Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram - Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, Editor, The Christian Recorder


Today’s editorial, in recognition of Women’s History Month (March), honors Dr. Pam DeVeaux, the convener of the 2007 Sixth Episcopal District’s Deliverance Conference and the women who were recently honored at the Deliverance Conference that was held at Turner Chapel Cathedral AME Church in Marietta, Georgia where the Reverend Dr. Kenneth E. Marcus is the pastor and the Reverend Cassandra Y. Marcus serves as the co-pastor. Dr. Pam DeVeaux was the convener of the Deliverance Conference. The Right Reverend William P. DeVeaux is the presiding prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District.

Dr. M. Joan Cousin, one of the honorees at the Women’s Deliverance Conference, was recognized in the editorial in the last edition of The Christian Recorder Online.

The Women’s Deliverance Conference honored AME and non-AME honorees.

- African Methodist Episcopal Church Honorees:

Dr. Patricia Morris DeVeaux Convener of the 2007 Sixth Episcopal District Women's Deliverance Conference:

Patricia Morris DeVeaux ("Pam") was born in Wilmington, Delaware to Jesse Morris and the late Amanda Morris. She attended Bethel A.M.E. Church where she was an active member of the Sunday school, youth choir, orchestra and Young People's Division. She credits her leadership skills and spiritual foundation to the early nurturing she experienced at the hands of loving Bethel members.

Her academic background includes matriculation and graduation from Howard University (B.A.), where she was inducted as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, George Peabody College (Master Library Science) and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.). Her vocational background includes positions as a high librarian, medical periodical librarian, university adjunct professor, community college administrator, program manager, and program director at the United States Department of Energy. At these positions she has held, much of her focus was concentrated upon developing and implementing initiatives designed to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Since coming to the Sixth District, she has written two plays (The Loud Silence, 2005;The Preacher's Son, 2006), co-authored a book of poetry entitled Black Church Gems.

Bishop and Dr. Pam have been blessed by the presence of six children and fourteen grandchildren.

She strives to magnify God's greatness through committed service to humankind.

Honoree for Spiritual Growth - Ms Patricia Raybon, Educator and Journalist:

Ms. Patricia Raybon has been blessed with many talents that she has used to further the work of God's kingdom here on earth. She is an award-winning author and journalist whose published book, a prayer memoir, entitled I Told The Mountain To Move was described by Publishers Weekly as "glorious… a powerful and personal book about prayer.” She has used her gift as a journalist by writing many personal essays on faith and family that have been published in renowned publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, and Newsweek. As an educator, Ms. Raybon inspired young people for more than 25 years in her role as a member of the journalism faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, from which she recently retired as professor emeritus. She is a motivational speaker who is sought after by many organizations to present keynote addresses and conduct workshops. Her academic background which includes a B.A. in journalism from The Ohio State University, an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder was an excellent foundation for such an illustrious career.

Ms. Raybon is married to J. Daniel Raybon and is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren. The Raybons are long time members of Shorter Community AME Church in Denver, Colorado.

The philosophy that guides Ms. Raybon's life on a daily basis is one of her favorite New Testament Scriptures, Romans 1: 16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for is the power of God unto salvation of everyone who believes."

Honoree for Health and Wellness - Ms Ola Smith CEO of McKinney Community Health Center:

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Ms. Ola Smith settled in Waycross after years of service as the travel secretary for Bishop and Episcopal Supervisor Ming during their tenure in the Sixth Episcopal District: Ms. Smith's years of service in the U.S. Army, educational training at Columbus State and South Carolina State University and previous experience as a CFO at Southside Health Care in Atlanta prepared her for her role in Waycross as CEO of McKinney Community Health Center which she assumed in 1998. As CEO, Ms. Smith provides leadership for five medical sites, two outreach sites and a senior daycare program of a staff of fifty-five employees and a budget of more than one million dollars.

Ms. Smith is a community service activist, belonging to the Kiwanis Club as Chair of Community Service, Chair of the Board of Okefenokee Technical College, Vice President for the State Technical College Directors Association, member of the Public Health Board of Directors, President of the M. L. King, Jr. Commission, past President of Leadership Waycross, member of Waycross Alumni Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and prior member of the State Workforce Investment Board. She has served on 1he executive committee for the Georgia Association of Primary Health Care (GAPHC) since 1997. She is a member of Greater Mt Zion AME Church, where she serves as a steward and Finance Director.

Honoree For Community Service - The Honorable Georganna T. Sinkfield, Representative District 60, Georgia House Of Representatives:

Representative Georganna T. Sinkfield has been a civil servant to the people of Georgia for more than two decades. Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1982, she is the senior-tenured woman in the Georgia Legislature.

Early in her career Representative Sinkfield established herself as an advocate for children and youth through her authorship of key legislation, such as measures creating the Office of the Child Advocate. She also championed legislation for improvements in education, access to health care for senior citizens, for the uninsured, and for those with HIV/AIDS. She has also served on numerous state level task forces, commissions and councils related to children, education, homelessness, youth, the court system, and health care reform.

Among the numerous honors, awards and recognitions Representative Sinkfield has received are citations by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the Most Influential 100 People in Georgia; The Georgia Gerontology Society Legislative Award for consistent support of aging issues that benefit older Georgians, the Council for Children, Inc. Friend of Children Award, the Shero Award from the Georgia Women's Legislative Caucus, the Vision in Action Award from the Georgia Campaign Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention.

The South Carolina native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tennessee State University and attended Emory University School of Law. A member of St. Paul AME Church, Rep. Sinkfield and her husband, Richard H. Sinkfield, have two children, Rita Denise and Richard III, and five grandchildren.

Honoree for Economic Development - Johnnie Lee Clark, Retired Educator:

Dr. Johnnie Lee Clark was born in the small town of Graymont, GA, to the late John Henry Lee and the late Allie Mae Hubbard Lee. The first of seven siblings, she attended the public schools of Augusta, GA before obtaining a B.S. degree from Morris Brown College, the MBA degree from New York University, and the Ph.D. degree from The University of Georgia. Dr. Clark is a registered Certified Public Accountant in the State of Georgia.

Dr. Clark has achieved an impressive career in the field of business education. Her first job after college was as Secretary to the late Dr. John Lewis, President of Morris Brown College. From that launching pad she moved on to serve as professor at Morris Brown, Atlanta University and Kennesaw State College. She also served as Dean of the Clark Atlanta School of Business.

She has served over the years in various capacities as educator, advocate (for Carrie Steele-Pitts Children's Home since 1965), volunteer, board member, bank president, business consultant and proprietor, and participant in numerous civic, professional, and social activities.

A member of Allen Temple AME Church, she is married to Charles E. Clark, Sr. They are the parents of Dawn and Charles, Jr., and the grandparents of Haley and Alex.

Honoree for Spiritual Growth and Development – the Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Grant, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of Black Women in Church and Society, Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC):

Prior to joining the faculty at The Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC), Dr. Grant taught at Harvard Divinity School. At various points of her twenty-four year tenure at ITC, she has served as visiting professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology, Christian Theological Seminary, United Theological Seminary, New York Theological Seminary, Bennett College, and Berea College. She has worked with the World Council of Churches, and remains a member of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians.

Dr. Grant earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Turner Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York. Payne Theological Seminary at Wilberforce, Ohio has awarded her the Doctor of Humane Letters degree; Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Center awarded her the Doctor of Divinity degree

Dr. Grant is a trailblazer in matters of women, the church, and religion; and her innovative work in theology has led to the development of Womanist Theology. Known as the mother of Womanist Theology, she has published many articles and authored the best selling book, White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus; edited Perspectives on Womanist theology and co-edited with Randall Bailey, The Recovery of Black Presence.

Dr. Grant is married to the Reverend John W. P. Collier, Jr., Executive Secretary, Department of Missions (retired) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

- Other Honorees

Honoree for Economic Development - Ms Ernestine Bennett President and CEO, E. B. Enterprise Unlimited, Inc., Wendy's:

Ms. Ernestine Bennett owns and operates six Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurants in the Metropolitan Atlanta area.

Inspired by her father, who owned a baker business in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ms Bennett embarked on the road to entrepreneurship after pursuing degrees at North Carolina A& T State and George Washington Universities and a career in the federal government.

In addition to running a successful business enterprise, Ms. Bennett has utilized her business and entrepreneurship skills to develop young people through her involvement in mentorship programs at Southwest Atlanta Business Organization and the development of an entrepreneur curriculum for Good Choices, a youth investment organization at Cascade United Methodist Church. She has an also served on the advisory board of the Westlake High School Entrepreneur Department.

The Atlanta Business League honored her as "Woman of the Year" in 2005 and as one of the "Top 100 Black Women of Influence" in 2006. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Cascade United Methodist Church and the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Her civic involvement also includes the Advisory Board Member, Minority Recruitment for the American Red Cross, Southern Region and Atlanta Suburban Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Honoree For Community Service - Ms. Janice McKenzie-Crayton, President and CEO, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Atlanta:

Ms. Janice McKenzie-Crayton is President and Chief Executive Officer of one of the oldest and largest mentoring programs in the South: Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, Inc. She has been at the helm of the organization since 1992, during which time BBBS has experienced significant strategic growth and has expanded its reach to ten Metro counties serving in excess of 2,400 children. Ms. McKenzie-Crayton held several notable administrative positions prior to assuming the CEO title at BBBS. She was Vice President for Development at Spelman College, and held administrative positions at Hampton University, and the John Hopkins School of Medicine. She also held an administrative position at her alma mater, Howard University, from which she received both the Bachelors and Masters degrees.

Ms McKenzie- Crayton has received numerous honors from groups and organizations for her exemplary work. Recently she received awards from the Atlanta Business League, Concerned Black Clergy, and the Business to Business Divas Award. She is actively involved with community organizations and serves as a board member for the Atlanta Partners for Education, Saint Joseph's Mercy Foundation, and the Community Advisory Board of the Junior League of Atlanta.

Ms McKenzie- Crayton is married to Pernell Crayton, and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Janell and Carrie Rose.

Editor’s Note: In honor of Women’s History Month, The Christian Recorder would like to honor other women heroines in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, especially biographical sketches of Episcopal Supervisors, General Officer spouses and female Connectional Officer biographical sketches. Please send the short biographical sketch in a similar format as the biographical sketches in this issue.


Mrs. Clara Mitchell

The nation’s premier women in ministry planned a missionary endeavor that began on February 18th and is scheduled to end on February 29, 2008 to a little-known town called Wallacedene, just outside Cape Town, South Africa.

The Rev. Dr. Claudette A. Copeland, co-pastor of New Creation Christian Fellowship Church in San Antonio, Texas; the Rev Dr. Elaine M. Flake, co-pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of Jamaica, New York; the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia; the Rev. Dr. Jessica Kendall Ingram, Episcopal Supervisor of the 10th District African Episcopal Church of Texas; and 100-plus doctors, nurses, teachers, ministers and professionals are traveling to the Motherland in an effort to reopen the Balm of Gilead Women’s Center that was built by Dr. Ingram in 2004 to serve the local women and Children by offering diagnostic medical testing (especially for HIV/AIDS), basic job training skills, literacy classes, life skills workshops and spiritual development but sits nearly vacant, un-staffed and unused due to lack of funding and support.

These four life-long friends are banding together to move the Balm of Gilead Women’s Center forward and leave a legacy of caring in this little-known, forgotten place.


*Luegene Hill

The Northwest Missouri Conference Lay Organization, in conjunction with the Kansas/Nebraska Conference and Missouri Conference Lay Organizations, is sponsoring a Candidate Forum on Saturday, June 7, 2008.

This forum is designed to allow AME candidates who have offered themselves for episcopal service and those persons who are running for election or reelection as General Officers an opportunity to meet and converse with their constituents, both delegates and non-delegates, clergy and laity, from the three conferences and share their views, opinions, ideas and more in reference to the many issues facing our Zion. All candidates who have filed or plan to file are invited to be part of this very special event. Serving as moderator will be the distinguished president of our Judicial Council, Attorney Patricia Mayberry.

As we approach the second General Conference of the 21st Century, we must continue to look for ways to improve upon how we do ministry and conduct the business of the Church.

We will elect Bishops, General Officers as well as vote on other candidates and issues at the General Conference. The election process has been improved and has been made much more efficient and hopefully improvements will continue to be made. How the laity and clergy receive information about candidates has also improved.

In America, we are in the process of electing someone to sit in the most powerful seat on earth - the president of the United States. Before those votes are cast, each candidate will have used the media, town-hall meetings and debates to get their points across to potential voters. While such methods may not be applicable in the AME Church’s process for electing bishops and general officers, inundating delegates with printed material may not be the most efficient way to help delegates to evaluate the best candidates. We believe that the decision to elect someone to the highest positions in our Church deserves a more efficient and more interactive method. We feel this forum will provide this method. And we are prayerful that each candidate will agree.

So that we may properly prepare for the forum, we are asking all candidates who would like to be a part of this forum to please RSVP by May 1, 2008. Candidates may send an email to nwmoconflay@yahoo.com.

Written replies may be sent to: The Northwest Missouri Conference Lay Organization, 8008 E. 130th St., Grandview, Missouri 64030.

Should candidates have questions, comments or suggestions, they may call: work 816-524-6550; home 816-761-4541; or cell 816-510-3327.

Initial responses have been positive and several have indicated their intention to participate.

We trust and pray that all candidates will bless us with their presence on Saturday, June 7, 2008 in Kansas City Missouri.

*Luegene Hill, President of the Northwest Missouri Conference Lay Organization


By Antoinette S. Johnson

What does it mean to be young, gifted, and black? According to Singer Nina Simone, “When you’re young, gifted, and black, your soul’s intact.” This song lyric could not be a more accurate description as it pertained to four young people who competed in a youth of the year contest.

On Saturday, January 26, 2008, the annual New Brunswick District AME Youth of the Year Contest was held at Mount Zion AME Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where the pastor is the Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Hooper. The theme, “Walking Worthy of the Calling With Which We Are Called,” was awe-inspiring at best. The district’s most gifted and talented students represented themselves with eloquence and grace as they competed for the “Youth of the Year” title.

The contestants displayed their oratorical skills by presenting what the theme meant to them and presenting a particular talent that they had. The oratory portion of the program was very enlightening as the youth gave an explanation of the theme from different angles. Respectively, representing Ebenezer AME Rahway, NJ, Mount Zion A.M.E., New Brunswick, NJ, Mount Zion AME., Plainfield, NJ, and North Stelton A.M.E., Piscataway, NJ, in summary, Marcus Lawson’s explanation of the theme was “Follow Christ not society,” Grace Tuffuor’s explanation was “Do what is most pleasing to God,” Keller Robinson’s explanation was “Understand what God has for you is for you and do not fear,” and Devin White’s explanation was “Living Christ-like is how to live and walk worthy.”

New Brunswick District Presiding Elder, Rev. Melvin L. Guyton, spoke about the talents that the youth displayed during this contest and was very proud of their accomplishments. Ms. Sharon Carmichael, New Brunswick District Director of Christian Education was visibly moved by the display of excellence that afternoon. “I am so proud of these kids; we should be proud,” said Ms. Carmichael. Understanding that it takes a dedicated group to put together a program of this magnitude, she was very thankful for all of the committee members who helped to put the program together. She was also thankful for the individuals who were judging the contest because they had a very difficult decision to make in choosing the grand prize winner. The scoring of the contest was based upon a written test, their display of oratory skills, and their other talent, i.e. singing, playing an instrument, etc. During the contest, the Mount Zion AME Plainfield Youth Choir did a marvelous job entertaining the congregation by engaging the attendees in singing along with them.

At the end of the program, the winners from third runner-up to grand prize were announced. Third Runner-Up was Grace Tuffuor, Second Runner-Up was Devin White, First Runner-Up was Marcus Lawson, and the Grand Prize went to Keller Robinson. She will go on to represent the New Brunswick District at Mount Pisgah AME in Princeton on February 15 to compete against the other districts in the New Jersey Conference. The winner of the New Jersey Conference A.M.E. Youth of the Year Contest at Mount Pisgah AME will be announced at the New Jersey Annual Conference Christian Education Night on Friday, March 7 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The winner will go on to represent the New Jersey Conference and display their oratorical talent at the First Episcopal District Christian Education Congress in Dover, Delaware, July 21 – 24, 2008.


*Dr. Manning Marable

In November, 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton defeated Republican incumbent President George Herbert Walker Bush for the presidency by running his campaign on a simple theme: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” The Bush Recession of 1990-1991 had largely disappeared by late 1992, but millions of manufacturing and middle-class jobs had disappeared, replaced largely by fast-food and service employment at minimum wages and without health care for workers. All Clinton had to do was to cal for the federal government to create employment growth opportunities.

Sixteen years later, we now have another Bush in the White House, who presides over a failed economy. What’s truly bizarre is that all of the Republican presidential candidates who are running to replace Bush are in deep denial that America has lurched into an “economic recession.”

Technically, an economic recession is when, over a period of at least several months, there is a major slow-down or decline across the economy, which would represent significant drop-offs in wholesale-retail sales, real gross domestic production, and in the number of people employed. Historically, there’s an easier way to judge whether we’re in a recession.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, during the past sixty years, there have been nine times in which unemployment rose 13 percent or more from year to year. In eight out of these nine cases, a recession had already begun when the increase in annual joblessness reached 13 percent. In the other case, the economic recession started within ninety days.

What’s significant about this is how economic history has a way of repeating itself. Back in December, 2006, the U.S. Labor Department reported that 6,760,000 Americans were out of work. Last December, 2007, the total number of officially jobless Americans had risen to 7,655,000 – a 13 percent annual increase. Of course, that figure does not count the millions of unemployed Americans who have dropped out of the labor market entirely, or who have accepted half-time and part-time jobs at minimum wage levels because they cannot find full-time employment. Based on history, as well as the current economic hardships suffered by every-day working people, it’s clear that the “Bush Recession of 2008” is already here.

The continuing crisis in the housing markets has made matters worse throughout the economy. Over one million American families are projected to have their homes foreclosed in 2008. Predatory lenders and subprime lenders got millions of people into houses they couldn’t afford, and now when their mortgage interest rates are scheduled to increase, there’s no rescue for most of them.

The growing number of mortgage foreclosures has provoked fears that a surge in homelessness will soon occur. There is already evidence that this is happening throughout America. The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that about 1.2 million American families are homeless for some portion of any year. About one-half of these families, 600,000 households, have a total of 1.35 million children. Despite the stereotype that most homeless individuals are single males with substance abuse or alcohol problems, the overwhelming majority of homeless people are in families who simply cannot afford housing.

Many municipal governments have scrambled to come up with solutions – but most lack the planning and resources to address the problem. An interesting study at the University of Pennsylvania may provide part of the solution. The study tracked thousands of homeless people in New York City for several years. Researchers discovered that an average homeless individual used $40,000 annually in public services, including hospitalization and jail time. However, when homeless people were offered free public housing and human services such as job placement, health care, and counseling, the result was a dramatic improvement – fewer homeless, less crime, at no extra cost.

What’s missing from the Bush administration is a comprehensive federal policy to eradicate homelessness. And that can only be addressed by establishing a federal commitment to provide decent shelter or housing to every U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Because when markets alone dictate the quantity and price of housing, millions of low income Americans are confined to sleeping in the streets and gutters of this country.

The Bush Administration has also recently proposed a $145 billion “tax relief” package to stimulate the sagging economy. But the problem here is that Bush’s paltry proposal doesn’t put enough money into the hands of low income people and the working poor, who are the most likely to spend the money immediately, providing the greatest stimulus to the economy. The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, a liberal think tank, also has some excellent economic ideas for stimulating the economy. For example, why not give part of the tax relief as an additional tax credit for children? Or, perhaps, a tax credit that compensates workers for part of the Social Security tax deduction that comes out of their paychecks?

These are the practical economic ideas that Democratic presidential and congressional candidates must talk about this year to defeat the Republican Right and the remnants of Bush’s corrupt regime. This election is about “Recession” and “War” – and what it will take to stop both.

*Dr. Manning Marable is Professor of Public Affairs, History and African-American Studies at Columbia University, where he also directs the Center for contemporary Black History. The author and editor of over two dozen books, Dr. Marable’s most recent publication is Seeking Higher Ground: The Katrina Crisis, co-edited with Kristen Clarke. “Along the Color Line” appears in over hundreds of publications worldwide, and is available at http://www.manningmarable.net.


Presided by an African woman, with a membership that includes three youth, eight women, four Orthodox and a strong representation from the South, the search committee for a new World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary has already begun to work.

The 18-member search committee was appointed by the WCC central committee late evening on 19 February. The committee’s task is to screen candidates for the position of WCC general secretary. The current general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, announced earlier at the 13-20 February central committee meeting that he would not seek an extension to his term, which ends 31 December 2008.

Ten of the search committee members were elected by the central committee through paper ballots. The member receiving the most votes, Dr Agnes Abuom, was appointed as its moderator. The executive committee proposed six more members under procedures designed to provide for regional, gender, church tradition and age balances. The two vice-moderators of the central committee serve as ex-officio members. [See a list of the committee members below.]

Some concerns were registered at the session in which the search committee slate was approved. One of them referred to the fact that 10 out of its 18 members are also members of the executive committee, which was perceived as a possible concentration of power. Another concern referred to the composition of the Orthodox representation, which lacked representatives from Slavonic Orthodoxy.

Next steps

Before Kobia ends his term as general secretary in December, an acting general secretary will be appointed by the WCC executive committee at its meeting in September 2008. The acting general secretary will assume office as from 1 January 2009 until the new general secretary elected by the WCC central committee at its meeting in September 2009 takes office, likely by the end of 2009.

“Dr Kobia has our full support to carry on his duties until the end of his term”, said WCC central committee moderator Rev. Dr Walter Altmann, speaking at a press conference on 19 February.

At the last session of the meeting, the moderator reiterated the heartfelt gratitude of the central committee for Kobia's services to the Council. "My commitment to the WCC and the ecumenical movement is constant", Kobia said at that session. "Ecumenism is in my blood and bones, and whatever I do next it will be a continuation of what I have done over many years", he added.

The search committee met for the first time on the evening of 19 February, after the WCC central committee invoked God’s guidance for its work. At its first meeting the search committee looked at its work guidelines and at the job description for the general secretary position, which will be revised in consultation with central committee members. The central committee approved a timetable for the process.

The search committee will conduct a thorough screening of candidates, and is expected to submit one name to the WCC central committee for approval. The search committee members are from the various faith group members of the WCC.

For additional information, check out the WCC Website.


Rev. Latisha Stewart Smith, pastor of Castaic Community AME Church Mission will be installed as the Castaic Chamber of Commerce President March 1, 2008 at the Embassy Suites, 28508 Westinghouse Place Valencia, CA, 91355, 661-257-3111, Social Hour 6-7, Buffet Dinner begins at 7:15. The donation for the dinner is $50.00 per person.

Rev. Smith's relationship with the Chamber began in 2004 as the Pastor of Castaic Community Church. She was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2005, and became an integral part of the community by organizing grand openings for new businesses and providing counsel to individuals who sought her out for various reasons.

About Castaic Community AME Church Mission
Rev. Smith planted the Castaic Community Church in 2004 with the vision of building a multi-cultural congregation. The church is a growing ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Los Angeles Pasadena District of the 5th Episcopal District where the Rt. Rev. John Richard Bryant serves as the Presiding Bishop and Rev. La Grant Moore is the Presiding Elder.

This accomplishment as the Castaic Chamber President is evidence of the church plant taking root in the Castaic Community. It affords Rev. Smith and the current membership the significant opportunity for achieving the church's mission statement, “to create a multi-cultural ministry in the Castaic Lake region for whosoever will come to seek a soul saving fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, and a life of humble service"

Congratulatory messages may be sent to the Rev Latisha Stewart Smith, 27305 W. Live Oak Road #A-431, Castaic, CA 91384-4520; email: castaicchurch@aol.com; telephone: 661-877-5244


- People ask me, “What is the purpose of life?” I respond: “In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.”

- One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

- I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

- We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

- Life is a series of problems: you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

- We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, and in Spirit likeness.

- No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

- And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

- You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain. But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

- In Reference to his wife, Kay being treated for cancer in 2003: We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

- You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

- We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions and/or popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures, guilt, bitterness, materialism?

- Or, am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

- Every moment, thank God!


"Young Voices in Homiletics" is the focus of lectures, sermons, and master classes during the three-day 2008 Festival of Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, March 2-5.

The annual Festival of Theology is open to the public, and the endowed Greenhoe and Caldwell Lectureships enable Louisville Seminary to offer these outstanding learning experiences free of charge and to bring to Louisville, Ky., nationally recognized theologians, authors, teachers, and preachers. All lectures and preaching will take place in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel on the Seminary campus.

“This year’s Festival leans into the future by featuring four individuals who are breaking new ground in preaching in the 21st Century,” says Dr. David Sawyer, an LPTS professor and director of Lifelong Learning and Advance Degrees, who has coordinated this year’s event with Director of Alum & Church Relations Rev. Leah Bradley.

Sawyer says participants will thrill to the voice of Anna Carter Florence, “who is already established as a promising young leader, teacher and writer in the field of homiletics. They will be inspired by the messages of Otis Moss III, admired by young Christians around the country and coming into his own as pastor of the prestigious Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. And they should be prepared to be challenged by the visions of LPTS’ newest professors, Claudio Carvalhaes and Debra Mumford.”

Each of them will preach, present a lecture about preaching, and provide a master class for individuals to explore their own preaching challenges with them.

In addition to the preaching, LPTS alums will be returning for renewing past friendships with other alums during the annual reunion. Reunion events will include a reflection on the current state of the Presbyterian Church (USA) with Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick, who will speak at the "Voices of the Church" dinner, March 4, 6 p.m.

The following is a brief schedule of events. For a detailed agenda, visit: http://www.lpts.edu/Alumni/Upcoming_Reunion.asp

- Debra Mumford - March 2, 7 p.m. and March 3, 11:15 a.m.
The Frank H. Caldwell Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Louisville Seminary.
She is said to teach and preach with authority, creativity, and prophetic imagination as she guides future pastors in moving from text to sermon and from context to sermon in faithful proclamation of the Gospel.

- Otis Moss III - March 3, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago
He is the author of Redemption in a Red Light District (Four-G, 1999), and his essays, articles, and poetry have appeared in Sojourners Magazine, Urban Spectrum, and African American Pulpit, which recently named him one of the “20 to watch” ministers who will shape the future of the African American church. Newsweek has cited Moss as one of “God’s Foot Soldiers committed to transforming the lives of youth.”

- Anna Carter Florence - March 4, 10 and 11:15 a.m.
Professor of Preaching and Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga.
As a scholar and writer, her research interests are testimony, feminist theology, the role of experience in preaching, and the history of preaching women. She is the author of Preaching as Testimony (Westminster John Knox, 2007) and the editor of Inscribing the Text: Sermons and Prayers by Walter Brueggemann (Fortress, 2004).

- Claudio Carvalhaes - March 4, 2:30 p.m. and March 5, 10 a.m.
Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching, Louisville Seminary
As a theologian and artist his focus on reviving worship for the 21st century is deeply informed by an understanding of worship around the world. Carvalhaes began teaching at Louisville Seminary in the Fall of 2007, and as a much sought after speaker, writer, and consultant, he has served with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in its peacemaking and immigrant groups ministries.

All lectures, worship services, and master classes are offered free of charge. Reservations and tickets are required for some Festival and Reunion events, by contacting Carol Webb (cwebb@lpts.edu) or David Sawyer (dsawyer@lpts.edu) for Lectures and Lisa Kolb (lkolb@lpts.edu) or Leah Bradley (lbradley@lpts.edu) for the Alum Reunion. Toll free: 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411.

Michelle E. Melton
Director of Communications
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
1044 Alta Vista Road
Louisville, KY 40205-1798

502.992.9358, direct
502.609.5697, cell


Congratulations and best wishes to the proud and happy parents, Rev. Nathan A. & Lady Rolanda M. Dixon, Pastor and First Lady of Trinity AME Church, Lansing, Michigan for the birth of their son, Josiah Nathaniel Dixon on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 2:29. Josiah weighed 7 lbs. 2.5 oz. and was 20.5 in. long.

Congratulatory Expressions may be sent to:

Trinity AME Church
Rev. Nathan & Lady Rolanda M. Dixon
3500 W. Holmes Rd.
Lansing, Michigan 48911
Email: trinityamec@comcast.net


The Reverend Moses Lekhori retired Presiding Elder, passed away on Saturday, February 16, 2008. Reverend Lekhori served 48 years as a presiding elder in the Botswana Annual Conference before retiring during the 2006 Annual Conference.

The Memorial Service will be held on Friday, February 22, 2008, at 4:00 p.m. and the Funeral will be held on Saturday morning, February 23, 2008, at 5:30 a.m. The Right Reverend Sarah F. Davis, presiding prelate of the 18th Episcopal District will deliver the eulogy.

Expressions of sympathy and condolences can be sent to Mother Nelly Lekhori, Lobatse, Botswana, c/o son William Lekhori, at jlekhori@yahoo.com or you may call Mother Nelly at 011-267-54075201 or 011-267-71749327.

Please keep the Lekhori family in your prayers.


James A. Matthews, the stepfather of Rev. James D. Foster, Pastor of Payne Chapel AME Church, South District - Chicago Conference, 4th Episcopal District passed away last week.

The family will hold a private memorial service on Saturday afternoon, February 16, 2008 at the Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel located at 5345 West Madison Street - Chicago, IL 60644.

Expressions of sympathy and condolences can be sent to Rev. Foster's brother:
Mr. Marcus A. Matthews
4637 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60644


E-mail: pastorfoster@paynechapelamec.org (Rev. James D. Foster, pastor of Payne Chapel AME Church)


Funeral Services for Rev. Bobbie Hampton, the spouse of the Rev. Thelma Hampton, pastor of Shady Grove A.M.E. Church, Monticello, Arkansas (South Arkansas Conference) was held on Saturday, February 16, 2008, 11:00 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest A.M.E. Church, Monticello, Arkansas, Rev. Kent J. Broughton, pastor.

Messages of sympathy may be sent to:
Rev. Thelma Hampton
542 East Calhoun Street
Monticello, AR 71655
(870) 367-7582 - Phone


Mrs. Audria Moore, wife of Rev. George Moore, Jr., retired pastor in the 4th Episcopal District (last pastoral appointment) Allen Chapel AMEC - Rockford, IL) passed on February 11, 2008.

The funeral has been held

You May Send personal condolences or call:
Rev. George Moore, Jr.
4401 Clearfield Avenue
Rockford, IL 61109
(815) 873-1409


We regret to inform you of the passing of Mark Anthony Burems, which occurred on Thursday, February 14, 2008. Mark Anthony "Tony" Burems was the younger brother of Rev. Donald Burems, Sr., pastor at St. John A.M.E. Church (Philadelphia Conference, South District). The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

Viewing and Funeral - Saturday, February 23, 2008
Viewing - 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

The Church of the Redeemer
2421 Dickinson Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: 215-465-1230
Fax: 215-465-4010

Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr., Pastor

Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:
Mrs. Jennie M. Burems (mother)
2348 Reed Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143


Rev. Donald Burems, Sr.
4926 W. Thompson Street
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Fernwood Cemetery
Fernwood, Pennsylvania

Please remember the family of Mr. Mark Anthony Burems in your prayers.

Dolores M. Clinton
1st Episcopal District
phone: 215-662-0506
fax: 215-662-0199


We regret to inform you of the passing of Sister Birdtrice Smith, the mother of Rev. Deborah Smith-Satterwhite, pastor of New St. John AMEC (Dearborn, MI); grandmother of Rev. Deronae' Smith, pastor of Greater Grace Temple COGIC (Memphis, TN); and daughter of the late Mother Gladys M. Parsons, the first organist of St. Stephen AMEC (Detroit, MI).

Funeral: Saturday, February 23, 2008 - 11:00 a.m.
Family Hour 10:00 a.m.
Place: St. Stephen AMEC
Rev. Michael Cousin, Pastor
6000 John E. Hunter Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 895-4800 ~ (313) 895-4812 (Fax)

Professional Arrangements Entrusted To:
Stinson Funeral Home
16540 Myers Road
Detroit, MI 48235
(313) 863-7300

Expressions of Sympathy may be sent To:
Rev. Deborah Smith-Satterwhite
7559 Memorial St.
Detroit, MI 48228
(313) 584-4970
EMAIL - newst.johname@hotmail.com or deborahsatterwhite@hotmail.com


The Clergy Family Information Center
Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Chair
Commission on Social Action

Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
E-mail: Amespouses1@bellsouth.net
Phone: (615) 837-9736
Voice Mail: (615) 833-6936
Fax: (615) 833-3781
Cell: (615) 403-7751


The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend Gregory G. M. Ingram; 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.