Bishop Richard Franklin Norris - Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder


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

The Bible is an interesting book and, according to polls, most households in the United States have at least one Bible in the home. I suspect that most homes in so-called Christian nations have Bibles.

I would like to think that there are Bibles in the homes of all members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, whether they live in the United States, on the continent of Africa, Europe, in the Caribbean, South America and anywhere else in the world that members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church live. I am willing to “go out on a limb” and make the assumption that all AMEs all over the world have home-access to a Bible. I may be naïve, but I cannot imagine an AME home without a Bible.

I am willing to “go out on a limb” believing AMEs all over the world have access to Bibles in their homes, but I am not willing to “go out on a limb” believing that those who have Bibles in their homes, read the Bible. “Having a Bible” and “reading a Bible” are two different realities. I know that from personal experience.

When I grew up, there was a Bible in the home of all of my relatives and friends. Most often the Bible was placed on the coffee table; every home had a beautiful Bible on the coffee table and the children were not allowed to play with the Bible on the coffee table. As a matter of fact I cannot remember having seen anyone pick up that Bible and read it; it was just there, sitting magnificently on the coffee table. My parents and I had our own personal Bibles, but the Bible on the coffee table was not to be touched. As I remember, not to touch it was not a spoken rule, but it was understood by everyone that the Bible on the coffee table was a sacred artifact, it had an aura of mysticism and was not to be desecrated by human touch. I can remember pastoral visits when pastors would comment upon the beautiful Bible on the coffee table.

The Bible as a sacred object carried over to my personal Bible. It occupied a special place in my room, but it was seldom read. Oh, as I was growing up there were several times that I attempted to read it from beginning to the end, but I always got stuck in Genesis; I never made it through Genesis. The genealogical list of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah just seemed to dampen my motivation, so with most of my attempts, Chapter 5 was as far as I got. Sunday School, Allen Christian Endeavor (ACE) League, Bible study and great biblical sermons provided me with some semblance of biblical literacy, and eventually I increased my reading of the Bible.

I felt a call to the ministry, and very quickly, college and seminary were behind me, but one thing troubled me. I had not read the Bible from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation. I probably had read the entire Bible, counting seminary classes, Bible study, daily devotions, Sunday School, preparation for sermons, casual Bible reading, but not cover to cover; that didn’t happen until 2006. I have since read the Bible from cover to cover a number of times and each time read the Bible from cover to cover I learn something new and it has been an exhilarating experience. I am amazed at how many things I had taken out of biblical context during my pre-cover-to-cover reading of the Bible.

I share the challenges and struggles I had because if I had the struggle, I am sure there are others, clergy and laity, who struggle with consistent Bible reading. I confess the struggle is not behind me because it takes discipline and commitment to maintain a daily Bible-reading regimen.

I don’t see Bibles on the coffee tables anymore and I wonder if that is indicative of our biblical illiteracy today. I suspect there are many in our congregations who have little or no understanding of the Bible because they do not read the Bible and have not read the Bible. Come to think of it, when Bibles rested on the coffee table, there were times with our inquisitive minds and spirits that we picked it up and looked at the beautiful pictures and maybe even read a sentence or two.

In the day…

Some of us are old enough to remember the preachers who preached the Bible with biblical “fire” and we left church with the feeling that we were the lowliest sinners on earth. “In the Day,” the stanza in the hymn, “Alas! and did my Savior bleed,” was written “Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I?” The words have been updated today, and the word, “worm” in most hymnals read, “For such a one as I,” or, “For sinners such as I.” In addition to the hymns that reminded us that we were unworthy and helpless sinners, the preachers didn’t “bite their tongues and reconfirmed that we were unworthy and helpless sinners. They were not interested sugar-coating sin or other issues they considered to be contrary to the Bible.

Many sermons today seem absent of in-depth biblical research and delivery, and that might be due to biblical illiteracy. Many parishioners are not reading the Bible; sometimes it is the fault of pastors for failing to emphasize biblical literacy and for being too quick or too lazy in his or her willingness to dumb-down the Bible. Or, it might be that parishioners just refuse to see the importance of biblical literacy.

When all is said and done, each adult is responsible for his or her own spiritual development as in the Negro spiritual, “It’s me, it’s me, Oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. Not my brother, not my sister…” Parents are responsible for their children’s spiritual development, which includes prayer, reading of the scriptures and attendance at worship services. Biblical literacy starts at home and is “fertilized” and nurtured in worship. There are different sermon delivery challenges when preaching to biblically literate congregations than when preaching to biblically illiterate congregations.

The Bible offers so much wisdom, power and knowledge. The Bible’s power is that the Bible is as relevant today as it was when the Bible was written.

Individual spiritual lives and church congregations will be enhanced with increased biblical literacy and it is my hope that clergy and laity will seize the opportunity to read God’s Word.

And, one more thing…

Reading the Bible from cover to cover is not a one-time event; reading the Bible is a life-changing event and the Bible should be read again and again and each time the will be “showers of blessings” springing from God’s Word.

Another challenge

I am finishing up another reading of the Bible from cover to cover and plan to start another reading challenge of reading the Bible from cover to cover in 90 days on June 1, 2010. This will be Challenge IV.

I hope some of you will take the challenge so that you can experience God’s Word for yourself!


- To the Editor:

RE: Can a person serve as a part of the Annual Conference Lay Organization if his or her local church does not have an organized Lay Organization?

Can a person be active in the Lay (WMS, YPD, Sons of Allen) on the conference level when there is no organization in the local church?

No. The issue is accountability and fairness in representation. If there is no local group, who is the person representing? If there is no local group, how are funds collected and accounted for in the absence of a Quarterly Conference report. If there is no local group, who can celebrate successes and discipline inappropriate behavior? What would be the channel of communication to assure that the "individual" posture is reflective of the pastor and congregation? How is a lone individual supporting the conference organization without the same budgeting and other "representative" actions which put persons in a fair relationship with one another?

The solution is to start a local organization. This can be done with as few as three persons. If a person cannot "sell" the value of a connectional body to two other people, it says something about the way we are conducting ministry. A small group may meet quarterly, instead of monthly. The presiding elder should encourage the pastor to keep the law in the formation of such a small group. This would give a proper channel for further participation.

Here is one for the component leaders: In a circuit (a charge having one pastor with multiple stations), do the components allocate representatives per station or per charge? Is it possible for a circuit to have a "common" connectional body such as the Lay or WMS? I will hold my opinion on this one.

While I think I see the ulterior motives of the original question, there are much deeper issues here as it relations to the layers of connectional organizations. I am much more interested in those other issues; albeit, they are the most controversial.

+Bishop Jeffrey l. Leath Presiding Prelate, 19th Episcopal District

- To the Editor:

RE: Can a person serve as a part of the Annual Conference Lay Organization if his or her local church does not have an organized Lay Organization?

The Constitution and Bylaws of the Connectional Lay Organization do give clear instructions as to how this situation is addressed.

According to Article XV, Section 2 of the CLO Constitution and Bylaws, the Conference Organization is composed of "all elected officers, each President and Director of Lay Activities of duly organized District Lay Organization of the Annual Conference, 6 elected delegates, of which shall be a young adult, ages 18-30, from each duly organized District Lay Organization of the Annual Conference; and each President and six elected delegates of which one shall be a young adult, ages 18-30, from each Station and Circuit."

These are the persons who compose the Annual Conference Lay Organization. If there is no local Church Organization, then there is no sending body and the person cannot come to the Conference since they must go through a Church. Without knowing the bylaws of the Conference in question, I cannot say more but this has been the experience that I've seen relative to participation at the Conference level. I encourage you to contact the Connectional Parliamentarian Virginia Harris for a definitive opinion.

John Thomas III
Young Adult Representative
Connectional Lay Organization

- To the Editor:

RE: Editorial – Some Things Change, but a Lot of Things Remain the Same:

I cannot agree with you when it comes to speaking first thing in the morning in the church; whether in the pulpit or not. It's just good manners for me and I will always say, “Good morning”; doing so gets the attention of the congregation and helps them to focus their attention toward you. Sorry, that’s just the way I am and the way I feel. You do have some interesting points; keep up the good work of informing us.

Have a great day!

The Rev. Anna P. Robinson

Editor's Comment: I appreciate your comments and indeed you can do as you have already done. The purpose of worship is to direct the people to God as in, “Enter to Worship.” “Good morning, Church” or Good morning, Saints,” focuses the attention upon the worship leader and his or her interaction with the congregation. The attention should not be upon the worship leader and his or her relationship with the congregation, which is why ministers wear robes; to take attention from them.

An ultimate goal of worship is to facilitate worshipers to leave the sanctuary to “serve,” as in, Go forth to “serve.” You have probably seen the statement, “Enter to Worship, Go Forth to Serve.”
It is good manners to say, “Good morning,” but one “Good morning” is enough.

-To the Editor:

RE: Editorial – Some Things Change, but a Lot of Things Remain the Same:

I really enjoyed your editorial, "Some Things Change but a Lot of Things Remain the Same."I know I may sound "old fogey" but I think the musicians in some of the churches are sometimes out of control. I have attended some services where all I could only hear the instruments - no lyrics. The instruments were so loud that they drowned the lyrics; makes me wonder if we're worshipping or if we're just "jamming." We have some beautiful hymns in our AME Hymnal and they greatly enhance the worship service......when you can "hear the words." What's with these 10-15 minute choir selections when, most of the time, they are repeating the same verse over and over again!

Thanks for mentioning the "Good morning, church." Another one is "Good morning, Saints ...I said, ‘Good morning, Saints!’" I wish that worship leaders would just “do” what you have been tasked to do, nothing more.

I hope our members "hear" you in regards to the worship prayer. So many times I hear a lot personal requests and personal testimony in the worship prayer. Hopefully our pastors will help with educating our members about corporate prayer etiquette.

Thank you again for a well-written and very educational editorial.

Mrs. Ora Washington
Okinawa, Japan

Editor's Note: Mrs. Ora Washington is a federal civilian employee serving in Okinawa, Japan


*The William Howard Smith

The rain kept coming and the roads continue flood rain like we have never seen!

Across Tennessee, to include Maury County experienced a lot of rain and extensive flooding and Canaan AMEC, Columbia, Tennessee experienced extensive water damage. It will be several days before I will be able to reach the church due to the road conditions. Further details will be provided as they develop.


Worship service was held on Sunday, May 2, 2010, but upon leaving the church, my wife, Willa and I noticed how water was slowly creeping into many homes in the various subdivisions. Upon reaching the city of Columbia, the Police Department had closed several roads. Caution was used while driving 30 miles to reach Pulaski, Tennessee.

Shortly after we made it to our home, we received notification that Mr. Kelsey Boyd, the brother to Sister Mary Florence Boyd, a member of Wayman Chapel AME Church, and the brother-in-law to Mrs. Geneva Boyd, a member of Canaan AMEC, had departed this life, so we headed back to Columbia.

After driving 15 miles, cars were being diverted because high water was sweeping across Hwy 31, North. A prayer was whispered and our Chevy Suburban slowly made its way through the water. Sister Smith told me where to steer and we arrived safely.

In order to return to Pulaski, we traveled through Lawrence County.

Pray for the Boyd family, pray for the Canaan Church congregation and Pastor and Sister Smith.

*The William Howard Smith is the pastor of Canaan AME Church in Columbia, Tennessee


*Dr. Joseph Darby

Recently, the mayor in North Charleston called several of his detractors some ugly names and it caused a stir. Instead of choosing the “high road,” the mayor of North Charleston chose the “low road.”

The temptation to verbally strike back is also a temptation in the pastoral ministry. Religious leaders face the same temptation to verbally strike back as other leaders and I suspect that some pastors, presiding elders, bishops, and local church officers have yielded to the temptation of verbally striking back.

In 33 years of ministry, I've had my share of "church meeting" disagreements with those in the congregations that I've served -- some of them frank, pointed and critical of me and of my plans for ministry -- and have called those who heatedly disagreed with me some unpleasant names.

I've done so, however, when alone and "cooling off" in my car on my way home, because regardless of what they've said, I've learned to keep two things in mind. The first is that even those who disagree with me are my parishioners and deserving of pastoral respect and care. The second is that frank criticism is often constructive and makes me examine my work and plans for ministry. Whether in the religious, corporate or political arena, leadership demands self control and self examination.

When tempted to respond verbally, I remind myself that small minds can only craft insults; broader minds take the high road and seek to build shared visions.

I also remember the biblical passage, “A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11 (NRSV)

*The Rev. Dr. Joseph Darby is the pastor of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina


Sister Virginia Henderson Harris, RP

The Annual Steward and Trustee Board Day was celebrated at St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fairburn, Georgia on Sunday, April 25, 2010. The Rev. B. A. Hart is the distinguished pastor of St. John AME Church and the Right Reverend William Phillips DeVeaux, Sr. is the esteemed Presiding Prelate is the 6th Episcopal District.

The speaker for Steward and Trustee Day was Dr. Stanley Jerome Pritchett, Sr., the 18th elected President of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Pastor B. A. Hart expressed how honored and humbled he and the St. John AME Church Family were to have Dr. Stanley Jerome Pritchett, Sr. as the speaker for this auspicious occasion.

Sister Betty J. North served as the worship service leader. The St. John AME Church Choir under the direction of the Minister of Music, Brother Rene Lampton provided songs of joy as the presence of the Holy Spirit was present in the sanctuary.

The Steward Board Vice chair, Sister Bonita Houston and the Trustee Board vice-chair, Brother Lora Goza extended a heartfelt welcome and overview of the occasion on behalf of the pastor, the Steward Board, and the Trustee Board Members. We were reminded of this year’s theme, “Striving for Leadership through Service and Excellence.” The Scriptural reference was Mark 9:35.

Other member s of the Steward Board are: Brother Calvin Russell, Deputy; Brother Ralph H. Harris, Sister Bernice Grooms, Sister Barbara Brown, Brother Dion Anderson, Dr. Leah McFerrin, Sister Sandra Smith; Sister Marchanita Huff, Brother Anthony Robinson, and Sister Betty J. North. The members of the Trustee board, Brother Ronnie Freeman, Deputy; Brother George Chandler, Brother Thomas Cochran, Brother Gerald Boyd, Brother Damon Blackmon, Sister Evette Warren, Sister Pat Belcher, Sister Shirley Perry, Brother Michael Diamond, Brother Demetrius Knox, Brother Gerald Williams, Brother Winston Wilson and Sister Janie Goudlock.

The Invocation was given by Brother Thomas Cochran, followed by the Scripture Lessons by Dr. Leah McFerrin and Brother Demetrius Knox. The Introduction of the Speaker was given by Sister Marchanita Huff.

Sister Huff highlighted Dr. Pritchett’s academic achievements acknowledging that he was the recipient of a football scholarship to Albany State University where he received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education. He later attended Georgia State University and earned the Master of Science Degree and Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. In 2000, he completed his Doctoral degree at Clark Atlanta University receiving the Ed.D in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Pritchett’s 35-year-long career commitment to education includes a number of outstanding positions such as, teacher and athletic coach, assistant principal, principal, and deputy superintendent of administration and business affairs. After retirement, Dr. Pritchett’s excellent educational leadership qualities were still very much in demand and the Board of Trustees of Morris Brown College named him Acting President in July 2008.

Dr. Pritchett brought to Morris Brown College a wealth of leadership and organizational experience. Dr. Pritchett says, “Morris Brown College is Still Alive!” Morris Brown College has served in a position of education excellence and historic prominence for approximately 130 years. Listed among outstanding accomplishment under his leadership include financial audits completed through 2009, successful defense and settlement of 5 of 6 lawsuits which were being litigated, completion of the initial planning process for accreditation, with documentation of meeting 10 of 11 core requirements needed to apply for SACS accreditation candidacy, clear articulation of the Morris Brown College’s financial issues, receipt of a $1.56 million grant to fund US Department of Education’s Talent Search Program, recruitment, enrolling, and retaining of at least 250 students during the 2008-2009 year; improvement of the academic program, student outcomes, and assessment goals; authorization to provide HOPE Scholarship and Tuition Equalization Grants for students; and initiation of an online program in organizational management and leadership.

Dr. Pritchett is also active outside of education. From his youth, he has been an active member of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, where he currently serves as chairman pro tempore of the Steward Board. He has conducted several leadership workshops for churches and districts in the AME Church. He is also a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and most recently, served as a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Grand Board of Directors.

After Dr. Pritchett’s introduction, the Worship Service was in “high gear” and all hearts were ready to receive “the Word.”

Dr. Pritchett began by thanking the pastor, Steward Board, Trustee Board and St. John members for the invitation. He then acknowledged other distinguished guests as follows: Atlanta South District Presiding Elder - Reverend Walter E. Daniels, his wife, the Reverend Shirley Daniels and their granddaughter; Mayor Mario Avery {recently elected the 1st Black Mayor of City of Fairburn; Pastor Conitras Houston, Sister Virginia Henderson Harris, Parliamentarian of the Connectional Lay Organization, stewards and trustees of other churches in the Atlanta South District; other visitors and proudly acknowledged his lovely wife, Dr. Sharon Lewis Pritchett.

After a prayer, Dr. Pritchett delivered an excellent message regarding Leadership and Service with Exodus 18: 18-22 being the scriptural reference. He asked, “How do we strive for leadership through service excellence?” His subject was “Give Up to Go Up.” He touched on the heavy load of the work in the church and how one person cannot handle it alone. In order to “Give Up to Go Up,” Dr. Pritchett suggested that you must do the following: acknowledge God’s authority, accept your assignment, and anticipate the victory.

The invitation to Christian Discipleship was extended by Pastor Hart followed by the stewardship appeal made by Brother Ralph H. Harris. Closing remarks were given by Brother Calvin Russell, deputy of the Steward Board, during which he thanked all participants especially Drs. Stanley& Sharon Pritchett for being our special guests.

Pastor Hart presented Dr. Pritchett with a “Love Offering” for Morris Brown College from the St. John AME Church Family. He then expressed gratitude to Sister Bonita Houston, Brother Lora Goza, Brother Calvin Russell, Brother Ronnie Freeman, Brother Ralph H. Harris, and all Stewards and Trustees for their level of Commitment and Service for the 2009-2010 Conference Year. He thanked them for all that they have done and will do after having received these encouraging and stimulating words from the dynamic messenger, Dr. Stanley Jerome Pritchett, Sr.

Thanks were extended to others for their contribution to the success of our “Spirit-filled Service” which included the choir, the ushers, the Hospitality Committee, and the photographers, Sister Brenda A. Matthews and Licentiate Wilhelmenia DeVone-Harvey.

Pastor B. A. Hart then invited Mayor Mario Avery and Presiding Elder Daniels to the pulpit for remarks. Mayor Avery, an alumnus of Morris Brown College, presented a Proclamation from the City of Fairburn, Georgia to Dr. Pritchett, and expressed his continued support of Dr. Pritchett and Morris Brown College.

Presiding Elder Walter E. Daniels joined in congratulating Pastor Hart, the Steward Board, Trustee Board, and the St. John African Methodist Church Family. He thanked Dr. Pritchett for the message and Mayor Avery for being in attendance. He advised the congregation that he and Rev. Shirley will be forwarding a check in the amount of $1000.00 to Morris Brown College. He is also working on other plans that will help maintain this grand educational institution.

Several graduates of this “Historic Black College” affectionately known as “Dear Ole Morris Brown” were present and included the following: Mayor Mario Avery, Class of 1991; Sister Marchanita Huff, Class of 1988; Pastor B. A. Hart, Class of 1982; and Sister Virginia Henderson Harris, Class of 1968.

After the service, a reception was held in the Fellowship Hall.


The Right Rev. John R. Bryant, Presiding Prelate
The Rev. Dr. Cecilia (Cee) Bryant, Episcopal supervisor

Update #1

Travel to India and 1st Day (May 1, 2010)

The historic initial annual conference of the India Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church started with a successful and blessedly uneventful trip from Chicago, Illinois to Mammalapuram, India. Senior Bishop John R. Bryant along with Senior Supervisor, the Rev. Cecilia Williams-Bryant led an enthusiastic U.S./Canadian delegation on the eighteen-hour journey. Mrs. Robin Tyson has served as Ambassador from the 4th Episcopal District to the India Annual Conference and coordinated the entire expedition. Comfortable and elegant air accommodations were arranged through Etihad Airways.

Special guest accompanying the U.S./Canadian Delegation included the following persons: Mrs. Beverly Thomas, former 4th Episcopal District Supervisor; Dr. Darryl Ingram –Executive Director of Christian Education of the AME Church and Mrs. Patricia Ingram; the Rev. Carla Cooper, 5th Episcopal District; Mrs. Shirley Reed, Candidate for Connectional President, Women’s Missionary Society; and Mr. Jules and Mrs. Barbara Green, 2nd Episcopal District

Presiding Elders accompanying Bishop John and Rev. Cee were the Rev. Thomas M. Hughes, Chicago Conference South District, Senior Presiding Elder (P.E.) 4th District; the Rev. Norman Osborne, Presiding Elder, Michigan Conference North District; the Rev. E. Anne Henning-Byfield, Presiding Elder, Indiana Conference South District, the Rev. Samuel Sumner, Presiding Elder, Indiana Conference North District, and the Rev. Gary McCants, Presiding Elder, Illinois Conference South District.

Officers traveling from within the 4th Episcopal District included, the Rev. Debra Williams, President, 4th Episcopal District Women in Ministry, Mrs. Madge White, President, 4th Episcopal District Lay Organization; Mrs. Myesha Gholston, Director, 4th Episcopal District YPD; Mrs. Loy Pinnock-Brown, WMS President, Canadian Conference; Mrs. Kimberly Hamilton-Foy, WMS President, Illinois Conference; Mrs. Jackie Robinson, WMS President, Michigan Conference; and Mrs. Corlis Moody, WMS President, Chicago Conference.

A list of persons registered for this historic journey is below:

Bishop John Bryant
The Rev. Dr. Cecelia Bryant
Robin Tyson
The Rev. Albert D. Tyson, III
Jules Greene
Barbara Greene
The Rev. James Bailey
The Rev. Anthony Vinson
The Rev. Larry Bell
The Rev. Danita Bell
Marilyn Balthrope
Connie Rose
Icilma Bowen
Dorothy Cowherd
The Rev. E. Anne Byfield
Myesha Gholston
Doris Chappel
Lynette Frazier
Twilla Fowler
Rae Sharon Jones
Madge White
The Rev. Precious Gholston
The Rev. Alene Glover
The Rev. Debra Williams
Kimberly Hamilton-Foy
Loy Pinnock-Brown
The Rev. Darryl Ingram
Patricia Ingram
Margaret Johnson
Ileta Smith-Knight
Mary Madison
Annie Witherspoon
The Rev. Gary McCants
The Rev. Thomas Hughes
The Rev. Garry Mitchell
The Rev. Tamar Mitchell
The Rev. James Moody
Corlis Moody
The Rev. Paul Mugala
Sallie Polk
Garrett Osumah
Jackie Robinson
Mary Williams
The Rev. Joelyn Stokes
Alicia Skillman
The Rev. Sam Sumner
The Rev. Dorothy Sumner
Mrs. Beverly Thomas
Shirley Reed
The Rev. Emmanuel Vaughn
Mary Vaughn
The Rev. Brian Warren
Karen Warren
Gabriella Warren
Juliann Butler
The Rev. Pamela Horne
The Rev. P. David Saunders
The Rev. Norman Osborne
The Rev. Karla Cooper
Rapunzil Drake

Further organization of the U.S./Canadian Delegation is as follows:

Sister Robin Tyson, Ambassador
The Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Episcopal Supervisor
The Rt. Rev. John R. Bryant, Presiding Prelate & Senior Bishop

Cell Leaders:

Couples: The Rev. Garry & the Rev. Tamar Mitchell
Men: The Rev. P. David Saunders
Women: The Rev. Pamela Horne (A-k) and Constance Rose (L-Z)

The Rev. Alene Glover/the Rev. Anthony Vinson

The Rev. Larry Bell

Missions (Outreach):
The Rev. Debra Williams
Loy Pinnock-Brown
The Rev. Brian Warren

The Rev. James Moody

P. E. Thomas Hughes, Appointments/Certificates
P. E. Gary McCants
P. E. Samuel Sumner
P. E. Norman Osborne

Rae Sharon Jones, RN

The U.S./Canadian delegation was greeted at the Radisson Hotel, early on the morning of May 1, 2010 by Presiding Elders, the Abraham and the Rev. Sarah Peddiny of the India Conference, who along with members of the travel agency and Radisson Hotel staff provided a warm welcome to travelers.

Travelers were allowed a couple of hours to unpack and a 10:00 a.m. meeting was held by Bishop John in which Robin Tyson, Ambassador, outlined the revised schedule and provided further details on our arrangements.

Bishop John recognized the work of the Rev. Carla Cooper. He presented her to the delegation as the person responsible for initiating contact with the Rev. Sarah Peddiny, and by explaining the “AME Story” opened the door for the Indian Churches to pursue African Methodism. Bishop John noted that other movements in the AME Church were initiated by women; and Presiding Elder E. Anne Henning-Byfield noted that the AME Church in South Africa owed its start to the efforts of women.

In the afternoon of May 1, 2010, the U.S./Canadian delegation embarked on a bus/walking tour, coordinated by the Rev. Larry Bell, of 6th Century sacred sites in the Mahalapuram area (separate from Mammalapuram). Travelers saw the “Sea Side Temple” on the Indian Ocean; the “Rock Temple” carved from a single rock formation; and the “Cave Temples and Stone Reliefs,” carved from rock formations. The walking portion of the excursion proved to be a first-hand experience, as the Rev. Alene Glover put it, “How ‘the crowd pressed’” as travelers were approached by persons attempting to sell goods for small amounts of money.

Travelers experienced the effects of a cast system that subjects those of darker complexion to discrimination and oppression.

On that same evening, the U.S./Canadian delegation dined together at a fine India restaurant near the hotel before returning for further work. At the end of dinner, Bishop John reminded all speakers of the need to be sensitive to working with an interpreter as they taught or preached. His gentle admonition was a reminder to of all of the need to be sensitive to the culture of those with whom we came to worship.

In preparation for engagements with Calvary Christian Orphanage, Hope, an all-girls’ school, and an adult leper colony, the Rev. Debra Williams, the Rev. Brian Warren, and Sister Loy Pinnock-Brown coordinated volunteers as they received donations brought by travelers to be presented to the residents. Dozens of pieces of luggage were filled by grateful volunteers with items for delivery to their respective locations. It truly is “more blessed to give than to receive.”

Travelers retired to rest in preparation for worship services on the morning of Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Submitted by the Rev. James M. Moody, Sr., Historiographer
Mrs. Robin Tyson, Ambassador
The Rev., Dr. Cecilia Williams-Bryant – Episcopal Supervisor
The Right Rev. John R. Bryant, Presiding Prelate, 4th Episcopal District, and Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Update# 2, 2nd Day, May 2, 2010:

The second day in India for the U.S./Canadian Delegation began with cell groups meeting for Morning Prayer and organizing over breakfast. The Delegation was divided into three cells led by:

Couples: The Rev. Garry and Rev. Tamar Mitchell
Men: The Rev. P. David Saunders
Women: The Rev. Pamela Horne (A-K) and Constance Rose (L-Z)

The delegation then boarded buses for a one hour trip to the Trans World Conference Center. The center is a complex of pink brick buildings erected on sandy soil. The worshippers gathered in an octagonal structure cooled by fans and opened windows.

The Rev. Anthony Vinson, Director of Music for the 4th Episcopal District assembled a group of psalmists comprised of members of the U.S./Canadian Delegation and immediately prepared music for the worship experience. The worship service, attended by the Delegation and indigenous members of the Body of Christ, then proceeded as follows:

Call to Worship, Presiding Elder Thomas M. Hughes; Hymn of Praise (Down at the Cross), Presiding Elder Samuel Sumner; Invocation, Presiding Elder E. Ann Henning-Byfield; Worship in Music, Delegation Chorus (including Bishop John); Scripture Romans 8: 28-39, the Rev. Emanuel Vaughn; Decalogue (Abridged), the Rev. James M. Moody; Worship in Music, Delegation Chorus (including Bishop John); Introduction of Bishop John, Presiding Elder Thomas M. Hughes; Presentation of Host Presiding Elders, Bishop John R. Bryant; Words from Host Presiding Elders P. E. Abraham Peddiny and P.E. Sarah Peddiny; Presentation of the Preacher, Bishop John R. Bryant; Worship in Music, Delegation Chorus (including Bishop John), The Preached Word, The Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, III; Invitation to Christ, Presiding Elder Norman Osborne; Ministry of Giving, Bishop John R. Bryant; announcements and Instructions, Bishop John R. Bryant; and Doxology and Benediction, the Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, III.

During the worship service Bishop John proclaimed that “God is world-wide.” He established the protocol, recognizing Rev. Cee, the distinguished guests present that included Mrs. Beverly Thomas former Episcopal Supervisor of the District and General Officer, Dr. Daryl Ingram, Director of Christian Education, the Presiding Elders, 4th District Officers, Mrs. Robin Tyson Ambassador, and the Rev. Carla Cooper. Bishop John then presented Presiding Elder Abraham and Presiding Elder Sarah Peddiny.

Presiding Elder Abraham gave a prayer of Thanksgiving followed by words of greeting from Presiding Elder Sarah, spoken in both English and their native tongue (Tambil). God is the One who has made this possible. God has a plan for each of us. AME India belongs to God. In India our style of greeting is usually done through actions and not words. We will demonstrate your welcome tomorrow. We are as those were in Acts 17: 6 – “Those people who turned the world upside down.” Let us go ahead and do it. Let’s move the Kingdom of God over the next three days. God gives us all vision of what God called us to do. We are extremely Thankful to Bishop John and the Rev. Dr. Cee. This has been like leaving your child in a hostel for one year. We are thankful they have come back to rejuvenate us. We will be faithful to God and faithful to the AME Church.

Bishop John then presented the Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, III as a prenatal friend whose parents were friends of the Bishop’s parents. The Bishop recognized Rev. Tyson for his successful service in the AME Church and leadership in the City of Chicago.

The Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, III selected Numbers 13: 30-33 for a text and for a subject, “Watch Out for those Hope Thieves.” Rev. Tyson revealed how God had repeatedly demonstrated God’s plan, provision, and protection of the Hebrew people. Yet, when confronted by the challenge of taking possession of the Promised Land, they accepted the report of those who “stole the hope” from the people. “Hope thieves are not persons you don’t know or who just met you. They’re typically the people who know you best – family members, friends, close associates.” He admonished those present to “Watch Out for those Hope Thieves.”

Rev. Tyson brought the message to a rousing climax as he told the story of “those who attempted to steal the hope of Jesus Christ by directing Him to come off the Cross, save Himself, and prove His identity. “ Rev. Tyson reminded us that on Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday night the “hope thieves” thought they had gotten away with Jesus’ hope. “But early Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the grave giving hope to all.”

Presiding Elder Sarah Peddiny then, for the benefit of non-English speaking worshippers, summarized the sermon in her native language. The invitation to Christian Discipleship was extended by Presiding Elder Osborne.

Bishop John then invited the Rev. Cee to address the congregation. She said she received from the message the fresh revelation she had been seeking. Rev. Cee then imparted vision describing the futures of the 4th District and AME India. She requested we all pray for the new 4th District Headquarters, the Mother Beverly Fine Arts Institute, and the AME India headquarters and residence.

Instructions were given by Mrs. Robin Tyson on the day’s activities.

The final benediction was spoken by the Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, III.

Participants in the worship then retired to the Guest Center to cool down and to support the work of AME-India through the purchase of souvenir items.

Half of the Delegation chose to travel to the city of Chennai for the afternoon while the other half remained at the Radisson.

The entire Delegation later met at a fine Indian restaurant to dine. Travelers retired to rest in preparation for the opening of the India Annual Conference on the morning of Monday, May 3, 2010.

Update # 3, Monday, May 3, 2010

The 3rd day in India for the U.S./Canadian Delegation began with cell groups meeting for Morning Prayer and organizing over breakfast.

The delegation then boarded buses for our second trip to the Trans World Radio Conference Center. When we arrived, we were met by a crowd that stood outside in the hot Indian sun to greet us with singing and dancing in Indian fashion. Worshippers gathered in a large open-air pavilion with marble and tile floors, cooled by fans. The Indian Delegation then sang in English “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands.” Bishop John recognized our U.S./Canadian leadership.

A nine-member delegation led by Rev. Debra Williams traveled two additional hours to the House of Love orphanage. This all girls institution established in the early 90’s, houses sixty-two girls from the ages of seven to 17. The group took clothes, shoes, school supplies, toiletries, and one-thousand three-hundred and eighty dollars donated by LaGrange, Illinois residents and friends of Rev. Williams. The day was capped off by the unveiling of a stone recognizing the leadership and generosity of Rev. Williams for coordinating this great mission of benevolence.
While others traveled to the orphanage, Bishop John proceeded to organize the First Annual Conference of the AME India Annual Conference.

The following persons were elected as the conference officers:

Presiding Prelate Senior Bishop John Richard Bryant
Supervisor Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant
Presiding Elder Rev. Sarah Abraham
Presiding Elder Rev. Abraham Peddiny

Secretary, Ms. Jemima Elizabeth; Assistant Secretary, Mr. Richard

Ms. Joanna Ruth
Mr. Dominique

Conference Reporter, Ms. Kavitha Dominique

Finance Committee
The Rev. Dr. Joel K. Sekharan
Pastor Shanti Annal
Mrs. Mercy B. Luke
Mr. Vivian Joshua
Ms. Cathelene

Conference Committee
Pastor Peter Morris
Elder Vijayamani
Pastor Sam Paul
Pastor Daniel Raj
Mrs. Vijayambal Arputharaj

Bishop John then presented Senior Supervisor Bryant who greeted the conference. The Rev. Dr, Cee proclaimed, “The presence of the Holy Spirit has given us a glimpse of glory. Before the week is over, we shall witness miracles, signs, and wonders for AME India. The AME Church is a church of prayer and we believe in the power of prayer. Nothing is impossible for us. We are to be praying for great cathedrals for AME India in the North, South, East and West.

Bishop John called for the organizing of the “Hour of Power.” The following participated:

Old Testament Scripture, Pastor Sam Paul; New Testament Scripture, the Rev. Carla Cooper; Prayer, Pastor Shanti Annal; Presentation of Preacher, Bishop John R. Bryant; Ministry in Music, U.S./Canadian Choir; Ministry in Music, Isaac Peddiny – Violin; Preached Word, Presiding Elder Abraham Peddiny.

In Bishop Bryant’s introduction of Presiding Elder Abraham Peddiny, Bishop John described him as “wonderfully married to Presiding Elder Sarah Abraham. When Abraham met Sarah he knew they were supposed to spend life together. He is well prepared with a PhD and totally “sold out for Jesus.” He eats, sleeps, and dreams AME India. They have two beautiful children, Isaac and Beverly.”

Presiding Elders Abraham and Sarah then presented gold rings to Bishop John and Rev. Cee as an expression of their love and appreciation for our Episcopal leadership. Elder Abraham then sang an ancient Sanskrit song and selected his text – Acts 17: 1-9 (Acts 17: 6) – “…these who have turned the world upside down have come here also and now they have come to disturb our community.”

Presiding Elder Peddiny acknowledged that the journey of African Americans was one from slavery to freedom. He lifted the over one-hundred and fifty year journey “from being slaves to now being masters.” He pointed out to his churches that they “may be struggling but God is great and our hope and strength.”

He said, “African Americans were in much more difficult situations and their help came from God, not people. It was their faith in Jesus Christ. In reality you have some tests to come and a testimony in days to come.”

Elder Peddiny then told the story of one of his preachers who had received several eviction notices for the building he was renting for church use. With the last notice received, the pastor said he decided to “quit worrying and put his trust in Jesus.” Elder Peddiny described this as spiritual maturity. He said, “Our childlike experiences are painful yet the more we get close to God the more He upholds us. God is reaching out His hand and watching you, lifting you up. Now lift your hands and give God some praise.”

At the invitation that followed Presiding Elder Peddiny’s powerful message, several came forward and pastors were asked to come forward and lay hands on them.

There was a short display of cultural expressions through dance and singing and the conference was divided by Bishop John into a number of subgroups for instruction:

Lay Organization, Mrs. Madge White; YPD, Mrs. Myesha Gholston; Committee on Ministerial Instruction, Presiding Elder E. Ann Henning Byfield and; Women’s Missionary Society, Supervisor, the Rev. Dr. Cecilia Williams-Bryant.

Women’s’ Missionary Society

Over one hundred women attended what was characterized as a Spirit-filled time of praise on one accord taking place in different tongues. Rev. Cee coordinated the election of officers for the WMS in India. As Rev. Cee inquired of the women, “What are the issues and matters that we are to eradicate in their lives?” the responses were the same as those in the U.S. and Canada. Domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, pornography, and drugs matched our society. The women also added deaths due to speeding in cars, child labor and child sex trafficking to the list. Mother Beverly Thomas taught the Missionary Benediction in Song, sharing that it is sung by Missionaries all over the world. Mrs. Shirley Reed taught how to report on Missionary Society activities. U.S./Canadian delegates were impressed by the eagerness of women to serve in the various capacities required for achieving the objective of organizing the WMS in India. Loy Pinnock-Brown, Canadian Conference President commented, “They were moved by the Holy Spirit and came forward without being asked.”

Young Peoples’ Department

Over one-hundred fifty youth attended the first session of the YPD in the India Conference. Mrs. Myesha Gholston, 4th District YPD Director and others’ objectives for the day were to introduce the history of the YPD, convey the goals and motto, and to elect officers. Indian youth were especially pleased to know they have voice and a vote in the AME Church. They were eager to learn and to share their voices. The youth were most energetic about electing officers thereby establishing their own leaders.

Lay Organization

4th District President Madge White stated her team went in with a set of simple objectives – Introduce the Lay Organization and its purpose to Indian worshippers; and to teach those present about the AME Church. A mini-workshop was conducted that included an over-view of the AME Church to give those in attendance a sense of connection to the entire AME Church world-wide. Those in attendance were taught basic information on the AME Church, What an annual conference means, and How to organize local lay organizations. Forty men (exclusively) attended Sister Madge’s team’s presentation.

During the afternoon worship, the preacher was Presiding Elder Gary McCants of the Illinois Conference, South District. Bishop John presented Elder McCants as an Elder who has a heart for pastors. He desires to see things done in a powerful way and made great sacrifices to make this trip.

After a dance rendered by Beverly Peddiny, Elder McCants chose Philippians 3: 12-14 as his text and “Press On, Run the Race” as his subject. Presiding Elder McCants offered powerful teaching as he shared that Paul’s passion, priorities, and purpose were to be Christ-like. The exploits of Paul were outlined in candid detail and comparison made to our lives. Elder McCants challenged the congregation with a number of penetrating questions. Is there anything that has ever taken your complete attention? Our desire to be Christ-like should take our complete attention. Elder McCants shared that we have the same power that Paul had. What price are we willing to pay to be one with God?

The Delegation returned to the Radisson for the evening and dinner was taken individually. Travelers retired to rest in preparation for the second day of the India Annual Conference on the morning of Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

Submitted by the Rev. James M. Moody, Sr., Historiographer
Mrs. Robin Tyson – Ambassador
The Rev., Dr. Cecilia Williams-Bryant – Episcopal Supervisor
The Right Rev. John R. Bryant – Presiding Prelate, 4th Episcopal District, and Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church


*The Rev Tulane Msibi

The initiative of the AME debate about “indigenous leadership” has truly ushered a new day to realize the legacy of what our Zion stands for from its humble beginnings. It has sparked a lot of excitement and exuberance for think-tanks to display their intellectual prowess and agility, however it will be naïve for anyone to debate this subject out of what AME origin and mission represent. People fought a common denominator of racism and social disparity which dehumanized their pedigree of indigenous identity. That’s my understanding of who the AME has been and forever shall be.

This is a rather a delicate, sensitive and complex subject that, it cannot be dealt with within the confines of language and culture as the core reasons for our excitement without being conscious of far reaching implications on even to the Indigenous people whom it is intended to benefit.

I am a pastor in the 19th Episcopal District, in a country (South Africa) which has eleven official languages and diversity of cultures and ethnic groupings, despite being an indigenous of that country; we cannot speak all official languages. There is no such a thing as an absolutely indigenous church in any culture. Something totally indigenous would conform to the culture that it would not be Christian. I concur with the assertion that challenges facing the Connection outside the U.S. cannot be resolved only with indigenous Episcopal leadership.

The church has been provided with an opportunity to show its capacity to tackle the challenges without compromising Connectionalism as its pillar of strength. Maybe we should interrogate ourselves informed by the current challenges we are faced with as the AME:

- Principles of Contextualization?

- Representative of all Episcopal overseas Church in Episcopal leadership?

- Is the global economic downturn the reason for the popularization of Indigenous leadership?

- Has the church done or do justice to answer implications of this discourse?

As an African, it will be unfortunate for the church to take route of dealing with indigenous leadership through the mirage of which leader is born where in Africa. Africa pride itself of its diversity and it should be used as opportunity rather than a crisis. The church is a kind of culture to culture translation.

“When the indigenous people think of the Lord as their own, not a foreign Christ; when they do things as unto the Lord meeting the cultural needs around them, worshipping in patterns they understand; when their congregations function in participation in a body, which is structurally indigenous; then we have an indigenous Church.”

*The Reverend Tulane Msibi is the pastor of Mokone Temple in Garankuwa, Republic of South Africa; 19th Episcopal District.


The District Conference of the South Birmingham Huntsville-Bessemer District began at 8:00 a.m. with a Ministerial Staff meeting where the rev. Oliver Allen, Jr., the presiding elder of the South Birmingham Huntsville-Bessemer District articulated the order of business and gave a preview of the conference. Presiding Elder Allen emphasized that ministers should always be prepared and reminded those in attendance that he utilizes modern technology to stay in touch with all pastors. He asked for suggestions on improving communications between him and the ministers in the district. Elder Allen also stressed that clergy should be responsible to insure that all tasks are completed and stressed that accountability was important.

The devotional period began at 9:15 with a song, “Blessed Assurance,” and the prayer was given by Sister June Burks; Scripture, Psalm 100, read by Sister Vernita Forniss; followed by the singing of, “Victory is mine.”

The Meditation was delivered by the Rev. Betty C. Robinson who spoke from Exodus 15:20. She reminded us that “we have come a mighty long way,” and “We don’t feel no ways tired.” The Spirit was truly in our midst as His presence was felt by all assembled. The meditation concluded with a motivational rendition of, “I feel like Praising, Praising Him.”

The host church welcomed the South Birmingham Huntsville-Bessemer District Dr. Homer McCall; pastor of St. John AME Church in Huntsville presented the first workshop facilitator, Dr. Anderson Todd, Jr., retired General Officer of the AMEC. The workshop theme: “Understanding our Methods to Achieve our Mission” began at 9:50 a.m. Dr. Todd said that it is important to follow a bishop’s Godly judgment. As it related to local relationships, Dr. Todd also said, when a local deacon has been ordained at a particular church, if he/she leaves that church they cease to be a deacon. Dr. Todd stated there are preachers with M.Div. and D. Min. who are sitting at churches waiting for the pastor to be moved, thinking they will become the next pastor. He stressed, “It Won’t Happen!” He also stated there are ordained deacons and elders who probably should have never been ordained.

Dr. Todd also stated that there is nothing wrong with preachers/ministers coming into the AMEC from other denominations, so long as they don’t try to bring their denominational traditions to the AME Church. The AMEC has rules and regulations that all are governed by, including those who want to come into our Church. Dr. Todd actually went through some items in The Discipline: only the pastor presides over the Church Conference, only the Presiding Elder or his designee presides over the Quarterly Conference, the bishop presides over the Annual Conference, the bishop, by seniority, presides over the General Conference, the pastor is in charge where ever he/she has been appointed.

The pastor is preacher, shepherd and an administrator. He/she must preach to the people, “A workman that needed not be ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth.” A pastor must possess, in addition to all other books he or she has; the Bible, the AME Hymnal, and the current Discipline. Dr. Todd also stressed that the order of Worship is not in the hands of the musician, or the worship leader, but in the hands of the pastor. Dr. Todd gave out handouts on various subjects to help both the pastor and the members.

Pastors were reminded that the pastor is in charge at all times. During a funeral the undertaker is not in charge, he/she is paid to do what they are told to do. Dr. Todd said, “Don’t let other folk come into your congregation and take over. Nothing should happen without the knowledge and consent of the pastor.” He reminded the Workshop attendees that the “Pro-tem” of any board/ministry means that person is in charge of a particular meeting in the absence of the pastor. Dr. Todd went on to say that members should make an appointment with the pastor if they do not agree with something the pastor says or wants to do.

Throughout the devotional period, the meditation and the workshop, the phrase and saying, “God is Able” was repeatedly emphasized. As always, Dr. Todd was concise, knowledgeable and very articulate.

During the presiding elder’s reflection after the workshop, the presenter’s wife, Sister V. Todd was recognized. The presiding elder also presented his wife, Sister Mary Allen who gave greetings to the district.

The Elder stressed that each pastor would be evaluated twice a year and one of his goals is that every Church be IRS compliant (for district purposes).

The Elder also recognized the guests, the Rev. Willis N. Huggins, Sr., Presiding Elder of the West Birmingham Ensley-Greensboro-Tuscaloosa District and his Wife, Sister Hattie Huggins. Recognition was also afforded to the host pastor’s wife, Sister Sandra Rumph.

The Rev. Brian Blackwell, Pastor of St. Luke AMEC, served as worship leader for the Hour of Power worship service. The Rev. Steve Caver lined Hymn, after which the Rev. Grandville Anderson prayed. The Youth choir sang, “We Worship You.” The Scriptural lessons were read by the Rev. Johnathan Richardson, the Rev. Mary C. Garrett and the Rev. Eric Nathan. The Summary of the Decalogue was by the Rev. Debra Ballard.

After a brief introduction by the Presiding Elder, the lining of the Hymn of Preparation by the Rev. Arthur Turner and a spirit filled rendition of “Praise is What I Do” by Brother Somers, the Rev. Raymond Nomel, our preacher of the hour took the pulpit. Rev. Nomel took his text from Acts 16:23-26, using the theme, “Then came Midnight.” He told us that by the time we get to the 16th Chapter of Acts, the Apostles had received the Holy Ghost and Peter had already preached the famous Pentecost Sermon. Saul’s name had been changed to Paul and souls were being added to the Church. Paul was preaching and winning souls to the cause of Christ. Paul was not preaching anything new. What do you do when you just don’t understand? Hang onto your Faith! Faith is trusting God to see you through. For when we panic we lose sight of who’s in charge. Put on the whole armor of God in your midnight hour. Truly the hour of power was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost to the point that this writer was so caught up that she could not write all that was heard and said.

The afternoon session began at 3:00 p.m. with singing, prayer and scripture. After a few brief words, Elder Allen presented Senator Roger Smitherman and his wife Councilwoman Carole Smitherman, who took time out of their busy schedule to attend the District Conference.

Our convener for the workshop continued with the Rev. Betty Robinson’s presentation of the Rev. Lugenia Johnson who gave a PowerPoint presentation on “Sharing your Faith.” After the presentation, those who had previously been asked to pair off with someone who had not attended a “Sharing your Faith” Workshop were asked to go through the hand presentation together.

During the Elder’s moment we heard from the various components of the District: The WMS/YPD; Lay Organization; Sons of Allen; Voter Registration; Investiture; Church School and Church School and Christian Education Congress. We were also informed that the dates of the Northwest Annual Conference have been changed to October 20-23, 2010 and will be held at the Bessemer Civic Center, hosted by Allen Temple AMEC, Bessemer, Alabama.

Special thanks were given to Sister Thomasine Jackson and the Rev. Florence McElroy for their dedication and diligence in preparing the “logo,” the programs for the congregation and especially for the Youth. Commendations were given to Pastor Rumph and members of Payne Chapel African Methodist Church for the hospitality afforded to the South Birmingham Huntsville-Bessemer District.

Submitted by Mary C. Garrett

The Rev. Mary C. Garrett, Secretary, the South Birmingham Huntsville-Bessemer District


I want the clergy to explore a great religious and cultural resource for the African American Community, a one-of-a-kind technological resource designed for and by African American preachers, Christian educators, and worship leaders—The African American Lectionary!

The lectionary is the brainchild of the Reverend Martha Simmons, who also provides leadership for the country’s only African American preaching journal, The African American Pulpit.

Reverend Simmons realized the need for a lectionary devoted to the African American community and surveyed 10,000 African American clergy. After reviewing the responses, Simmons obtained a grant of nearly two million dollars from the Lilly Endowment. The result? An online lectionary that contains more than 2,500 pages of free and unique material, ranging from audio of Langston Hughes actually reading one of his most famous works, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” to a video about Kwanzaa as explained by its creator, Maulana Karenga.

The survey asked preachers the top ten issues they would like to see addressed in a lectionary and add new materials each week to meet those needs. Since its inception in 2007, the project has met the needs of many clergy members and served as an innovative way to obtain information and sermons on issues facing the African American faith community. Vanderbilt Divinity School serves as the collaborative partner and fiscal administrator for The African American Lectionary.

Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, Pastor Emeritus, at Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY has said that “The African American Lectionary is a unique resource for those interested in prophetically addressing the issues of the day that impact the African American community and is a long over-due presentation of the annual days that truly represent our faith community.”

You can find a fact sheet on the project at this link - http://www.perituspr.com/clients/AAL/AAL-Fact_Sheet.doc, but the best way to learn more is to see for yourself at http://www.theafricanamericanlectionary.org/.

I would appreciate the readers and the subscribers of TCR taking the time to check out our site.

Katie Adkisson, Senior Account Representative



How can churches know if they are being effective at making disciples?

How Do We Assess Spiritual Growth?
It is possible, but often not very encouraging.
An interview with Dallas Willard

Many churches are measuring the wrong things. We measure things like attendance and giving, but we should be looking at more fundamental things like anger, contempt, honesty, and the degree to which people are under the thumb of their lusts. Those things can be counted, but not as easily as offerings.

Why don't more churches gauge these qualities among their people?

First of all, many leaders don't want to measure these qualities because what they usually discover is not worth bragging about. We'd rather focus on institutional measures of success. Secondly, we must have people who are willing to be assessed in these ways. And finally, we need the right tools to measure spiritual formation. There are some good tools available like Randy Frazee's Christian Life Profile and Monvee.com, which John Ortberg likes.
In the past people grew through relationships with spiritual mentors and by engaging the church community. Is there a danger that these individual assessment tools will remove the role of community in formation?

Any of these devices must be used in a community setting. Assessment tools that work best are a combination of self-assessment and the assessment of a significant other who knows you well. They don't work with people who don't want to be assessed, and they should not be administered like individual personality tests that some employers use.

If you have a group of people come together around a vision for real discipleship, people who are committed to grow, committed to change, committed to learn, then a spiritual assessment tool can work. But there must be a deep fellowship of trust to support that work. I don't think any group should go into an assessment without that. I wouldn't advise a pastor to use one of these tools on his or her congregation without first establishing a clear commitment to discipleship. You can't take your average congregation and just lay one of these assessments on them.

Are you ever discouraged by how few churches have that kind of clear commitment to discipleship?

I am not discouraged because I believe that Christ is in charge of his church, with all of its warts, and moles, and hairs. He knows what he is doing and he is marching on.

But I do grieve for the people within the church who are suffering—especially the pastors and their families. They are suffering because much of North America and Europe has bought into a version of Christianity that does not include life in the kingdom of God as a disciple of Jesus Christ. They are trying to work a system that doesn't work. Without transformation within the church, pastors are the ones who get beat up. That is why there is a constant flood of them out of the pastorate. But they are not the only ones. New people are entering the church, but a lot are also leaving. Disappointed Christians fill the landscape because we've not taken discipleship seriously.

What can pastors do to change this dynamic?

Change their definition of success. They need to have a vision of success rooted in spiritual terms, determined by the vitality of a pastor's own spiritual life and his capacity to pass that on to others.

When pastors don't have rich spiritual lives with Christ, they become victimized by other models of success—models conveyed to them by their training, by their experience in the church, or just by our culture. They begin to think their job is managing a set of ministry activities and success is about getting more people to engage those activities. Pastors, and those they lead, need to be set free from that belief.

Dallas Willard is a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California and the author of The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship.

Copyright © 2010 by the author or Christianity Today International/Leadership Journal.


*The Rev. N. T. Pitts

Every year, we set aside a special day to memorialize those in uniform who have given of their lives and limbs for the sake of others. We have parades, ceremonies, and we visit cemeteries carry flags and vases of flowers. Government offices and banks are closed to pay tribute to the fallen and cripple heroes.

All of us are living on the sacrifices of others. But we fail to realize that there are numerous of others, not in uniform, who have given of their lives and now lay buried in unmarked graves, no memorials, no parades and no flowers. I call them unknown and unsung heroes.

If we would only take a few moments to reflect, many of us would bow our heads in sorrow, shame and with deep conviction.

We have lived and are now living in comfort made possible through the sacrifices of the “insignificant” migrant workers. None of us can boast that we have what we have and enjoying what we enjoy because of our own ingenuity.

We sit in our plush houses, drive our fine cars and feast on the best fresh foods all made possible by the blood and sweat of migrant workers, men women and children who have been abused, maimed, murdered and buried un-ceremoniously in unmarked graves when they could no longer produce. Their blood cries from the ground.

If the ground could talk, it would tell stories of countless who have sacrificed their lives for the comfort of others. If the ground could talk, it would tell of those who have been misused and murdered. If the ground could talk, it would tell us the names and describe the faces of those whom the world never knew. If the ground could talk, we would hear the cries of babies and screams of mothers for their children as they scramble trying to make a living for them.

Some of the clothes we wear, the diamonds/jewelry we so readily display are all made possible by the use of slave/child labor, stolen wages and children who were deprived of their youthfulness for the sake of the rich and famous and the not so rich and infamous.

In the medical field, we have benefited from those who have died in the process of testing of new drugs for the advancement of medicine.

In summary, we must become cognizant of the fact that all of us are living on the sacrifices of others.

It is a good thing to remember those in uniform who have given their lives and limbs, but we must also become aware that there are numerous others who worked long “back-breaking” hours in the heat of the day to provide food for our tables and were brutally mistreated and murdered when they could no longer produce for our table comfort.

In 2nd Samuel, Chapter 23, we see David who refused to drink the water from the well of Bethlehem because he realized the sacrifices that were made by those brave soldiers for his comfort. He poured the water out as a libation to them.

The Rev. N.T. Pitts (ptaegar@aol.com) is a retired AME pastor who lives in Eatonville, Florida


- Bishop and Mrs. William P. DeVeaux, Presiding Prelate and Episcopal Supervisor of the Sixth Episcopal District, are pleased to announce the addition of their new grandson, Joshua Alexander DeVeaux Morton. He is the son of Jacob and Robin Morton who lives in Miami, Florida and attends St. Mark Memorial AME Church where the pastor is the Reverend Anthony Reed.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:

Bishop William P. DeVeaux: bishopdev@aol.com

Dr. Pam DeVeaux: Drpamdeveaux6@aol.com

- Joshua C. Sylvester scored an amazing AME triple, by winning the Sarah Allen Legacy Scholarship, The Handy-Simmons Connectional Memorial Scholarship and the Connectional Y.P.D. Self-Denial Essay Contest. Joshua is a second semester freshman at Southern University A&M College Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the son of the Rev. Kecia Lewis, pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

Congratulatory responses can be emailed to: la_ladypreacher@hotmail.com

- Miss Angela C. White graduated from Hampton University with honors on May 9. President Barack Obama gave the commencement address. Angela will continue her education at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in the fall. She is the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Henry Y. White and Former Supervisor Rev. Rowena Webster White. She is the granddaughter of Bishop Robert Vaughn Webster and Episcopal Supervisor, the late Mrs. Carole Ogleton Webster.

Congratulatory messages may be emailed to: rowhen@aol.com (Former Supervisor Rev. Rowena Webster White).

- The Tallahassee District of the Florida Annual Conference of the Eleventh Episcopal District is honoring the Reverend Ralph L. Wilson, the senior presiding elder of the Eleventh Episcopal District, as he prepares for retirement from a ministry of unending growth and extraordinary contributions. "A Celebration of Service" is scheduled for July 9, 2010 at the Al Lawson Multipurpose Teaching Gymnasium on the campus of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University at 7:00 PM. Tickets for the event are available.

Presiding Elder Ralph L. Wilson has forty-eight (48) years of outstanding service to the AME Church and the community and the Tallahassee District of the Florida Annual Conference will join together to wish "The Wilson Team" years of good health and happiness to enjoy the fruits of their labor and their many accomplishments. Additionally, a souvenir journal that will highlight the ministry of Presiding Elder and Mrs. Wilson and include congratulatory messages is being produced. For further information concerning the event tickets and inclusion in the Souvenir Journal contact Pastor Anton Elwood, Ticket, Chairperson (850) 222-4201 or Sister Eileen S. Warner, Souvenir Journal, Co-Chairperson (850) 509-7572.

- Korey Bowers Brown, the son of the Rev. Gene Allen Brown, pastor of Mt. Tabor AME Church in Altamonte Springs, Florida and Mrs. Glynette Bowers Brown completed all requirements for the doctorate degree in History and successfully defended his dissertation with distinction from Howard University, Washington, DC. The title of his dissertation is "Souled Out: Ebony Magazine in an Age of Black Power, 1965-1975." Korey earned his Bachelor Degree in History Education from Florida A&M University and his Masters Degree in History from Vanderbilt University. Korey will be hooded and complete all ceremonial activities with Howard University's Spring 2010 graduation class. Korey is married to Mrs. Kishanna Poteat Brown and is the father of two children, Zora and Booker. His parents, family and friends are all proud of him.

Congratulations may be forwarded to: GBrown8446@aol.com or koreybowersbrown@hotmail.com

- The Rev. Dianne McGlen of the Western North Carolina Conference along with the Rev. Ayana Newton and the Rev. Moya Harris of the Washington Conference, 2nd Episcopal District, each graduated from Payne Theological Seminary on Friday, May 7, 2010 with the Master of Divinity Degree. Rev. Moya Harris was the class co-valedictorian. Payne Theological Seminary is the oldest black free-standing seminary in the world. Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue is the President.

Congratulatory responses may be sent to:
admcglen@yahoo.com (The Reverend Dianne McGlen)
ayananewton@aol.com (The Reverend Ayana Newton)
moyaharris@mac.com (The Reverend Moya Harris)

- The Reverend Sherri C. Scott received her M. Div from Payne Theological Seminary on Friday, May 7, 2010. Reverend Sherri is an Itinerant Elder and pastor of St. Matthews Chapel AME Church, Clarksville, Tennessee. The Rev. Sherri C. Scott is the daughter of the late Rev. Donald L. Cowley, former pastor of Whites Chapel AME Church, Memphis, Tennessee and Mrs. Imogene B. Cowley of Memphis, Tennessee.

Congratulatory messages may be emailed to:

SScott3488@aol.com (The Rev. Sherri C. Scott)

And Imogene1939@live.com (Mrs. Imogene B. Cowley)

- Clifford H. McKinney, Sr. graduated with honors on May 8th from Turner Theological Seminary on the campus of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Reverend McKinney is from the 11th Episcopal District where Bishop McKinley Young is the Presiding Prelate; his Presiding Elder is John L. Bodison of the South Conference/South District. The Rev. McKinney is on the ministerial staff at Greater St. Paul AME Church in Miami, Florida where the Rev. Jessie Harvin, Jr. is the pastor.

Congratulatory messages may be emailed to: cjmck@bellsouth.net

- Congratulations to the Reverend Robin Allen, associate at Primm Tabernacle AME Church, Pomona, California and Brother Charles Dorsey from Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, Irvine, California. Reverend Allen and Brother Dorsey each will receive the Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California, May 18, 2010.

Congratulatory messages may be emailed to:

The Rev. Robin Hamilton-Allen robbiesjuno@juno.com
Brother Charles Dorsey charles.dorsey@gmail.com

- Jeremy C. Darby graduated on Friday, May 7, 2010 with honors from the Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina with a degree in Graphic Design and a Professional Certificate in Illustration. Jeremy is the son of the Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Darby and Mrs. Mary B. Darby of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Congratulatory messages may be emailed to: josephdarby@bellsouth.net

- The Reverend and Mrs. Carlton V. Rickman Jr. of Claremont, California (5th Episcopal District) proudly announce the graduation of their oldest daughter Aleisha Lander. She will graduate from California State University, San Bernardino June 19, 2010 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology.

Congratulatory messages may be emailed to: dlgr99@aol.com

- Trailblazer, the Reverend Betty L. Furbert-Woolridge became the first female pastor to be promoted to Presiding Elder of the Bermuda Annual Conference of the 1st Episcopal District. Updated email address for Presiding Elder Furbert-Woolridge: revbetty@northrock.bm


Bishop Vinton and Mrs. Vivienne L. Anderson and the Anderson Family are asking the AME Connectional Family to pray unceasingly for Bishop Anderson, for we know the power of prayer in healing and full recovery.

We are requesting for Intercessory Prayer Warriors of our great Connectional Zion to intercede on behalf of Bishop Anderson, who is currently recuperating from eye surgery. He is at home in St. Louis, and experiencing reduced vision in one eye and post-surgical discomfort.

We thank God for you in advance, for your fervent prayers, your love, and ongoing friendship.

Bishop Vinton and Mrs. Vivienne Anderson
Retired AME Bishop and Episcopal Supervisor
22 W Sherwood Drive
Overland, Missouri 63114

Home phone: 314-427-2711 -
Home Fax: 314-427-4694 -
Mrs. Anderson's email address: vivianderson27@aol.com -


The Family of Bishop Paul J. M. Kawimbe, the Presiding Prelate of the Seventeenth Episcopal District is grateful and appreciates "The Fervent Prayers of God's Righteous Which Availeth and Continues to Availeth Much".

We are requesting for Prayer Warriors of our great Connectional Zion to continue to intercede on behalf of Mother Yvonne M. Kawimbe who is currently in a Hospital in South Africa near Johannesburg for total healing & full recovery. Mother Yvonne Kawimbe is the Supervisor of the Seventeenth Episcopal District.

We thank God for you in advance for your fervent prayers on behalf of Bishop Paul J.M. Kawimbe, our beloved 17th Episcopal District Supervisor, family and the 17th Episcopal District Church family at large.


Please keep Mrs. Mary Blake in your prayers. She is a member of St. James AME Church in Covington, Kentucky where the Rev. Wink Sweat is the pastor. Sister Blake is the widow of deceased former Presiding Elder, the Reverend Charles E. Blake of the former Lexington District of the Kentucky Annual Conference. She is the mother of Dr. Charlotte Blake Sydnor, pastor of Shorter Chapel AME Church in Franklin, Tennessee (Tennessee Conference) and the Rev. Cheryl Blake Hoskins, pastor of Blake Chapel AME Church in Newport, Kentucky; and the mother-in-law of the Dr. Calvin Sydnor III, the 20th Editor of The Christian Recorder.

Mother Blake, currently in the hospice unit of the Drake Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, declined the option to be fed by a tube. She is receiving excellent care at the Drake Center.

Our family is fine and we do not have any special needs; just your prayers.

Editor Sydnor is on his way back to Cincinnati to be with the family

Dr. Charlotte B. Sydnor’s email address: cbsydnor@aol.com; Telephone: (615) 714-5990

The Rev. Cheryl Hoskins email address: cheryl.hoskins@Insightbb.com


We regret to share news of the untimely passing of Calvin Allen Lowe, the 22-year old son of the Reverend Tanya Lowe, a member of the ministerial staff of Bethel AME Church, Hampton, Virginia and Dr. Calvin W. Lowe, the ninth president of Bowie State University.

Service arrangements for Calvin Allen Lowe:

Sunday, May 16, 2010
Viewing: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Family Visitation: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

O.H. Smith and Son Funeral Home
3009 Chestnut Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607
(757) 380-8871
(757) 380-1123 (fax)

Monday, May 17, 2010
Funeral: 11:00 AM

Bethel AME Church
94 West Lincoln Street
Hampton, VA 23669
757-723-1940 (Fax)

The Rev. Andre' P. Jefferson, Sr., Pastor

The Rev. William A. Dyson, Presiding Elder
Portsmouth/Richmond Roanoke District-Virginia Annual Conference

Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Presiding Prelate
2nd Episcopal District

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the funeral home or to Bethel AME Church, in care of the family of Calvin Allen Lowe.

Or expressions of sympathy may be emailed to:

Revnurse99@aol.com (The Rev. Tanya Lowe)
Lowe.cal@gmail.com (Dr. Calvin Lowe)


With sorrow and compassion we announce the passing on Sunday, May 2, 2010 of Mrs. Alberta Fludd Clark Fields, cousin of Mrs. Dianna Brown Golphin, President of the 13th District M-SWAWO and spouse of Presiding Elder Kenneth J. Golphin of the Lexington District, Kentucky Conference. Services were held Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the Vanderhorst CME Church of Charleston, South Carolina, presided by the Reverend Derrick A. Price, pastor.

Contact Information
Mrs. Dianna B. Golphin
760 Statesman Way
Lexington, KY 40505-4076


We are saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Mary Lee Blair, aunt of the Reverend Robert A. Strode, D. Min., pastor of Saint John AME Church in Frankfort, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.


Saturday, May 15 at 1:00 at Imani Baptist Church of Lexington, KY, the Reverend Willis Polk, pastor. Visitation will be from 11:00 until the service hour.

Contact Information
Dr. Robert A. Strode
St. John A.M.E. Church
210 W. Clinton Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Ph. (502) 223-5752

Imani Baptist Church
1555 Georgetown Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40511
Willis Polk, Pastor
(859) 231-1558

Smith & Smith Funeral Home
340 East 3rd Street
Lexington, KY 40508-1945
(859) 255-6273


We regret to announce the passing of one of our Twelfth Episcopal District pastors, the Reverend Pollie Wallace. Rev. Wallace transitioned on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Rev. Wallace was the pastor of Bethel AME Church in Claremore, Oklahoma. She also previously served as Presiding Elder of both the Tulsa and Muskogee Districts of the Central Northeast Oklahoma Conference.

Funeral arrangements for Rev. Pollie Wallace:

Saturday, May 15, 2010
11:00 a.m.
St. Paul A.M.E. Church
648 East 46th Street North
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74126
The Rev. Wayne A. Johnson, Sr., Pastor
(918) 425-3722
(918) 587-0642 (fax)

Professional services entrusted to:

Jack's Memory Chapel
801 East 36th Street North
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74106
(918) 428-4431

Presiding Elder Marcellus Fields, Eulogist
Presiding Elder Michelle K.T. Moulden, Presiding
Bishop Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr., Presiding Prelate


We regret to announce the passing of the Reverend Gerald R. Zollar, an associate minister at Murph Chapel AME Church in Valinda, California, the Reverend Mary S. Minor, pastor.

The funeral has been held.

Sympathy cards and other expressions may be sent to:

The family of Rev. Gerald R. Zollar
c/o Murph Chapel AME Church
1381 Pass and Covina Road
Valinda, CA 91744
(626) 917-3686 Phone/Fax


The Third Episcopal District announces with regret, the passing of the Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, Jr., retired Pastor and Presiding Elder of the First and Third Episcopal Districts. The Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, Jr., passed on Monday, May 3, 2010 in Warren, Ohio.

Funeral services for the Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, Jr.:

The funeral has been held.

Dr. Tyson was married to Marion W, for over 62 years. They are the parents of four children: Rev. Albert D. III (Robin), Rev. Margaret V. L., Dr. Frederick L. (Lori), and Mark Allen (deceased), and five grandchildren. Dr. Tyson has one sister, Bettye Wyatt.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Mrs. Marion W. Tyson and family
8401 Squires Lane NE
Warren, Ohio 44484-1643


We regret to announce the passing of Retired Presiding Elder Lee Jerome (LJ) Jones, husband of the Late Tammie Jones and parents of the Rev. Cheviene Jones, pastor, St. Paul AMEC, Pittsburgh, PA; the Rev. Wallace (Freda) Jones; Mrs. Eleanor (Calvin) Jones Stevens; Mrs. Helen (Theophia) Jones Williams; Mr. Kenneth (Cynthia) Jones, Sr. Elder Jones died on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.

The funeral has been held.

Expressions of Sympathy and Condolences may be sent to:

The Family of the Late Presiding Elder Lee J. Jones
1524 Stokes Avenue, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310-1522

Phone: (404) 755-4149
Email: tacadaone@clear.net


The Reverend Arthur and Mrs. JoAnn Coulter celebrated the Homegoing of their 23-year old son, Aaron on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the Mineral Springs Gymnasium in Mineral Springs, Arkansas; Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr., Presiding Prelate was the eulogist.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

The Reverend Arthur and Mrs. JoAnn Coulter
552 Barton Bethel Road
Mineral Springs, Arkansas 71851


Mrs. Vernice Stewart, mother of the Reverend Joyce Campbell, pastor of St. James AME Church, Texarkana, Arkansas was funeralized on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.


The Reverend Eddie L. Harris, Jr., pastor of Barnett Chapel, Lawton, Oklahoma, his family and friends will celebrate the life and legacy of his mom, Mrs. Mary Lee Harris on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

El Bethel Temple
3000 Bruton Blvd
Orlando, Florida 32811
Telephone: (407) 648-1975

Cards and flowers may be sent to:
Mitchell's Funeral Home
501 Fairvilla Road
Orlando, Florida 32808
(407) 298-0703

The Rev. Eddie L Harris' contact number is 601.983.8439


Mrs. Lucille Prosper Wilhoite, the only sister of the Reverend W. T. (sister Piccola) Washington, retired pastor, East Northeast Arkansas Annual Conference passed on Saturday, May 1, 2010.

The funeral has been held.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

The Rev. and Mrs. W. T. Washington
1205 South Utah Street
Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Telephone: 870.534.33148 or 870.543.9978


We regret to announce the passing of Ms. Shirley Ann Brooks, the sister of Evangelist Fay N. Evans and the sister-in-law of the Rev. Arnold T. Evans, the first lady and pastor, respectively, of Trinity AME Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The funeral has been held.

The Rev. Donald Dunnigan, pastor

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

- Evangelist Fay N. Evans
136 Merion Way (or)
Hainesport, NJ 08036

- Ms. Valerie Lum
111 W. 36th Street
Wilmington, DE 19802 (or)

-Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church
Address listed above


We regret to inform you of the homegoing of Mother Helen Parks, the mother-in-law of the Rev. Donald Spiller, the pastor of St. Paul AME Church in Milton, Pennsylvania. Mother Parks was a long time member of St. Paul, Milton and served as a missionary and as the pianist for many years; she was 95 years young when she was summoned to claim her eternal reward on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 10:10 p.m. after a brief illness.

The funeral has been held.

Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to the:
Helen Parks Family
c/o St. Paul AME Church
232 Willow Street
Milton, PA 17847
(570) 742-4358

Or emailed to:



We are saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Muriel Walker Manning, the aunt of Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Presiding Prelate of the Second Episcopal District.

Mrs. Muriel Walker Manning, passed away on Sunday, May 9, 2010. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, of 44 years, John H. Manning and five of her nine siblings.

Funeral Arrangements for Mrs. Muriel Walker Manning:

Homegoing Services:

Friday, May 14, 2010 - 11:00 am
Wilson Funeral Home Chapel
3000 N. 29th Street
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 248-6125 (phone)
(813) 247-1921 (fax)

The Rev. W. James Favorite, Pastor of Beulah Baptist Institutional Church will officiate.

Interment will follow at Rest Haven Memorial Park Cemetery.

Her remains will repose on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. and the family will receive friends in the Chapel from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Interment: Rest Haven Memorial Park Cemetery

Mrs. Manning is survived by 2 brothers, Charles Walker of Tampa and Mordecai Walker of St. Petersburg, FL; 2 sisters, Curtiss Walker Wilson, Tampa and Mary Walker Scott of St. Petersburg, FL; nieces, Colleen Shannon (Ralph), Atlanta, GA, Linda Arenas, Tampa, Colleen Porter, Chicago, IL, Gail Arnold, Tampa, Victoria Pinder (Earnest, III) Tampa, Bernardette Brooks, St. Petersburg, Julia Orr (Eric), Atlanta, GA, Verna Love (Larry), Denver, CO and Lillian Wilson Longs, Tampa; nephews, Bishop A. J. Richardson (Connie), McLean, VA, Herbert Richardson (Angela), Tallahassee, FL, Robert Walker (Susan), Denver, CO, Calvin Walker, Jr. (Dorothy), Denver, CO, Clarence P. Wilson, Jr. (Sanjo), Tampa, FL, Andrew Walker, Atlanta, GA and Wyatt Walker, Tampa; several grand and great grand nieces and nephews; a host of cousins, other relatives, and friends among whom are the Walker, James, Rembert, Kemp, King and Morris families. She is also survived by several special friends including, Dr. & Mrs. Glinton Darrien, Cora Williams, Lovie Jordan James, Geraldine White, Arnold & Doris Dubose, Julia Edwards and Minister Carnell Upshaw.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Bishop and Mrs. Adam J. Richardson, Jr.
6209 Stoneham Lane
McLean, Virginia 22101

Or to the family of Mrs. Muriel Walker Manning care of Wilson Funeral Home Chapel.

Let's keep our Bishop, Mrs. Richardson and the Richardson/Manning Family in our continued prayers


We regret to announce the passing of the Rev. Dr. Lisa Tabor, 35, of St. Albans, WV. Rev. Dr. Tabor passed away on Friday, May 7, 2010 and is survived by her loving parents, William and Louise Tabor and her brothers, DeAngelo and Adrian. The Rev. Dr. Tabor received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and was elected for elder's ordination in the 2nd Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Dr. Tabor was a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Blacksburg, VA and served her church and community faithfully.

Services arrangements for the Rev. Dr. Lisa Tabor:

Moments of Reflection
Wednesday, May 12th, 7 PM – 9 PM
St. Paul A.M.E. Church
102 Penn Street SE
Blacksburg, VA
The Rev. Glenn Orr, Pastor

Homegoing Celebration
Thursday, May 13th, 12:00 noon
Blacksburg United Methodist Church
111 Church Street
Blacksburg, VA

Saturday, May 15th, 11 AM - 1 PM (Viewing)
St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church
821 B. Street
St. Albans, WV

Interment will immediately follow the viewing at Cunningham Memorial Park
815 Cunningham Lane St. Albans, WV

Professional services entrusted to:

Casdroph - Curry Funeral Home
110 B Street
St. Albans, WV

Donations to the family may be sent to St. Paul A.M.E. Church
c/o Rev. Dr. Lisa Tabor Fund - Post Office Box 397 - Blacksburg, VA 20460

Flowers may be sent to the following address:

McCoy Funeral Home
50 Country Club Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24060-5427


We regret to announce the passing of the Reverend Earl Green, longtime assistant pastor of First AME Church of Los Angeles, California. Reverend Green passed away on Monday, May 10, 2010, at the age of 76.

Service arrangements for Reverend Earl Green:

Public Viewing:

9:00 AM -7:30 PM
Saturday, May 15, 2010 and Sunday, May 16, 2010
Angelus Funeral Home
3875 South Crenshaw Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90008
(323) 296-6666

Celebrating the Life of the Reverend Earl Green:

Monday, May 17, 2010
11:00 AM
First AME Church of Los Angeles
2270 South Harvard Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90018

The Reverend Dr. John J. Hunter, Officiating
The Reverend Dr. Cecil L. Chip Murray, Eulogist
The Right Reverend H. H. Brookins, Special Tribute
FAME Freedom Mass Choir, singing

Entombment with Military Honors:

Inglewood Park Cemetery
720 East Florence Avenue
Inglewood, California 90301

Family and Friends Repast
The Allen House Earl Green Pavilion
2249 South Harvard Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90018

Online Expressions of sympathy:


First AME Church of Los Angeles
The Rev. Dr. John J. Hunter, Senior Pastor


We regret to announce the passing of Mother Lucille Crawford, mother of the Rev. Bobette Hampton, Pastor of Fresh Fire AME Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Service arrangements for Mother Lucille Crawford:

Family Hour:
Friday, May 14, 2010 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Fresh Fire AME Church
2508 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
269-381-8051 (fax)

Celebration of Mother Crawford's Life:

Saturday, May 14, 2010 - 11:00 am
Fresh Fire AME Church
2508 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
269-381-8051 (fax)

Professional services entrusted to:
Harper Funeral Home Inc.
521 Douglas Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007
Toll Free: (888) 830-9393
Phone: (269) 342-1000
Fax: (269) 342-0634
Email: info@harperfuneralhomeinc.com
Online Guest Book: http://www.harperfuneralhomeinc.com/

Per Mother Crawford's wishes in lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to:

The Lucille Crawford Women's Missionary Society
Attn: Mrs. Ulanda Averhart, President
Fresh Fire AME Church
2508 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048


Fresh Fire AME Church
Building Fund
2508 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Mother Crawford has served the AME Church faithfully since 1946 at Allen Chapel AME Church. In 2002 she transferred her membership to Fresh Fire AME Church and was the first Charter Member on the roll. She was fondly referred to by all as "Mother Crawford, and she loved the WMS and was stoled a Torch-lighter in 1999.


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
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/
Phone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Phone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751

BLOG: http://ameccfic.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMEC_CFIC

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-AME-Church-Clergy-Family-Information-Center/167202414220


The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend Richard Franklin Norris; 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.