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

-- October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
-- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
-- October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
-- Pastors Appreciation Month

-- Daylight Saving Time ends November 2, 2014
(Set clocks back one hour)


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

This is probably an editorial most people won’t want to read.  

I have had several instances in the last few weeks of lay members lamenting about the connectional budget. Their inquiries tell me that important information is not getting to them in ways to help them understand how the AME Church functions and of its responsibilities.  Bishops, presiding elders and pastors are responsible for the dissemination of pertinent denominational information and to insure parishioners understand the intricacies of how the Church functions on the connectional and local level.

It is unfortunate that pastors, in many instances have not been able to effectively articulate how the local church functions, which results in parishioners not understanding the financial obligations of the local church and not understanding the responsibilities and obligations of the connectional church.

When parishioners misunderstand or fail to comprehend an organization’s financial obligations, conflict and distrust prevail, which results in mistrust and, in the case of churches, a lack of cohesiveness and of lackluster support.

A lot of churches in many denominations struggle because parishioners mistrust the financial functioning of the church.

Ever wonder why a church can celebrate in “high praise” on Sundays, yet struggle financially from week to week, barely surviving?  Ever wonder why the tenor of worship changes when the offering is lifted? No matter how many times a preacher encourages the spiritual tenor to remain high, there is almost always a change of congregational demeanor when the offering is taken, and a noticeable passive-aggressive push-back if the annual conference budget is mentioned in an offering appeal. As a matter of fact, the push-back is so noticeable that it might not be in the category of “passive-aggressive,” but “aggressive” push-back.

Parishioners “buy into” the praise aspect because most preachers clearly articulate the spiritual dimension of the local church. Sermons, prayers, scripture lessons and choir selections all point to the spiritual, emotional and sacred aspects of the parishioners’ religious life.

The “coldest” parishioners like to celebrate spirit-filled worship, but on the other hand, even the “mothers” of the church and the most saintly members get turned-off when the subject of the budget, whether local church or connectional budget, is mentioned.


One of the reasons folks get turned off is because of the absence of articulated teaching. 

I wonder how many pastors have met with the stewards and trustees and heads of organizations and have taken The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church- 2012 and turned to Page 691 and explain to them item by item of the details of the Connectional Budget, i.e., the salaries, various departments of the church, to include evangelism, Global Witness, overseas development, episcopal district projects, interdenominational responsibilities, which are germane for any denomination, even “un-connected” churches. Added to the budgeted items are unexpected financial encumbrances that no one saw coming.

Who could predict Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, the Ebola crisis, Morris Brown College, Wilberforce University, various catastrophes on the continent of Africa and in the Caribbean and other unexpected disasters? 

Should we, as a denomination or as local churches ignore the plight of our brothers and sisters who are affected by disasters?  Can we as a denomination and as local churches throw up our hands and say, “We cannot afford to help” or do we “dig deep,” trust Christ and lend our hands “to the plough” and do what responsible Christians do – help the less fortunate? 

Do we, as a connectional church and as local congregations remain faithful to the world-wide Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church or do we abdicate our financial responsibilities or grudgingly support the mission of our Zion?

If we are responsible Christians, even when it’s hard, we will do the right thing and remain committed to our spiritual and financial responsibilities.

Leaders lead the way and bishops, presiding elders and pastors have to articulate and re-articulate both the spiritual and financial responsibilities of the church.

Pastors are on the front-lines

Sad to say, I have witnessed pastors who half-heartedly responded to the connectional budget and connectional appeals.  If a pastor gives a cavalier appeal for the connectional budget or a connectional appeal, the parishioners will take a cavalier attitude also.  

One of the questions in an article in this issue of The Christian Recorder (See # 9), entitled, “Seven Questions for the Church to Ask that Hold Pastors Accountable” by Dr. Terry Jackson asks, “What Financial Management skills do you Possess and Can You Read Financial Statements?”

Reading budget items is not easy, but every pastor should be able to intelligently articulate, to the leaders of the local church and to the parishioners in the local church, the items in the Connectional Budget beginning on Page 691 in The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church- 2012.  Effective pastors know the importance of “getting a handle” on the administrative principles of management of the local church and how it fits into the annual conference, episcopal district and connectional budgets.

Denominations, connectional and non-connectional, across the board have awesome financial responsibilities to fund denominational and local church programs. The African Methodist Episcopal Church also has an awesome responsibility to fund its programs; and, for the most part, compared to other connectional denominations, we are “making bricks without straw.” 

Just one example

Just look at the financial allocations the AME Church makes to our academic institutions (Page 697); a total of over $3 million a year – a lot of money when we think of a household budget, but not nearly enough to meet the needs of our academic institutions; just ask any of the college presidents.

We do not give any of our academic institutions anything close to $1 million a year; not to one of them!  And we complain about the conditions our schools.

An aside

I notice that we give our flagship institution, Wilberforce University the same allocation we give some of our smaller academic institutions.

The bottomline

Local churches, with the pastors in the lead, must take a more positive approach by learning to articulate the budget allocations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Pastors need to spend more time functioning in the administrative realm of the ministry.

We are not suggesting that pastors take time and emphasis away from the spiritual, but they must be cognizant of the importance of the administrative side of the ministry – often referred to as “stewardship,” defined as “an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.”

Another definition of stewardship embodies using our gifts serve one another.

Here is the real deal

So much depends upon how the message is delivered. I remember a speech General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who was a colonel at the time, gave to the commanders and leaders in the 172nd Infantry Brigade in Alaska.  It was twenty degrees below zero at Fort Richardson where we were and it was projected to be fifty below zero where we were going, up towards the Arctic Circle. He said, “Leaders lead from up-front and when you speak to your soldiers speak positively. Don’t bad mouth the weather, speak with authority and encourage those under your command to stick together as a unit. We are going up there and ‘take care of business’ (defeat the war game enemy forces) and come back to Fort Richardson.” 

He was encouraging the leaders to give a positive word and not dwell on the negatives, of which there were many – the Yukon stove had to be turned off at night,  no hot showers, no stores, nothing but snow and more snow, and we had to eat C-Rations – I am not sure which is worse, C-Rations or MREs.

The soldiers left the meeting ready to go to war and the fifty below zero was a “piece of cake.”

On another occasion, I remember a camp commander in Desert Storm who, after the ground war was over, said to the assembled soldiers, “We have to tear down this location and move again. I don’t know why the head-shed has us moving so much. I wish we could stay here.”  Well, as you would imagine the soldiers were disgruntled and complained during the whole move. And in reality, the move was to a better, more secured location, but the camp commander had “poisoned” the move by his negativity. He didn’t get promoted.

The moral of the two events is meant to illustrate the importance for leaders to be positive. Outstanding pastors understand the importance of positive reinforcement.

We need more positivity when we articulate and discuss the local church budget and the connectional budget. Pastors need to keep parishioners encouraged, not discouraged.  



*Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry


My email is two-fold: One, to request clarity on one issue and then secondly to request a consideration.

I am writing this article to seek clarity. The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church- 2012 clearly states:

• Reference, Page 205 ff, Section II, “The Annual Conference,” Clause A, Paragraph 8: “No special mid-year or extra session of an annual conference shall be called or held except for the purpose of ...”

-- Does this imply that the mid-year session/convocation is optional and can only be called if there are major reasons or a need to discuss certain issues?

Bishop Guidry’s Response to Question 1:

Note - The Wording is, "… mid-year or extra session of an annual conference...."

The reading is clear.  If your question concerns the mid-year as held in Episcopal Districts today: let me try to clarify: As presented, the mid-year meetings are not annual conferences.

1) They do not include a roll call, no "lay delegates," no local church reports. 

2) They are for the most part the Episcopal District, not an “annual conference"; coming together for Christian Education purposes, preaching, and teaching to develop the growth of members of the District. Most mid-year meetings are held during one of the quarterly General Budget reporting periods, so that report is often made at that meeting. 

-- I Ask

• Reference, Section II Annual Conference Clause B: “Annual Conference Session,” Paragraph 2 – “…the time for holding the next conference shall be set by the presiding bishop, which shall be done at each current conference.”

-- Would this imply the bishop can request that a particular church within the conference host the next sitting of the conference? What happens if the local church at its last official board meeting agreed to decline to host the annual conference, which was the desire of their then serving pastor who had been advised by the official board that they felt their church was unready to host an annual conference? Can the annual conference override the decision of the local church that feels that it is unable to host the annual conference? Can the church through the lay delegates attending the annual conference refuse to accept the conference?

Bishop Guidry’s Response to Question 2:

The paragraph refers only to the “date” (time) of the next annual conference; the bishop sets the calendar for the time of the conference. The “place” is established by invitation from the congregation that wishes to host the upcoming annual conference.  The annual conference then votes whether or not to accept the invitation.  I have no knowledge of any congregation being "forced to host" an Annual Conference.

-- I Ask

• Reference, Page 91, Section VI, Clause C, and Paragraph 2 of The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church: The Itinerant Ministry: “The pastor shall be serious. Avoid lightness, jesting and foolish talking. Converse sparingly and conduct yourself prudently with women (I Timothy 5:2). Be ashamed of nothing but sin. Let your motto be ‘Holiness unto the Lord,’”

--Does this imply the scripture referred to is to be considered that of moral correction to us and to all, not excluding our spiritual leaders? What happens if a pastor is still married, but not living with the wife; decides to have an affair with a member of the congregation he is serving without even hiding it? The pastor acknowledges his relationship and says the congregation will have to live with that fact? Does such actions not relate to the AMEC official Policy Statement on Sexual Misconduct as defined in Section XIV on Page 269 ff?

Please address issues relating to annual conference lay delegates and their rights and instances where blatant behaviour relating to the social and moral decay in our society; and in particular, the church.

Bishop Guidry’s Response to Question 3:

Yes, I Timothy 5:2 relates to “All” Christians as relates to our behavior toward others.

As to Part 2 of your "question," I suggest if, what you describe is a "real" situation, you should seek advice from your presiding elder/or bishop, who I'm sure will follow the directions of Section XIV, page 269 ff

Let me note that this column is intended to answer general inquiries for clarification of points of The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Specific complaints/charges should be directed to the judicial systems in our Church which are set for that purpose.

Name Withheld


*Dr. Katurah York Cooper

August 17, 2014 (MONROVIA, LIBERIA) -

What an irony that a FaceBook campaign with the hashtag, #iamaliberiannotavirus, has now gone viral! Let me take you on my journey prior to all of the recent coverage.

The Ebola epidemic crept upon my horizon early in March when an infected person came across the border from Guinea and infected Liberians living in a border town.  This was downplayed by the majority of Liberians; however, this incident did capture my attention because of my background in Microbiology; having interned at the Biomedical Institute of Liberia in the 1970s, I knew that Ebola was a dreaded disease. It had not been seen in West Africa, but I had no doubt that Ebola would be easily contained and eradicated.

Four months later, my husband and I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, to participate in the Quadrennial Conference of the Women in Ministry, leaving behind my two teenage daughters and the stark reality that Ebola was gradually gaining momentum in the city of Monrovia where we live. 

On August 16th, I caught my return flight to Monrovia amid the concerns of many who questioned my wisdom to return to Liberia. By that time, the world had begun to get a hint of the devastation that Ebola was wrecking in West Africa. The appeals for international assistance fell on deaf ears and West Africans began to ask themselves: “Are we going to be left to die while the world simply turns its face?”

Hope was a scarce commodity. Fear was in ample supply. Confusion could be found everywhere.

Entire families became infected, children became orphans, businesses began to lay off workers, non-essential staff was furloughed, not a single child/adult was sitting in a classroom and the country was under curfew and a State of Emergency.

I boarded a half-empty Delta Airlines airplane and flew back into that “storm.” The spirit of the Lord began to speak to me Sunday after Sunday as I delivered what I now call “Crisis Sermons.”

I call myself an avid “Face-Booker!” Everyday I would sign in to FaceBook and I become inundated with an avalanche of angry posts, pictures of the diseased and dying, the horrors of Ebola and the spewing out of negative commentaries.

Liberians were sliding down the treacherous slope of defeat and hopelessness. I began posting positive messages on Facebook. I searched for stories of Ebola survivors and posted them. I looked for anything that would stimulate hope and restoration.

We began an awareness intervention to over 300 families and I prayed that something really big and positive would happen.

Instead a Liberian man traveled to Texas carrying within the Ebola virus becoming the first person to carry the virus into the United States.

Ironically, this event shook the world out of her complacency and West Africa began to see significant help coming her way.

But then, West Africans living in and outside of Africa became afflicted with another terrible condition: Stigmatization.

To be a Liberian became synonymous to being an Ebola virus carrier. The media became flooded with stories of Liberians in America shunned by longtime friends, made to go on compulsory leave from their jobs and their children mocked and isolated at school.

Frustrated with this new turn of affairs, I coined the slogan: “I am a Liberian not a virus.”

Three other Liberian women supported this and we launched the social media campaign.

Now, as they say, the rest is history!

Go to these links to view the full story behind this campaign.

*Dr. Katurah York Cooper is the Pastor/Founder of The Empowerment Temple AME Church in the Central Liberia Annual Conference of the 14th Episcopal District. She is also the Executive Director of HOPE Inc. and a candidate for Bishop in 2016. Email: katu.cooper2012@gmail.com


By Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges

Oct. 21, 2014 | DALLAS (UMNS)

“We come in expecting a celebration, a day of worship, but it always turns into a funeral,” said the Rev. Emmanuel Shanka Morris, pastor of Spencer Memorial United Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C.

Morris is Liberian and so are nearly nine out of 10 members of his church; another 10 percent are from Sierra Leone. Since the Ebola outbreak began, every Sunday one or more members of the congregation reports the death of another family member in the two West African countries hit hardest by the deadly virus.

The church is observing five days of praying and fasting in the month of October. Using 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 and Ezra 8:23 as guiding scriptures, each Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. people of the congregation intercede for the people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Morris was born in Greenville, Sinoe County, Liberia. His associate pastor, the Rev. Colston Wuor-Gabie Morris is also from Liberia.

Across the United States, United Methodist churches with native Liberians and Sierra Leoneans are telling similar stories of grief and suffering, while trying to rally support for medical relief.

Albert B. Travell, a member of First United Methodist Church in Arlington, Texas, had seven family members die from Ebola in July.

“The daughters of my brother were preparing a body (another sister) for a funeral and became ill,” Travell said. The family thought she died from malaria.

“We have a tradition in Liberia when someone passes away, family members stick around so many days before burial and after burial they cook and everyone eats from the same bowl,” he said. His nieces started getting sick and dying one after another.

Now the remaining family is having trouble getting food.

“I am trying to send them some money so they can buy food. I am praying by the grace of God, everything will be all right soon,” Travell said.

Helping their families
Many Liberians living in the U.S. are stepping up contributions to family members and friends because so many people are unable to work and are not getting paid, said the Rev. Richard L. Stryker, executive director of ethnic ministries for the North Alabama Conference. He is also a native of Liberia.

“My wife has lost an aunt, although not to Ebola, we wonder what role the strain on the already degraded health system played in her death from sickness,” Stryker said. His wife also lost a high school classmate to Ebola. Four out of eight people in her classmate’s family also died after waiting days for an ambulance to arrive to take them to the hospital.

“Sanitation, communication, lack of facilities remain major problems for the prevention of this disease,” he said. “I believe people from the West that are going to help assume a certain level of basic care that is nonexistent.”

Heart of Africa

Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas has long supported a hospital in Liberia founded by two of its members, Betty and Peter Weato. Now, because of Ebola, the church is raising funds for medical supplies for Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The church’s Heart of Africa Fellowship includes members from 10 African countries, including Liberia and Sierra Leone. On Oct. 19, the Rev. Stan Copeland, Lovers Lane’s senior pastor, led the group in prayer about Ebola and announced a churchwide prayer service on Ebola for Sunday Oct. 26.

“None of our people have been infected, but they’ve been upended,” Copeland, who has traveled twice to Liberia, said in an interview.

Bishop John K. Yambasu, episcopal leader of Sierra Leone, said he and Bishop John G. Innis of Liberia co-signed a letter requesting that all medical and other relief items go through UMCOR.

"This is still the case," Yambasu said. However, he noted that some partners in the denomination had a schedule of shipments of non-medical supplies such as school supplies and equipment even before Ebola.

"These are sent directly to us. For instance, one of our partner churches has shipped an ambulance to Sierra Leone which cannot be channeled through UMCOR," he said, adding that UMCOR staff is aware of that shipment.

Since the end of July, all non-Ebola related conference staff has been asked to stay home in order to avoid the risk of contracting Ebola while using public transportation. "Only the Ebola response team and the administrative staff come to work every day," Yambasu added.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief recommends that people who want to help send money through the International Disaster Response Advance, said Emily Miller, associate general secretary for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Shipping goods presents several problems, Miller said. Ports are clogged, and even if goods are unloaded, United Methodist conference staff must take time to pay customs and get the goods delivered.

Ebola spawning prejudice

Dallas became a focus of news coverage when Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia was admitted to the city’s Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and diagnosed with Ebola — the first such diagnosis in the United States. His subsequent death, the infection of two nurses who cared for him, and the quarantining of people who had contact with him all raised anxiety in the city, Copeland said.

Copeland noted that African members of Lovers Lane United Methodist have faced extra prejudice during the Ebola scare, an assertion confirmed by Eric Pratt, lay leader of the Heart of Africa Fellowship and a native of Sierra Leone.

“Even your neighbors that you used to play and laugh with, they start to shun you,” said Pratt, who has lived in the Dallas area for 29 years and owns a limousine service.

Pratt said Copeland and Lovers Lane have shown strong support for Africans. That was echoed by Melvin Morgan, a Heart of Africa Fellowship member who recently lost his sister, Victoria Jackson, and two nieces to Ebola in the family’s native Liberia.

“It is a blessing for me and my family to be part of this congregation,” he said. “In times of needs and difficulties, they have been there.”

Morgan hopes the United States and other wealthy countries will pour resources into West Africa, to help arrest Ebola. He acknowledged feeling a range of emotions on learning loved ones in Liberia had died of the disease.

“As a human, I weep, because Jesus himself wept,” Morgan said. “But as a Christian, I also put on my faith, because the Bible says with God all things are possible.”

*Gilbert is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tennessee. Hodges, a United Methodist News Service writer, lives in Dallas. Contact (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org. 

**Used with Permission of the United Methodist News Service


The media reports that Denver is facing a string of police brutality cases.  A federal jury in Denver has awarded a historic $4.6 million in damages to the family of a homeless preacher killed while he was in the booking area of the Denver jail.

Marvin Booker died after he was grabbed and then piled on by a team of officers who handcuffed him, put him in a chokehold and tasered him.

The coroner ruled his death a homicide, but prosecutors declined to charge the deputies involved, and Denver Sheriff Department officials never disciplined them, saying Booker could have harmed someone and that force was needed to restrain him. The case highlights a history of alleged misconduct by the police department, and has added momentum to calls for reform both locally and nationwide in the aftermath of calls for justice in the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by an officer in Ferguson.

This news account taken from the Open Media Foundation/Denver Open Media: 

AMY GOODMAN: We’re on the road in Denver, Colorado, broadcasting from the studios of Open Media Foundation/Denver Open Media. Denver has been plagued by a string of police brutality cases, and this week a federal jury awarded an historic $4.6 million to the family of a homeless preacher who died when sheriff’s deputies used excessive force against him. Marvin Booker was a homeless street preacher from a prominent family of Southern preachers. In 2010, he was killed by deputies in the booking room of the Denver jail.

Surveillance video of Booker’s death shows what happened. A warning to our TV viewers, as we show the video now, it contains disturbing content. It shows Marvin Booker being grabbed by an officer, and then piled on by a team of officers, who then restrain him in handcuffs and put him in a chokehold. After he appears motionless, he’s then tasered. Eventually, deputies carry him out of sight of the camera. Booker was pronounced dead hours later in what the coroner ruled a homicide. Prosecutors declined to charge the deputies involved, and Sheriff’s Department officials never disciplined them, saying they believed Booker could harm someone and that force was needed to restrain him.

On Tuesday, Booker’s family and supporters gathered on the steps of Denver’s city jail after a jury awarded the Booker family $4.65 million in compensation and damages.


The Reverend Timothy Tyler, pastor at Shorter Community AME Church in Denver.

The Rev. Timothy Tyler: Today, in the court of law, a jury stood up. A body of authority stood up for the first time in four years and declared that five sheriff deputies were guilty of excessive force, leading to the death of Marvin Lewis Booker. All Marvin wanted to do was get his shoes.

Read More:

Video: http://www.occuworld.org/news/1601681 (Copy and paste in your browser)


CH (CPT) Samuel D. Siebo

It is Tuesday morning; I have completed a very challenging Battlefield Circulation (BFC) in Southeastern Afghanistan. I am about to fly back to Forward Operating Base Camp Marmal, Mazar-e-Sherif, Northern Afghanistan. I got ready along with my Special Duty Soldier (I did not have a Chaplain Assistant); we arrived at the PAX Terminal (Mini Air strip). Few minutes later, two helicopters arrived (the helicopters often travel in pairs) to take us to Bagram Airfield (BAF), where we will board a regular aircraft (fixed wings) to fly into Camp Marmal. We boarded the chopper and took off. About two minutes into our flight, my helicopter tilted very deep to the side, as though it was falling out of the sky. My goodness!!! What is this? Everyone on board the chopper became very concerned. The helicopter began to make 360 degree circles in the sky as fast as it could! This is unbelievable! What is going on? It is like our helicopter is about to fall out of the sky and crash. Oh my friend, we are too high up in the sky; what is this………? What is this…..?

Story continues.

As we read the Holy Scriptures, we are often reminded that the God we serve, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our protection; the Lord our Banner, is the Lord our God. Sometimes life takes us to some of the most dangerous places in the world, but as Children of God, we remember psalm 23: 4, which says, yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 91: 1 states, he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Being a Chaplain in the United States Army Chaplain Corps provides a rewarding and unique experience but it can also put one in dangerous and challenging places. Garrison ministry is great, it presents very little danger, if any at all, but being deployed to a hostile fire and combat zone poses an enormous amount of challenges and danger that the chaplain has to be prepared to overcome on a daily basis.

I was deployed to Afghanistan and stationed at Camp Marmal, Mazari-e-Sherif. I had Soldiers spread out across Afghanistan; I had to travel a lot on Battlefield Circulation (BFC), in the air and sometimes on road convoys through some of the most dangerous places in the world, in order to perform and provide ministry to my Soldiers, which includes pastoral care and counseling.

As a Chaplain, I had to be where my Soldiers were and some of the areas were highly contested by the insurgents (enemies).

On one occasion, I made a trip to see my Soldiers in South Eastern Afghanistan, one of the most contested areas in the country. The same morning I arrived on the Forward Operating Base (FOB), after being stranded at the PAX Terminal (Mini Airport) at another FOB for over 48 hours, I had to do scripture reading, a mini spiritual fitness sermon and a prayer for God’s protection on our convoy, as I traveled with some of my Soldiers on the road for an eleven hours round trip, so as to spend time with Some of my Soldiers and increase their faith and courage at two remote Company Operation Posts (COP).

The convoy made it back safely late that night; this was a Friday night. I rested a little bit on Saturday, as I prepared to lead and preach two worship services the next day, Sunday.

The first service was at 1030 Sunday morning; while preaching the word of God to my Soldiers and the Department of Defense Civilians, the loud speaker came on and announced that troops were in contact outside the wire (the insurgents had attacked some of our troops who were on operations outside the FOB) and there was a MEDIVAC (the wounded and or dead are being flown to the aid station-inside the FOB-to the Forward Surgical Team; which is made of professional Surgeons, Nurses and other trained medical personnel).

The wire is the so called safe zone inside the FOB or COP. One of the surgeons was in my service, following the overhead announcement; he immediately left the service to prepare himself to perform Emergency surgery; I quickly concluded the service. Just as we were leaving the chapel, the loud speaker came on again, “all blood types, report to the aid station.”

We quickly went to the aid station to donate emergency blood; the MEDIVAC helicopters (mini hospital in the Air) landed, three WIAs (wounded in action) were rushed in for surgery. About five minutes later, a KIA (Killed in Action), a fallen hero was brought in.

There was a large group of Soldiers standing in front of the aid station, waiting to donate blood for the wounded. When they saw the fallen being brought in, the atmosphere became very tense.

As the chaplain, I made my way through the crowd, began to console and encourage the Soldiers, as some of them wept on my shoulder. Few minutes later, I made my way to the back room, where the fallen hero laid. I spent few minutes quietly with him, as I honored him for making the ultimate sacrifice.

I later made my way into the aid station’s recovery room. There I cared for the wounded; I laid hands on the wounded and prayed for God’s healing power and speedy recovery for them.

Few hours later, the loud speaker came on again, this time with a serine and the phrase “Incoming! Incoming!”

"Incoming" meant the enemies were lunching rockets at us inside the FOB (this is very dangerous because no one knows where the rockets were coming from or where they would land). We positioned ourselves flat on the ground and than we heard the explosion where the rocket landed.

We quickly made our way into the bunkers (solid square concrete covets- very impenetrable by bullets, shrapnel or rockets).

One minute later, the siren sounded again, “incoming! Incoming!” Another incoming rocket; thirty seconds again the siren went off again, “incoming! Incoming!” This was the third incoming rocket. Three rockets were lunched at us that afternoon, but no soldier got hit by any of the rockets.

Later that evening, at 1930 hours (7: 30 p.m.), I went back to the chapel for the evening service. I fearlessly preached the word of God. I encouraged my Soldiers to be strong in the Lord and be of good cheer. I told them to look to God alone for protection because God promised never to leave us nor forsake us!

Two days later, on Tuesday morning, I got ready to fly from the South East back to the North, where I am stationed. I went to the PAX Terminal and boarded the helicopter, along with my special duty Soldier.

Two minutes after we took off, our helicopters came under heavy attack from the insurgents; they tried to shoot our helicopters down. Our helicopters got hit by bullets flying everywhere in the sky. The one I was flying in tilted to the side very deep and began to make very fast 360 degree circles in the air.

We could not believe we had been hit by the enemy; that was the most horrifying moment in my entire nine months deployment.

The helicopter was spinning very uncontrollably in the air; the pilots managed to crash land the helicopters back to the PAX Terminal from where we took off.

This was a miracle God performed in the air for me-Praise God, for he is still in the protection business. We got down and saw the bullet holes on the helicopters. The pilots informed us that we could not make the trip that day because the area was "hot" (dangerous) and the insurgents were on the attack.

About 45 minutes later, the pilots told us we had to get on board the helicopters and fly out of the area because that area was very dangerous; the helicopters could be destroyed by rockets. We became very resilient; we got back on board the helicopters and flew very high over the kill zone; the same place where we got hit. We made it safely to our destination that afternoon; this was a brave act of heroism.

On three other occasions, at Joint Command Operation Post (JCOP) Khilaguy, the insurgents threw several rockets at our position, but the Lord protected the soldiers and me and we are alive today to tell the story and inform the world of the greatness of the Lord our God; the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For my acts of bravery, heroism and swift action in combat, the Commanding General of the U.S. led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF); Lieutenant General Anderson flew down to JCOP Khilaguy and awarded me the Combat Action Bash (CAB). The designation is only awarded to a soldier whose life was in immediate danger during combat.

The incidences remind me that God is still in the protection business. If you make the Lord your refuge and your dwelling place, the bible says in Psalm 91: 10-12, "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling; for he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall hold you up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

We as Christians need to put our trust in the Lord, in everything we do. As we minister to the people of God, we must be sure to continue in fasting and praying without ceasing.

We must also know our God and the power he has. The Bible says in Psalm 16: 8, "I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."

Throughout my deployment, as I traveled around in Afghanistan, I leaned on God for Guidance and protection for my troops and myself. Surely, the Lord came through for my soldiers and me; when we were in danger in the air. God performed another miracle; God showed up, took hold of our aircraft and landed us safely-miracle in the air, God is still in the protection business.


October 19, 2014

Presiding Elder Appointments:

Presiding Elder, Nashville District, the Rev. Troy Merritt
Presiding Elder, North Nashville District, the Rev. Walter W. Reid, Jr.
Presiding Elder, South Nashville District, the Rev. Harold M. Love, Jr
Presiding Elder, Louisville-Paducah District, the Rev. William W. Easley, Jr.
Presiding Elder, Chattanooga District, the Rev. Terrence Mayes

Pastoral Appointments:

Charge, Pastor:

Payne Chapel AME Church, the Rev. Sidney Bryant
Greater Bethel AME Church, the Rev. W. Antoni Sinkfield
Kairos Community AME Church, the Rev. Tyronda Burgess
Allen Chapel AME Church - Murfreesboro, the Rev. Jimmie L. Plummer
St. Paul AME Church - Columbia, the Rev. Dennis Lawson
St. Matthew AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Reginald Brock
Wayman Chapel AME Church - Columbia, the Rev. Victor Goodman
Webb Grove AME Church - Murfreesboro, the Rev. Lavan Strickland
Shorter Chapel AME Church - Franklin, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Hill
Salter's Chapel AME Church - Waverly, the Rev. Vivian Canty
Bethel Chapel AME Church - Columbia, the Rev. Trent Ogilvie
Woodfork Chapel AME Church - Shelbyville, the Rev. Dr. Janie Dowdy-Dandridge
St. Paul AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Garrett Copeland
New Salem AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Eddie Sneed
Allen-Bethel AME Church - Lewisburg, Brother James Scruggs
Canaan AME Church - Columbia, the Rev. Veronica Darlene Mathers-Jones
St. Phillip AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Lee Russell Brown, Jr.
Mullin Chapel AME Church - Shelbyville, the Rev. Sonja Vanetta Brown Deloatch
Hopewell AME Church - Columbia          
New Bethel AME Church - Murfreesboro, Lavan Strickland (Kenneth Odom)
Jones Chapel AME Church - Mt. Pleasant, the Rev. Sharon Ogilvie
Roberts Chapel AME Church - Linden, the Rev. Andre L. Washington
Claiborne Chapel AME Church - Williamsport           
St. Matthew AME Church - Cornersville, the Rev. Ashley Cox
Mt. Zion AME Church - Centerville         
Lee Chapel AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Roderick D. Belin
St. John AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Ralph E. Johnson
St. Peter AME Church - Clarksville, the Rev. Walter W. Reid, Jr.
Scotts Chapel AME Church - Hermitage, the Rev. Frederick L. Jenkins Sr.
Greater Ebenezer AME Church - Clarksville, the Rev. Alexander Gatson
St. Luke AME Church - Gallatin, the Rev. Anthony L. Thomas, Sr.
Martin Chapel AME Church - Clarksville, the Rev. Lisa Hammonds
St. John AME Church - Springfield, the Rev. Donald Williams
St. Paul AME Church - Oakwood, the Rev. Jeffrey Norfleet Sr.
St. Luke AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Willis L Orr Sr
St. Peter AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Nathan Frey
Ebenezer AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Wanda Payne
St. James AME Church - Dickson,          
St. James AME Church - Nashville, the Rev. Randall L. Webster
 Smith Chapel AME Church - Bethpage, the Rev. Fred Beasley
First AME Church – Pegram, the Rev. Linda Saffore
Sulphur Spring AME Church, the Rev. Anthony J. Lyle, Sr.
Mt. Zion AME Church - Charlotte, the Rev. Frankie Witt Sr.
McGavock Chapel AME Church - Charlotte, the Rev. Benessa Sweat
St. Matthew AME Church - Clarksville, the Rev. Deshnell Cobbin
Green Chapel AME Church - Hartsville            
Winters Chapel AME Church - Lebanon, the Rev.      Anica Howard
St. Paul AME Church - Ashland City, the Rev. Joe T. Southall
St. Luke AME Church - Erin, the Rev. Gloria Hall
Howard Chapel AME Church - Hartsville, Brother Albert Strawther Jr.
Turner Chapel AME Church - Carthage, Brother Albert Strawther Jr.
Mt. Olive AME Church - Lebanon           
Quinn Chapel, Louisville, KY, the Rev. Edward L. Thompson

20 Appointments made
6 Appointments pending


By Angelique Walker-Smith

How many times have we heard about the tensions between local African-American communities and the police in recent months? Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., Ezell Ford in Los Angeles,  Eric Garner of New York City, and John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, are a few of the names in the headlines in recent months.  With the use of new technologies that support grassroots photo and video journalism, there appears to be no end in sight of making sure these kinds of stories are told. Such tensions are not the only challenges in the African-American community.  

Hunger and poverty in the African-American community have declined recently, but our community still has one of the largest percentages of hungry people and persons living in poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013, showed that, in the African-American community, poverty declined slightly from 27.2 percent to 27.1 percent, compared to the decrease of 25.6 percent to 23.5 percent in the Hispanic community.  Nationally, poverty decreased slightly—by 0.5 percent—last year. It is the first time a decrease has been seen since 2006. The bureau announced that 14.5 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 2013. Additionally, child poverty declined for the first time since 2000, from 21.8 percent to 19.9 percent.

One of the most important ways we can change these unacceptable numbers of African-Americans who are hungry and living in poverty and at the same time address the incidents of violence between local authorities and the African-American community is to get out and vote. Voting leads to structural changes that can transform communities. Voting for candidates who clearly represent the interests of our communities and not voting only for personalities is important in achieving this goal.  Voting is how we put public servants in office to work to transform our communities so that there is, for example, employment that affirms the dignity of God’s people, a supportive safety net to feed hungry people, and clear strategies for healthy engagement between the police and communities. Voting is how we advance strategies of positive change that come out of mutual conversations, negotiations, and partnerships.
Sadly, however, African-Americans do not vote in high numbers, especially in the midterm elections. When we do not vote, we remain silent.  Our silence prevents us from addressing the issues that face our communities and from electing a leaders who are in tune and consistent with the needs of our communities.

In  Blacks and the 2010 Midterms: A Preliminary Analysis, presented by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Dr. David A. Bositis points out that national turnout in the 2010 midterm election was up slightly from the 2006 midterm election, with African-Americans contributing to 10 percent of the share of votes and 25.3 percent of African-Americans participating. But this was still a drop from 30.1 percent of African-Americans who voted in 2008 with Barack Obama on the ballot. Additionally, a recent study by the Pew Research Forum's Religion & Public Life Project found that almost three-quarters of the American public—72 percent—believes that religion’s influence is waning in public life, the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past 10 years. This contrasts with further findings from the study that “a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics.”

Some of the largest African-American denominations that partner with Bread for the World are responding to this challenge. Freedom Sunday 2014, held on Sept. 21, is being followed by Turnout Sunday on Nov. 2, two days before the midterm election. These faith initiatives seek to encourage the African-American community to vote this year. You can make a difference by voting and encouraging your family, friends, and fellow church members to vote as well. For more information on how to make your vote count, visit www.bread.org/elections.


*Dr. Terry Jackson

Often the question is asked “What is the church doing to improve the quality of life for congregation and the community?” The church normally speaks to the different ministries it has, but most churches do not measure the impact the ministries have on the lives of their congregation or the community. This has to change.

The church is a business [M1]. Most churches are incorporated as non-profit organizations. Every week millions of people attend church; they tithe, but do not ask for a specific return on their money. The church is the only institution in which people do not seek something for their money other than a “feel good” experience. With all of the money the churches collect tangible results are needed.

In the African American community, the church is seen as a place of healing, a house of refuge. It is also the one institution in the African American community that receives millions of dollars per week yet the church creates no businesses or jobs for the congregation of community. Most churches have poor facilities to groom the youth and do not teach practical skills to its congregation that can be used daily. One of the major weaknesses of most Pastors is their lack of understanding of organizational development, more specifically financial management. This too must change. Pastors must be held accountable.

Accountability is the operative word for the African American Church and the Pastors of the church. Are they good stewards of their flock? Are they looking out for the best interest of themselves or the best interest of the congregation? What is the strategy to row the church and its flock? How can the business of the church grow locally? Basically, the Pastor is the CEO of an organization and must have a vision that enables the congregation and community to prosper. The Pastor must ensure that the church bears fruit. Remember that Jesus washed feet. How many Pastors today would do the same?

To ensure that the church has the ability to hold the Pastor accountable these “7 Questions” have been created.

1) What organizational development skills do you possess and how do you plan to grow this church and community?

2) What Financial Management skills do you possess and can you read financial statements?

3) What does congregation and community well-being mean to you?

4) How will you use technology to educate and train the congregation and community?

5) What has your experience been with building businesses outside the church?

6) What is your experience in developing youth leaders?

7) What does being a servant mean to you?

Daily, African Americans are displaced from their jobs, yet they attend church Sunday’s seeking solutions to remedy their situation. They hear great messages, but most are not applicable. They tithe faithfully, but the church cannot offer them any solution that provides them a job. This must change. Billions of dollars are received by this institution, but it provides little, if any, tangible results. It’s time for accountability and transparency. Pastor you will be held accountable.

 [M1]Elaborate on the church business principal.  What track record can any church or pastor produce to showcase capital gains, both financially and socially from the community it serves? What exactly is the church’s aim and purpose in your neighborhood?

*Dr. Terry Jackson is a highly accomplished, experienced and dynamic Certified Executive Coach, Leadership Development Coach, Life Coach, Sales Trainer, Business Coach and Consultant. His passion and purpose is helping others improve their quality of life and he has an established history of helping others improve their skills sets, their ability think and process information and change their behaviors.

Reprinted with the permission of Dr. Terry Jackson, www.blacklifecoaches.net


By the Rev. Talbot Davis

Oct. 21, 2014 | CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS)

As I round the bend of life into my 50s, and as I see some of the highest of the high profile preachers step away from active ministry, I’ve been thinking:

Why should an individual enter pastoral ministry in the first place?

In processing that question, I've come up with several wrong answers and one I believe to be most on the mark. First, the wrong answers:

1. For personal validation.  If you, like me, are on a relentless quest for the approval of parents, friends, colleagues and most especially parishioners, then please don't go into ministry.  Christ nailed your approval into the cross, and if that's not enough, you're not ready for the parish.

2. For emotional healing.  If you believe that by surrounding yourself with church people and ministry activity, you will heal wounds from your past, then please don't enter ministry. The parish is not a laboratory that cooks up the perfect concoction for your healing; in fact, many local churches do a pretty good job of tearing down whatever emotional health you had built up.

3. To make a name for yourself.  I can honestly say that in 1986 when I most clearly "heard the call" the thought of making a name in ministry never occurred to me. There was no mega-church movement, no multi-site phenomenon, and relatively few celebrity pastors. My, how that landscape has changed, and notoriety has supplanted proclamation.  If you want to “become known,” please don't go into the ministry because you'll likely get known for all the wrong reasons.

4. To build a platform.  This is the first cousin of No. 3, above. If you want to build a platform so that your parish ministry can propel you into other, higher profile ministry — politics?  Publishing? Speaker’s bureaus? — Then please don't go into ministry.  Local churches are starving for people who are entering ministry to love and lead people in the parish.

As for reasons to enter the ministry, I believe the healthiest one is to help others have done to them what was done to you.

See, the Gospel was done to me.  When I am awake to the Holy Spirit, the Gospel continues to be done to me. It is the daily awareness of and celebration of the fact that I am, at the same time such a wreck that I can't save myself and such a treasure that God saved me.

That needs to be the primal instinct of a pastor's soul.  I do best in ministry and in life when those are the first thoughts on my mind in the morning and the last at night.  I am “being saved” as I Corinthians 1:18 says and that joyful awareness is to be the foundation of a call to ministry.

A wrecked treasure. Or a treasured wreck. Take your choice. But celebrate the truth, and enter into ministry.

Davis is pastor of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C. This piece was published first on his blog.


Bishop John White, Presiding Prelate
Mrs. Penny White, Episcopal supervisor

Haiti Annual Conference
January 28-February 1, 2015
Host Church: Saint-Paul AME, Port-Au-Prince Haiti 
Host Pastor: The Rev. Francois Albert Murat
Telephone: (509)3750-3433
Host Presiding Elder: The Rev. Jean Joel Maurice
Telephone: (509)3134-7124  
 E-mail: Mauricejeanjoel@yahoo.fr  
Dominican Republic Annual Conference
February 4-8, 2015
Host Church: Bethel AME Church, Samana, Dominican Republic
Host Pastor & Presiding Elder: The Rev. Leoncio King Fermin
Telephone: 089-538-2408, 809-240-6619

Guyana-Suriname Annual Conference
March 4-8, 2015
Host Church: Shiloh AME Church, Nieuw Nickerie, Republic of Suriname
Host Pastor: The Rev. Sam A. Chetram
Telephone: (579)89-50532
Host Presiding Elder: The Rev. Andrew C. Morris-Grant
Telephone: (592) 646-2726 

Windward Island Annual Conference
March 11-15, 2015
Host: Barbados District,
Host Presiding Elder: The Rev. Anthony Parris
Telephone: 1 246 429 2392
Host Church: Sealy Memorial AME Church
Pastor: The Rev. Carlene Sobers
Telephone:  246 824 2972

Virgin Island Annual Conference
March 18-22, 2015
Host Church: St. Luke AME Church, Frederiksted, St. Croix
Host Pastor: Rev. Phillip Walcott
Telephone: 340-2443002
Host Presiding Elder: The Rev. Uklyn Hendricks
Telephone: 340-626-6448

Jamaica Annual Conference
March 24-28, 2015
Host Church: Chapel of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, Kingston, Jamaica
Host Pastor: The Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer
Telephone: 876-9605673 and 876-2817903
Host Presiding Elder: The Rev. L. A. Dawkins
Telephone: 876-4625116

European Annual Conference
April 30-May 3, 2015
Host Church: Nouvelle Alliance AME Church, Lyon, Francis
Host Pastor: The Rev Jean Paul Basunga
Telephone: 0478-622068
Host Presiding Elder: The Rev Rudolph Aaron
Telephone: 442-088905381

2015 Post Conference Planning Meeting, Christian Education Leadership Congress
May 26-29, 2015
St. Peter AME Church, Georgetown, Guyana
Host Pastor/Presiding Elder: The Rev. Andrew Carver Morris-Grant
Telephone: (592) 646-2726 


Federal Job Opportunity

All applicants are required to take drug test and polygraph.

Do you know job applicants who share the core values of vigilance, integrity, and service to country?  Are they ready to join one of the finest law enforcement organizations in the world as a Border Patrol agent (BPA)?  

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations.

Discover a challenging and rewarding career in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. CBP employees protect our Nation's borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

At the U.S. Border Patrol, we:

• Patrol international land borders and coastal waters

• Detect and prevent the illegal entry and smuggling of aliens into the United States

• Detect and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering into the United States

• Prevent the illegal trafficking of people, narcotics and contraband into the United States

Applicants can visit our website for more information on BPA positions and how to apply for a new and exciting career opportunity.

Please view the BPA job opportunity announcement at this link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/382815200

We are also on twitter:  @CustomsBorder.

Key Requirements:

U.S. Citizenship Required
Age Requirement: Referral Prior to 37th Birthday (waiver for Veterans)
Residency in U.S. for the Last 3 Years
Entrance Exam, Medical Exam, Physical Fitness Tests and Drug Test
Background Investigation and Polygraph Exam Required
No Convictions of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence
Required to Qualify and Carry a Firearm. Valid Driver's License Required
Requires Regular and Recurring Shift Work
Previous Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination Scores are NOT Valid

Katherine M. Coffman
Assistant Commissioner
Office of Human Resources Management 


Title: Health Disparities - Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Administration (HPA)
Vacancy#:  54146
Department: Health Policy and Administration (HPA)
Campus Location: University Park
Announce Start Date: October 17, 2014
Closing End Date: Until Filled

The Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) at The Pennsylvania State University invites applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in Health Disparities at the assistant professor level. The selected applicant will join at least four additional tenure track faculty members as part of a Health Disparities cluster hire (http://hhd.psu.edu/Health-Disparities-Cluster) within the College of Health and Human Development.

We seek a colleague who has completed or is close to completing doctoral training in the multi-disciplinary field of health disparities, vulnerable populations, or minority health. The successful candidate will join a vibrant academic community of scholars dedicated to improving health care services and the health of populations through research, teaching and service. Competitive applicants will show evidence of a career path dedicated to health disparities research, have the demonstrated ability to conduct research in a multi-disciplinary setting, and show potential for securing external research funding and establishing professional prominence in health disparities scholarship. Successful applicants will join a multidisciplinary faculty and will be expected to conduct research, teach, and advise students in doctoral, master’s and/or bachelor’s degree programs. A candidate should have completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree when employed.

Candidates with research programs in the following areas are especially encouraged to apply: Effects of current policies, including the Affordable Care Act, on vulnerable populations; racial, ethnic, nativity, geographic/global, or gender disparities in the quality of health care, patient engagement in diverse populations; health and health care outcomes among vulnerable families; application of innovative methods to health disparities research; and intervention approaches to reducing disparities in health and health care. Applications from researchers interested in non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, emerging infections or TB or multiple morbidities are also encouraged.

The Department of Health Policy and Administration is an academic unit of the College of Health and Human Development. It offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, resident and online Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) degrees, a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Health Policy and Administration, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The department currently has 19 faculty members including 12 tenured or tenure track faculty, with authorization to grow the number of tenured or tenure track faculty over the next few years. HPA is making two additional tenure track hires during the 2014-15 academic year (visit: https://app2.ohr.psu.edu/Jobs/External/EVMS2_External/currentap1.cfm#53611  & https://app2.ohr.psu.edu/Jobs/External/EVMS2_External/currentap1.cfm#53613).  

Currently, HPA faculty members are actively engaged in important externally funded research totaling more than $4 million annually. Opportunities to collaborate with other Penn State faculty include work in the Center for Health Care Policy and Research, College of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems, Social Science Research Institute, Population Research Institute, Children, Youth, and Families Consortium, Center for Healthy Aging, Methodology Center, and Prevention Research Center. These provide a vibrant environment for collaborative approaches to research and teaching in population health, health economics, health care management, and health policy.

A land grant University founded in 1855, Penn State was recently ranked in the top 50 of research universities in the world by Times Higher Education. The surrounding community of State College is a quintessential university town well known for its exceptional quality of life, including a low cost of living, a growing economy, a diverse offering of cultural and recreational opportunities, and excellent resources for families including well regarded local school systems and on-campus child care.

Compensation will be commensurate with professional experience but as a major research university Penn State has compensation and benefits packages that attract faculty of the highest caliber. Importantly, this nine month tenure track position is fully funded allowing the successful candidate the opportunity to develop as a scholar and teacher, with the ability to focus on an important line of research and to seek external funding appropriate to one’s relevant research area. External funding secured by faculty members can be used for a variety of purposes, including the ability to supplement the nine month salary with summer salary and to reduce one’s base teaching load. The standard review for tenure occurs in the sixth year after appointment as an Assistant Professor.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application materials as soon as possible for full consideration. The expected beginning date is August 14, 2015. 

To be considered, candidates must complete an on-line application at: http://psu.jobs/Search/Opportunities.html  (see vacancy job # 54146) and upload (1) a cover letter with a personal statement addressing interests and vision regarding research and teaching; (2) curriculum vita, and (3) examples of scholarly publications along with the names and contact information for three professional references. Questions or informal inquiries about this position can be directed to the search committee co-chairs, Dr. Rhonda BeLue at rzb10@psu.edu or Dr. Patricia Miranda pym1@psu.edu or 814-863-2900. Please indicate “Health Disparities search” in subject line of email correspondence.

Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Campus Security Crime Statistics: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to http://www.police.psu.edu/clery/, which will also provide you with details on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups.


At the President’s direction, the U.S. Government is coordinating and operationalizing a comprehensive strategy to respond to the threat of Ebola here at home, enhance our broader domestic preparedness, and contain the epidemic in West Africa.

The President’s priority is the health and safety of Americans, and he has directed his team to take all necessary steps to stop the chain of transmission and address any shortcomings that come to light. Over the longer-term, we recognize that the only way to prevent additional cases at home will be to contain and end the epidemic at its source in West Africa.

Enhancing Our Domestic Preparedness

The President has remained focused on strengthening our coordination with and support for state and local officials in Dallas, Texas, as we also enhance our broader nationwide preparedness.

In recent days, the administration has announced:

New screening measures and travel restrictions: Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), implemented enhanced screening measures at five airports around the country—New York’s JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta, and Chicago. As of today, all passengers arriving in the United States from or through one of the three countries will be required to fly into one of these five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place. Passengers flying into one of these airports whose travel originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States. At present there are no direct, non-stop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to any airport in the United States.

New active post-arrival monitoring: CDC today announced that, in addition to exit screening and enhanced entrance screening as an added safeguard, state and local public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of all passengers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea and who arrive in airports conducting enhanced screening. Under this protocol, state and local health officials will maintain daily contact with all travelers from the three affected countries for the entire 21 days following their last possible date of exposure to Ebola virus. Active post-arrival monitoring will begin next week in the six states where approximately 70 percent of incoming travelers are located: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia.  State authorities have agreed that active post-arrival monitoring will begin in the rest of the states in the days following.  

Specifically, state and local authorities will require travelers to report:

• Their temperature daily;

• The presence or absence of other Ebola symptoms, such as headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, or abnormal bleeding; and,

• Their intent to travel in-state or out-of-state.

Tightening of protocols: The CDC team has made specific improvements in the areas of personal protective equipment and infection control guidance, focusing on no skin exposure, rigorous training, and a trained monitor who watches healthcare workers take on and off personal protective equipment (PPE).

Dedicated Response Team: CDC is creating dedicated CDC response teams – an Ebola “SWAT” team – that could be on the ground within a few hours at any hospital that receives a confirmed patient with Ebola to assist hospitals.

Enhanced training and outreach: CDC is doing enhanced training designed to educate all of the relevant stakeholders, from frontline healthcare workers to hospital executives as well as local officials, on the lessons-learned from Dallas and how to respond to a potential Ebola case. Thousands of officials have taken part in these sessions, which will continue going forward.

Department of Defense (DoD) Medical Support Team: As an added prudential measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively, and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases, Secretary Hagel has ordered his Northern Command Commander to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States. The team will consist of 20 critical care nurses, 5 doctors trained in infectious disease, and 5 trainers in infectious disease protocols.

Ensuring Federal, State, and Local Coordination: In order to ensure the Dallas response is able to leverage effective coordination between the federal, state, and local levels in Dallas—as well as with frontline healthcare workers—the administration, working closely with state and local Texas officials, has deployed a White House liaison to Dallas and appointed a FEMA coordinator to ensure all federal assistance is meeting the needs on the ground.

We also have facilitated the coordination and expertise of the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Transportation with state and local authorities to ensure the Ebola-contaminated materials are treated, packaged, transported and destroyed safely and efficiently.

Ongoing U.S.-Led International Response to Stop Ebola in West Africa

Just as we fortify our domestic health infrastructure, the Administration has led an international coalition to stamp the virus out at its source in West Africa. The response leverages a civilian-led whole-of-government effort that calls upon the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to help bring the epidemic under control. We have been at this since March, when the first cases were reported, and we have scaled up that effort since:

• Deployment of key medical and expert personnel: The United States has deployed to West Africa more than 170 civilian medical, healthcare, and disaster response experts from multiple U.S. government departments and agencies, some of whom are part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team.

• Scaling-up the DOD presence:  DOD announced the planned deployment of 3,200 troops, including 1,100 in the next two weeks. More than 600 U.S. military personnel are now in the region, and the total troop commitment will depend on the requirements on the ground. Personnel from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center continue to operate three mobile medical labs, which provide 24-hour turnaround results on samples.

• U.S. financial support: The United States has obligated more than $300 million toward fighting the outbreak in West Africa and announced its intentions to devote more than $1 billion to the whole-of-government Ebola response effort, by far the largest investment by any donor.

• International financial support: This financial commitment had helped us galvanize support from international partners. Since the President’s speech at the CDC in mid-September, countries and international organizations have pledged more than $800 million to the effort, while also committing significant contributions of personnel, aircraft, and resources on the ground.

• New hospital for infected workers: DOD is finishing construction of a hospital for infected medical workers, which by the end of October will be operational and staffed by U.S. Public Health Service officers.

• Progress on Ebola Treatment Units: The U.S. military is overseeing the construction of up to 17 100-bed Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Liberia. The construction of three ETUs is underway, and they will be completed in November. The U.S. government also supports the construction of several ETUs by international NGOs in Liberia.

• Community Outreach and Safe Burials:  U.S. support helps to inform, educate and better equip communities to protect themselves and their loved ones against Ebola. Additional U.S. support has helped Liberia increase to 65 the number of safe burial teams working across every county to safely and respectfully dispose of bodies, largely reducing a primary vehicle of transmission of the disease.


*The: Rev. Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.

Based on Biblical Text: Mark 1:17: "And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

The phrase “Fishers of men” was spoken by Jesus when He was calling to His two disciples Simon Peter and Andrew to follow Him. The Bible says that as Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee he spots these fishermen casting their nets. Jesus called them to come with Him and He would show them how to cast a net that would allow them to catch human beings.

My wife and I spent a few days in Myrtle Beach recently. Our plan of course was to lay aside the cares of the world and get some much needed rest and relaxation. In retrospect it is obvious to me that God was at work again providing me a new perspective on an oft taught subject. As we walked the beach we came across a fisherman. I could not help but ask the usual questions, “What are you fishing for?” and “What bait are you using?”

You see, the idea behind fishing is to know enough about the fish you are attempting to catch that you can decide on the bait and the equipment you need to use. We should have an idea of the habitat and the depth of the water we are fishing in. This of course applies to real fishing, but it can also relate to becoming “fishers of men and women.”

God has each of us on a mission to make disciples of all nations. Therefore, just as we need equipment to be fishermen, we need equipment to be “fishers of men.” One way for us to be ready at all times is by putting on the armor of God, “that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.” Especially important are the shield of faith with which we ward off the opposition from demonic forces who don’t want to see anyone saved by the Gospel of Christ and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Without these two pieces of spiritual equipment, we will find fishing for men’s souls impossible.

It is critical that we have the armor of God as our equipment, but we must also know the "fish" we are trying to attract. Understanding the lost condition of the people we are trying to catch for Jesus will help us to realize that, no matter how good we are at fishing we will never “catch the fish" on our own. We cannot rely on any reasoned argument that we might offer to convert the soul of a darkened mind, because as the Bible cautions, “the God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  However, we know by faith that God can and frequently does penetrate the darkness with the glorious gospel, and He uses us to do it. God knows which “fish” are His therefore we are to seek God's wisdom and God's guidance on all our fishing expeditions. We must understand to do that prayer is essential.

The only effective bait available for us is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lamentably, it seems that to those who are perishing, the message of the cross is foolishness. However to us it is the power of God. We understand by faith that the gospel message has the power to change lives. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to shine light into darkness, and to change the course of evil men headed to hell. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is effective because there is no power in any other message or any other “bait” to catch the fish of God.  We are challenged to stand like the Apostle Paul and confess, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”

We find later in the Gospel of John (21:1-14), Simon Peter says to his colleagues “I’m going fishing.” The other disciples told Peter “We’ll go with you.” The men went out, got into the boat and went fishing. The text says these men fished all night, but nothing is caught in their nets. Beloved it is very interesting to note that these disciples, who were professional fishermen, didn't catch a single fish without Jesus.

The text says there is a light over on the shore. The disciples see that somebody on the beach has a fire going, but they didn’t have a clue who that person was. In the morning the man from the beach called out to the disciples, “Hey did you catch any fish?” They told him they had not. The man said “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” The text says that when they did what Jesus said do they catch so many fish they couldn’t even draw the net in. When they caught this incredible amount of fish they knew that the Lord was with them. They realized that it was Jesus who told them where to cast their net. They couldn’t do a thing on their own but when they did what Jesus said do they reap a great harvest.

The disciples caught no fish on their own but when they learned to depend on Jesus they had more fish than they needed. By themselves they couldn’t get anything done but when they followed Jesus’ instructions they did more than they were able to do before. We are challenged to recognize that the disciples have to learn to depend on the Lord if they are going to fulfill their purpose.

And the same goes for us. We have to learn to depend on Jesus if we are going to fulfill our purpose in our community. On our own we can’t see or understand how. However, when we learn to depend on Jesus we find there is nothing too big or too hard. With Jesus nothing is impossible. We can do all things with Christ who strengthens us.

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you become fishers of men. We can fish all night depending only on our own skills and human wisdom but we will not catch a thing! We will not be successful until we do what the Lord said do.

Jesus’ message to Peter and Andrew and to us is, "Follow Me, learn of Me, know and understand My mission and My message." Only then will we be able to be “fishers of men.”

*The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C.



*Dr. Oveta Fuller

There are fewer hours of sunlight in these late October days - Michigan mornings at 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time are still dark.  Leaves of red, brown, green and gold are dropping. The Fall "Back" end of Daylight Saving time is near, one week away (November 2).

Fall Back is a reminder of the pending season for influenza, common cold and respiratory infections in the northern hemisphere. It is time to get those “flu shots” and to stock up on and take daily the Vitamin C and other supplements that are thought to boost immune defenses.

What is influenza?

Influenza is a respiratory tract illness that starts in the upper respiratory tract and often progresses into the lower respiratory tract. It is caused by the host immune response mainly to cell damage from invading influenza virus that reproduces in the cells that line passages of the nose, throat and lungs. This results in symptoms such as high fever, body aches and weakness (malaise), sore throat, coughs, runny nose and chest congestion. These symptoms usually occur for 5-7 days with partial recovery on average in about 10-14 days. It can take up to 6-8 weeks for full repair of the respiratory tract.

Influenza virus infection can set up the respiratory tract for invasion by other pathogens (bacteria and fungi) that lead to pneumonia or lung and heart failure. That is why often there seems to be relapse just when one begins to feel better from getting over the flu.

Persons over the age of 65 and those with underlying chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and heart or lung disease are at highest risk of developing influenza related complications that can be fatal. Your primary health provider should already have suggested or arranged for you to get the flu vaccine. 

Influenza and influenza related illnesses are estimated to contribute to as many as 50,000 deaths per year in the USA and over 250,000 - 500,000 deaths per year globally. As important, each year influenza illness affects some 5-15% of the population worldwide. This brings high costs in healthcare and loss of work time and productivity.

What is the influenza vaccine or “flu shot”?
The flu vaccine reduces influenza virus successful invasion. If infection does occur, the immune system already is primed so it can act faster to reduce the length and severity of disease. The virus is inhaled in air droplets or gains entry into the body from your own hand contact with fluids to move it into the nose, mouth or throat tissues as parts of the upper respiratory tract.

The flu vaccine can be given as an inactivated (dead) virus in an intramuscular shot. Now it also can be given as Flu-mist, a weakened form of the virus that is inhaled. The Flu mist may produce higher immunity in tissues most susceptible to influenza. However, not everyone can get this vaccine form (please see below).

Should you get the vaccine? "Yes!" Let me repeat that. "Yes!"

Getting an influenza vaccine makes good sense. For most people it is foolish not to get a vaccine for influenza.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The seasonal influenza vaccine is highly recommended for all persons over 6 months of age. While pregnant females, persons over age 50 or less than 2 years of age should not get the inhaled Flu-mist, a vaccine against influenza virus is recommended to reduce spread of virus and severity of influenza disease for individuals and populations.

How does this vaccine affect populations? Glad that you asked! 

If fewer people get infected to make virus, and people who are infected make less virus for fewer days, there is less overall circulating virus in a community.  Some really good news- a vaccinated person not only reduces their own susceptibility to prolonged or more severe disease, but getting the flu vaccine can lower the exposure risks for others. This is called “herd immunity.” Immunization of individuals to increase herd immunity can enhance protection from a pathogen for the entire community!

When to get the flu shot

Come October, besides enjoying the beauty of autumn and football homecomings, and remembering breast cancer awareness, also think “Get flu vaccine.” 

It takes about two weeks after the vaccine to put in place the specific immunity that will help to guard against the invading flu virus. Getting the vaccine before the end of October allows time for the body’s immune system to develop protection well before the increased travel and multiple closer contacts that happen during the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving.

In the northern hemisphere, if you do not get to take the vaccine in October, it still is better to get it later - November, December even January, than not to get the flu vaccine at all. Flu season in the northern hemisphere typically is in full swing and begins to escalate in November. It usually extends at least through March or April.

For those who can safely take pain or fever reducing medications (NSAIDs or acetaminophen in brand names such as Aleve, Advil, Tylenol, Excedrin), I find that taking these for a day or so beginning at the time of the vaccine reduces some side effects such as mild headache or slightly achy muscles. As this is only my experience, please note that you always should check out this option with your care provider.

Where to get an influenza vaccine

The influenza vaccine is available from your primary care provider, at community clinics and health centers, during health campaigns at many workplaces and for purchase at most pharmacy chains. It is available in some locations through special campaigns at community centers and forward-thinking places of worship. Maybe your church can coordinate with the local health department or others to set up a “flu shot day” at the church for the surrounding community.

Health ministries, clergypersons, officers and church leaders can encourage and inform about this timely issue.

The take home point

It is important to realize that flu-like symptoms can be caused by many pathogens – Echovirus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytia virus, parainfluenza virus and some bacteria strains.  The flu vaccine does not protect from or affect these- it is highly specific to influenza virus.  However for ~95% of people, it will significantly reduce disease severity (symptoms and time to recovery) or completely prevent infection that results from influenza virus strains.

Whatever you hear in conversation or think you have experienced, the extensive scientific and medical data collected over decades support effectiveness of annual flu vaccines.

Let the Fall Back time bring to mind the seasonal question to you and those you care about, “Have you gotten your annual flu vaccine?” Get it done!  An ounce of prevention in this case is worth more than a pound of cure.                    

*Dr. Oveta Fuller is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Faculty of the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan and Adjunct Faculty at Payne Theological Seminary. An Itinerant Elder in the 4th Episcopal District, she conducts HIV/AIDS prevention research in Zambia and the USA. She lived in Zambia for most of 2013 as a J. William Fulbright Scholar. 


*Bill Dickens

People often wonder who or what control the final outcomes and many challenges in life. Where can people find answers to life’s ultimate questions? Job declares that God can do all things and will ultimately prevail over all obstacles, restoring the fortunes of those who are faithful; and the psalmist illustrates how God’s people can pray that God will be gracious to them and preserve their lives.

Job 42:1-6 - The End of Job’s Troubles

Job had heard God’s speech. So Job realised his error. He was not an evil man. But he had spoken unwise words about God. Sometimes Job complained about God’s behaviour. And sometimes Job accused God.  Job was humble. He asked God to forgive him.

Job was a servant of God, even before Job began to suffer. Then, Job trusted God because other people had told him about God.

When God spoke, Job had a new experience. Job learned many things from God’s speech. And now Job trusted God even more. Job had become an even better servant of God.

We know that God forgave Job because of verses 7-9 and in those verses, God emphasised that Job was a servant of God. If we sincerely confess our errors to God, then God will always forgive us. God is not cruel. He wants to forgive us (1 John 1:9).

Job 42:6-10 Restoration and Mercy

These verses may seem strange to some people. Such people may not know why God was angry with Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Job’s friends were sometimes wrong, but sometimes Job was wrong too. So, you might think that they all deserved the same punishment.

The explanation is that Job was a servant of God. In other words, Job had a special task to do. A servant carries out his master’s work. And Job had decided to do God’s work on earth (Job 29:14). So Job was acting on behalf of God.

Job was already God’s servant when his troubles began (Job 1:8). And Job was still God’s servant during his troubles (Job 2:3). In verses 7-8, God emphasised four times that Job was God’s servant.

God could have punished Job’s friends, but instead, God wanted to forgive them. So God told them to kill some animals and burn the animals as gift to God. In other words, the animals would suffer the punishment that the friends deserved and God would forgive the friends.

God often wanted such gifts before Jesus came. When Jesus died, he suffered our punishment. Jesus suffered instead of us and God forgives us because Jesus sacrificed his life (Hebrews 10:1-10). We must confess our evil deeds to God and we invite Jesus into our lives.

"Control" was the third studio album by American singer-songwriter artist Janet Jackson, released on February 4, 1986 by A&M Records. Her collaborations with the songwriters and record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis resulted in an unconventional sound: a fusion of rhythm and blues, rap vocals, funk, disco and synthesized percussion that established Jackson, Jam and Lewis as the leading innovators in contemporary R&B.

Ms. Jackson believed she was in complete control of her life.  She needed no help or assistance from anyone.  As "captain and primary driver," she calls all of the shots. This feeling of “control” however was short-lived.  When fame, fortune and money disappear the concept of control takes a new dimension.  Ms. Jackson found out that she was not in control. An inconvenient truth is we are not in control of our lives. Real control is found in the personality of God.  When we confess Jesus as our Lord we are essentially deferring all matters of control to Him.  God has been in control before time and eternity.  That’s a pretty good track record.

*Brother Bill Dickens is currently the Church School Teacher at Allen AME Church in Tacoma, Washington.  He is currently a member of the Fellowship of Church Educators for the African Methodist Episcopal Church


*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby

I’m writing this meditation after visiting the 91st Session of the Central Annual Conference of the AME Church at Liberty Hill AME Church in Summerton, South Carolina.  I’ve been there on numerous occasions and know the way there without using GPS - which actually led me to a cotton field when I tried it to find the church on one earlier occasion!  When I exited Interstate 95, however, the road was closed to replace a bridge on my familiar route.

I got back on the Interstate, took the next Exit five miles down the road, “back-tracked” and arrived later than planned.  I found out when I later spoke with those at the church that I’d gone far out of my way because there was a designated detour that I found and followed when I went back to Charleston.  That detour was well-marked and very visible, but I was so surprised by the blocked road and so intent on getting to the church on time that I ignored the detour signs that would have shortened my trip.

My interesting “road trip” reminded me of what sometimes happens to all of us as we travel life’s roads.  We all seek happiness, success, prosperity and peace of mind, and we carefully plan and follow pathways and strategies to reach our goals.  We all, however, eventually run into roadblocks - unexpected and unwanted circumstances that hinder us, discourage us and leave us wondering if we’ll ever find our way to where we want to be.

We’d do well to remember that the God we serve specializes in moving roadblocks and leading us to detours and new routes, when we have the faith to look beyond our plans and let God order our steps and direct our paths.  We’ll find detours and new routes that we’d otherwise miss when we focus on what we want and go out of our way instead of remembering that our Savior said that He is “the way, the truth and the life.”

Take the time, in spite of life’s unexpected roadblocks, to look to the God who never fails to lead us to where we want to be.  You’ll reach your goals in God’s time, in unexpected ways and on roads you never thought were there, and you’ll find new appreciation for the hymn that says, “Where He leads me, I will follow; I’ll go with Him all the way.”

This Meditation is also available as a Blog on the Beaufort District’s Website: www.beaufortdistrict.org

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

*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby is the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church


-- Bishop John R. Bryant and the Reverend Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant Announce their Daughter's Newest Publication

Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District and the Reverend Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Senior Episcopal Supervisor, proudly announce the newest publication of their daughter, Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis - Religion and Spirituality for Diverse Women: Foundations of Strength and Resilience

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is on Faculty at the Pepperdine University and is the Administrative Assistant at the Walker Temple AME Church, Los Angeles, Rev. Rosalyn Kyle Brookins, Pastor.

Link to the new book where Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is co-editor:

Religion and Spirituality for Diverse Women: Foundations of Strength and Resilience Religion and spirituality are sources of strength and resilience for many women, particularly ethnically diverse women, WWW.AMAZON.COM.


We regret to announce the passing of Mother Annie (Ann) Collier Parker, both the “Church Mother” and the “true church daughter” of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Rahway, New Jersey. 

Mother Parker was the daughter of the late Rev. John W.P. Collier, Sr. former pastor of Ebenezer-Rahway (1921-1947) and the sister of the late Rev. Dr. John W.P. Collier, Jr., a General Officer in the AME Church.

Mother Parker was born on the church property in the church parsonage and was an active member of Ebenezer-Rahway her entire life of 93 years.  She was not just a child of the parsonage; she was the child of “our” parsonage.

She leaves to celebrate her life, a daughter, Robin Parker of Michigan, a son, Johnny Parker of Pennsylvania, four grandchildren, a brother, Andrew (101 years of age); and a sister, Virginia (96 years of age) both of New Jersey; a Sister-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Grant Collier of Atlanta, Georgia; a host of nieces and nephews and her Ebenezer family.

The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Family Hour, Community Reflections and Ivy Beyond the Wall Ceremony

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Viewing - 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Home going Celebration - 10:00 a.m.

Ebenezer AME Church
253 Central Ave
Rahway, NJ 07065

Telephone: (732) 382-0541

The Rev. Dr. Erika D. Crawford, Pastor/Eulogist

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the:

NAACP-Rahway Branch
Attn: Ann Parker Memorial Fund           
P.O. Box 424
Rahway, N.J. 07065

Condolences can be sent to:

Ebenezer AME Church
C/o The Parker Family
253 Central Ave
Rahway, NJ 07065

Fax: 732-587-6178


We regret to announce the passing of the Rev. Florence L. Kelley, an itinerant elder and associate minister at Metropolitan AME Church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Conference, South District). The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

Monday October 27, 2014

Viewing: 9:00 a.m.
Service: 11:00 a.m.

Hickman Temple AME Church
5001 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19143

Telephone: 215-476-5340
Fax: 215-472-3617

The Rev. Ronald Green, pastor


Fernwood Cemetery
6501 Baltimore Avenue
Yeadon, PA 19050
Phone:    610-623-0333

Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to:

Carlotta Bradley & Family
7714 Delphi Place
Philadelphia, PA 19153


We regret to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Dorothy T. Alston, a member of Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church, died on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at the age of 101 years.  Mrs. Alston is the mother of The Rev. Edward Alston, Pastor of Queen Chapel AME Church in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Beaufort District, South Carolina Annual Conference of the Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church.

The Celebration of Life for Mrs. Alston:

Monday, October 27, 2014
11:00 a.m.
Mount Carmel Baptist Church
367 Keans Neck Road
Seabrook, SC 29940

Services Entrusted to:

Marshel's Wright-Donaldson Home for Funerals
1814 Greene St.
Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 525-6625

Condolences may be sent to:

The Rev. and Mrs. Edward Alston
4645 Log Hall Road
Ridgeland, SC 29936

Telephone: (843) 726-5315


We regret to inform you of the untimely passing of Cortlandt Gerard Thompson, the son of the Reverend Dr. Taylor T. Thompson, General Board Member and pastor in the Third Episcopal District; and Dr. Barbara Hunter Thompson, former connectional officer, CONN-M-SWAWO, Plus PK's.

Cortlandt Gerard Thompson was killed in an act of senseless violence. The family asks for your prayers as God leads them through this time of bereavement.

See News article:

The official notice with service arrangements and contact information will be shared from the Office of the Third Episcopal District AME Church, Bishop McKinley Young, Presiding Prelate and Dr. Dorothy Jackson Young, Episcopal Supervisor.


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


The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland; the Publisher, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour and the Editor of The Christian Recorder, the Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III offer our condolences and prayers to those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the peace of Christ will be with you during this time of your bereavement.

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