THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER ONLINE ENGLISH EDITION (04/18/14)
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr.,
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor
III, the 20th Editor, The Christian
April is National
Health Disparities Month
1. TCR EDITORIAL – THE REASON HE LIVES
TODAY - EASTER:
Editor of The Christian Recorder
I want to wish all
of our readers and subscribers a blessed Easter!
Easter was my
second favorite holy day as I was growing up.
The hype of
Christmas and the exchanging and receiving Christmas gifts propelled Christmas
ahead of Easter.
Giving gifts was
also a joy, but as a youngster, receiving gifts was the “feel good” motivation
for the anticipation of Christmas day. The Christmas season was made special by
the presence of Santa Claus, the Christmas tree and greeting of “Merry
Christmas” made the season special. Christmas was my favorite holiday because
of the holiday music, the commercial hype, the bright Christmas lights, the enormous
dinners, visiting relatives and friends, the Christmas program at church and
the spirited sermons and the stories related to the birth of Jesus and the
displays of the baby Jesus in the stable with the shepherds and the Three Kings
made the season extra special.
As I look back, the
birth of Jesus was secondary to all of the commercial hype of the holiday, even
though every pastor, my parents, Sunday school teachers and other adults tried
to remind me of the spiritual significance of Christmas and the real gift of
Christmas in the birth of Jesus Christ. And, I am sure other youngster growing
up had the same experience.
All of the talking
from my pastors, parents, Sunday school teachers and others must have had a
impact and must have made an impression because as I got older, and I don’t
know when it happened, something clicked and without realizing it, a
transformation happened in my mind and I came to understand the full meaning of
Easter and Easter Sunday, became for me, the most important holiday of the
year. I still enjoy Christmas, but the spiritual significance of Easter has
taken first-place in my mind.
When I try to
figure out what happened, I suspect, like other events in my life, maturation
and years of repetitive reinforcement in my spiritual and religious environment
and family caused me to reprioritize my spiritual understanding of the real
gift of life! It was not the Christmas gifts, but the “Gift” of eternal life.
I must have been
paying attention to all of the Easter sermons, internalized the Easter
memorizations, the hymns and gospel songs and conversations related to the
resurrection. The adults probably
thought I, and the other young people were not paying attention, but apparently
we were paying attention.
It is important for
churches and families to reinforce the spiritual, religious and moral and
ethical teachings of the church. Children’s programs are important young people
learn by reinforced messages and repetitive teaching.
As an example, I am
always amazed when I think about how smart my dad became as I got older. When I was young I didn’t think he knew a
lot, but as I got older I perceived that he was a genius. Other adults got
smarter as I got older.
When I was in
seminary, I thought some of the older preachers were off-track and
old-fashioned, but by the time I finished seminary, I understood their genius
and I was hopeful that I could become the clergyperson they were. I look back
on their ministry and can appreciate their brilliance.
Easter Sunday is
upon us and Christian churches all over the world will be vigorously
celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. Easter is a significant day in the life
of the church.
Children will be
reciting their Easter recitations and special activities have been planned for
them. Parishioners wear their finest apparel. Resurrection sermons will be
preached; or at least should be. Choirs will be singing to the glory of God and
special musical selections may have been prepared. The day is special and churches are expecting
large crowds. The Easter story, as it should be, will be retold again and
again. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a big thing!”
Many of you, like
me, may have thought Christmas, “the promise delivered,” was the biggest event
in Christendom, but because the local church, our Sunday school teachers, and
parents focused and refocused upon the life, suffering, death and Resurrection
of Jesus Christ, we came to appreciate and understand the significance of
Easter, “the Promise fulfilled.”
The Resurrection of
Jesus Christ enables us to proclaim, "He
lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me
along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me
how I know He lives? He lives within my
2014 EASTER MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP OF THE 2ND EPISCOPAL DISTRICT:
Bishop William P.
It began on Palm
Sunday with Our Lord Jesus Christ’s triumphant ride to Jerusalem on a donkey.
On this special occasion the people actually got it. They knew and understood
that they were in the presence of pure Divinity. Their single minded goal on
that day was simply to pay homage, give honor and celebrate the once in
lifetime opportunity to witness the manifestation of God Himself.
Their unity of
spirit and synchronized actions demonstrated that the Messenger as well as His
message had been received. How validated
Jesus must have felt to know that God’s chosen people believed, really believed
that our Father in Heaven had sent Christ as His Messiah.
Yet, just like in
our everyday lives, things went downhill, quickly. By Thursday, Jesus realized
some ominous facts that made the joy of Palm Sunday seem like a remote memory:
- That he would
stand before Pilot to be judged
- The same people
who hailed Him on Sunday would in unison trade His life for Barabbas
- One of His own
Disciples, Judas would betray Him, not once but three distinct times
- He would be
crucified painfully on the cross at Calgary
washed the Apostles feet and delivered His commandment: This is my commandment,
that ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12, KJV). Jesus begged
for release from the horrible death that awaited Him. Yet, He trusted God,
overcame His fear and went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my
Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, and
obediently declared thy will be done. (Matthew 26:42 KJV)
The Highest Holy
day in the Christian calendar, without a doubt, is Easter. The story of the resurrection and the coming
ascension are the very heart of Christianity.
The beloved apostle Paul captured the essence of the season when he said
in 1 Corinthians 15: 14, 17 “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching
vain, and your faith is also vain. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is
vain; ye are yet in your sins”.
resurrection is the pivotal turning point not only for Christians, but for
human history. Now 2000 years later we
are still celebrating God’s power over death in the raising of his own
son. Paul went on to say, that this
passing or death more than any other promise of
resurrection means that we too have every reason to expect that we will
live again if we believe in the Lord Jesus.
Christians through the centuries have known that we are lifted not only
from the pain of death but out of despair and disappointment.
District Family, we wish you the delights of the Resurrection and when things
are going well, remember that we are the children of God. Likewise, I hope when you encountered a
Maundy Thursday experience, you were comforted in knowing that the Spirit lifts
us to new heights when we claim the victory and live in the joy of our Risen
3. NEW YORK CITY’S BLACK PRESS DURING THE CIVIL
Although the Civil War began as a conflict over
secession, from the start most blacks saw it as an opportunity to free the
enslaved with a Union victory – a theme reflected in the robust black press
that prospered across the North.
In New York City, the war was closely chronicled
by two newspapers, The Anglo-African and The Christian Recorder.
Established in 1859 by the editor Robert Hamilton and his brother Thomas, The
Anglo-African reported extensively on the Civil War and the emancipation
efforts. But Anglo-African articles also covered the breadth of
African-American life, with a focus on political issues relevant to black
Americans, presented by black writer and activists like Francis Ellen Watkins
Harper, Rev. James W.C. Pennington and Martin Delany.
The Christian Recorder, founded in 1848, was a national weekly newspaper
published by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, based in Philadelphia, but
with correspondents across the country. The New York area was served by
correspondents in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, who, along with The Recorder’s editor,
provided an unvarnished critique of the war and frequently of New York’s black
Black New Yorkers were uniquely positioned to
participate in debates regarding the war and emancipation. In the 1860s New
York City and New York State were centers of free black advocacy. The
abolitionist Frederick Douglass lived in Rochester. Many of the “colored men’s
conventions” that met periodically from 1830 until 1864 met in New York state.
New York City was a center of philanthropy, abolitionist activism and
publishing. The city’s 1860 black population of 12,000, from a total population
of approximately 800,000, made it second in population to Philadelphia’s free
black community around the country.
Black newspapers weren’t just sources of
information, but of activism. As the country hurtled toward war in February
1861, The Christian Recorder spread word of a meeting held to plan for a
“day of humiliation, fasting and prayer that God would avert the judgments
about to fall upon this guilty nation.” They were also a center for debate: As
soon as the war began in April 1861, even though black troops had not yet been
accepted by the Union Army, there was heated discussion in the black community
regarding the duties of blacks in regards to the war. Some voices in the black
press questioned the logic of black soldiers risking their liberty (captured
black soldiers could be enslaved) or their lives for a country whose Supreme
Court had held that black people, whether enslaved or free, were not citizens –
a position taken by The Christian Recorder.
The Anglo-African, though, actively promoted the use of
black troops in an editorial entitled “The Reserve Guard” that August:
“Colored men whose fingers tingle to pull the
trigger, or clutch the knife aimed at the slaveholders in arms, will not have
to wait much longer. Whether the fools attack Washington and succeed or whether
they attempt Maryland and fail, there is equal need for calling out the
nation’s ‘Reserve Guard.’”
The newspapers were more than just hortatory –
they also provided historical and comparative analysis of the issues
surrounding emancipation. On Jan. 4, 1862, The Christian Recorder reinforced
calls for emancipation with a persuasive and prophetic editorial that asked:
“What would be the effect of the emancipation of the slaves?” Using data from
the British Caribbean, where slavery had been abolished in the 1830s, the
editorial confronted two major arguments against emancipation: that the
formerly enslaved would “overrun the entire North as the frogs did the
Egyptians in the days of Moses,” and that if emancipated “they will refuse to
work, and will engage in robbery and murder.” The editorial noted that neither
point had been borne out in the Caribbean, that there were already many
formerly enslaved people in the South who chose to remain in the South, and
that many of these people were cultivating small farmsteads that were keys to
the independent lives they desired. The writer concluded that for the United
States, it is in “our interest to emancipate the slaves of both the rebel and
loyal citizens, for it will not only “crush rebellion, but increase our prosperity,
decrease crime in our midst, and prevent insurrections with their fearful
Reading these papers offers a surprising view
into the nuanced ways that blacks greeted early signs of emancipation. They
greeted Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862, for
example, with great anticipation but also some anxiety. Because the effective
date for a permanent Emancipation Proclamation was three months away, on Jan.
1, 1863, the fear was that something might occur to change course during the
intervening period. In response, in an October editorial, The Christian
Recorder swept aside doubts and framed the Proclamation as an answer to
“Now, let the North if they are in favor of the
Union, not stop and tremble at the proclamation, but say, like all honest and
good men will say, that it is the Lord’s doings, and who shall hinder it? Yes,
God has looked down upon this great national sin, and is now frowning upon it,
and declares His judgment upon it. He has heard the groans of His people, and
has come down to deliver them.”
The Emancipation Proclamation did become
effective on Jan. 1, 1863 and the Jan. 10 issue of the The Anglo-African
contained over a page of accounts of Emancipation celebrations in New York,
St. Louis and Boston.
In addition to emancipating the enslaved in the
states then in rebellion, the Proclamation also included a provision for
recruiting black soldiers. While this order had national implications, the states
that had remained in the Union had the final say on admitting black troops,
since militia were organized by the states – a fact highlighted in the black
press. Massachusetts and Rhode Island organized some of the first black
regiments, and New York City's black press played an important role in
advocating for the recruitment of black troops.
That March Congress passed the Conscription Act,
authorizing the first military draft. When the actual draft process began in
New York City in July 1863, mobs of white workingmen, resentful of being asked
to put their lives at risk for black people who they had been told would flood
Northern cities taking their jobs, destroyed the Manhattan Draft office and
then roamed the city over four days in the largest assault on the black
community in New York’s history. Union troops arrived on the fourth day of the
rioting and put an end to the violence. In the aftermath, The Christian
Recorder recounted defense efforts: “In Weeksville and Flatbush, the
colored men who had manhood in them armed themselves, and threw out their
pickets every day and night, determined to die defending their homes.”
But the paper also criticized other black New
Yorkers: “To see strong, hearty, double-fisted men, fleeing like sheep before
the whoop of a dozen half-grown Irish lads, leaving their wives behind to take
care of themselves, was indeed humiliating.”
While black New Yorkers recovered from the riots,
the black press redoubled its advocacy of black troop recruitment. In its final
issue of 1863, The Anglo-African announced:
“The War Department having at last done justice
to colored men, and authorized the raising of a colored regiment in this State,
to be known as the Twentieth Regiment United States Colored Troops, meetings
have been called in several wards, as will be seen by reference to our
advertising columns, for the purpose of discussing plans to promote enlistments
and providing for the families of those who may enlist.”
The recruiting was so successful that a second
regiment, the 26th, was authorized. When the regiments left for
battle in March of 1864, New York’s black press shifted its focus to advocacy
for equal pay for black soldiers. At the same time The Anglo-African and
the Christian Recorder chronicled battlefield efforts, and with a shift
in wartime momentum toward the Union in 1864, began to focus on issues such as
black voting, that would need to be attended to in peacetime. The
Anglo-African continued publication until December 1865. The Christian
Recorder continues to appear today, as a monthly publication.
Sources: The Anglo-African; The Christian
Recorder; Sandy Dwayne Martin, “Black Churches and the Civil War: Theological
and Ecclesiastical Significance of Black Methodist Involvement, 1861-1865”;
Paul Finkelman, “Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895, From the
Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass”; Iver Bernstein, “The New
York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in
the Age of the Civil War”, Rhoda Golden Freeman, “The Free Negro in New York
City in the Era Before the Civil War”; William Seraile, “New York’s Black
Regiments During the Civil War."
*Kevin McGruder, Ph.D. is an assistant professor
of history at Antioch College. He is the author of “A Fair and Open Field: The
Responses of Black New Yorkers to the New York City Draft Riots” and the
co-author, with Velma Maia Thomas, of “Emancipation Proclamation: Forever
4. BEING OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER:
On February 27,
2014—the penultimate day of Black History Month—the “Brother’s Keeper”
Initiative was launched by the White House.
Surrounded by a cross-section of community leaders, President Obama
candidly shared his experience growing up as a young man of color and his
concern that young Black, Latino, Native American and Asian men from certain
backgrounds were falling through the cracks of American society. According to the Official fact sheet, this
“Brother’s Keeper” interagency taskforce is designed “to determine what public
and private efforts are working and how to expand upon them, how the Federal
Government’s own policies and programs can better support these efforts, and
how to better involve State and local officials, the private sector, and the
philanthropic community in these efforts.” At the beginning of April, the White House
issued an update on the initiative.
famous question to Cain regarding his murdered brother Abel is not just good
prose. Looking deeper at the fabric of
American society, one can often wonder if the question was asked to the United States authorities “Are you your
Brother’s Keeper?” what the response would be.
It’s no secret that President Obama’s attention to African-Americans is
hotly debated with some saying he should have done more and others arguing,
“What more could he do?” The initiative,
however, has been widely acclaimed and applauded as a step in the right
direction. The last significant Presidential
action to examine issues of inequality in America was President Clinton’s “One
America Initiative” (aka The President’s Initiative on Race). Whereas the latter involved mostly academic
dialogue, this initiative already has amassed the support of several key donors
and community stakeholders.
The issues that
young men of color face in the United States, however, are complex. The interaction between race and class
continues to make the socioeconomic gains made by our communities ever so
tenuous. Public opinion data continue
to show that while White Americans think that racial progress is being
achieved, African-Americans feel that progress is slow or non-existent. Entities such as “The Black Youth Project”
report that young Black Americans are feeling more disenchanted with our
political process. Trayvon Martin and
Jordan Davis remind us that America still fears young men of color—and no
simple legislation or policy can change this situation.
Yet, we can all do
our part and the African Methodist Episcopal Church as an institution must ask
itself, “Are we our Brother’s Keeper?”
These are our sons, brothers, nephews, cousins, and friends that are
falling through the cracks of society. I
often think about one of my friends from my Beginner’s Class in Sunday
School. He went to all the YPD meetings,
came to frequently church and is now serving a ten-year sentence after a parole
violation. Sometimes we forget that
between our meetings, life takes place.
I wonder what we as a church family could have done when the trouble
signs began to appear. Some things a
person has to want to do for themselves, but we can make it easier for them to
As a community of
faith, we must push ourselves to see what we can do earlier in the lives of
men. Many of local churches have
successful ministries that try to stand in the gap for our brothers. We must look at our institutional ministries
and see how they can be made more relevant.
The Sons of Allen is needed now more ever than before—yet it lies
dormant in most Episcopal Districts.
Why? Do we provide opportunities for men to give mentorship through the
YPD? The Department of Christian
Education several years ago made a bold step by forming a partnership with the
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).
How many local Churches have caught on?
It is a good and worthy act that President Obama has used the power of
his office to shine light on an issue that not only affects our community but
our nation as a whole. However, we as a
denomination must take a serious look at every level to see what we can do to
be our “Brother’s Keeper”. And then
after taking that look, we must act on it.
For an example of
studies dealing with racial disparities in attitudes, look at “Not in Our
Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics” by Michael Dawson.
John Thomas III (13th)
is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at the University of
Chicago and serves on the General Board of the African Methodist Episcopal
MIDWEST OMAHA DISTRICT CONFERENCE OPENS WITH MUCH FANFARE:
*The Rev. V. Gordon
Midwest Omaha District Conference, under the watchful hand of Presiding Elder
Benjamin R. Finnell, opened with worship on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at Allen
Chapel AME Church in Omaha, Nebraska, under the theme of “Let Us Rise Up and
Build” from Nehemiah 2:18.
Steven A. Cousin of the Midwest South District, the preacher of the hour,
preached from the subject, “Don’t Come Down” from Nehemiah 6:15, reminding
those assembled to continue their good work and refuse to come down, but to
“stay right there” and continue the work.
The Omaha District
Choir, made up of representatives from the various churches in the District,
provided the music ministry for the evening, lifting the congregation to higher
heights by singing praises to God.
The Rev. Clifton N.
St. James, pastor of St. John AME Church in Omaha, served as the worship leader
and the other pastors and associate ministers of the District served as liturgists.
There were visiting
pastors from the Midwest North and Midwest South Districts, as well as pastors
from the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Omaha, present as a show
of support for this historic occasion.
The Midwest Omaha
District is the newest Presiding Elder District formed by Bishop T Larry
Kirkland, of the Fifth Episcopal District, in the Midwest Annual Conference. It
is comprised of four churches in Omaha - St. John, Bethel (Pastor Victoria
Parker), Allen Chapel (Pastor Benjamin Finnell), and Gregg Memorial (Pastor
Jacqueline Ford) – and one church in Lincoln, Nebraska
– Quinn Chapel (Pastor Karla Cooper).
From the opening
processional song, “Come on and bless the Lord with me,” to the Doxology and Benediction,
the Lord was in the worship, praise, preaching and giving.
*The Rev. V. Gordon
Glenn III is the Public Relations Director for the Midwest Annual Conference of
the Fifth Episcopal District
THE TRUTH IS THE LIGHT:
*The Reverend Dr.
Charles R. Watkins, Jr.
Based on Biblical
Text: Acts 10: 43: “To him [Jesus] give all the prophets witness, that through
his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. “
This time of year
always congers up memories of some wonderful times I experienced with my
daughters when they were young. There would always be the Easter eve dying of
eggs and filling baskets with candy. There was always good candy available at
this time of year. I remember the trips to the mall to purchase beautiful little
dresses and hats. When they were very young I recall they would have to have
the little anklet socks and the little shiny black shoes. They would be just
gorgeous on Easter Sunday morning.
Of course Easter
morning, between “Sunrise Service” and the traditional morning service would be
the time my little girls and all of the children would present their Easter
Speeches. I was always so proud of all of the young people as they had
memorized such lengthy pieces.
I think it is safe
to say that the Easter Sunday morning activities would be included in how most
of us would define the meaning of Easter. In fact many non-believers would say
that Easter is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring, to buy a new outfit,
and to binge on fine chocolates. I have heard it said that Easter is a time to
treat ourselves for having come through another rough winter, and to celebrate
the new life that the spring season symbolizes.
But for the
believer Easter represents so much more! Interestingly many believers still fall
prey to the media’s merchandising onslaught and involve themselves in the
commercial aspect of the Easter celebration. However, hundreds make the correct
first step by making their way to the house of worship. You can always count on
the church being packed on Easter morning. The question is, “What is the reason
for our celebration?”
I know that not too
many people think of Easter in terms of gift giving and receiving. Usually
Christmas is thought of as the holiday more about gift giving. The truth is that
Christmas is about the promise of a gift and Easter is about the time of its
delivery! Easter offers us a gift.
In Acts 10 we find
a few verses that summarize the gift of Easter. Peter delivers an impressive
sermon. In this sermon that is more than likely his first as the bishop of the
New Testament church movement, Peter focuses on the meaning of Easter. He
reminds us that Easter is about the gift of forgiveness of sins.
We need forgiveness
as sin separates us from God. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God. We
cannot pray, meditate, or even worship the Lord as a sinner. Until Easter, the
governing law maintaining the covenant God had with mankind was the Ten
Commandments and all its “Thou Shalt Not’s.”
The Ten Commandments were designed to be the foundation of all
obligations. Specifically they listed man’s duty to God, and man’s duty to man.
However, the Bible shows us where time and time again man disobeyed the Law.
Man then could not and we today can not fulfill the laws of the covenant because
We need forgiveness
because we have no power in our own strength to overcome sin. In fact in far
too many instances we appear to be comfortable in our sin. That just may be why
there is so much of it.
Sin presents quite
a dilemma for us as it separates us from God, who is holy and perfect. As a
matter of fact, we were God’s precious creation and we were born into this
world to worship Him. But, we could not
because we were overpowered by our sin. God and we were like oil and water; we
could not mix because sin cannot stand in the presence of God. We could never
fix our broken relationship with God on our own. We needed help! We needed the
help of a Savior.
We need forgiveness
because man is doomed for eternal death without it. We need forgiveness because
we cannot save ourselves! The power of sin is too great an enemy for us to
fight alone. Eternal death is nothing to play with! Mark refers to is as a fire
that shall not be quenched. John calls it a “worm that never dies” and a
“bottomless pit.” The apostle Paul
understood the great dilemma man faced. That’s why he cried, “O wretched man
that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).
And the answer that came back from Heaven was Jesus!
Thank God that His
Omniscience revealed to Him at Creation that an out of the ordinary covenant
would be necessary to save us. Easter is the fulfillment of that unconventional
method! Jesus came to our rescue. He came
to rescue us from the source, the scope and the sorrows of sin. An even greater
blessing is that Jesus came to rescue us from the sentence of sin! The Bible
reminds us that the “wages of sin is death.”
We are thankful for
“the gift of God.” Jesus came to reconcile us to God. He accomplished that by
taking our punishment upon Himself! Jesus took on all the torture, pain and
suffering. Jesus took our place, and we are forgiven. We are saved from the
hell of punishment as He took it all upon Himself so that we could stand in the
presence of God and worship Him! Nobody but Jesus could do it!
Christmas is about
the promise of a gift and Easter is about the time of its delivery!
*The Rev. Dr.
Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston,
AME LAW STUDENT ELECTED PRESIDENT:
Mrs. Starr L.
Battle was recently elected as the “2014-2015 President of the Black Law
Students Association” at North Carolina Central University School of Law.
She will also serve
as the Marshall for Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity, International.
EIGHTH DISTRICT PASTORS LEAD THE FIGHT FOR EDUCATION IN LOUISIANA:
*The Rev. Carolyn
Eighth Episcopal District under the leadership of Bishop Julius H. McAllister,
Sr., has led the fight to take control of St. Helena Parish Middle School since
The Middle School
was seized by the State of Louisiana Recovery School District. In March 2014, Judge Brady signed a
historical order returning the school to St. Helena Parish.
On three separate
occasions, the Rev. Carolyn Habersham, pastor Greater Turner Chapel,
Greensburg, Louisiana took a busload of Turner Chapel members to attend the
court proceedings. On one occasion the
Judge stated that he changed his ruling because, “until now, the community has
never attended court to fight for their schools.”
This decision is
historical, because of all the schools seized by the State of Louisiana, St.
Helena Middle School was the only school given back to its District. All of the other schools were given to
Charter School companies.
In addition, after
being told that it would be impossible to pass a tax to fund a new school, the
Rev. Carolyn Habersham, pastor of Greater Turner Chapel AME Church and the Rev.
Joe Chaney, pastor of Rocky Hill AME Church, both in Greensburg, Louisiana led
the fight to pass a tax measure that would fund a new school campus for St.
The Parish has been
trying to pass a new tax for over 30 years; however, when the Rev. Habersham
and the Rev. Chaney joined forces, history was made in St. Helena Parish and
the tax passed.
The new state of
the art, grades 6-12 campus is now in the process of being built and it is
expected to open in time for the Fall 2014 school year.
The Rev. Nelson
Taylor, Esq., an AME pastor, has been the attorney fighting for these issues
for over 30 years in St. Helena Parish.
*The Rev. Carolyn
Habersham is the pastor of Greater Turner Chapel AME Church in Greensburg,
9. THE 2014 WASHINGTON
ANNUAL CONFERENCE PASTORAL APPOINTMENTS:
The Appointments were read on Friday, April 11,
2014 by Bishop William Phillips DeVeaux, Presiding Prelate of the 2nd
The Rev. Ronald E.
Braxton, Presiding Elder
The Rev. Grainger and
the Rev. JoAnn Browning, Ebenezer
The Rev. William Lamar
The Rev. Jonathan
Weaver, Greater Mt. Nebo
The Rev. Charles T.
Sembl, Union Bethel (Randallstown)
The Rev. Charles Smith,
The Rev. Harold B. Hayes,
Jr., Hunter Memorial
The Rev. Carrington
Carter, Mt. Moriah
The Rev. Daryl Kearney,
The Rev. Barbara Glenn,
First AME Gaithersburg
The Rev. Ronald
Boykins, Seaton Memorial
The Rev. Alan Gould,
Sr., Allen Chapel (Silver Spring)
The Rev. Thann Young,
The Rev. Edna C.
The Rev. Clifton
Sparrow, Mt. Pleasant
The Rev. LeRoy Jackson,
The Rev. Wanda London,
The Rev. Louis Kelly,
The Rev. S. Isaiah Harvin,
Brookins Faith Temple
The Rev. Richard
McNair, Wayman Memorial
The Rev. Hedy Drummond,
The Rev. Diane H.
The Rev. Abraham Smith,
First AME (Alexandria)
The Rev. Rita Williams,
The Rev. Joan King, St.
The Rev. Roland
The Rev. Donald
Marbury, Ebenezer (Brunswick)
The Rev. Vanetta Brice,
The Rev. Will Kenlaw,
The Rev. Curtis K.C.
White, Ebenezer (Charlotte Hall)
The Rev. E. Gail Anderson
Holness, Christ Our Redeemer
The Rev. James E.
Harrell, Living Water
The Rev. Rodney Barnes,
The Rev. Caroline L.
The Rev. Richard E.
The Rev. Jacquelyn
Hollingsworth, Christ Chapel
The Rev. Melynda Clarke,
The Rev. Linda Mouzon,
The Rev. Phillip D.
Jackson, Life Change
The Rev. Tony Lee,
Community of Hope
The Rev. Kendra Smith,
Rivers of Life
The Rev. Rochelle
Toyer, Restoration Life
The Rev. Dr. Louis Charles Harvey, Presiding
Elder of the Capitol District
The Rev. Lee P. Washington, Reid Temple
The Rev. Michael E. Bell, Sr., Allen Chapel
The Rev. Henry White, Turner Memorial
The Rev. Harry L. Seawright, Union Bethel (Brandywine)
The Rev. Samuel E. Hayward III, Hemingway Memorial
The Rev. Michael Thomas, Ward Memorial
The Rev. Wendell O. E. Christopher, Pilgrim
In the Hands of PE, First AME (Manassas)
The Rev. Johnny R. Calhoun, Mt. Olive
The Rev. Donald Smedley, Mt. Pisgah
The Rev. Christine A. Moore, Faith
The Rev. Constance C. Wheeler-Evans, St. Paul
The Rev. Luke Robinson, Quinn Chapel
The Rev. Raymond F. Edmonds, Jr., Falls Road
The Rev. Sterlin Powell, St. Mark
The Rev. Robert Hodges, Sr., Allen (Baltimore)
The Rev. Lois A. Poag-Ray, Wayman Good Hope
The Rev. Jonathan Davis, Mt. Zion (Knoxville)
The Rev. Alicia Byrd, St. Stephens
The Rev. Derrick N. Brown, New Hope
The Rev. Herman Gladney Emmanuel
The Rev. Ronald Simmons St.
The Rev. Karen Myers, Gaines Chapel
The Rev. Patrick H. Hipkins , Davis Memorial
The Rev. Anthony Young, New Creation
The Rev. Mary C. Newton, Lee Memorial
The Rev. Etoria V. Goggins, Mt. Zion (Severn)
The Rev. Marlene R. Jefferson, Star of Bethlehem
The Rev. C. Michele Langston, St. James
The Rev. Alfred Deas, Jr., Metropolitan (Cumberland)
The Rev. Robert Ray, Wayman (Frederick)
The Rev. Dededrick Rivers, St. Jude
The Rev. David D. Robinson, Sr., Bethany
The Rev. Kenneth L. Young ,
The Rev. Anna E. Mosby, Mt. Gilboa
The Rev. Brenda McClain, Cowdensville
The Rev. Meredith C. Hudson, Dickerson
The Rev. Valdes J. Snipes-Bennett, Cornerstone (La Plata)
The Rev. Wayne Bennett, Bethel (Dale City)
The Rev. Peter G. Taylor, Living Faith
The Rev. Andra D. Hoxie, Faith Mission
The Rev. Joseph C. Chandler, Jr., Family Life Ministry
The Rev. Jon Robinson, Covenant Community Church
FISK UNIVERSITY WINS 25TH ANNIVERSARY HONDA CAMPUS ALL-STAR CHALLENGE NATIONAL
• Taking home its
first title, Fisk joins 12 HBCUs that have won HCASC national championships
University, Tuskegee University and North Carolina Central University completed
the Final Four
• Dr. Rosland
Rennae Elliott of Oakwood University named Coach of the year; Gabriel A. Smith
of Tuskegee University named Earnest L. Jones Sportsperson of the Year
• Winning question
tested Fisk’s knowledge of world mythology
April 15, 2014 – Completing a journey that began in the fall, Fisk University
claimed its first ever national championship title at the 25th anniversary
Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. For a quarter century, American Honda Motor
Co., Inc. has sponsored this unique academic competition featuring the best and
brightest students from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(HBCUs). Watch highlights from this year’s competition.
A packed studio
audience filled with competitors, alumni, volunteers, fans and Honda associates
collectively held their breath as Fisk clinched the title over second-place
finisher Oakwood University, after answering the following question correctly:
What character in various world mythologies, whose name begins with A, B, or C,
was the creator God eclipsed by Vishnu? Answer: Brahma
Fisk was coached by
Dr. Stafford W. Cargill. Team members included: Victor Ray Bradley, team captain,
junior; Matthew G. Barthwell, junior; Anthony M. Franklin, senior; and Anna M.
“I am very proud of each student on the Fisk
University team for the knowledge, spirit and discipline they displayed on the
road to the national championship title,” said Dr. Stafford W. Cargill, coach,
The seven remaining
finalists that qualified for this year’s Elite Eight included: Oakwood
University of Huntsville, AL; Tuskegee University of Tuskegee, AL; North
Carolina Central University of Durham, NC; Morgan State University of
Baltimore, MD; Morehouse College of Atlanta, GA; Florida A&M University of
Tallahassee, FL; and Alabama State University of Montgomery, AL.
“Honda congratulates Fisk University for
winning its first title, and thanks the team for truly representing the more
than 10,000 exceptional students that participated in this year’s Honda Campus
All-Star Challenge,” said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president, corporate
and community relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We take great pride in
the community that has developed around HCASC, and thank all volunteers and
alumni who participated for the enduring impact they have on the lives of our
The 2014 coach of
the year was Dr. Rosland Rennae Elliott of Oakwood University. Gabriel Smith of
Tuskegee University was named the Earnest L. Jones Sportsperson of the Year.
divisional all-stars included: Antoine Armand Southern representing Oakwood;
Victoria Monique Jones representing North Carolina Central; Djon-Iva D. Santos
representing Alabama State; Gabriel A. Smith representing Tuskegee; Brannon A.
Billings representing Prairie View A&M; Victor Ray Bradley representing
Fisk; Maryum Styles representing Spelman; and Eric A. Jett representing West
In addition to
taking home the national championship trophy, Fisk University secured the top
prize of $50,000 in university grants. Second place finisher Oakwood University
won $25,000, while third and fourth place finishers – Tuskegee University and
North Carolina Central University – earned $15,000 each. In total, more than
$300,000 in institutional grants, which support academic activities, was
awarded to participating HBCUs.
“Leading among the
mediocre doesn't mean much, but being a champion among giants is a dream worth
striving for,” said Fisk University team captain Victor Ray Bradley. “This
competition is full of immensely talented people who are vying to take your
spot, but while you hold the title, the victory is sweet.”
videos and more information on the 2014 HCASC competition, including a full
list of the 48 teams that qualified, visit www.hcasc.com. Connect with HCASC on
Facebook (www.facebook.com/HCASC), Twitter (www.twitter.com/HCASC) and Instagram
(www.instagram.com/hcascpix), using the hashtag #HCASC.
Honda Campus All-Star Challenge:
In 1989, Honda,
with the College Bowl Company created the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge
(HCASC) in support of the unique mission of America’s Historically Black
Colleges and Universities. Historical data about the program is available at
Founded in 1866,
Fisk University is Nashville’s first institution of higher education and
currently ranks in the top 20% of all liberal arts institutions in the nation
according to The Washington Monthly.
Fisk is the fourth highest ranked institution in Tennessee and the
highest ranked Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Forbes
magazine’s 2013 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.” Fisk has been ranked in
The Princeton Review’s “Best Southeastern Colleges” publication for 21
consecutive years. U.S. News and World
Report ranks Fisk #146 in the elite Tier One group of 246 liberal arts institutions
selected for the distinction among the 1,400 colleges and universities in the
nation, and Fisk is one of only four HBCUs ranked in Tier One. Fisk has earned
four R & D 100 Awards for work in the creation of radiation detectors
developed in collaboration with several national laboratories and corporations.
No other HBCU has ever earned an R & D 100 Award. According to the National Science Foundation,
Fisk produces more African-Americans who go on to earn doctoral degrees in the
natural sciences than any school in the nation. For more information on Fisk
University, please visit www.fisk.edu.
11. SPRING CLEAN
It’s that time of year again: when you put away
your winter clothes, realize you haven’t gone to the gym nearly enough to be
ready for swimsuit season — and clean out your computer? Yes, that’s right,
now’s the perfect time of year to get your system up and running at its fastest
and most efficient again. Here’s how.
Backup files. You’ve got a lot of important files stored on
your system and if it crashed you could lose a lot of data. Back those files up
to an external hard drive (or two), and make sure those backup drives are
stored in secure locations — and even separate locations like your office or
Clean the system’s
registry. Your system picks
up a lot of temporary files over the course of its life — particularly through
Internet surfing — and you’ll speed it up by deleting them. There are several
tools you can use to clear out old registry entries (in PCs) and empty recycle
bins and that can delete temporary Internet files, cookies, and browsing
histories. CCleaner is a popular free
tool that can do this, but robust security platforms like Kaspersky’s PURE 3.0
contain PC cleanup tools that will do the same thing and are just one part of a
comprehensive suite of tools that will keep your system safe going forward.
Defragment your hard
drive. This is a utility
on Windows systems that will increase the speed and efficiency of your system.
In Windows 8 you’ll find this by searching ‘defrag’ under Files, on older
Windows systems go to ‘Program Files,’ ‘Accessories,’ then select ‘System
Tools.’ Running the Disk Defragmenter takes a while and your system will be
unavailable for use while this is happening, so its best to run this if you’re
going out for a while or when you go to sleep. The iOS equivalent of defragging
the hard drive is to run the system’s built-in Disk Utility app.
Remove programs you
don’t use. It’s likely that the longer you’ve had your
system, the more programs will be on it that you don’t use. But those programs
still take up disc space and slow your overall system down (especially if they
run in the background or while your system boots up). So now’s the time to
assess which programs you use and need, and which ones you don’t.
In Windows, go to the Control Panel, then select
‘Add/Remove Programs.’ Peruse through this list — select programs you haven’t
used in a year or more for removal. On Macs you can open LaunchPad, then drag and drop the icons of your unused and
underused programs into the trash.
passwords. This is an
important step to make on a regular basis, and as long as you’re bringing the
rest of your system up to date you should do this too. Remember to make them
long — 18 characters is a good target to shoot for — and complicated. Don’t use
any word found in the dictionary or any names. Mix up letters, numerals and
non-alphanumeric symbols. That can be a lot to remember, so you might want to
use a password manager: http://blog.kaspersky.com/change-your-passwords-now/ to help you.
updates. Make sure your
operating system and all software programs are updated to the latest versions
available, as these updates include the latest security patches. Older versions
are more at risk of being exploited by attackers who have found weaknesses in
these outdated programs. On Windows systems, navigate to ‘Go to Start,’ then
‘Control Panel,’ ‘All Programs,’ and ‘Windows Update.’ Here you’ll see what
updates are needed. It will tell you what updates need to be installed on your
computer. Make sure you click the “Check for updates” link to see if the
computer is up to date. On iOS systems, click on the app store, then the
‘Updates’ icon at the top of the window.
Boost your security. Download the latest version of a potent
security suite like PURE 3.0, then run a deep and full system scan to remove
any harmful files. Just to be safe, scan any external backup drives too.
Actually clean it. Your system gets dirty over time from the oils
on your fingers, crumbs, dust and so on. Wipe off your monitor with a damp
cloth, shake out and/or spray your keyboard out with compressed air, and scrub
the keyboard with a damp, mildly soapy solution.
TCR Editor’s Note: The following article was published by
Kaspersky Antivirus Lab http://blog.kaspersky.com/spring-clean-your-pc/. This is not an
endorsement, but the article is packed full of useful information. In the
spirit of transparency, I use the Kaspersky Antivirus system and it is an
12. AS THE TAX
SEASON ENDS, IRS ANSWERS: WHERE’S MY REFUND?:
WASHINGTON — With
the close of the tax filing season, the vast majority have filed their income
tax returns and received their income tax refunds. As of last Friday, the IRS
had received almost 113 million tax returns and issued more than 85 million
refunds, about 78 percent of all the refunds the agency will issue this year.
who have not yet received their refunds can use the “Where’s My Refund?” on
IRS.gov or on the smartphone application IRS2Go 4.0 to find out about the
status of their income tax refunds. As of April 11, 2014, Where’s My Refund? has been accessed almost 160 million times.
The Where’s My
Refund? tool enables taxpayers to track the status of their refund. Initial
information will normally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives
the taxpayer’s e-filed return or four weeks after the taxpayer mails a paper
return to the IRS. The system updates only once every 24 hours, usually
overnight, so there’s no need to check more often.
have their Social Security number, filing status and exact refund amount when
accessing Where’s My Refund?
Taxpayers can find
more information about refunds and other tax topics at www.IRS.gov.
TCR EDITOR'S COMMENT: I used the service and it works. In addition to your
Social security Account Number, you will also need the amount of the expected
refund. You can also download the IRS2Go Mobile App on your smartphone.
13. TIPS FOR TAXPAYERS WHO MISSED THE TAX DEADLINE:
If you missed the April 15 tax filing deadline, don’t
panic. Here’s some advice from the IRS.
• File as soon as you can. If
you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can. This will help
minimize the interest and penalty charges. There is no penalty for filing a
late return if you are due a refund.
• IRS Free File is your best option.
Everyone can use IRS Free File to e-file their federal taxes for free. If your
income was $58,000 or less, you can use free brand-name software. If you made
more than $58,000 and are comfortable preparing your own tax return, use Free
File Fillable Forms to e-file. This program uses the electronic versions of
paper IRS forms. IRS Free File is available through Oct. 15 only through
• IRS E-file is still available.
IRS e-file is available through Oct. 15. E-file is the easiest,
safest and most accurate way to file your taxes. With e-file you receive
confirmation that the IRS received your tax return. If you e-file and choose
direct deposit of your refund, you’ll normally get it within 21 days.
• Pay as much as you can. If
you owe tax but can’t pay it all at once, try to pay as much as you can when
you file your tax return. Pay the remaining balance as soon as possible to stop
further penalties and interest.
Make a payment agreement online.
If you need more time to pay your taxes, you can apply for a payment plan with
the IRS. The easiest way to apply is to use the IRS Online Payment
Agreement tool. You can also
mail Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. The tool and form are
both available on IRS.gov.
• A refund may be waiting. If
you’re due a refund, you should file as soon as possible to get it. Even if you
are not required to file, you may still get a refund. This could apply if you
had taxes withheld from your wages or you qualify for certain tax credits. If
you don’t file your return within three years, you could forfeit your right to
For more information, visit IRS.gov.
GETTING TO ZERO: CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT HEALTH DISPARITIES:
April is National
Health Disparities Month. What are the disparities in health and wellness for
Even if it is
painful, not pleasant, we need to know. We must have the conversation. Before
one can address issues, they must be known and at least partially understood.
An injury cannot heal until the injury is recognized and open so the healing
process can begin.
Where does HIV fit
into the health equity issues affecting families and communities in the United
States who are part of the African Diaspora in North America? Last week G20
began the conversation to talk about high rates of new HIV infections. We
learned that a focus on rates for African American men who have sex with men
(MSMs) is required. While this initiated conversation percolates, let’s look at
the bigger picture. What is the larger context of HIV/AIDS and other issues for
people of color in the USA?
The Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality summarizes health disparities in its 2012
National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (1). Using CDC reports of
data collected from state and county health departments, the report states that
African Americans (AAs) are:
- 60% more likely
to have diabetes. (This means that if we use a baseline that 1 out 10
non-Hispanic whites will get diabetes, then on average, 6 out of 10 African
Americans will become diabetic.)
- AAs are 40% more
likely to be obese,
- 30% more likely
to develop and die from heart disease,
- 40% more likely
to die from a stroke or its effects,
- 20% less likely
to receive treatment for depression,
- 40% more likely
to die from breast cancer.
If we look at some
other diseases or causes of death that are reported, African Americans are
- 9x more likely to
be diagnosed with HIV infection than non-Hispanic whites in America,
- 8x more likely to
die from AIDS,
- 2x more likely to
lose a foot, leg or toe due to amputation from diabetes complications,
- 2x more likely to
die from prostate cancer,
- 2.1x more likely
to die from asthma or asthmatic complications,
- 2.5x more likely
to die during pregnancy or childbirth (yes, this is for black women in the USA)
- 2x more likely to
die from cervical cancer. (There is now
a readily available vaccine in the USA that can prevent infection with the
human papilloma virus that eventually leads to most cervical cancers).
Are these issues of
persons from an older generation (over 50) that might have had lower access to
healthcare or less training in prevention or fewer screening opportunities?
Let’s look at the stats for African American children. African American
- 2x more likely to
die as an infant
- 2x more likely to
die from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome),
- 2x more likely to
have asthma and 3x more likely to die from asthma.
high schoolers are 30% more likely to attempt suicide due to untreated
depression. African American children are 73% more likely to be obese according
to the official weight and height definitions. Thus, we can better appreciate
the wisdom and motivations behind the “Let’s Move” campaign of First Lady
Michelle Obama who wanted her efforts to make a difference in real lives of
statistics, we can conclude that communities of culture are more likely to
carry a burden of disease that is much higher than those of non-Hispanic whites
in America. We can conclude that African Americans deal with certain diseases
at a level that is far too high. These statistics are not made up, but are
based on official reports by clinicians to the state health departments and
ultimately to the CDC.
The report (1)
asks, “How do we deal with these to reduce the different rates of disease
prevalence and outcomes?”
We could change the
differences by increasing the diseases of non-Hispanic whites, but this is not
a logical option. We must reduce the differences; address the disparity by
increasing prevention and good health habits for all, and especially for
Americans are served by the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC). We have
a Commission on Health and a Commission on Social Justice and clergy and lay
and youth all in an intricate connected national and global network. Through
the AMEC and whatever means necessary, we must learn more, talk about it,
explore what happens and why? We can together, collectively and individually,
determine and do what can be done to change the conditions that will improve opportunities
How does this
connect with MSMs who have the fastest increasing levels of new HIV infections
in the African American community? Let’s think about it and be open to explore
ways of thinking that align with the mission and actions of Jesus who we as
Let’s explore the
possibilities in conversations everywhere to better understand what we can and
must do about HIV/AIDS and other health issues.
April is National
Minority Health Month (2). In 2014 the theme is “Prevention is Power”. April
2014 also contains the Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday. April is the time, if
not already committed to such, to move out of Lent into seeking and using
better habits for wellness. It is the time to use whatever means necessary to learn
where we are, understand the factors that place us here, determine the
directions in which we must go and then to do what is required to move forward.
*The Rev. Dr. A.
Oveta Fuller is a tenured professor in Microbiology and Immunology and faculty
in the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan. An Itinerant Elder
in the 4th Episcopal District, she served as pastor of Bethel AME
Church in Adrian, Michigan for seven years before focusing fully on global
health research in Zambia and the USA for HIV/AIDS elimination. At Payne
Theological Seminary she teaches a required course, “What Effective Clergy Should Know about HIV/AIDS.”
iCHURCH SCHOOL LESSON BRIEF FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014 - THE THIRD DAY - HOSEA
6:1-3; LUKE 24:1-12:
Dickens, Allen AME Church, Tacoma, Washington
the last two months I have become hooked on an ABC hit drama show. And, no, it’s not Scandal, but
focus of Resurrection is looking at how residents in a small Missouri town
adjust to a phenomenon where previously dead residents are now returning to
life and attempting to regain their sense of normalcy. Although the “resurrected characters”
represent TV intrigue for the viewing audience, I personally find the
behavioral reactions by the “non-resurrected” residents of Arcadia, Missouri
more fascinating. Many of the Arcadia
residents are filled with doubt, anger, fear, resentment, betrayal and hate
towards their “resurrected” residents.
20, 2014 marks the Sunday on our Liturgical Calendar for the AME Church to
celebrate the greatest Resurrection ever recorded in the annals of human
history. Many AME Church Schools will
host Eater plays and offer opportunities for our children, grades k – 12, to provide
public speaking parts on the Easter Story.
Let’s not however forget the lesson in the midst of the pretty outfits,
oratorical speeches and egg roll activities.
Adult AME Church School lesson for April 20, 2013 celebrates the quintessential
"resurrection” – Jesus’ Resurrection.
Luke describes the Resurrection story by also using some Arcadia-like
personalities. When the women returned from an empty tomb filled with
adrenaline and enthusiasm about Jesus’ Resurrection, many of the disciples
rejected their resurrection story just like the Arcadia townspeople.
however, remembering the prophecy from Hosea and the words spoken by Jesus
concerning the third day, broke ranks with his male colleagues and ran to the
tomb for verification.
Bible records many “resurrections.”
Elijah raised a young boy from the dead (I Kings 17:17-22). Elisha raised the Shunammite’s son (II Kings
4:20-37). Jesus raised the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-16), Jairus’ daughter
(Mark 5:35-43) and Lazarus (John 11:1-44) from the dead. Even at the climax of Jesus’ resurrection,
other saints arose from the dead when the curtain in the temple was torn
"from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51-53).
this is where the similarity ends. Those who were raised from the dead
is unique. He never died again. Jesus’
resurrection is inspirational. He is the source of our hope. Jesus’
resurrection is definitive. We are saved
from the penalty of sin through our faith in His resurrection.
we adopt an uncompromising belief in Jesus’ Resurrection. The Apostle’s Creed states unequivocally;
“The third day he rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father
not be disbelievers like the Arcadia residents in the fictional TV show
is alive! Jesus lives physically,
emotionally and existentially in our minds, bodies and souls. This is a cause
for celebration, not fear and doubt.
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 AME Church.
MEDITATION, “AT, BUT NOT IN…, BASED ON LUKE 9:18-23:
Most pastors will
see larger than usual crowds in church on this coming Sunday because it’s
Easter Sunday. I noticed years ago while
still a pastor, however, that even though the church was crowded for Easter,
few people joined the church and there was no appreciable “bump” in the offerings.
I mentioned that to
one of my preacher-uncles who wisely said, “Understand that some folks you see
on Easter Sunday love the Lord, but they’re in church for Easter out of “annual
habit” or because their children got new clothes or fresh hairdos or haircuts
and have speeches during the church school Easter program - they’re at church
for Easter Sunday, but they really aren’t in church.”
through the years in conversations with other clergy that many Rabbis have the
same experience in synagogues on Rosh Hashanah and that some Imams do so as
well in Mosques at the conclusion of Ramadan.
Most people believe in God, but many of us focus on this world’s
demands, don’t make time for God on a regular basis and maintain our link to
our faith through our presence in the house of worship on the most sacred day
of the year. As my late uncle said,
“they’re at church but they’re not in church.”
Let that aspect of
human nature be your encouragement and motivation to chart a new course and
make a new commitment as we approach the holiest of days for Christians. God made time to hear our prayers and to see
our shortcomings, and sent His Son into this world to give His life on Calvary
as the price for our sins and to then arise from the dead with the power to
guarantee everlasting life for all who believe in Him.
God made the time
to save us and still makes the time to hear our daily prayers and send us daily
blessings, for each day that we wake up in this world is a blessed day. When we take the time to trust in, walk with,
serve the Lord and give thanks to God for our blessings by the lives that we
live - not just on Easter Sunday but on every day - we’ll find new peace of
mind, hope, encouragement and Spirit-led strength to face life’s most troubling
times not with fear, but with faith.
Make this Easter
Sunday the first day of a better, renewed and more meaningful life. When you do, then even when Easter 2014 is a
distant memory and the Easter clothes get old, you can still walk life’s
journey saying with one writer, “Because He lives I can face tomorrow; because
He lives all fear is gone; because I know Who holds the future, and life is
worth the living just because He lives.”
Get Ready for
Sunday, and have a great day in your house of worship and a very Happy Easter!
*The Rev. Dr.
Joseph A. Darby
*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
CLERGY FAMILY CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES:
-- The Rev. Dr.
Katurah York Cooper Celebrates Milestones in 2013
2013 was indeed a
'Year of Supernatural Surplus' at Empowerment Temple AME Church in Liberia.
Please join us in celebrating two important milestones in our pastor's
life. Dr. Katurah York Cooper accepted
the invitation of the Honorable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the
Republic of Liberia to serve on the Committee on Grievance and Ethics of the
Judiciary. The Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Judiciary is responsible
to investigate unethical conduct of lawyers, and make recommendations to the
Supreme Court of actions to be taken against lawyers found guilty. Dr. Cooper
is the first Christian cleric (male or female) to serve on this committee.
Other members of the committee include six lawyers, a journalist, an Imam and a
banker. We also congratulate our pastor for serving as the Baccalaureate
Preacher at the 95th Commencement Exercises of the University of Liberia. She
spoke to over 1200 graduates on the theme "Don't Despise Your
Birthright". Dr. Katurah York Cooper, a trailblazer, is the first female
cleric to serve in that capacity in the history of the institution since its
establishment in 1863.
Dr. Katurah York
Cooper is the pastor/founder of Empowerment Temple AME Church in the Central
Liberia Annual Conference of the 14th Episcopal District.
The Reverend John and Martha Lambert to Celebrate 50th Wedding
The Reverend John
and Martha Lambert will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 19,
2014. The Reverend John Lambert is the pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church in
responses can be emailed to:
* Allen Chapel
A.M.E. Church, Anderson, Indiana
The Rev. and Mrs. Stanley Stevens Dawson Sr. celebrated their 25th Wedding
The Reverend and
Mrs. Stanley Stevens Dawson Sr. (Pamela) of the South Conference, Eleventh
Episcopal District celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on
March 30, 2014.
The Rev. Dawson is
currently the pastor of Greater Mount Pleasant African Methodist Episcopal
Church in Hollywood Florida
messages can be emailed to: The Rev. and Mrs. Stanley Stevens Dawson Sr. at email@example.com
* Greater Mount
Pleasant African Methodist Episcopal Church
The Reverend Ann Riley completes requirements for her Master of Divinity Degree
The Reverend Ann
Riley, Pastor of Mount Pleasant AME Church, Cantonment, on the
Pensacola-Marianna District who had her humble beginning at Hurst Chapel AME
Church in Pensacola has completed all of the requirements at Payne Theological
Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio to receive her Master of Divinity Degree.
Graduation is scheduled for May 23, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Ivana Kim Gordon the daughter of Presiding Elder Jerome Gordon graduated from
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Rev Jerome Gordon, Presiding Elder of the Worcester District in the Cape Annual
Conference, 15th Episcopal District whose daughter, Ivana Kim Gordon
graduated from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town Campus in
Tourism Management. Ivana will be off to Disney World Florida, USA, to explore
a new venture later during the year.
Episcopal District of African Methodism is proud of its sons and daughters.
responses can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Presiding Elder Jerome
*The Rev. Clive
Pillay, Cape Annual Conference, 15th Episcopal District
EPISCOPAL FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We are saddened to
announce the passing of Alfred Kirkland, the nephew of Bishop T. Larry
Kirkland, the Presiding Prelate of the Fifth Episcopal District of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
arrangements will be forthcoming.
for Bishop T. Larry Kirkland
District AME Church
4519 Admiralty Way,
GENERAL OFFICER FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We are saddened to
inform you of the passing of Mrs. Carol W. Hillery, the sister in law of the
Rev. Dr. Jeffery Cooper, the General Secretary/CIO of the African Methodist
Mrs. Hillery was very
active in her church and was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was the sister of Dr. Joanne Williams
Cooper, M.D., wife of Dr. Jeffery B Cooper, General Secretary and CIO.
Services for Mrs.
Carol W. Hillery will be held:
Thursday, April 10,
2014 at 11 a.m.
Care of the remains
has been entrusted to:
The wake and
recitation of the rosary will be held on Wednesday evening, April 9, 2014 at
the funeral home.
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of Edward N. Davis, the husband of Rita Pendleton,
Administrative Assistant to Dr. Richard A. Lewis, CFO AME Church Finance
Department, Washington, DC.
Edward N. Davis:
Wake: Friday, April
18, 2014 from 6-8 p.m.
A. L. Bennett &
Son Funeral Home
April 19, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
sympathy may be sent to:
C/o AME Finance
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of Mrs. Joretta Harris. She is the mother of Candace M.
Sparks and mother-in-law of the Rev. Ronald Sparks, pastor of Bethel AMEC,
Freehold, New Jersey.
information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.
April 23, 2014, 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
The Rev. Timothy E.
Fort Logan National
of sympathy may be sent to:
The Rev. Ronald and
condolences and resolutions for the wake or funeral should be sent to
Caldwell-Kirk Mortuary. See address above.
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
It is with much
sadness that we share the tragic and sudden passing on of the 24 year old Riaan
White, nephew of the Rev. Lucas White, pastor of Trinity Chapel AME
Church-Grassy Park, Cape Town; Cape Annual Conference, 15th Episcopal District.
It is in times like
these that we are challenged to witness to the faith we proclaim and let the
world know, in Times like these we have a Savior. God is our refuge and
strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of Mr. Walker Johnson, of Georgetown, SC. Brother Johnson was the father of the Rev.
Dr. Julius M. (Wanda) Johnson, pastor of Long Cane AME Church, Abbeville, SC.
The Celebration of
Life Services for Brother Walker Johnson:
Monday, April 14,
2014 at 2:00 p.m.
The Rev. Dr. M.
Charmaine Ragin, Pastor
Condolences may be sent to:
The Rev. Dr. Julius
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
It is with
heartfelt sympathy that we inform you of the passing of Mr. Israel Emil Harper,
the son of the Rev. and Mrs. Jimmy Harper, Pastor, Mt. Zion AME Church,
Dentontown, Mississippi in the North Mississippi Conference.
Funeral Service for
Mr. Israel Emil Harper:
138 East Washington
Sympathy may be sent to:
The Reverend &
Mrs. Jimmy Harper
Telephone: (662) 628-5271
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
It is with
heartfelt sympathy that we inform you of the passing of Mr. Malvin Flake, Sr.,
the father of the Reverend Gwendolyn McClure, the pastor of Parker Chapel AME
Church in Shaw, Mississippi and Featherstone AME Church in Senatobia,
Mississippi in the North Mississippi Conference.
for Mr. Malvin Flake, Sr.:
*Please send floral
arrangements or cards to W.S. Brandon Mortuary Funeral Service:
Solomon Chapel AME
Sympathy may be sent to:
Telephone: (662) 820-0988
26. CLERGY FAMILY
BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley,
AMEC Clergy Family
27. CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED
FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
The Chair of the
Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland; the
Publisher, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour and the Editor of The Christian Recorder, the Reverend Dr.
Calvin H. Sydnor III offer our condolences and prayers to those who have lost
loved ones. We pray that the peace of Christ will be with you during this time
of your bereavement.
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