels has been a fulltime clergy all of her ministry and being in
fulltime ministry has been the most enjoyable and rewarding thing she has done.
She retired at the 100th Session of the Augusta Conference under the
leadership of Bishop Preston Warren Williams II. Presiding Elder Samuels stated, “I am and
shall be eternally grateful to Bishop Williams for giving me the opportunity to
preach the opening sermon for the Augusta Conference as we celebrated the
Augusta Conference holding its 100th session.
To God be the glory!”
She was the first female to be appointed to the position of presiding
elder in the Sixth Episcopal District. She
was appointed to be a presiding elder by the late Bishop Donald George Kenneth
Ming in 2000. She served the Augusta - Athens District in the Augusta
Conference of the Sixth Episcopal District for 14 years.
She was the first female to be appointed Marshall to the Bishops' Council
under the Bishops Council Presidential Leadership of Bishop Richard Franklin
Norris and held seniority on the Marshalls’ Staff until 2012, when she was
unable to serve due to serious back limitations.
The Rev. Ella Mae Samuels was the first female appointed to a fulltime
church in the Sixth Episcopal District.
Bishop Donald George Kenneth Ming appointed her to Wrens Chapel AME
Church in Wrens, Georgia in 1993.
She was also the first female to be appointed to the Augusta Conference
Board of Examiners in 1993 while already serving as a Resource Teacher and
Secretary. The appointment was also made
by the late Bishop Donald George Kenneth Ming.
The Rev. Ella Mae Samuels was the first female to be elected to serve as
Statistician of the Augusta Annual Conference and the first female to be
elected to serve as the Chief Secretary of the Augusta Annual Conference, and
the first female ordained an Itinerant Elder in the Augusta Conference. She was ordained by Bishop Frederick H.
Talbot in 1986.
Presiding Elder Samuels studied at Erskine Theological Seminary, East
Georgia College, and Brewton Parker College and graduated, from Swainsboro
Technical College with highest honors in receiving a business diploma.
She attended many seminars and workshops given by Career Track and
She served the Emanuel County School System as administrative assistant
for 23 years and the Treutlen County School System for 5 years.
She also served as a Volunteer Chaplain for St. Joseph Hospice for many
years and served on the Thomson - McDuffie Tourism Board.
She currently serves as Benevolent Officer for the Sixth District Council
of Presiding Elders, is a member on the McDuffie County Board of Education, and
is currently serving on the Thomson Manor Nursing Home Ethics Committee.
The Rev. Samuels served many years as a Notary Public and is a past
member of the Thomson - McDuffie Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of Leadership
The Rev. Samuels is a revivalist and evangelistic preacher, a teacher of
the Word of God, presenting workshops for churches and Presiding Elder
Districts on various subject matters, to include leadership, spiritual
enrichment and personal growth; has spoken for school assemblies as well as
prisons and nursing homes.
The Rev. Samuels had a weekly broadcast for several years that she had to
leave because of her illness and she is currently a weekly columnist for the
McDuffie Progress, a local Newspaper.
The Rev. Samuels is currently supplying as pastor, the New Zion Hill AME
Church in McDuffie County, Georgia.
She is a member of the Olive Leaf #59 Chapter of the Eastern Stars.
She mother of three grown children and has seven grandchildren.
CELEBRATES ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY:
Family Ministry AME (F.L.A.M.E.) Church, located at 1801 Dual Highway in
Hagerstown, Maryland celebrated its one year anniversary on 20 July 2014.
The pastors, the Rev. Dr. J. C. Chandler, Jr., and the Rev Dr. Sakima
Romero-Chandler, officers and members invited the community to be a part of the
worship service and celebration.
During the 63rd Annual Conference by the Second Episcopal District’s
Presiding Prelate, Bishop William P. DeVeaux Sr., it was voted and approved
that Family Life Ministry AME Church is to be planted in Hagerstown, MD., as a
new work pastored by the Reverend Dr. J.C. Chandler, Jr., and co-pastored by
the Reverend Dr. Sakima Romero-Chandler.
During the 64th Session, Washington Annual Conference, the Rev
Dr. J. C. Chandler, Jr. received his pastoral appointment to F.L.A.M.E.
The church has been featured in the local newspaper for their
groundbreaking community work within the Hagerstown community for providing a
second (afternoon) worship service and ministry to the elderly at the Broadmore
Assisted Living facility. Each resident who attends the service is given the
opportunity to share how their spirit has been uplifted and the persons
attending the service have expressed their joy of having a structured worship
service each week.
F.L.A.M.E. is a member of the Hagerstown Area Religious Council
(H.A.R.C.), which is a coalition of faith communities in the Hagerstown area of
Washington County Maryland.
The Rev. Dr. Louis Charles Harvey, the Presiding Elder has given
spiritual guidance to help F.L.A.M.E. embark on outreach ministries to the
communities and to share with other church bodies an in-depth awareness of the
AME Church's, mission, vision and history and how, collectively all of
denominations can work together to build a better community and help those in
need, and support each other.
The church presented the first annual Debra C. Simmons Scholarship which
was awarded to Ms. Nyquan Rooks of Washington DC to assist her to continue her
studies at Howard University.
The scholarship is awarded to students who maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. and who
have lost a parent to cancer.
The upcoming events include: in August, F.L.A.M.E. will be sponsoring a
back-to-school supply handout. In October, the church will be opening a women’s
closet for those women in need of clothing and accessories who are
transitioning back into the workforce who do not have the professional attire
to get started.
In November, F.L.A.M.E. will host its second annual “Giving Thanks”
12. CONSUMERS HAVE
SAVED A TOTAL OF $9 BILLION ON PREMIUMS:
Health care law will return to families an average refund of $80 each
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today
that consumers have saved a total of $9 billion on their health insurance
premiums since 2011 because of the Affordable Care Act.
Created through the law, the 80/20 rule, also known as the Medical Loss
Ratio (MLR) rule, requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium
dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities. If insurers spend an excessive amount on
profits and red tape, they owe a refund back to consumers.
“We are pleased that the Affordable Care Act continues to provide
Americans better value for their premium dollars,” said Secretary Burwell. “We are continuing our work on building a
sustainable long-term system, and provisions such as the 80/20 rule are
providing Americans with immediate savings and helping to bring transparency
and accountability to the insurance market over the long-term.”
An HHS report released today shows that last year alone, consumers
nationwide saved $3.8 billion up front on their premiums as insurance companies
operated more efficiently. Additionally,
consumers nationwide will save $330 million in refunds, with 6.8 million
consumers due to receive an average refund benefit of $80 per family. This
standard and other Affordable Care Act standards contributed to consumers
saving approximately $4.1 billion on premiums in 2013, for a total of $9
billion in savings since the MLR program’s inception.
The report shows that since the rule took effect, more insurers year over
year are meeting the 80/20 standard by spending more of the premium dollars
they collect on patient care and quality, and not red tape and bonuses.
If an insurer did not spend enough premium dollars on patient care and
quality improvement, they must pay refunds to consumers in one of the following
• A refund check in the mail;
• A lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that was used to pay the
• a reduction in their future premiums; or
• if the consumer bought insurance through their employer, their employer
must provide one of the above options, or apply the refund in another manner
that benefits its employees, such as more generous benefits.
The 80/20 rule, along with other standards such as the required review of
proposed premium increases, is one of many reforms created under the health law
helping to slow premium growth and moderate premium rates. Combined with the savings consumers are
receiving from tax credits on the Marketplace and the new market reforms,
including the prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions and charging
women more for insurance than men, the 80/20 rule helps ensure every American
has access to quality, affordable health insurance.
To access the report released today, visit:
For more information on MLR, visit:
13. MUSIC ICON
QUINCY JONES TO RECEIVE 99TH NAACP SPINGARN MEDAL:
Medal will be presented to Jones on July 23rd at 105th NAACP National
Convention in Las Vegas, NV
(New York City, NY) – Media impresario and humanitarian, Quincy Jones has
been selected as the 99th recipient of the Spingarn Medal. Jones will receive the distinguished medal on
July 23rd at 105th NAACP National Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Instituted in 1914 by then-NAACP Chairman Joel E. Spingarn, The Spingarn
Medal is the NAACP’s highest honor. The
medal is awarded for outstanding and noble achievement by an American of
African descent. To date, 98 Spingarn Medals have been awarded, recognizing
achievements in a range of fields. Winners of the coveted medal include George
Washington Carver, Mary McLeod Bethune, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson Lena
Horne, Bill Cosby, and most recently, Harry Belafonte and Jessye Norman.
Quincy Jones commented, “I am enormously honored and humbled to receive
the NAACP’s highest recognition, ‘The Spingarn Medal,’ and to join the
distinguished list of its past recipients.”
Discussing those who inspired him, Jones continued, “I graciously share
this award with all of those who put me on their shoulders to help me achieve
my dreams, men and women such as Clark Terry, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton,
Benny Carter, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan and
Ella Fitzgerald, among many others. I hope that whatever successes I have
achieved in life will serve as inspiration for future generations to reach for
their dreams, as those greats inspired me when I was coming up.”
Quincy Jones' career has encompassed the roles of composer, record
producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV
producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur
and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop,
soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling
fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live
performance, movies and television.
Mr. Jones is also a respected humanitarian. In 1985, he pioneered the
model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness for a cause with “We Are
the World.” The song remains the
best-selling single of all-time, and raised more than $63 Million for Ethiopian
famine relief. More importantly, it
shined a spotlight on the Ethiopian drought, compelling the U.S. Government to
respond with over $800 million in aid. In 2007, Jones and the Harvard School of
Public Health joined forces to advance the health and well-being of children
worldwide through Project Q. Project Q
challenges leaders and citizens of the world to provide essential resources to
enable young people to achieve their full potential.
“Quincy Jones is an icon of the entertainment industry who has shaped the
lives of millions through music, film, and more,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn
M. Brock. “But what makes Mr. Jones so deserving of this award is how he uses
his celebrity and influence to advance critical humanitarian issues across the
globe. We are honored to count him among
our prestigious Spingarn medalists.”
WEBSITE CALLS FOR OUSTER OF PAINE COLLEGE’S PRESIDENT:
A new website called The Paine Project has made its debut online. The
site, which does not disclose who is behind the online effort, says it is
dedicated to “protecting the integrity and prosperity of Paine College” in
Augusta, Georgia. The website says that it is supported by former and current
staff, faculty, and students.
In June the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools placed Paine College on accreditation probation. The
college has 12 months to address the commission’s concerns or it could lose its
accreditation. Colleges that lose their accreditation are no longer eligible to
participate in federal financial assistance programs.
The Paine Project states that it believes the well-being of the college
“can only be accomplished by the ouster of George C. Bradley and his
administration from the leadership of Paine College.” The site says that
President Bradley “has brought unprecedented mismanagement to the college’s
financial and fiscal affairs, and intimidation and threats to faculty, staff,
The Paine Project also lays blame on the college’s board of trustees by
stating that “the Board of Trustees of Paine College, under the leadership of
the last two Board Chairmen, Dr. Eddie Cheeks and Dr. Silas Norman, have been
derelict in their appointed duties. We intend to hold both accountable for
allowing the Bradley administration to destroy what was once a good and viable
college - Our college, Paine College.
15. THE TRUTH IS
By: Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.
Based on Biblical Text: Philippians 4:11: "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever
state I am, therewith to be content."
Webster’s Standard Dictionary defines "being content" as a state
of satisfaction. However, contentment is not something that the world can give
us or is it something that man can help us receive. The good news is that
contentment is something that Christ has given us.
In this world of greed and selfishness very few people actually use the
word “content” to describe themselves. People seem to be on a constant search
for peace, always looking for contentment. People are looking for peace and
contentment in all kinds of places.
People make a living capitalizing on our need for peace. Advertizing
professionals constantly prey on our need to feel content, encouraging us to
purchase this or that product. We are bombarded with advertisements trying to
tell us that to be content we need this experience or that relationship. We are
constantly reminded that our happiness is right around the corner.
Our text gives a look at what Paul said about contentment. One could make
an argument that Paul, in many of the situations he faced, might be the last
person we would expect to be content.
Paul wrote the letter of Philippians from a Roman prison. As a matter of
fact, the Bible tells us that ever since Paul has become a believer and a
missionary life for him has been rough. Since Brother Paul has picked up the
gospel plow, deciding to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus he has been
thrown into prison and he has been mistreated. Paul has been "beat up and
beat down." One could certainly ask, “How can Paul be content?”
But Paul tells the church in Philippi that he has learned to be content
regardless of the circumstances. Paul says, “Actually, I don't have a sense of
needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever
my circumstances.” Paul wanted the people to understand that he was just as
happy with "a little bit" as he is with a "whole lot." He
learned to be happy full or hungry. In the text, Paul says regardless of what
he has or does not have he can make it out, over or through as long as he is in
the One who makes him who he is.
It is critical that we understand that Paul is grateful. Paul is not
saying that he does not appreciate the gifts folks gave him. In fact, Paul says
the concern the gift demonstrated brought him great joy.
Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In
other words, whatever comes up, I can make it, whatever comes my way I can
overcome it working in God’s strength. It may be too heavy for me; it may be
too overwhelming for me. It may be too big to move on my own but, I can deal
with it as long as I am in God’s strength.
Paul is also saying to us today that he does not have to worry about
being self-sufficient when he is God-sufficient. Paul says I can make it as
long as I look to be more “God-sufficient than self-sufficient.” In other
words, "When I am left on my own, things don’t always look too good. Left
to my own resources, things could push me to the point that I might be ready to
A glance at Paul’s epistles reveals important clues as to why he is able
to express this contentment.
The first thing we notice is that Paul’s contentment does not come from
"doing, it comes from knowing." And like Paul, we can find
contentment in knowing "whose we are."
The trouble with a lot of folks today is that they seek to find
satisfaction in "doing." For instance, many seek to find their
identity as a person in their jobs. If the job is going well then they are
The problem is that so many times even when folks get what they think
will make them happy they find that they are still not happy. They work to get
what they think will make them happy and when they get it, they soon find that
they are not as happy as they think they should be or their happiness is
Paul’s contentment was not related to his circumstances. He did not depend on what was going on around
him. Paul’s contentment was not tied up in who he was.
Paul was content knowing "whose he was!" Paul learned to be just as content in
whatever circumstances. Paul was concerned only that Jesus was with him and
Jesus was in him. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who
I submit that the Philippians knew that Paul was serious because they
could remember a time when Paul and Silas were thrown into prison. The Bible
says Paul and Silas started around midnight praying and singing hymns to God.
Paul was not singing "woe is me" kind of songs. Paul sang songs of hope.
Paul sang that help was on the way.
The songs Paul sang were songs that said good times were just around the
corner. Paul sang songs that sorrow might be for a night, but joy comes in the
Paul’s song came from a joy that God gave him. Paul’s contentment came
because he had a relationship with Jesus and a peace with God. Paul drew his
strength from the Lord. And because Paul drew his strength from God, he had an,
“I can do everything through Him” kind of attitude.
Paul’s joy came from the Lord and the joy Paul had was a gift from God.
Paul tells the church in Philippians 4:4 to rejoice in the Lord always. Paul
did not enjoy being in prison, but he knew God was faithful. Paul did not enjoy
being locked up, but he knew about the love of God. Paul was not satisfied in
the cold, damp prison but Paul was content because he knew about God’s power.
We are encouraged to be content whatever our circumstances. Be just as
content with a little bit as we are with a whole lot. Be just as content when
we are hungry as we are when we are full.
Be as content when our hands are empty as we are when our hands are full.
Be content and rejoice in the Lord always.
We can rejoice and be content in who Jesus is and what He has already
done for us. We can rejoice and be content for what Jesus has already brought
us through, cured us of and delivered us from. In Jesus we have all the power
and all the strength we need. He is our refuge and very present help in times
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever
state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know
how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and
to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me.”
*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of Morris Brown
AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
16. iCHURCH SCHOOL LESSON
BRIEF FOR SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2014 – “SEEK THE GOOD OF OTHERS” - I CORINTHIANS
Bill Dickens, Allen AME Church, Tacoma, Washington
Rosetta Stone, Inc
a U.S. software company that develops Rosetta Stone, a computer-assisted
language-learning program that teaches more than 30 languages.
We live in a global economy and this requires workers, students,
entrepreneurs, government officials, missionaries and currency traders to be
adept at completing transactions that require familiarity with languages and
customs different from your home upbringing.
In the 20th century, especially after World War II, it was understood
that English was the lingua franca in facilitating global commerce and
In the 21st
Century, with the rising global importance of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia,
China & India); this no longer holds true.
Rosetta Stone software helps this process by making familiarity with
foreign language easier, smoother and more practical than sitting in a class
for 6 months.
The excitement of knowing
a foreign language can be intellectually contagious.
Grasping a foreign language expands
opportunities and increases the prospects of getting to know others from a
The Adult AME Church School lesson for July 27, 2014 examines
the role of foreign language in the early church at Corinth.
In I Corinthians, Chapter 14 Paul addresses a
problem that has gotten out of control.
The problem is the exercise of the "spiritual gift," commonly
referred to as “speaking in unknown tongues.”
Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, have its roots in early
The signature event of Acts, Chapter 2 tells the story of the
advent of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of God’s Spirit in Jerusalem when
many different worship attendees began speaking in "other" tongues and
each could hear the person speaking in their own language.
Paul’s writing is roughly 30 years after the landmark event in
The language issue in I Corinthians 14 was one of speaking in
“unknown” or unintelligible utterances in the local church and cautions them to
exercise that gift with the presence of the gift of interpretation.
Paul instructs the Corinthian Church by reminding his readers
that glossolalia (unknown tongues) benefits primarily the person involved in
their public conversation with God.
insists that the right order requires an interpreter to be present so that
unbelievers may know precisely what is being said in the public venue.
In contrast, Paul states that the gift of
prophesy is more beneficial than glossolalia because the beneficiaries consists
of a wider audience.
In short, the gift of tongues benefits the speaker but the gifts
of prophesy benefits believers and non-believers.
The Corinthian Church was engulfed in a
controversy about the right set of priorities. Should the primary focus be on
tongues or edifying the church with prophetic messages?
Paul opted for the latter.
The controversy about glossolalia is not just restricted to the
1st century Christian Church.
Protestant denominations today teach glossolalia as dogma.
The dogmatic position about speaking in
tongues is captured in salvation statements.
These teachings stress evidence of God’s salvation is seen thru the believer
“speaking in tongues.”
Paul rejects such
thinking and it would be wise for 21st Christians to do the same.
There is no Biblical support to the idea that
your salvation is legitimized by your ability to speak in "unknown"
The Article of Religion Number 15 (Of Speaking in the
Congregation in such a tongue as the People Understand) addresses worship in
the language of the people (as in the language of the geographical area instead
of speaking Latin all over the world) and of glossolalia directly.
Page 16 of The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist
Episcopal Church- 2012 reads: It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of
God, and the custom of the primitive Church, to have public prayer in the
Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understood by the
Article 15 is consistent with Paul’s message.
Glossolalia has its proper place but that
place should not in any way supersede prophesy.
If the goal is speaking to be understood, this requires the speaker to
communicate that information in a manner that everyone understands.
Seeking the good of others is our primary
Perhaps what we really need
is Rosetta Stone
software to help
believers and not just those interested in visiting famous European, Asian or
*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
17. GETTING TO ZERO:
The 2014 International HIV/AIDS Conference is occurring in
This week’s article is
- Remembrance of the 298 persons who died when Malaysia flight
17 was shot down.
- Remembrance of the six HIV researchers or journalists who
studied or covered HIV/AIDS who were on the plane headed for Melbourne.
- Remembrance of the millions, over 36 million persons, who have
died since 1981 from HIV/AIDS complications.
- The researchers, clinicians, activists and others who are
attending or following the 2014 International Conference.
- The healthcare personnel who are working in the trenches to
care for those who are ill and to get control of the West African Ebola virus
outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
- Persons in the USA, African countries and throughout the world
who lose opportunities and life (seemingly too soon) to impacts of preventable
diseases and poverty.
We mourn the deaths that happen in such a shocking way as
occurred with the flight shot down over Ukraine territory.
We mourn the deaths of those who daily fight against or live
with infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, Ebola virus, measles, tuberculosis,
malaria, diarrhea, etc.) and other non-communicable, but preventable disorders.
We regret the loss of talent and of the potential for
contributions to better health and well-being.
We pray for the presence of peace from understanding the
teaching, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matt 5:4
*The Rev. Dr. A. Oveta Fuller is a tenured professor in
Microbiology and Immunology and faculty in the African Studies Center at the
University of Michigan. An Itinerant Elder in the 4th Episcopal District, she
served as pastor of Bethel AME Church in Adrian, Michigan for seven years
before focusing fully on global health research in Zambia and the USA for
HIV/AIDS elimination. At Payne Theological Seminary she teaches a required
course, “What Effective Clergy Should Know about HIV/AIDS.”
18. MEDITATION BASED ON
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby
Being the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District requires me
to put in more than a little bit of “road time.”
The Beaufort District includes 33 churches in
six Counties south of my home in Charleston, SC, with the farthest point being
a nearly two hour drive from home.
wife and sons have dutifully offered to be my drivers or traveling companions
on some of the longer trips, but I’ve kindly turned them down for a couple of
The first is that driving long distances really doesn’t bother
me - “cruise control” is a wonderful bit of technology that makes long drives
easier to handle.
The second is that my
drive-time is also my “meditation time.”
The longer drives give me the opportunity to reflect on the obligations
and challenges that lay before me and to consider and give thanks for the
blessings that God has already given me.
Your days might not include long drives to distant places, but
it’s still good to make and take the time each day to reflect on what lies before
you and to count your blessings.
not always easy to do in a world that places consistent and urgent demands and
obligations before all of us.
for all of us to be consumed by life’s challenges and concerns and to spend our
days “caught up in keeping up.”
When we take the time, however, to reflect on our blessings and
consider what the God who created us has done for us, we’ll find new
perspectives and possibilities, realize new hopes, celebrate new peace of mind
and rejoice for the power of the God who makes all things possible if we only
Whether on the road or at home, take the time each day not just
to focus on what you want and need to do, but to reflect on and celebrate what
God has already done for you.
will be brighter, your burdens will be lighter and you’ll realize that you
don’t have to face what lies ahead on your own.
You can walk life’s journey assured that God is with you every step
along life’s way and say as one writer said, “Many things about Tomorrow I don’t Seem to Understand, but I Know Who
Holds Tomorrow and I know Who Holds My Hand
This Meditation is also available on the Beaufort District’s
Get Ready for Sunday, and have a great day in your house of
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby 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
19. CLERGY FAMILY
-- The 102nd
Birthday of Presiding Elder Dorothy Morris
The Reverend Dorothy Millicent Morris of Georgetown, Guyana,
first female Presiding Elder in our denomination observed her 102nd birthday on
Birthday greetings and/or gifts may be sent to:
The Rev. Andrew Grant, Presiding Elder/Pastor
St. Peter's A.M.E. Church
-- The 104th
Birthday of Mrs. Ella Belle Richardson Couch
Mrs. Ella Belle Richardson Couch, widow of the late Reverend W.
T. Couch of the Tennessee Annual Conference, Thirteenth Episcopal District,
will celebrate her 104th
birthday on August 2, 2014.
Mrs. Couch is currently the oldest member of St. Peter's African
Methodist Episcopal Church, Clarksville, Tennessee. She continues to play the
organ at the church located at 518 Franklin Street in Clarksville as she has
done for fifty plus years. Every Sunday morning finds her pulling herself up
the long banister staircase at St. Peter's AME Church to reach her appointed
destination at the organ.
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.
Birthday cards and birthday well wishes can be mailed to:
Clarksville, TN 37040-3357
Congratulatory email messages for Mrs. Ella B. Couch can be
emailed to her Goddaughter, Mrs. Mary Fall Scott @ firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Presiding Elder and
Mrs. Albert D. Tyson III announce the arrival of their Grandson, Albert D.
Presiding Elder Albert D. Tyson III and AME India Ambassador
Robin H. Tyson are privileged and take great delight in announcing the arrival
of their Grandson, Albert D. Tyson V (Quint). He made his entrance into this
world at 12:34 p.m., July 16, 2014. He weighed 7 lbs. 4-oz. His Parents are
Albert D. Tyson IV and Shenika. His Aunt is former Connectional YPD Officer,
Annjeanette M. Tyson.
Everybody is well. Praise the Lord!
Messages can be emailed to:
Presiding Elder Albert D. Tyson III: email@example.com
Mrs. Robin H. Tyson: firstname.lastname@example.org
20. EPISCOPAL FAMILY
The Passing of Debra Fugh Lee, the sister of Bishop Clement W.
Fugh, Presiding Prelate of the Fourteenth Episcopal District, African Methodist
We are saddened to share news of the passing of Debra Fugh Lee,
the youngest sister of Bishop Clement W. Fugh, presiding prelate of the
Fourteenth Episcopal District. Debra Lee passed this morning, 7/20/14 after a
bout with brain cancer.
9:00 - 11:00
New Tyler A. M. E. Church
Mrs. Lee is survived by her husband, Wallace Lee Sr., two
children: Camillia (Dalton) Blackwell and Wallace Lee II; and three
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to New
Tyler AME Church.
Condolences may be sent to the Lee Family in care of R. S. Lewis
and Sons Funeral Home at www.rslewisandsonsfuneralhome.com
Avenue, Memphis, TN 38126, 901.526-3264.
If anybody wants to send condolences to Bishop Fugh please use
the contact information below:
Contact information for Bishop and Mrs. Clement W. Fugh:
21. EPISCOPAL FAMILY
Services for Sharon Lorraine Crenchaw, sister of the late Bishop
Vinton Randolph Anderson
Sharon Lorraine Crenchaw, sister of the Late Bishop Vinton
Randolph Anderson passed on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 after a lengthy illness.
Celebration of Life arrangements are as follows:
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11 a.m.
Beulah Missionary Baptist Church
Gregory B Levett and Sons
Condolences may be sent to:
Mrs. Vivienne L. Anderson
Dexter and Jamila Crenchaw (son and daughter-in-love)
Or to the late Mrs. Sharon Lorraine Crenchaw’s daughter and son:
Chris Crenchaw and Josh Crenchaw ()
5561 Mayfair Crossing Drive
22. CLERGY FAMILY
AMEC Finance Department
Rejoicing with the Lord! We share the following Bereavement
"Earth has not sorrow that heaven cannot heal."
We share the transitioning news of our
brother in Christ Jesus! Mr. Larry R. Dixon, the Grounds Administrator of the
A.M.E. Church Finance Department, Washington, DC Office.
Mr. "D." knew and had a relationship with the Lord!
"To be absent from the body is to be
present with the Lord
We are sure he was getting himself together, because he had some
place to go, and he was praying when he got there and when he sees everyone he
knew, he will know that he is in Heaven!"
Services will be held
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The Viewing will be
at 10:00 a.m.
The Funeral will be
held at 11:00 a.m.
Miss Angie Butts, daughter
C/o A.M.E. Church Finance Department
Condolences may also be forwarded to the family via email:
Miss Angie Butts, daughter
C/o AME Church Finance Department
23. CLERGY FAMILY
We regret to inform you of the passing of Command Sergeant Major
Winton M. Hill, Jr., the father of the Reverend Winton M. Hill III, the
Presiding Elder of the Dover District in the Delaware Annual Conference; and
the father of Lillie S. Hill of Randallstown, Maryland and Marilyn Berry of
Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The following information has been provided.
Services will be held Friday, July 25, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
The Reverend Cureton L. Johnson, Pastor
The Reverend Floyd Wicker, Officiating
Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to
The Reverend Winton M. Hill III
24. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We are saddened to share news of the passing of Mrs. Isabelle
Williams, the mother of Dr. Bettie W. Hicks, and Mother-In-Law of the Rev. Dr.
George Hicks pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in St. Matthews, South Carolina.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 11:00 a.m.
The Rev. Joseph Cobin, Pastor
The Rev. Lorenza T. Baker, Presiding Elder, Orangeburg District
The Rev. Dr. James S. Cooper, Presiding Elder, Wateree District
The Rev. Dr. George & Bettie Hicks
25. CLERGY FAMILY
We are saddened to share news of the passing of Reginald Dwight
Wilson, the brother of the Rev. Isaac D. Wilson III, pastor of Mt. Olive AME
Church in Worton, Maryland and Sister Joan Walker-Hunter, First Lady of the Eastern
District- Baltimore Conference.
Wake: Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 noon
Mt. Olive AME Church
The Rev. Isaac D. Wilson III: email@example.com
Sister Joan Walker-Hunter: firstname.lastname@example.org
26. CLERGY FAMILY
We regret to inform you of the passing of the Reverend Jacovas
Mitchell, a Local Elder at St. Luke AME Church and a former pastor in the New
York Annual Conference. T
The following information has been provided.
Services will be held Tuesday, July 29, 2014.
Viewing: 5:00 p.m. - 6:55 p.m.
Reverend Marcellus A. Norris, Pastor and Eulogist
Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to
The family of the Rev. Jacovas Mitchell
C/o St. Luke A.M.E. Church
27. CLERGY FAMILY
BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/
Telephone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Telephone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
28. CONDOLENCES TO THE
BEREAVED FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend
T. Larry Kirkland; the Publisher, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour and the
Editor of The Christian Recorder, the Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III offer
our condolences and prayers to those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the
peace of Christ will be with you during this time of your bereavement.
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