The Christian Recorder Online: Breaking News (9/25/04)

Received word this morning of the passing of the mother of the Reverend Dr. Jerome Harris.  Dr. Harris is Executive Director of the Department of Employee Security for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Request your prayers for the Harris family.  Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.





Please sign-up at http://www.the-christian-recorder.org/ if you wish receive the Christian Recorder Online.  It takes less than a minute. 


If you are not on the mailing list, the way to access the Christian Recorder Online: http://www.the-christian-recorder.org




Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III

The Christian Recorder

P.O. Box 3185

Hampton, VA 23663






4.  THE AME/WIM WEBSITE: www.amewim.org


5.  MORE AME NEWS: www.ameherald.com 




When submitting articles please spell-check and, very importantly, correctly spell the names of the persons listed in your articles.  Also use the correct titles for the persons in your articles, i.e., if you use title of one, use title for all the persons listed in your article.  I have no way of knowing if a person is a "reverend" or not.




The changing weather patterns in Florida over the last month have caused many of us to think a lot about hurricanes.   Several years ago, actor Denzel Washington portrayed the Miami based boxer, Reuben “Hurricane” Carter.  The most dominant college football team in the country bears the nickname ‘HurricanesÂ’.  Even some popular bars and restaurants will offer their patrons a mellow libation called a ‘Hurricane DrinksÂ’.  At least, this is what IÂ’m told since I happen to be a teetotaler. 


Changing atmospheric conditions in the tropics and the Atlantic Ocean cause most of us to focus our attention on the wind-patterns meteorologists refer to as hurricanes.  Over the last month, Florida has received unwelcome visitors by the name of Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Ivan and probably next, Jeanne or Karl.   Who invited these guests?  What is the purpose of their visits?  Why can't they just leave us alone?


The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the key Federal agency that tracks, monitors and conducts extensive research about the behavior of hurricanes.  It is through the monitoring activities of NOAA that cities and communities can receive advanced notification about the pending arrival of hurricanes thus allowing for some type of orderly preparation and if need be, evacuation. 


It is important to emphasize that NOAA is not in the business of hurricane prevention only hurricane preparation.  Once the NOAA computer models project the probable path of the storm, residents can use this information to determine how best to protect their loved ones and private property.


What, can the Bible provide to help our understanding of hurricanes and offer some semblance of hope?  A survey of the Scriptures would show that the term hurricane does not appear in the text.  That would make sense because the official usage of the term didnÂ’t appear in Western literature until 1555 long after the Bible was canonized.  But, we know that the essential characteristics of hurricanes occurred long before 1555.  If we use the word whirlwind or the dual occurrence of strong wind and rain as proxies, we find many references to “hurricanes” in the Sacred Text.  The following passages are good references for hurricane research...



(Read the rest of this article in The Christian Recorder)




How can we send money or food or clothing items?

The Reverend Jason Richard Curry, M.Div.
Dean of the Chapel and Lecturer in Philosophy and Religion
Fisk University
1000 17th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37208
(615) 329-8582





-  Conference Opens With A Surge


Prepared by the Rev. Salatheia Bryant-Honors

Texas Annual Conference Reporter


The Rt. Rev. Gregory G.M. Ingram opened the 138th session of the Texas Annual Conference by introducing the theme “To the Tenth Power!”

The theme was a rallying cry voiced throughout the duration of the conference.


From the opening service until the closing, the theme, “To the Tenth Power,” accented every aspect of the Annual Conference that ran from Sept. 14- Sept. 18. Bishop Ingram said, “The challenge for us is to venture beyond the comfort and complacency of our self-imposed limitations."


 Â“The theme speaks to the empowerment that will come to the Tenth through the obedience to the word and will of God for our lives. It symbolizes getting the body of Christ operating to the fullest. If we do all to the Tenth power our return will be unspeakable.”

Change was the order of the day as the newly appointed Episcopal leader reminded Conference members that God has called them to make a difference in the world.


And there were noticeable changes – some large and small – throughout the week.  In keeping with the “To the Tenth Power” theme Bishop Ingram allowed 10-minute breaks and meetings started 10 minutes after the hour.


Additionally, the opening worship service was held at night rather than during the day. And members were pleasantly surprised when one day Bishop Ingram provided bottled water and soft drinks to Annual Conference attendees.  Conference members applauded the new energy.

“I love it,” said delegate Barbara Kirby. “I’ve been going to conferences a long time and I’ve never felt anything like this. It (the theme) personalized us.”


Col. Leroy Jones, a member of Payne Cathedral of Faith in Houston, added that the theme acted as a call to work.  “ItÂ’s different and itÂ’s a challenge for us,” he said.

Bishop Ingram also shared his ten principles for the Tenth District, which he calls a divine compass that should be used to guide the spiritual growth and development of pastors and members.


By learning and living these principles, the Tenth Episcopal District will witness a new dimension of grace and greatness in Kingdome building, according to his written material. The ten principles are: Purpose, Passion, Performance, Partnership, Policy, Procedure, Protocol, Perseverance, Praise, and Prayer.


Bishop Ingram was elected and consecrated a bishop in the A.M.E. Church in 2000. He served his first Episcopal assignment in the 15th Episcopal District, which is comprised of Angola, Namibia and a great portion of South Africa.


Bishop Ingram was granted an opportunity to share his vision for the Tenth District live on local radio station Gospel 1360 A.M.

The radio Interview was arranged by the Gulf Coast Ministerial Alliance.

The Rev. Hunt Harris, pastor of Evangelist Chapel, is the president of the organization.


Retired Bishop Robert Thomas, Jr., who delivered the ordination sermon and is Bishop IngramÂ’s father in the ministry, told conference members to prepare to see Bishop IngramÂ’s creativity at work.  “You are going to see some great things. You are going to see some innovative things,” said Thomas.


-  Brother Eugene Gray, 99, and still going


By Rev. Salatheia Bryant-Honors

Texas Annual Conference Reporter.



When a doctor told Bro. Eugene Gray, more than 30 years ago, that he needed to undergo a serious operation he quickly gained an appetite for the church.


Until then, Gray admits he sporadically attended church. He especially attended service on his motherÂ’s birthday because it seemed to make her happy. But the doctorÂ’s news lit a fire under him that hasnÂ’t stopped burning.


“I didn’t want to take the operation without my name being on the church rolls,” said Gray. “I went back to church and I’ve had my feet to the fire every since.”


And that fire has burned now for decades. The man who once had a spotty church attendance record is now called a stalwart member of St. James in Wharton. Gray proudly declares that he hasnÂ’t missed an Annual Conference since 1967. And during the conference roll call Gray once again stood, quoted a Bible verse and answered present as a delegate for two churches.


A broad smile came to his gentle face when Bishop Ingram graciously gave him $100 and shared kind words with him. He received a standing ovation from the conference on his longevity.


But Gray remained modest.  “I feel like IÂ’m so wonderfully blessed and I wonder if IÂ’m worthy of it,” said Gray of Bishop IngramÂ’s acknowledgment of him.  At 99, Gray still lives an active life.  While he doesnÂ’t do much walking – it tires him out – he still tools around near his house on his bicycle and he still drives. The feisty nonagenarian recently purchased a 2000 Oldsmobile. He lives in Wharton, Texas on the same street as the church. His motto is: “Use What YouÂ’ve Got.” And he loves cats.


Rev. Linda Smith said she remembers when Gray visited her at home, encouraging her to attend the church. She applauds him for his dedication. “I remember Bro. Gray saying to me, ‘young lady we not only need your money but we need your presence.Â’ HeÂ’s wonderful.  HeÂ’s really stayed there for St. James,” Smith said. “HeÂ’s the pillar. He is a good example for us to endure.”


Gray has held many offices in the small church including Sunday School Superintendent and Steward; however, his best activity is the annual cotton-picking program, which is a big to-do at St. James.  During the program Gray dons the standard cotton-picking attire, including a red handkerchief around his neck and a tattered sun hat on his head.

Gray calls himself a Methodist from birth. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is all he has ever known, but Gray says he can feel at home in any church, in any denomination.


He isnÂ’t the only one in his family blessed with long life. One of his sisters is 90 and another is 100. Gray wants to live to see 100 and after that, he says, heÂ’ll try for 101.


-  Inaugural Gathering of Texas Conference Women


Rev. Salatheia Bryant-Honors

Texas Annual Conference Reporter


The Rev. Dr. Jessica Ingram hosted the Texas Annual ConferenceÂ’s first Gathering of Women.  More than 300 women attended the service that included powerful praise moments and a life-changing teaching by Rev. Jessica Ingram.


For many the service offered an opportunity to worship God uninhibited and in the company of sisters only. There they freely danced, shouted and wept as the room was filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Some women said they received release and renewal.


Sis. Stacy Dawson, first lady of St. Paul-Greenspoint and host church of the Annual

Conference, said the teaching prompted her to pursue goals that she had once put off.

“I thought it was awesome. You got the word in a professional way,” said Mrs. Dawson. “It was a totally different experience. Some people were getting convicted.”

Other women added that it was spiritually therapeutic and directional.


“I was very comfortable in the atmosphere,” said Mary Virginia Russ, a member of Wesley Chapel in Houston. “I gathered a lot of information that I can start using now.”


Rev. JessicaÂ’s subject was “Thinking big for a change.”  Her points were:

1.      Learn to think a whole thought through. On the other side of the thought, she said, is a bigger blessing.

2.      Develop the ability to think thoughts that will advance you rather than pull you down.

3.      Hang with women who are thinkers because they will provoke you to think.

4.      Have a thinking place and carve out some thinking time.

5.      Keep a journal.

6.      Think in the morning what you want to accomplish in the day and at night think of what you want to accomplish the next day.

7.      Think that your past does not have to blackmail your future.

8.      Think that you are more than you are right now.


Rev. Jessica has scheduled quarterly praise and worship services for the women of the Tenth District.  The schedule is as follows:


-  Dec. 3, 2004 5 p.m. Dallas at Sensational St. Paul, Theme: “Showing Mary” Rev. Dr. Renita Weems will be the speaker.


- March 6, 2005 5 p.m. Forth Worth at Baker Chapel, Theme: “Girlfriends-Together Again” Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake speaker.


-  May 1, 2005 5 p.m. Houston at Wesley, Theme: “My Mother, My Daughter, My Sister” the Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Thelma Bryant-Davis, and the Rev. Quintalyn Phillips are the speakers.


-  Aug. 7, 2005 5 p.m. Austin at Grant Worship Center Theme: “When I grow Old, I shall Wear Purple!” The speaker is still undetermined.




Meeting the Needs of God's people one person at a time being motivated and
anointed only by Christ who strengthens me.




Mr. Editor,

You are making vast and quick improvements.  Indeed, you are the man for the job.  Two questions:

1. If I register for online C. R. will I still get the paper (hard copy)?

2. Does my paid subscription through the Annual Conference cover online subscription?

The Reverend Ronald Braxton




Dr. Braxton - Thank you for your kind words.


Reference question # 1` - Whether or not you register online, you will get your paper copy if you have paid your $26.


Question #2: The online subscription is free.  Your paid subscription at the Annual Conference covers just your hard-copy paper subscription.


The Christian Recorder now has two venues:  (1) Hard-copy paper as we have always had it ($26) and now (2) the online edition (free).




I guess that this will be the end of a good journey together. I have enjoyed them thoroughly. I have asked you to register many people on your list serve which you have and they all have said that they enjoyed it. As an UMC I have found your discussions pretty good. Now that you have turned this into a cash website I will have to make a parting until some other time. I am very happy for you with your new assignment and wish you the best in Nashville.  


Richard Herrington, Jr.




Brother Herrington - Thanks for your kind words.  I have a question:  When did the Christian Recorder Online become a "cash website?"  Who is getting the money?  No one!  It's free.  Hard to believe that we can do this for free?  It's technology!  The AME Church is getting on the cutting edge of technology!  I invite you to stay with us.  This won't "cost you a dime."  I do invite you to subscribe to, The Christian Recorder. A subscription to The Christian Recorder is $26. You will read great editorials and exciting articles.  The AME Publishing House and The Christian Recorder staffs are "second to none." 




First Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church
First District Plaza - 3801 Market Street - Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Right Reverend Richard F. Norris, Presiding Bishop 

Office: 215 - 662-0506

FAX: 215-662-0199

Date:   September 22, 2004
To: Mrs. Ora Easley, Conn-M-Swawo
From: Bishop Richard F. Norris
Subject: Homegoing of Rev. Phillip Loman

We regret to inform you of the passing of Rev. Phillip Loman.  The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements:

Funeral - Friday, September 24, 2004
Funeral - 11:00 a.m.
St. Paul AME Church
30 West King Street
Waynesboro, PA 17268
Church Tel: 717-765-8111
Rev. Jahkimmo Smith, Pastor

Viewing - Thursday, September 23, 2004
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Grove- Bowersox Funeral Home
#50 South Broad Street
Waynesboro, PA

Condolences may be sent to the family:
Family of Rev. Phillip Loman
114 Eden Avenue
Waynesboro, PA 17268

Please remember the Loman family in your prayers during this time of their bereavement.

God Bless!
Ora L. Easley
615) 837-9736 Phone
(615) 833-6936 Voice Mail
(615) 833-3781 Fax


No matter how many times you may have fallen short in the past, you can go positively forward right now. No matter how often you've chosen a path that has led you astray, you can now choose to move straight ahead.

Do not be dismayed by what has already come to pass. For now you can choose to live the best of your possibilities.

Don't waste a lot of time being disappointed by the shortcomings in your past. Now is your opportunity to move beyond them.

Whatever has been, has been and is finished. What is to be, is yours now to choose. Now is the moment that you can influence. Now is the time to take positive action.

Get up and go forward from whatever may have happened before. Now is truly your moment to shine.

-- Ralph Marston






Please continue to write me at chsydnor@erols.com
This is where I will receive articles for the Christian Recorder  and The Christian Recorder Online.  Though my computer will be packed by the end of the day, I will still be in contact.  What did we do before we had technology?
We were able to access Naval Air Station,  Pensacola, Florida yesterday for 2 hours to check on our residence.

Well, not a thing was out of place in our home.  While outside looked like a war zone with 100 plus year old trees ripped from the ground, the viewing stands from the parade field 200 yards away resting on our front lawn, concrete ripped away, boats washed up on land all around, and lawns fully covered with litter, roof shingles, tree limbs and gutters making it unable for one to even see the grass beneath,  inside our home looked like a museum. We are indeed blessed.

It will take years for Pensacola to recover from this storm. The landscape will take decades...

Well that's my Praise Report (as we would say in black church tradition). While I claim no special blessing or exemption by God for sparing us from this tragedy, I do give thinks to God for our good fortune and look forward to us helping those less fortunate than we are.

Please continue to hold residents of Gulf Coast cities in you thoughts and prayers, especially those families who mourn the loss of life and total destruction of all they own.

...with an attitude of gratitude...
r/Chaplain  Morrison
First Episcopal District
Bishop Richard F. Norris 
Presiding Bishop
Office: 215 - 662-0506
Fax: 215-662-0199

African Methodist Episcopal Church
First District Plaza - 3801 Market Street - Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Date:   September 22, 2004
To: Mrs. Ora Easley, Conn-M-Swawo
From: Bishop Richard F. Norris
Subject: Homegoing of Rev. Henry Hildebrand

We regret to inform you of the passing of the Reverend Henry Hildebrand.  The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements:

Funeral - Friday, September 24, 2004
Viewing - 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Funeral - 6:00 p.m.
Mt. Zion AME Church
39 Morris Street
New Brunswick, NJ
Church Tel: 732-249-8476
Rev. Joseph Hooper, Pastor

Condolences may be sent to the family c/o the funeral home:
Anderson Funeral Services
201 Sandford Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 732-545-7312
Fax: 732-545-7315

Please remember the Hildebrand family in you prayers during this time of their bereavement.

God Bless!
Ora L. Easley
615) 837-9736 Phone
(615) 833-6936 Voice Mail
(615) 833-3781 Fax

Rev. Joseph Carsice
formerly of Holy Trinity AME Church
Long Beach, CA

His life will be celebrated this week.

Wake Friday - September 24th
12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Dorschester Funeral Home
7842 East Oglethorpe Highway
Midway, CA

Homegoing Celebration
2:00 p.m. Sat. September 25, 2004
St. Peters AME Church
5394 East Oglethorpe Highway
Midway, GA 31320

Messages and condolences may be sent to his wife:

Rev. Janet Carsice
33 Kevin Rd.
Hinesville, RD 31313

Submitted by:

Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr.
Senior Pastor
Bryant Temple AME Church
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Please remember this family in your prayers.
God Bless!

Ora L. Easley
615) 837-9736 Phone
(615) 833-6936 Voice Mail
(615) 833-3781 Fax

If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people

around the world.


If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
who cannot read anything at all.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.


If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.


If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.


If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.


If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
who cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.


    (Author unknown)





Our computer at 1 Sarfan Drive is almost "history."  This may be one of the last mailings from this address.  Our transition has started.




To post articles or to send me messages, send email to Recorder2@the-christian-recorder.org I will read, review and edit all messages to be posted in the Christian Recorder Online.  This is also the site to send articles to the hard-copy Christian Recorder.  You may also send messages to calvin.sydnor@hamptonu.edu




Please sign-up at http://www.the-christian-recorder.org/ if you wish receive the Christian Recorder Online.  It takes less than a minute. 


If you are not on the mailing list, the way to access the Christian Recorder Online: http://www.the-christian-recorder.org




Send $26, payable to: "The Christian Recorder" for a one-year subscription. Send it to, The Christian Recorder, 500 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203




Hurricane Ivan Hits Sixteenth District

By Rev. Denise Rogers (Reprinted A.M.E. Herald)


Hurricane Ivan did considerable damage to the Sixteenth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church, which includes Suriname-Guyana, Windward Islands, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and London and Grenada. Grenada was especially hard hit, as was the one A.M.E. Church on the island. The church had its roof heavily damaged and has also sustained other damage to the church.   Conditions in Grenada are extremely bad; ninety percent of the homes in Grenada have been destroyed.


In addition to homes being destroyed trees that produce nutmeg have been torn down and hotels that are important to tourism are not standing.  Residents of Grenada have not only lost their homes but they have also lost their jobs. It takes fifteen years for a nutmeg tree to grow.


Thirty-nine people died in Grenada and there is water, food or electricity on the island because of Hurricane damage.  Bishop Guidry shared this information with the A.M.E. Herald,  "The 16th District damages now include the Dominican Republic. The church in LaRomona lost part of its roof. The church in Grenada was very heavily damaged, lost its roof, and other damage to the building. The need in Grenada is for water, food and clothing. However we need to establish a group or individual to receive so that we can be sure it gets to where we wish it to go. As soon as transportation resumes we will be able to get first hand information.”


Jamaica has also sustained considerable damage from Hurricane Ivan and Bishop Guidry is still waiting for assessment reports also from Jamaica. Preliminary reports state that three A.M.E. churches have been damaged in Jamaica.

Those wishing to send financial contributions may do so to the 16th Episcopal District.




Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry
Presiding Prelate, 16th Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church
1968 West Adams Blvd Suite 314
Los Angeles, CA 90018
323 293-6555




Bishop Green Holds His First Annual Conference in Namibia

By Presiding Elder Albert Biwa Bureau Chief Namibia (Reprinted A.M.E. Herald)


The 50th Session of the Namibia Annual Conference was held from September 1-5, 2004 at St. JohnÂ’s A.M.E. Church, Walvisbay.  Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr. is the presiding prelate.


Five Hundred worshippers sang “And are we yet alive” one of the most popular hymns of African Methodism.  The resounding voices filled the spacious Kuisebmond Community Hall on September 1, 2004. 


The host Pastor and wife, Rev. Albert E Biwa and Mrs. Biwa of St. JohnÂ’s A.M.E. Church left no stone unturned in order to make the inlanders feel comfortable to the coastal winds and wet climate changes.  The Rev. William A Balie, Presiding Elder of the Hoachanas District and pastor of the Richard Allen A.M.E. Church, Swakopmund, delivered the Annual Sermon on the theme, “Moving from Alpha to Omega People.” The preacher encouraged the worshippers and said, "We must develop into Christian maturity, move away from division and focus the people on Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith."


Bishop Samuel L Green, Sr. the 125th elected Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church called the 50th Session of the Namibia Annual Conference to order at 3 p.m. and from the onset it was clear that, "business as usual" would no longer be acceptable.  The Church's emphasis is three-fold: Spiritual revival and development to deal with the political aftermath of the past quadrennial, youth and young adult retention to empower youngsters to become full participants in all aspects of ministry, and evangelism whereby training would be provided to reclaim the zeal and zest of our predecessors by spreading the Gospel of Christ with new inspiration.


The Conference was marked with inspirational preaching. Rev. Hans Isaak, pastor of Purity A.M.E. Church, Wanaheda delivered the Emmaus Walk Sermon, lifting our spirits that even the downtrodden will be comforted. Rev. Daniel Schmidt, pastor of ZTT AME Church preached the Missionary Sermon, encouraging us that the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few. The Lay Commitment Sermon was preached with conviction by the Brother Charles Mutambo, who called us back to our first love and putting forward forgiveness and reconciliation as important building blocks of spiritual revival. The Rev. J. Nakhom delivered the Memoirs Sermon, and we remembered Rev. Edward Goeieman – one of the unsung heroes of African Methodism and who also was a retired parliamentarian from the Namibian National Assembly.


The spiritual revival was put in effect when three female Itinerant Deacons were ordained.  The Reverends. M. Kapere, A B Sauerwein and B Schroder) and one Itinerant Elder, the Rev. L Leukes, was also ordained.


The Rev. Crawford, visiting clergy from the 11th Episcopal District, delivered the Sermon with power on the theme, “A Charge to Keep and God to Glorify”

The Namibian Delegation to the 47th Session of the General Conference AME Church presented their report, and thanked Bishop Samuel L Green, Sr. and others for the hospitality extended during delegation's stay in Indianapolis.


The delegation has recommended the following candidates for Episcopal office in 2008: the Reverends Andrew Lewin, Julius H McAllister Sr. and John F White.


The election of the Conference Representatives to the Global development Council took place.  The clergy elected was the Rev. W Simon Hanse and the lay elected Sister Thusnelda H Isaacks. Following the election and upon the recommendation from the Committee on Circuits and Stations, the Task Force to deal with re-bordering issues, was appointed as follows: Reverends Neels J Simon, W. Simon Hanse, Albert E Biwa and Sisters Thusnelda H Isaacks, Katherine E /Goagoseb and Winnie.


The closing Commissioning Service was marked with traditional pomp and pageantry. The music was inspiring and the liturgical dancers moved the worshippers to the Seventh heaven. Bishop Green revived us with the word, “A Fresh Anointing!”  The marching orders were very clear, and from the powerful preaching, it was obvious that our prelate had indeed received a revelation and vision from God.


The adjustments in Presiding Elder and Pastoral appointments at first hearing sounded unrealistic, but as the Bishop moved on and made further adjustments it was clear that church growth was the clear motivational rationale.


The benediction was given to worshippers who were "pregnant" with expectation for the much welcome announcement of nationwide Revival Services, to be spearheaded by our Episcopal leader, the Right Reverend Samuel L Green Sr.




“This journey is complete “ . . . echoed the closing of an illustrious earthly life for Presiding Elder Herman A. Rhodes as family, ministerial colleagues, friends, and dignitaries assembled at the Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, PA (Rev. Terrence C. Hensford, pastor) on August 21, 2004 at 4:00 o’clock PM to pay their last respects and bid a final farewell on this side to a stalwart Christian soldier. Realizing that on the other side, the saints of God welcomed Rev. Rhodes home after his journey of 87 years ended on August 16, 2004 from stroke and heart attack complications at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.


Reflecting on Rev. Rhodes as a father, grandfather, uncle, brother and an AME minister generated expressions of love and cherished memories.  His eldest daughter, Dr. Alice R. Hinsley remembered his “quiet dignity and peaceful/calm demeanor,” stating that such qualities possessed by her father made her proud of him wherein she took pride in emulating those same traits.  Brian M. Rhodes, Esquire, the devoted eldest 37-year-old grandson, added that his grandfather was a generous and benevolent soul who always reached out to help anyone who needed him: family and friends. Following in the legacy of his grandfather as an ordained AME minister and currently serving as a U.S. Army Chaplain, Rev. (CPT.) Kemperal J. Hinsley reflected on the fiery hermeneutics preached by Elder Rhodes with power and conviction. Using excerpts from one of his grandfatherÂ’s sermons, “The Lord is Faithful,” Rev. Hinsley enunciated in similar baritone quality as his late grandfather, Elder Rhodes.


Quoting from Shakespeare and the Scriptures, Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Patterson, Sr., marveled at his fellow elder’s intellectual prowess and scholarly ability to recite from memory lengthy prose by the classical writers and poets. Presiding Elder Charles Lett, read from Psalm 46, one of Elder Rhodes’ favorite scriptures. Under the direction of the Rev. Gabriel S. Hardeman, Jr., the famed AME Mass Choir of Philadelphia rendition of “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” underscored in reverberating melody the journey of faith that Rev. Herman Rhodes followed throughout his ministerial career.


The Rev. George T. SimsÂ’ professional and compassionate style as worship leader guided the moving memorial celebration as a worship experience that his departed friend would have expected from him.  Continuing in the same spirit of loyalty, Rev. Alfred Banks invoked words of humility and reverence in the prayer of the service.  Bishop Zedekiah Grady ‘s inspiring tribute honored his former elder for his vision and untiring spirit for a job well done.


Capturing the essence of the committed and self-sacrificed Christian life of Rev. Rhodes, Bishop Richard F. Norris, Presiding Prelate of the First District, in his heartfelt eulogy reminded all gathered of the realization that the elderÂ’s journey was complete. Fervently imploring  . . .“Presiding Elder Rhodes has simply moved to a new address and that in his new home, the pain and the sufferingÂ’s over, because now Rev. Rhodes has taken up residence in his new Heavenly home, shaking hands with those gone before – the Reverends Stokes, Birt, Joiner, his brother - Rev. Pete Walker, and the beloved Bishop Hickman Â…  yes, he changed from mortality to immortality, Rev. Rhodes changed his transient address the other day to an intransient location . . . “ Indeed, Bishop NorrisÂ’ resounding words of celebration so eloquently  commemorated this servant of GodÂ’s sojourn here.


For seventy-four years, Rev. H. A. Rhodes served God and humanity through the Christian ministry.  For sixty-six years, he served as an itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Church.  Since 1994, he served as the South District Presiding Elder in the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the First District.  Born June 15, 1917, in Keysville, GA, Rev. Herman Alton Rhodes lived a life dedicated to the high calling of Jesus Christ and the legacy of African Methodism. In his youthful, eighty-seven years of living, he shared the goodness and mercy of the gospels to many that listened.


Presiding Elder Rhodes was a progeny of deeply rooted spiritual giants-- the late Rev. Marvin Bishop Rhodes and the late Mrs. Ida B. Clark Rhodes.  His father was a country preacher/teacher/carpenter; and his mother was a country schoolteacher/homemaker.  Presiding Elder Rhodes often spoke of his mother as the wisest Christian he had ever known.


Rev. Rhodes was inquisitive and loved learning as manifested by the schools he attended: Morris Brown College, Turner Theological Seminary, Atlanta, GA; LeMoyne College in Memphis, TN; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; University of Rhode Island, and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  Campbell College, Jackson, Mississippi; The B. F. Theological Seminary, Jacksonville, FL and Monrovia College, Liberia, West Africa, bestowed honorary degrees upon him.


Ordained at the Live Oak AMEC in Donaldsonsville, GA, Rev. H. A. Rhodes led a number of southern churches before moving to the First District. In 1972, he became the pastor of Ward AMEC in Philadelphia, PA (twenty-two years) after pastoring Israel Memorial AMEC (Albany, NY) for several years.  Hallmarks of RhodesÂ’ ministerial career included founding the renowned Philadelphia Annual City Wide Revival, organizing the original AME Mass Choir, and helping launch the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity. He was involved with ecumenical and civic groups such as the Pan-Methodist Commission, Black ClergyÂ’s Political Action Committee, Albany County, New YorkÂ’s Anti-Poverty Program, and was the religious adviser to the American Foundation of Negro Affairs. Additionally, he was among the organizers of Dr. Martin Luther KingÂ’s famous 1963 March on Washington.  As an itinerant elder (66 years), Rev. Rhodes was assigned to churches in various states, including Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and later Pennsylvania.  


Although, Presiding Elder Rhodes achieved many accomplishments and received various awards and titles throughout his years of service, he was most proud of his family.  It was evident that his family was precious to him as demonstrated in his pride for them. He is survived by a devoted wife of many years, Mrs. Anne M. Rhodes; seven children (three from a previous marriage): Dr Alice R. Hinsley, Mr. Hiram A. Rhodes, Jr., and Mr. Marvin L. Rhodes (Roberta); Mrs. Jacqueline R. Geores (Paul), Attorney Rosemarie Rhodes Miller (Ronald), Mrs. Brenda R. Jackson (Richard), and Ms Yvonne Rhodes; ten grandchildren: Attorney Brian M. Rhodes (LaTonya), Ms. Seliatu Layeni, Mr. Olusegun Layeni, Rev. Kemperal J. Hinsley (Alicia), Mr. Louis M. Rhodes (Bridgette), Mr. Jason Rhodes (Tamika), Mrs. Atiya  Frame, Ms Sheena Collier, Mr. Kareem Jackson, and Ms Eboni Rhodes; nine great grandchildren: Mateo, Brian, Asha, Amira, Ameil, Jason II, Britney, Jackson, and Cole.  A large contingent of nieces, nephews, and cousins reside throughout the world that he loved dearly.  Presiding Elder Rhodes was greatly devoted to his surviving sibling, Emma R. Gresham, Mayor of Keysville, Georgia.


On August 28, 2004 at 2:00 o’clock p.m., Rev. Rhodes was memorialized for the final time at Mt. Tabor AME Church in Keysville, GA. Bishop Frank C. Cummings eulogized Rev. Rhodes as a …”Super Star who served with distinction and would be remembered as one who distinguished his performance with exceptional talent and insight” As a “Super Star”, Bishop Cummings defined the elder as a preacher extraordinaire, an icon and superior leader!” The elder’s long-time friend of the Sixth District, the Rev. Gabriel S. Hardeman, (retired P.E.) assisted in the service.


There in the little country churchyard of Mt. Tabor, his daughter, Brenda R. Jackson, tearfully lamented that she had driven her father home for the last time as his ashes were interred in the final resting place beside his sainted mother, completing this journey here, but transitioning on to another land of pure delight that awaits the faithful.




Truth does not have to be explained. It is evident the moment you encounter it.


Truth has no need of elaborate attempts at sophistication. For in its very simplicity, truth is indeed profound.


Truth can often be difficult to accept. Yet it is at the same time easy to understand.


Falsehood and deception require ever-expanding support in order to continue. And the day will always come when they crumble under the weight of their own contradictions.


Truth, on the other hand, becomes ever brighter and more compelling as each day passes by. Truth welcomes every scrutiny, and grows stronger as a result.


Align your thoughts, your words, your actions, your life with what you know to be true. And the power of truth will pull you steadily forward.


    (-- Ralph Marston)