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 – Since 1852

--Where Bishops and General Officers will be preaching--

- Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., President/Publisher AMEC Sunday School Union is also scheduled to deliver the sermon at Pearl Street AME Church in Jackson, Mississippi.


- Ash Wednesday: March 9, 2011
- Daylight Savings Time: March 13, 2011


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

I received a call from “Sister Smith” a few days ago and I was surprised to hear from her.

Some of you might remember that I overheard a conversation she and “Sister Jones” had in Birmingham last June during the General Board Meeting. I wrote a two-part editorial, “A Fly on the Wall.” I hadn’t heard from “Sister Smith” since last summer. You might also remember that I promised her that I did not need to know her identity or her friend’s identity.

As our conversation started out the last time, She said, “Good morning Dr. Syndor.” Again, I had to correct her, “My name is pronounced, “Sydnor” that’s, “S-Y-D-N-O-R.”

She apologized and continued, “I just had to call you to tell you that I almost responded to your article on "Passive Stewards and Trustees" because I was prompted to respond with my perspective as an experienced steward, but I failed to do so.” She added, “I so glad I did not respond because I could not have been nearly as credible, erudite and scholarly as Dr. Wayman B. Shiver, Jr. on this issue. He has the right church credentials to make the point and I couldn’t agree more with his assessment and "reality check."

I asked Sister Smith, “How long were you a steward and what was it about Dr. Shiver’s op-ed that you enjoyed?”

Sister Smith responded, “I have served as a steward continuously for many years under more than one AME pastor and based upon my past experiences, and interaction with church officers from other AME Churches, I can certainly relate to what Dr. Shiver presented in his op-ed and I strongly adhere to the requirements that church officers should be lifelong students of the Bible, and should be knowledgeable of about The Discipline. In addition, as much as possible, stewards should attend General Board Meetings, General Conferences, Annual Conferences, and District Planning Meetings.” She explained that stewards and trustees who stayed in their communities and were not involved with the connectional church, were too parochial and would be limited in their perspective about the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

I tried to get in a point, but Sister Smith was on a roll.

She went on to say, “I discovered a long time ago that to become an effective and knowledgeable church officer, one should travel in the AME Church and attend annual conferences and other meetings and in that way they could learn first-hand about the AME Church.”

I was getting ready to interject a point about how important it would be if local church officers had the opportunity to develop relationships with other clergy and laity from around the connection, but Sister Smith continued her thought, “I have gained considerable understanding of the politics of the Church by attending connectional meetings. Many of the officers of the Church act like the AME Church, is a neighborhood Church.”

I finally got an opportunity to share one of my thoughts. I asked, “I wonder why I, and so many in our Zion, have the feeling that our church officers; stewards and trustees, are not ‘stepping up to the plate,’ especially since the pastor determines who will be a steward.”

I could feel a smile in the phone. Sister Smith responded, “I am glad you asked and I am happy to answer. It’s simple. I believe that the ability of a steward or trustee to effectively carry out his or her duties per The AME Discipline is strongly related to the degree of security and self-confidence possessed by the pastor-in-charge during any given appointment or nomination.”

She went on to add, “My observations over the years are quite similar to Dr. Shiver's experiences. Independent or critical-thinking individuals with business skills may often be intentionally overlooked or skipped-over for favorable treatment by a pastor. When dutiful stewards or trustees initiate helpful discussions or suggestions regarding administrative decisions or policies, their actions are sometimes misinterpreted as insidious attacks on the pastor's authority or longstanding practices of a church.”

Sister Smith continued, “If the pastor feels insecure and reacts by openly intimidating, disregarding or belittling an officer who raises questions or makes suggestions often causes other church officers to refrain from supporting that officer's legitimate concerns; and no one likes to be a "lone wolf."

I thought, “’Sister Smith’ is on a roll.” I said, “I guess if the pastor selects, in the case of stewards, and nominates and ‘engineers’ the election of the trustees he or she wants; all of the pastor’s programs, theoretically, should be implemented.”

“Sister Smith” responded, “Oh no, many stewards and trustees want to do the right thing. Unfortunately, especially, in the case of pastors who are insecure or dictatorial, so many officers are afraid to stand up and speak out when it counts.”

I was emphatic and asked, “If the pastor chooses or nominates church officers, why is it the perception that so many stewards and trustees are afraid to stand up and be diligent in their responsibilities?”

Sister Smith said, “Sometimes, when steward or trustees stand up, it looks like they are fighting the pastor. I am sure that’s the pastor’s take on it. And, it cannot be left unsaid however, that far too many church officers only have as their goal, that of "position and title," rather than that of, effective leadership; and consequently they remain passive to assure reappointment.”

I was getting frustrated and said, “I blame the stewards for most of the problems in our local churches, because in many cases, they don’t take responsibility for the spiritual and temporal life of the church; but your comments seem to be pointing to the pastor who, following your scenarios, selects weak individuals, who are afraid to take a stand.

I went on to say, “It sounds to me that you are inferring that the persons pastors select are weak individuals and pastors need to do a better job in their selection and nomination of church officers.”

I asked, “Are you really saying, insecure pastors select insecure officers who are afraid to stand up? That’s what it sounds like to me. And let me say this, I have heard from several lay persons concerning my comments on stewards and trustees, but I have not heard from pastors. Some of them will talk, but they won’t write anything.” I went on to say, “I am casting stones at stewards and trustees and you seem to be throwing stones at the pastors.”

I am enjoying this conversation.

There was a pause and a silence on the phone. It sounded to me as if “Sister Smith” had taken a deep breath. “Opps, I guess this conversation is going to take a different turn“ I thought.

After a long pause, Sister Smith said, “Now, lest I seem anti-clergy; I am not. I want you to know that I have several friends who are AME pastors and I am honored to say that they have always felt comfortable talking to me about problems they face because they know I will protect their confidences. So, I understand the ‘Catch-22’ situations many pastors face.”

I asked, “What do you mean by “Catch-22” situations?”

Sister Smith responded, “I am glad you asked. Many pastors have insecurities about their ability to meet their Conference Claims and make round reports to their Bishop; or even to pay their bills. So, as Dr. Shiver pointed out, some pastors are limited in their choices of church officers; and in ‘family-run churches,’ and I have been a member in one of those ‘family churches’; ministry is difficult.” Family-run churches are hard to pastor because most or all of the members are connected by blood or marriage, and the pastor is one-voice in the wilderness; cross up one family member and a pastor’s ministry becomes difficult or ineffective”

I responded, “Yep, ‘family-run churches’ are difficult and unfortunately many of our smaller churches are ‘family-run’ churches and I am afraid that seminaries and boards of examiners may not address how to effectively pastor ‘family-run’ churches and I suspect that they are the hardest churches to pastor.”

I could hear Sister Smith take a deep breath. I was waiting on her to elaborate more about family-run churches, but she went in a different direction.

“Oh, no, family-run” churches can be fine and function well. The worst situation for a pastor to be in is the “power-broker” church, and I have been a member of a church dominated by a power broker,” she said. Sister Smith went on to say, “We have a lot of churches run by longtime power brokers and their cronies.”

Sister Smith went on to say, “A ‘power-broker church’ functions at the will and level of the power broker and his or her cronies; it function like a social club; pay your dues and ‘you are good to go.’ In power-broker churches, the power-broker can encourage members to refrain from giving and can discourage members from participating in various church programs.”

I responded, “AMEs know how to tighten their purse strings when the pastor doesn't do what they like...” Sister Smith interrupted, “Yes, that’s the part of the politics, Dr. Shiver talked about.

Mrs. Smith added, “One more point. Some pastors are insecure, primarily on the basis of their young ages and newness in the ministry. More and more these days, churches are being led by pastors who are considerably younger than the median age of the majority of members and some of the young pastors are not intimately familiar with the AME Church, the doctrine, The Discipline, liturgy, the traditions of the AME Church, sadly have not become biblical scholars; and I have been a member in one of those churches too.”

Our conversation was winding down and I asked, “What’s the short-term and the long-term solution?”

Sister Smith responded, “Well, uh … pastors need more leadership training; and some of our pastors need a revival; a revival for pastors. It might be a good idea for the bishop or the presiding elder to have a revival for pastors, stewards, and trustees because so many of them seem to have lost their way, but what to I know, I am just the 500-pound gorilla!”

Editor’s Note: If your congregation has not already done so, take a moment this Sunday, the last Sunday in February to mention Richard Allen, Founder’s Day or something positive about the AME Church

The Christian Recorder (chsydnor@bellsouth.net) has received emails from members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church lamenting the fact that there was no mention of Founder’s Day during the Sunday morning worship service and that there were no Founder’s Day activities, or and any focus upon Richard Allen. Several emails related that, instead of any mention of Founder’s Day or Richard Allen, Valentine’s Day was celebrated.

Also, several emails shared that there has been no mention of Black History their worship services; and others mentioned that January and the MLK holiday passed without any mention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know that we live in a busy word and time passes quickly, but, we, AMEs should not be guilty of the statement attributed to George Santayana and other philosophers, "Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it." Richard Allen precipitated many of the social changes, not only in the United States, but around the world (Read Freedom’s Prophet by Richard S. Newman).

The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a great legacy and we should be proud of our founder, Richard Allen and we should never forget his legacy and the impact he has had on religion in general, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the United States, and around the world.

Please do us a favor: Pastors, Officers and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, if, up to this point, you have failed to mention Founder’s Day or Richard Allen, please make mention of our illustrious founder; even if it’s just a few sentences.

Richard Allen: Born on February 14, 1760; 251 years ago.

If you don’t have time to read about Richard Allen, view the new, short documentary on the life of Bishop Allen: http://www.motherbethel.org/allen/version2/index.html


I am a 26-year-old fifth-generation leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church on both my maternal and paternal sides. Growing up, I knew very little about any other denomination; being the great niece of two presiding Elder’s, the granddaughter of an Episcopal officer and the daughter of a connectional officer. There was not a part of the AME Church‘s rituals, history or conferences that I did not learn or participate in. By the age of 11, I had memorized every Sunday ritual from the call to worship and Apostle’s Creed to many of the anthems in our AME Church Hymnal and was elected to my first of many Young People and Children’s Division offices.

Every city I have ever lived in and that includes college, I have always attended and joined an AME Church, mainly for the benefit of our denomination’s structure and knowing that all of our churches essentially functioned the same way. Within the past few months my love for my church is causing me to ask, “I love my church, but how much does my church love me?”

I am a member of the Atlanta-North Georgia Conference, the largest conference in the entire connection of the AME Church but when I attend annual conferences I see less than 10% of my generation in attendance? Not only is there an age disparity – there is a brain drain. When the church does not create opportunities for and retain those between the ages of 25 to 35 it is also failing to capture the scholarship, technological savvy and energy needed for this current age. How are we, as AME’s, effectively using our communication structure to spread not only the good news of Jesus Christ but to enlarge the African Methodist Episcopal Church brand?

When major companies wish to unveil a fresh product or wish to rebrand their same product to a specific group of people they adapt to the communication structure of that demographic. So I ask the AME church; what demographic are we targeting to increase our membership? My generation has changed the world as we know it. Not only did we help elect a Black president, but we changed the entire marketing strategy of every future political campaign.

Our job as not only AME’s but as Christians is to use effective evangelism to actively engage the churched and the un-churched with the saving power of Jesus Christ and educate them on our denominations rituals and principals.

I believe that in order for the AME Church to grow we must be prepared to do a complete overhaul of our processes of evan¬¬¬gelism and communication. The fact is this: the world has changed and it is our job as a connectional body to move with it. How can we expect to grow the membership of the AME Church if our Episcopal Districts and Connectional Ministries when we don’t have fully functioning and engaging websites? How can we expect to grow our church body if some of our largest and most well-known churches don’t even practice the rituals of the AME church? More importantly how can we expect to grow as a brand, if our largest churches have removed or placed little emphasis on the acronym “AME”, Thus removing it from the marquee’s and signage of the individual church? Where is the branding of the AME Church structure?

This month as we celebrate the birth of our founder The Right Reverend Richard Allen, I would like to extend a challenge to our denomination to revive our church as we know it. We need to reformulate the reasoning in our rituals, conferences and planning. So often we do the same things the same way and we lose the foundation of our existence. We essentially follow the same practices for no reason or for reasons no one remembers. Our rules and rituals need to reflect our general principals to bring the churched and the un-churched into our denomination. It is one thing to repeat our Apostles Creed in our worship services, but another to ensure that each member understands the fundamental purposes of the AME Church so they can effectively introduce others to our denomination.

A challenge to not let our various meetings and conferences become an antiquated place to just show off our clothing and boast about our titles. But be a place where even those who are not members of our denomination can see that our worship services and our methods of communication and evangelism set the standard for all denominations; so many of our rituals have outlived their usefulness. No longer are the days when the AME church is the only place in the black community for our race to come together, No longer is the AME church the one over 5 generations of our families belong to. Those same churches that our fore parents built with their own money and hands are being forgotten and foreclosed upon. We can have rituals and rules but if they are not imprinted in each member of each church’s personal story and an accurate depiction of our faith system we will not grow as a denomination. A challenge to seek out new and innovative ways to worship, to learn about social networking and new marketing techniques so that we can effectively communicate and reduce our retention of the generations that are molding the new church as we know it. We are all called out by God to spread the ministry of his good works. Jesus said in the hills of Galilee that we must spread the good news because the Kingdom of God is at hand. If we do not effectively use evangelism and cutting edge technology then the future of the AME Church will perish.

Alexis Jenee
Stone Mountain, GA
Lifelong Leader and Member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church


*Dr. Joseph Darby

I recently received an e-mail from Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor, III, Editor of The Christian Recorder, the AME Church’s print and online newspaper. Dr. Sydnor’s e-mail said in part, “The Christian Recorder has received e-mails from members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church lamenting the fact that there was no mention of Founder’s Day during the Sunday morning worship service and that there were no Founder’s Day activities or any focus upon Richard Allen. Several e-mails related that instead of any mention of Founder’s Day or Richard Allen, Valentine’s Day was celebrated. Also, several e-mails shared that there has been no mention of Black History in their worship services; and others mentioned that January and the MLK holiday passed without any mention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

My initial reaction was “Say what?” After thinking about it, however, my secondary reaction was “I’m not surprised.” I’ve noted before in this space that some AME Churches have “generic” worship rather than embracing the AME Church Order for Worship to appeal to potential members who didn’t grow up AME, and that other churches wrestle with how to become more culturally diverse and go to great lengths not to “offend.” In so doing, those churches have turned away from the heroes, heroines and traditions of their African-American founders who fought against great odds for freedom and affirmative identity and who made not just black history, but American history.

That trend of cultural suppression is by no means limited to the AME Church. Many black children are woefully unaware of their positive heritage because their parents don’t emphasize it and focus on present, personal self satisfaction. Many schools lean toward a twisted version of “diversity” that makes them shun Black History Month in favor of “word diversity days” that lift up a “buffet” of cultures while not feasting on or acknowledging the strengths of any particular culture.

The result is an adult generation that sits on the sidelines in the battle for human and civil rights and only stands up when modern day bigotry personally strikes at them and a younger generation that can’t see beyond hip-hop, contemporary dress and text messaging because their elders don’t tell them who they are or Whose they are. If you think I’m wrong, ask a few children to tell you about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Most of them can tell you at the very least that he was a civil rights leader. Ask them, however, to tell you about Ralph Abernathy, and you’ll get blank stares. That’s what happened to me the last time I did a Black History Month presentation – with the exception of one child who told me that he was the guy in the old TV show “The Honeymooners!”

Times are too critical for any people to ignore their history. We don’t live in a “post-racial America.” The Tea Party and other ignorant and insecure individuals who still think that President Obama is a foreign born Muslim because they can’t stand the idea of a black President are proof of that. The church is the only remaining institution in the black community that can clearly and consistently “tell the story,” and we ought to do so rather than worrying about the size and prestige of our churches or staying curiously quiet to cultivate funding sources beyond the church.

Morris Brown AME Church tries to “tell the story” by celebrating our cultural foundations during Black History Month and throughout the year. From Founder’s Day worship to a Black History Month Dinner and a Movie to panel discussions on black history and culture to celebrations of the arts, we lift up the story of those who struggled to achieve in times far tougher than ours. Those celebrations include and are affirmed by the white members of our congregation, one of whom – God willing – will soon be ordained an Itinerant AME Deacon and who wrote one of the best seminary term papers on Black Theology that I’ve ever seen.

Black history is American history. Our nation in general and the historically black church in particular should say so. We can then equip new leaders of all colors to stand up for equity, justice and truth and live out the words of James Weldon Johnson, “God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way, Thou who hast by Thy might led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray.” By the way, if you don’t remember the work of Ralph Abernathy, do a little personal Black History Month research. We can’t lead our children if we don’t know where we came from or where we’re going.

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


- To the Editor:

RE: Article, Church Growth Continues to Decline

I found the article, “Church Growth Continues to Decline” in USA Today-Online and I wondered why the major Black denominations do not report membership totals and specifically why we (the AME church) do not report or respond to these surveys. I recall from my seminary experience that one of my professors at Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) told us that Black churches seldom respond to surveys and thusly we do not have good sociological data on Black church membership.

Reference your TCR New Break concerning Founder’s Day, our church, Nelson Chapel AME Church in Bainbridge, Georgia had a wonderful worship experience on Sunday as we celebrated Founder’s Day, after which the congregation retreated to our fellowship hall for a great "potluck" meal, a Jeopardy-style game around events in the life of Richard Allen and then viewed the documentary about Richard Allen. We were joined by a "sister" AME congregation, Ford Chapel AMEC, Bainbridge along with their pastor, the Rev. Beverly Griffin. Everyone in attendance, youth and adults, seemed to really enjoy themselves and the documentary.
Kudos to my friend, Dr. Mark Tyler and the wonderful people of Mother Bethel!

The Rev. James A. Platt
Nelson Chapel AMEC, Bainbridge, GA
Fellowshipped with Ford Chapel AMEC, Bainbridge

- To the Editor:

The article, written by Mr. Wayman B. Shiver, Jr., Ph.D, provides the justification for me for congregations to be involved in 51% of the selection process for members of the steward board. Representation of the congregation on the board allows the congregation to share in the management of their church and congregants will be able to identify with the board because it represents congregants' concerns.

This fundamental concept needs a thorough discussion in our Zion.

The Rev. Dr. Emma Jean Ghee Leche
An Itinerate Elder and a member of Metropolitan AME Church
Washington, DC


AMEC Sunday School Union & UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.) invite you to a FREE workshop to introduce our 2011 Vacation Bible School Program.

Jesus Truth Seekers: Mission Possible

“With Men This Is Impossible; but with God All Things Are Possible.” Matthew 19:26

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011


AMEC Sunday School Union
500 Eighth Avenue, South
Nashville, TN 37203

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

RSVP: 615-256-5882 or at u_sunday@bellsouth.net

Door prizes! Continental breakfast provided! Bookstore purchases available!

Special Offer: VBS kits available for ONLY 60.00 at the workshop (Retail value $67.99).


EWC Announces its Next President

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Edward Waters College is proud to announce Interim President Nathaniel Glover has officially become the 29th President of the College.

Glover, an alumnus of EWC and former Sheriff of Duval County, accepted the appointment at the tri-annual Board of Trustees meeting Saturday.

Since Glover’s arrival at the College in May 2010, he balanced the budget, improved organizational culture, solidified and implemented programs that will assist in boosting retention and graduation rates, and helped to inspire the recruitment of one of the largest freshman classes in school history.

Glover and his administrative team also ensured that all financial stability standards set by the U.S. Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools were met.

“The Board is enthusiastic about Mr. Nathaniel Glover being our 29th President,” said Bishop McKinley Young, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We can now move forward in advancing the strategic goals of the College and operate with complete organizational stability.”

Glover stated, “This is one of my biggest honors. It is my intent to take advantage of this time in the history of the College to try to give back just some of what it gave to me.”

Glover will be formally presented and will deliver a special message to the faculty and staff in a meeting on Monday in Milne Auditorium at 11 a.m. The meeting is open to media, and Q&A will be allowed after it is adjourned.

Bishop McKinley Young, Presiding Prelate of the 11th Episcopal District said, “Mr. Glover was unanimously elected as the 29th President of Edward Waters College at the Winter Trustee Board Meeting on Saturday Morning, February 12, 2011 on the EWC Campus” and Bishop Young went on to say, “Sheriff Glover is an active member of St. Stephen AME Church in Jacksonville.”


Gettysburg Seminary and AME Leaders celebrated the Bicentennial of Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne.

Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, the Presiding Prelate of the First Episcopal District and the 116th Elected and Consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church served as the “Bishop in Residence” at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg last week. The seminary celebrated the bicentennial of Daniel Alexander Payne. Daniel Payne, an alumnus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, was the 7th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was the founding president of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Dr. Leah Fitchue, President of Payne Theological Seminary delivered the Communion sermon at the seminary on Wednesday evening and Bishop Norris served as the chief celebrant for the Eucharistic service. Bishop Norris also delivered the sermon at the seminary at 11:55 a.m. at the Friday chapel service. Bishop Norris met with various seminary classes during the week and was available to eat lunch with students in the Refectory.

Daniel Payne was driven out of South Carolina and was welcomed in Gettysburg by the Seminary’s founder Samuel Simon Schmucker, and became the first African-American to receive a formal theological education in a Lutheran school.

Payne studied in Gettysburg from 1835 to 1837 and engaged in ecumenical outreach ministries sponsored by Lutheran organizations for several years before becoming a leader in the AME church. Some call Payne “the Rosa Parks of the 19th Century,” in recognition for his courageous path-breaking lifelong work for civil rights.

Editor’s Note: On Sunday, February 20, Bishop Norris was the guest preacher for the 12 noon worship service at the Princeton Theological Seminary.


Greetings to the global AME Church constituency! We are glad to share with you, the annual Founders Day Celebration for the South West Zambia conference that was held on Saturday, 5th February 2011. The host church family was Bright Chapel AME under the pastoral care of Rev Alick Mulapwa.

The road to Bright chapel AME Church witnessed an unusual increase in traffic between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. arrivals and the 5 p.m. departures. Proud clergy & members of the Church in good and regular standing started trooping in from all the cardinal points in huge numbers. The three Presiding Elders Districts, namely Copper belt East, West and Central were adequately represented. People came on foot, some used public while others used their private personal transport to get to the venue. The spacious car park surrounding Bright chapel could not take all the vehicles, as a result, some had to park outside along the main road. The host pastor and his ushers provided excellent reception.

The majority of clergy could not be hidden as they were clad in their clerical collars. Members of the WMS, YPD, Lay organisation and Men’s fellowship were identifiably in their respective appropriate auxiliary attire. The host Bright Chapel praise team as well as the two guest praise teams of Brookings AME Church and Saint Stephen AME Church respectively were dressed in their unique colourful attires. By 9:45 am the church was filled to capacity and ready for the procession.

The Guest of Honour of the day being awaited was the Rt. Rev Paul Jones Mulenga Kawimbe, son of the soil and Bishop of the 17th Episcopal District. The Bishop had just come in the country from the USA on Thursday of the week and was to grace this annual occasion. Before his arrival at Bright Chapel, the Bishops Administrative Assistant, Rev Leonard Chola, met the pastors and gave assignments. He informed the clergy that, the Bishop started off from Lusaka that very day in the early hours and would arrive a bit late. Permission granted the procession started at 10:15 a.m. ahead of Bishops arrival.

The Rev Phillip Mutalange - Call to worship; Opening Hymn (Bemba language), “By the river of Babylon”; the Rev. Dr. Paul Bupe gave the Invocation; Bright, Brookins & St Stephen Praise teams – Praise Selection; Sister Estelle T. Katilungu - Jeremiah 9:23-24 – Old Testament Scripture; the Rev. Clement Chola - Acts 27:33-37 New Testament Scripture; the Rev Yoram Chalwe - Summary of the Decalogue; and Bishop P J M Kawimbe arrives - Interlude of selections.

The Occasion was handled by Rev. Royd Mwandu, CED Conference Director. His Power Point Presentation was entitled, The Impact of AME Church on global leadership. He outlined the AME Church history from Bishop Richard Allen and stated the role the AME Church had in raising and shaping leadership. He mentioned that the late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1st President of the Republic of Malawi) and Dr. Kennet David Kaunda (1st President of the Republic of Zambia) were groomed by and greatly benefited from the AME Church. Dr. Kaunda was a member of Ebenezer AME Church, Chilenje, Lusaka. The Rev. Amigo Mwansa was the honoured interpreter from English into Bemba language.

Bishop P. J. M. Kawimbe – Preacher of the hour, Ephesians 1: 16-22. Sermon title – “Shaping Our Destiny”: (1) Process, (2) Praise, (3) Power, and (4) Promise. What an appropriate sermon Bishop Kawimbe delivered from the “throne of God.”

17th Episcopal Lay President, Brother Mutale Bowa was the honoured interpreter from English into Bemba language.

Bishop Kawimbe provided effective leadership during offertory. An amount of fourteen million (K14, 000,000) Zambian Kwacha ( US$2,950) was raised. The Rev. Musonda Senkwe gave an offertory prayer.

The Rev. Alick Mulapwa made the following announcements:

• February 19, 2011: 17th Episcopal Lay organisation, Executive Board meeting, Brookings Chapel AME Church, Kabwe.

• March 13th 2011: South West Zambia, Ministers & Spouses Seminar at Bright Chapel, Kitwe.

Bishop Paul J. M. Kawimbe said that the 2012, Founder’s Day celebrations could be the grand finale of his leadership over the 17th Episcopal District. He said that the need to have a memorable celebration that extended over three days could not be overstated.

To ensure smooth preparations, the Bishop made the following appointments to the 2012 Ad Hoc Founders Celebrations Committee. (1) Rev. Leonard Chola PE, BA (2) the Rev. Henry C Alimasi, PE (3) the Rev Mfula P. P. Mwenya, PE (4) the Rev Royd Mwandu, Conference Director Christian Education (5) Br. William Nyirenda, Conference Lay President (6) Sr. Violet Yanduli, Conference WMS President (7) Br. Obby Kasanda, Conference Sons Of Allen President (8) the Rev Alick Mulapwa, senior pastor, Bright Chapel AMEC (9) Br. Kosmas Walima, Conference YPD President (10) Br. John Chilekwa, Episcopal Lay Organisation Corresponding Secretary (11) Mother Joyce Walima, Conference MSWAWO President (12) the Rev. Margaret Mwanza.

The Bishops Administrative Assistant was given the authority to appoint two more women to the committee.

The Bishop blessed the church in a word of prayer closing the activities of the 2011 Founder’s Day celebrations.

Respectfully submitted by the Rev Royd Mwandu, Senior Pastor Downtown Chingola, AME Church, Director CED & Brother John Kabwe Chilekwa, 17th Episcopal Lay Corresponding Secretary


Sister Ida M. Bowers, Reporter

Pastor George A. Moore, Jr., the esteemed Senior Pastor of Saint Philip Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church, “The Mother Church of African Methodism in the State of Georgia, Officers and Members, held the dedication of their pastor’s pastorium, in honor of Dr. Patricia Ann Morris DeVeaux, on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.

The dedication was officiated by the Reverend James E. Taylor, the Presiding Elder of the West Savannah District.

The Pastorium is located in the exclusive Georgetown Subdivision on the Southside of Savannah, Georgia. The beautiful six (6) bedroom pastorium was purchased in 2007. The dedication was well attended by the members of Monumental, neighbors and guest from other churches.

Bishop William Phillips DeVeaux, Presiding Prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District (Georgia), Dr. PAM DeVeaux, Episcopal Supervisor, Presiding Elder James E. and Sister Shirley V. Taylor, and several members of Monumental donated furnishings and decorations for several rooms in the Pastorium.

A dedicatory Plaque listing each person’s donations and the rooms that were named in their honor was presented to Pastor Moore, along with the keys to the Pastorium by the Trustee Board of Saint Philip Monumental. A beautiful and tasty reception, catered by Sister Anna Louper, a member of Monumental, was held after the dedication.

The Reverend Dr. George A. Moore, Jr. is the senior pastor of St. Phillip Monumental AME Church

Saint Philip Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church is located at 1112 Jefferson Street in Savannah, Georgia, where the Reverend Dr. George A. Moore, Jr. serves as the senior pastor.


January 27, 2011

Congratulations to the Fourth Episcopal District Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Mrs. Joyce Keys Garrison, Fourth District President announced that under the direction of the Right Reverend John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District; the Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Episcopal Supervisor the Fourth Episcopal District WMS has been recognized with helping to address the most pressing needs in our community, our country and the world.

The Fourth District’s global mandate to “Eradicate Violence against Women and Girls” was sited as one of the many efforts to improve the quality of life for people in the geographical area served by the Fourth Episcopal District.

Affectionately called, “Rev. C”; our Episcopal Supervisor, has issued a “Called to Action” for all Episcopal District WMS Members. Each Conference is tasked to develop plans and strategies to provide assistance, awareness, education, empowerment, encouragement, support, solidarity and intercessory prayer. The Fourth District’s commitment to community and the world embodies the spirit of Dr. King’s life of nonviolent resistance and the instruction of Jesus Christ to lead through service to others.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is presented by the President’s Council on Service and Civic participation and is administered by the Points of Light Institute. The award comes with a certificate, a pin and a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama, urging the recipients to continue to strengthen our nation by making a difference through volunteer service. While the District needs no recognition, it is happy to serve as an example of what is best about our country and as a catalyst to encourage other to lead where they are, through service to others.

Submitted by Mrs. Mary L. Madison, 3rd Vice President, Fourth Episcopal District Women’s Missionary Society


The Rev. Velma E. Grant

The Worship Service sermons for Founder’s Day Celebration in the Sixth Episcopal District were moving, inspirational and just hard to forget. The Opening Service Preacher on Thursday, February 17 was the Rev. Dr. Calvin Sydnor, III the editor of the AME Christian Recorder and husband of 49 years to Pastor Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor. Dr. Sydnor’s scripture was Leviticus 6: 12-13 and his sermon title was “Fire!” From the beginning, there was anticipation because few preachers use the book of Leviticus as a text for preaching a sermon but Dr. Sydnor used the text, taught from the text and preached the !!!! Out of the text. He began by informing the congregation that Bishop Richard Allen was only 26 years old when he walked out of St. George’s Methodist Church and was guided by God to be one of the chief architects in the founding and establishment of the AME Church. To no one in particular, the preacher pondered and posed the question as to what Richard Allen would think about our Zion now. He then went on in a teaching moment and shared that burnt offerings are no longer a part of Jewish liturgy because the temple (the Second Temple) was destroyed by the Romans. He said that burnt sacrifices are not required for Christians because Jesus died for us and his death replaces the need for sacrificial offerings similar to that dictated by the Leviticus laws. The sermon was preached last Thursday and I can still feel the spirit and hear the voice of the preacher as he preached with passion and sincerity.

Dr. Sydnor said “….the fire must be kept burning in our lives…sometimes I get the notion that the fire has gone out…I look at some preachers, lay and young people and see that the fire has gone out….discouragement will put out any fire…verse 13, the fire must be kept burning on the altar..those words are for those who are discouraged, when God speaks we must listen….the fire must be kept burning, not should, but must…fires are used to destroy, used to cook and were a way messages used to be sent…some of us need to relight the fire under us…the fire on the altar was a holy fire..we’ve got to keep the fire burning even when we get discouraged, in good times or in bad times we’ve got to keep the fire burning…God started the fire, if God ignited the fire in your life, your ministry then you’ve got to keep the fire burning…each one of us has to ask the question..has the fire gone out?...the fire must be kept …one must not let the fire go out because of his or her carelessness, also we should not let anyone else put out our fire…the fire is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives…(1) the fire must be kindled, daily devotion of prayer, scripture reading is the kindling; (2) the ashes need to be removed – ashes are the things separate us from God, the blemishes, the conflicts and dilemmas…ashes are when we do not live up to our potentials in our lives….ashes of anger, lack of discipline…the removal of ashes is not a onetime event….it is a daily event, say Father forgive me of my thoughts, sins, it is a daily (?)… (3) The fire needs fuel to be burning…fire needs to be maintained or else it will go out...our fuel is the private and public worship of God, God’s house is the fuel station…light a fire on the credit cards, if you worry about your bills, it interferes with your worship…light a fire under our young people, let them take some algebra…need to light a fire in our churches, light a fire under yourself, set yourself on fire… light a fire under the sermons and throw them away, too many fires going out..we need intellectual fires, we need to read more…too much abuse not enough kindling…when you have God’s fire in your lives no one can put it out….when you keep the fire burning, you will know God’s blessings are new morning by morning…to keep my fire burning I go back to Isaiah 40:21…those who wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, if you keep God’s fire burning no one can put it out.”

The Rev. Dr. Sydnor preached the sermon, sang a song and the members of the congregation were on their feet stirring up the fire of the Holy Spirit in the church. One of the musicians got so excited that he or she began playing the song “Fire” the version by the Ohio Players or Earth Wind and Fire. This misplaced musical moment was quickly remedied and with humor and love, we sang an appropriate song of Zion. I can still feel the fire, am motivated to keep the fire or passion going strong in all areas of my life and hope that you will also.

The Friday Noonday Closing Service was just as electrifying as the previous night and it was appropriate for our Founder’s Day Celebration. The preacher of the hour was the Rev. Jonetta Marie Prater, Pastor of Saint Peter’s AME Church in Savannah, Georgia. The Rev. Prater is also the first Vice President of the Sixth District Women in Ministry Executive Board. Her scripture was from Hebrews 12: 1-3 and the title, “Continuing the Legacy!” The Rev. Prater told the congregation that Founder’s Day is like a birthday celebration but that we should also reflect on where the Church is today and where it is going in the future. She told us that each one of us comes with legacies and she gave classic examples of Bible characters and the legacies of each character. She said that Esther had a legacy of boldness; Timothy had a legacy from both his mother and grandmother; Mary Magdalene had a legacy of boldness in worship when she anointed the feet of Jesus with costly ointment. She said that every time the gospel is preached, it leaves a legacy. The Rev. Prater said that David left a legacy as well, of lust, love and a legacy of prayer and commitment to God. She challenged us to make sure that we do not leave “silly legacies” similar to Jephthah in the book of Judges. Jephthah swore a foolish vow that killed his daughter as a human sacrifice. The Rev. Prater said “…we come to Savannah to celebrate our history, Founder’s Day...as a church we have a legacy of faithfulness and integrity…how do you leave or build on what has already been laid?...On this Christian journey you will have ups and downs, there are triumphs in faith and suffering…when we triumph in faith we have victory…If we want to continue with the legacy (1) must lay aside everything that weighs us down, lay aside hindrances…some of us need t lay aside pride, lay aside greed, disobedience and disrespect..(2) must lay aside the sine, the unbelief, we preach Jesus but do not trust Jesus…hold on to Jesus, hold on to God…(3) must fix our eyes, not on the witnesses (they have come through?)…fix your eyes on Jesus, look to Jesus…why look on Jesus? Jesus endured all the stuff, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...we have a legacy, yes, but what part are you going to play?”

Both Rev. Prater and Dr. Sydnor had different styles of preaching but still both sermons were powerful and memorable. In my personal opinion (yes, this is my opinion) all too often preachers deliver a sermon and sound like carbon copies of other individuals. It is my opinion that the variety that we exhibit in our individual preaching styles is just an indication of the awesome power of God and should be embraced and not discarded. The Sixth Episcopal District Founder’s Day Celebration ignited a “Fire” that should propel us to “Continue with the Legacy!”


* John Thomas III

February is an important month in the life of the Black community in the United States and the African Methodist Episcopal Church worldwide. While the study of Black History is a year-long affair, for these twenty-eight (or twenty-nine) days, a special emphasis is placed on the contributions and achievements of African-Americans in the life of the United States. For AMEs around the world, we commemorate the birthday of Richard Allen and salute his prophetic witness and quest for the dignity of all persons.

Through litanies, pageants, trivia contests, and other activities, we honor our forebears and express the Akan idea of sankofa or “the importance of learning from the past”. In this hallowed time, African-Americans not only lift up their own forebears, but also seek out links with the “mother continent”. In many of our churches and community centers, one can see persons proudly wearing brightly colored outfits from different African cultures in a testament to the roots that were violently broken during the Triangle Trade. (Indeed, 2011 has been declared the “Year of the African Descendant” by the United Nations in order to highlight the struggles that Black people around the world have endured.)

Less talked about, however, is the connection with the African Diaspora south of the Rio Grande. In the discussions around the African Diaspora in the United States, one would never realize that only 6 percent of the enslaved Africans brought to the “New World” ended up in what would become the United States. The vast majority of Africans were taken to the British Caribbean and Latin America. While there are approximately 40 million Black people in the United States (US Census), approximately 130 million African descendants live in the Spanish and Portuguese areas of Central and South America (World Bank and other international sources).

The fact that there are “Black” people who speak Spanish or Portuguese should not be surprising to anyone who has visited a Dominican hair salon, heard of Brazilian carnivals, or watched a Major League Baseball Game. Nonetheless, the image of “Latino” in the United States is decidedly “White” or “Brown” with very little “Black”. Much of this has to do with where many of the Latinos in the United States come from. According to the US Census, two-thirds of the Latino population in the United States is of Mexican origin. While Mexico has a rich Black heritage, Afro-Mexicans account for less than five percent of the total Mexican population. Another piece of the story is the socioeconomic status of Blacks in Latin America. Generally speaking, Blacks from Lima, Peru to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil suffer from the legacies of institutional racism: high poverty and unemployment rates with low access to educational opportunities and government resources. These factors exacerbated by restrictive US visa policies make travel for most Black people in Latin America to the United States virtually possible. So, the person you’re likely to see travelling from Latin America to the United States for leisure or study will probably be from the mostly “White” elite.

Given the fact that the African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest pan-African organization in the world and was founded as a response to discrimination and injustice particularly towards people of African descent, it is more than alarming that the AME Church is practically non-existent in Latin America. This is not to say that we never have been in Latin America. In the late 19th century, Bishop Henry McNeil Turner strongly advocated for an AME presence among Spanish speaking Blacks and supported work in Mexico, Cuba and Colombia while he was the Bishop of Georgia. When Bishop Turner left Georgia, however, these endeavors were not pursued further. The AME Church did return to Cuba in the 1930s and maintained a vibrant work there until the 1959 Cuban Revolution. While other US-based denominations (including the United Methodist Church) have returned to that island, the AME Church has not reactivated its work.

Currently, the AME Church has work in only one Spanish-speaking Latin American country—the Dominican Republic. In that nation of 9 million, some 2000 souls descended from African-American immigrants continue to faithfully congregate in the Church of Allen. The AME Church, however, has not expanded widely in the Dominican Republic due to a lack of material in Spanish, nonexistent clergy training, few resources, and poor Episcopal oversight. Also the very name “African Methodist Episcopal” causes controversy in a country where “Blackness” is openly shunned due to the association of “Africa” with Haiti. It is no small irony that while Black consciousness movements have emerged throughout the region to challenge racism and stereotypes, the only AME presence in Latin America is in a country whose culture adamantly denies anything “African.”

African-Americans are beginning to forge the missing links with Black populations in Latin America. The fact that Brazil has the largest population of Blacks outside of Africa is making it an increasingly attractive tourist destination for African-Americans. The plight of Afro-Colombian rural communities and their struggle against paramilitary groups coveting their rich land has attracted the attention of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Black religious community. Yet, these steps are but a beginning for what should be a more fluid and stronger interaction. While the AME Church is becoming involved in the interfaith dialogues on Colombia thanks to the participation of our Social Action Commission and Global Witness and Ministry Department, we can more substantively aid Blacks activists in Latin America in their struggle for equal rights and recognition. For example, under the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago adopted a collegiate preparatory program for Afro-Brazilians—the first of its kind in Brazil. While the Church of God in Christ is celebrating twenty-five years of work in Brazil this year, the AME efforts to establish congregations have apparently stalled. If we are to live up to our legacy, there is much work to be done. With proper planning and intelligent use of political and financial resources, the African Methodist Episcopal Church can make an impact in Latin America.

For more information on Blacks in Latin America, an easy to read introduction is “Afro-Latin America 1800-2000” by George Reid Andrews. Also, “Black in Latin America”, a documentary by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will debut on Tuesdays April 19 and 26 and May 3 and 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) on PBS.

* John Thomas III is a graduate student in the Ph.D. program in Political Science at the University of Chicago. He serves on the General Board and is the Young Adult Representative of the Connectional Lay Organization.


The Rev. Dr. Darlene Jenkins

On January 17, 2011, the city of Scranton and surrounding counties, awakened as if to a clarion call, requesting and ready to ride “The Rosa Parks Freedom Bus.” Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E) Church in Scranton Pennsylvania was presented with the initiative of having a “Rosa Parks Bus” by The Rev. Dr. Darlene Jenkins as one mode of critique in celebration of Martin Luther King Day.

The Rev. Dr. Darlene Jenkins a resident of Meadville, Pa partnered with “Friends of the Poor” Executive Director Sister Ann Walsh, I. H. M. of Scranton, Pennsylvania for this wonderful historical event. Due to an overwhelming response from 100 youth and 25 adults to ride Rosa Parks’ Freedom Bus, Sister Ann climbed the highest mountains to make it possible for three buses to be available for this blessed day. Signs were made by the youth and placed in the windows to remind onlookers of the Civil Rights icon.

The vision of the Rosa Parks’ bus was to utilize a “mobile youth forum,” that would critique the “Civil Rights” movement, transform lives, causing a reversal of the negative learned behavior of the evil social systems legitimized during the civil rights movement. The embodiment of hospitality is a gift that we are all invited to share with one another this day. The freedom bus boarded at Scranton University, traveled to Viewmont Mall to drop of gifts for the homeless, and travel back to Scranton University for a “Wedding Banquet,” where the youth were honored guests.

The Rosa Parks’ Bus, created a space to draw out the pain our youth might feel and help them deal with their emotionally difficult lives. This methodology fosters the creation of pro-social behavioral outcomes for our youth that embrace unity, empathy, and hospitality. The role of socialization in fostering prosocial behaviors included that of historical education, non-violent storytelling, embodiment of hospitality to all people and embracing our divine right to equality and liberty. Placed in the context of their lives, practical action plans were presented to the youth freedom riders to help them deal with bullying, prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

The question and answer dialogue was lead by Rosa Parks re-enactor Rev. Dr. Darlene Jenkins with assistance from Sister Ann, Mr. Rufus Holms, and Senator John Blake, respectively. Rosa Parks Re-enactor educated the youth about Rosa Parks’ act of non-cooperation with and boldness to contest evil in 1955 by not giving up her seat to a white passenger on a racial segregated Montgomery Alabama bus. The youth recognized that like Rosa Parks they were unmasking the powers and their false claims of who we are as people of God. We are a peculiar, royal priesthood. A people of God who deserve to be treated with respect and mercy; a people who embrace and accept who they are regardless of race, creed or circumstance.

The Rev. Dr. Darlene Jenkins shared with the enthusiastic youth that some people say Rosa Parks was just tired and sat down; yes she was tired of participating with all the evil and wrong in the world and allowing evil to grow. Rosa Parks resounding no, heard through the universe vibrated through the very fibers of the African American soul. The youth were reminded to always do the right thing, and not be a bystander to evil. If you see harm being done to someone at home, bullying at school, or violence in the streets, go get help. We have a duty to say no to any injustice anywhere at any time and unmask them.

Senator John Blake questioned and educated the youth about “bullying one another” and how that was analogous to the treatment Rosa Parks received from the bus driver. Popular hate speech forces on us that certain people deserve to be condemned. The wide spread sentiment is that it’s okay to hate and beat up those kinds of people, and that they deserve their lowly, marginalized status. The youth freedom riders revealed their sensibilities about not being accepted as equals by their peers and how words have the power to harm and kill. Sister Ann reminded the youth that “simple acts of kindness” is a way of being merciful. Kindness is like one drop in the ocean but the ripple effect touches the whole ocean.

In Colossians 2:15, we read that on the cross Jesus “disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them.” And once the principalities and powers are unmasked, we are set free from their clutches. The powers can no longer fool us with their promises and claims, for we have seen them for what they are. In a similar way Rosa Parks exposed and disarmed the powers of racism through a non-violent stance. Rosa brought these issues to the surface, to bring them out in the open where everyone can see them. Once exposed by Rosa Parks in this way racism begin to lose some of its power over many of us. Like Jesus and Rosa Parks, today the youth unmask the principalities and powers, exposing them as powers of death. Mr. Rev. Dr. Darlene Jenkins shared with the youth that Rosa Parks became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and helped Martin Luther King Jr., to launch a national prominence in the civil rights movement.

Rosa Parks celebrates a radical reversal of the present established social and political order. According to Rosa what is presumed to be unshakable and inevitable about who rules and controls, about who deserves the advantages and privileges in our society, will be completely overturned by our God. Rosa calls to us, with her words, deeds and “sit down” example to be bold people of vision. One simple act of sitting down has the power to contest that which is world transforming. She urges us to move out of our benign acceptance of status quo injustices. Push and stretch yourself and get aboard the bus and sit wherever you want as equals. We are urged to view one another through divine merciful lens that cancel out your permission to step on or over any part of humanity that does not mirror you or your lifestyle.

Christians have always affirmed that God is merciful. Most of the time we think of this mercy in personal terms, as God overlooking this or that sin, or rescuing us from this or that crisis. Jesus has different notions. He wants us to understand that to affirm the reality of a merciful God is to challenge the way we relate to the “least ones” (Matthew 25:31-46), the children and the “expendables.” What might this mean more concretely? It means that our “salvation,” our experience and discernment of God’s mercy, is directly, inextricably, absolutely, and thoroughly tied to our relationships we have with our fellow humans, especially those people we tend to ignore. We will know we are embracing a transforming discipleship when we can say they are equal to us, not out of resentment but in a grateful evolution of praise of the merciful God of Jesus Christ.


16th Episcopal District
Jamaica Conference

By the Rev. Enid Samuels

During January 2011, the leadership of the Sixteenth Episcopal District afforded seminary level training to approximately 70 clergy and laypersons. Ten lecturers under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer from Virginia Union University - The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology- Evans-Smith Leadership Training Institute were called to offer educational opportunities to persons who, for various reasons, would not matriculate in a four-year program of academic study leading to a baccalaureate degree.

Bishop Davis appointed Reverend Dr. Millard L. Davis, Presiding Elder of the Eastern District, Jamaica Conference, as her coordinator for the intensive program.

Lecturers were: the Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer – Instructor and Pastor of Greater Ebenezer AME in Richmond Virginia; Ms. Linda Banks, an attorney for the US government and a member of Jerusalem AME Church in Clinton, Maryland, the Rev. Jeanette L. Brown, serves on the ministerial staff at Cornerstone AME Church in Indian Head, Maryland; the Rev. Paul D. Brown, serves on the ministerial staff at Cornerstone AME Church in Indian Head, Maryland; the Rev. Oretha Parrish-Cross, pastor of Gaskins Chapel AME church in Onancock, Virginia; the Rev. Michael Moore, Youth Minister Pastor of both St. Mark Baptist Church in Maidens, Virginia and Shiloh Baptist church in Chesterfield, Virginia; the Rev. Linda Mouzon, Associate Pastor of Union Bethel AME Church in Randallstown, Maryland; the Rev. Dr. Margie Smith, Associate Pastor of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia; the Rev. Heidi Stevens, who serves on the ministerial staff of Mt. Calvary AME Church in Towson, Maryland; and Minister Patricia Ann Yeargin, who serves on the staff of City Temple of Baltimore Baptist Church.

The classes commenced on January 11 and continued through January 29, 2011. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as the participants enthusiastically waited to be lectured.

Sessions were divided into laity who attended classes each week from Tuesday through Thursday and clergy who attend classes on Fridays and Saturdays. Eighteen clergy including Presiding Elders, Itinerant Elders, Itinerant Deacons, local deacons and over fifty laity were in attendance at the Ministry Empowerment Institute.

The curriculum was divided into two parts: course objectives and learning objectives.

Course objectives were to help the participants to: Develop basic knowledge as well as a critical understanding of the African Methodist movement in its historical context; Understand the uniqueness of the worship and liturgy of the AME Church; Understand the polity, administration and doctrine of the AME Church; Develop knowledge of best practices for ministry, to include Pastoral Care and Christian Education; and Provide additional avenues whereby persons can engage in faith formation, spiritual and vocational discernment as it relates to the call to ordained and non-ordained Christian ministry.

The formation and development of African Methodism, administration, appreciating the worship and the liturgical traditions of the AME Church, a basic understanding of best church practices, application of theoretical concepts of context to ministry experience, and an understanding of the importance of all laity and clergy being a part of a connectional body were among the learning objectives.

Some of the courses offered were John Wesley and the History of Methodism, the Mission and Purpose of the AME Church, Articles of Religion, Catechism of Faith, AME Polity and
Administration, AME Worship and Liturgy, Understanding the Call to Ministry, The ABC’s of Pastoral Counseling Care, The Marks of a Healthy Congregation; Grief and Loss, Stages of Grief;
Understanding the Old and New Testament, Systematic Theology and Christology

Although not knowing what to expect, the clergy and laity arrived at the Olympia Crown Hotel, in Kingston to embark on a journey perceived to be informative, awe-inspiring, and edifying. The sessions started with the “Love Feast”, a period where the presence of God was felt as clergy and laity poured out their glasses of water and shared bread with each other. What was so significant about this session was that if you had wronged anyone, or was suffering from chronic anger that was hurting spiritual growth and relationships; the privilege was yours to surrender this vulnerable part of your emotions to your maker, Christ Jesus. Clergy and laity took advantage of this important juncture; expelled their emotions to those whom they have hurt in the past and earnestly sought forgiveness. This was indeed a solemn yet blissful moment.

The lecturers were zealous, enthusiastic, passionate and diligent as they communicated the concepts eloquently, with pride, clarity and full understanding. The clergy and laity were attentive, cooperative and appreciative of this grand moment. It is believed that they successively grasped the concepts taught. This great opportunity was seized; we have collected the lighted torch and without a shadow of doubt will “run with it” effectively.

Solomon in Proverbs 29:18, states, “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” There was indeed a vision given to two vivacious, powerful and level-headed women of God; Bishop Sarah Frances Davis and the Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer. The weeks passed by swiftly with all objectives being achieved - just what the Rev. Dr. Spencer and Bishop Sarah Frances Davis would have hoped for- a dream come true.

On Saturday, January 29, 2011, the most spectacular event in the life of the AME Church in Jamaica reached its zenith in the form of an extravagant graduation ceremony held in the auditorium of the Olympia Crown Hotel. As the sun shone brilliantly over the horizon it coincided with the auditorium which was like a sea of white; flooded with the lily-white apparel of the graduates waiting to hear their names called so as to march jubilantly across the hall to accept their certificates.

The devotional exercise was done with reverence and magnificence and everyone who was in attendance participated in every essence of it.

The beautiful chorale of the angelic voices of the praise team rang out in the distance as they rendered their pieces consistently and split the quiet air surrounding the Olympia Crown Hotel. Observing them one would have believed that they had travelled into a spiritual and imaginary realm where the territory of angels was invaded. The message from the choruses was deeply embedded in the heart of the saints present and the glory of the Lord was experienced. Surprisingly, the manifestations given, was that of an invitational feeling not just to worship and praise God but to be reconnected to our Saviour. A sense of gratitude was embraced and it wasn’t just any coincidence, but one of ecstasy and exultation.

Bishop Sarah Davis and others at the head table giving praise to God.

As Bishop Sarah Frances Davis rose to speak, one could see the enthusiasm she felt as this was expressed with the brilliant smile on her unique face. Bishop admonished us to be people who are thinkers and people who walk by faith and not by sight. She lovingly provided Godly instruction from God’s Word and encouraged all of us to become all that God has planned for us to be.

Bishop thanked everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in this historical event. She said that it is up to the clergy and laity to use what they have learned. Additionally, Bishop stated that she was thrilled when she entered the classes on January 28, 2011. This, she said reminded her of an effective classroom situation and she was proud of the level of presentation by the self-motivated lecturers.

The Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer, instructor of the Ministry Empowerment Institute along with the Rev. Michael Moore and the Rev. Oretha Parris-Cross, presented the certificates to the ecstatic graduates. Rev. Dr. Spencer informed them that she was grateful for being a part of such a dedicated and diligent team which successfully made this occasion an exceptional one. According to the Rev. Dr. Spencer, she was surprised when she met people who were energetic, vibrant, spiritual and eager to learn. In her estimation, she believed that she too had learned a lot from the people with whom she came in contact. She encouraged all the graduates to continue to study so as to be positive servant leaders in their churches.

The message, “Bloom Where You Are Planted”, was delivered by Presiding Elder, the Reverend Dr. Millard Davis. The lesson was taken from Isaiah 40:31. The message was informative and inspiring; one that excited the laity, clergy and the audience. The graduates moved spiritually and cohesively, as the undiluted Word of God was proclaimed. What a blessing! He encouraged everyone and most importantly, the clergy to open themselves up so that they could hear from God.

As he continued his sermon, he admonished the listeners to develop self through love and positive leadership; to be of value just as how Rosa Parks was a person of value; to burn fury, evil, disobedience, and rebellion; and to be like God who sees promotion and not like man who sees demotion. He quoted from the late Rev. Hinds who always said, “Make you an agenda. If you must be a pastor, put disappointment at the top.” Additionally, he informed them that to have a healthy church there must be cleanliness, love for people and most importantly, remembrance of the true leader who is Jesus Christ.

He further stated that he would rather be a leader of integrity than be a rose with petals that fade. He implored everybody to walk with eagles so as to soar higher and deeper in Christ and that wherever one is planted, he or she should bloom and not watch the size of the congregation.

The graduation ceremony was memorable, remarkable and unforgettable; one which will always linger in the minds of the attendees.

When something good happens, the Lord deserves the credit. Thank God for his glory, goodness, power and for the vision he has instilled within our beloved Bishop Sarah Frances Davis and Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer. Commendations are in order for both of these charismatic women of God, who have lit the torch and have ignited the minds and souls of the clergy and laity of the Jamaican Conference.

As we come to the close of this historical event the lighted torch should never be put out, but be used to illuminate the world. The information received should be used to weave webs of positive involvement in the lives of others so that they become knowledgeable of the one who is the source of all power, Jesus Christ.

May the rich legacy of the AMEC be visible in the lives of these great leaders; may the leadership qualities of those who have learned, improve as they grow socially, intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually so they can instill positive attitudes in the lives of those they are called to serve.


The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois will be the guest preacher for the St. Paul AME Church Spring Revival 2011 that will be held Monday, March 14th through Wednesday, March 16th , 7:00 p.m. nightly.

St. Paul AME Church, “The House of Faith,” is located at 2501 Shurling Drive in Macon, Georgia. The Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter is the Pastor


New York, February 16, 2011 -- The Rev. Garland F. Pierce, National Council of Churches associate general secretary, Education and Leadership Ministries, will leave that position in May to join the staff of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland.

The announcement was made in a letter to NCC board and staff by the NCC General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, who said Pierce has been "a highly-valued and effective member of the NCC staff."

Pierce has accepted a call to be senior assistant to the World Council of Churches General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit.

The position is similar to one held by Jean S. Stromberg in the 1980s and 1990s under former WCC General Secretary Emilio Castro. When Stromberg directed the WCC's U.S. office in New York, she introduced Pierce to ecumenical work when she appointed him a young adult intern in 1995.

Pierce joined the National Council of Churches staff in 2003 as associate director of the Education and Leadership Ministries Commission. His responsibilities then included program ministry administration and planning, program interpretation, advocacy for Christian education, leader development and ecumenical formation, staff support for the NCC Inclusiveness and Justice Standing Committee, and staff support to NCC General Assembly Caucuses, Young Adult, Racial/Ethnic, and Historic Black Churches.

Pierce's travels during his tenure as a member of the WCC staff, and later as an AME delegate and member of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, included meetings in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Tonga, Cuba, Greece and elsewhere.

Before he joined the WCC U.S. Office, Pierce was Youth Minister at Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville from 1994-1995. He was a curriculum Resource Specialist in the AME Department of Christian Education in Nashville from 1993-1995.

Pierce holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University, Greenville, S.C., and the Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and he is a Ph.D student at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, Calif. He was interim director of the Claremont McNair Scholars Program in 2002. Pierce served as Youth Minister of First AME Church, Pasadena, Calif.

Kinnamon said Pierce "will certainly be missed on this side of the Atlantic!

"At the same time, we celebrate the opportunity this represents for him to pursue ecumenical ministry in a global setting. This new position means that Garland will accompany the WCC General Secretary, Olav Fykse Tveit, on official travel, serve as liaison for staff relations, work on communications and media matters, and assist with the General Secretary’s messaging. And be another good friend for the NCC in Geneva!"

Pierce will be with the NCC through the end of April, concluding his work with the National Council by guiding a major ELMC Futuring Consultation.

"This event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the merger of the World Council on Christian Education with the WCC, a visible sign that education belongs alongside faith and order, life and work, and mission and evangelism in the vision of the ecumenical movement," Kinnamon said. "It will be a fitting culmination to his ministry at the National Council."


CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN — Eighteen Indiana pastors have been selected to participate in the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program, a Lilly Endowment-sponsored program at Wabash College.

The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program target Indiana pastors with between five and 10 years of experience following their graduate seminary studies and invites them to participate in a two-year program of leadership development and pastoral reflection.

The Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program will engage pastors in explorations of critical economic, educational, and political challenges facing Indiana communities and help them develop the knowledge and skills to become stronger leaders in their congregations and communities.

“From a number of outstanding pastors who applied, we selected a representative group with very high potential for leadership from diverse churches throughout Indiana,” said Program Director Raymond Brady Williams. “They have rich academic backgrounds and life experiences, and we look forward to lively discussions of important issues and challenges that face communities and churches in Indiana.”

These pastors represent the second cohort of ministers to participate in the program and among those selected is the Rev. Carey A. Grady, the Senior Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. Reverend Grady graduated from Howard University with a major in history, and earned his master’s degree in divinity from the Turner Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. While in college he was Archives Intern at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History at the Duke Ellington Collection, a Congressional Black Caucus Intern, and later a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow on Capitol Hill for Congressman James Clyburn. Rev. Grady has served on the boards of the Neighborhood Housing Development Corporation and the Decatur Genealogical Historical Society.

Other participants in the program include Eric M. Augenstein, Priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in New Albany; Thomas Bartley, Senior Pastor of Crooked Creek Baptist Church, Indianapolis; Melissa Bennett, Pastor for Youth at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren; Ryan Berryhill, Pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Terre Haute; Jeffrey Bower, Vicar at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Speedway; Kevin Bowers, Pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Lafayette; David Brown, Pastor of Park Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in New Albany; Rebecca Craver, Church Developer at Zacchaeus’ Tree Congregation in Indianapolis; Wesley Kendall, Pastor of Greencastle Presbyterian Church; Timothy Knauff, Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in South Bend; Libby Manning, Pastor of Ministry and Maturity at Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Fishers; Michael Mathews, Pastor at Holy Cross and St. Stanislaus Parish in South Bend; David Neuen, Associate Pastor of, High Street United Methodist Church in Muncie; Jason Nicholls, Pastor of Redeemer Missionary Church in, South Bend; Thomas Ream, Senior Associate Pastor at Warsaw First United Methodist Church; David Trexler, Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Highland; and Brent Wright, Pastor at Broad Ripple United Methodist Church in Indianapolis

Pastors involved in the program will meet on the Wabash College campus 10 times over a two-year period to meet with civic, government, business, and religious leaders to discuss issues that affect local Indiana communities. The pastors will learn about a range of topics, such as statewide efforts to strengthen public education, Indiana economic initiatives, government responses to property tax and other issues, the impact of immigration on local communities, and advances in medical research and their impact on health care.

In addition, the pastors will participate in a study tour in North America during the first year and an international study tour in the second year of the program to learn about transnational contexts.

Williams is the founding director of the program. He is the LaFollette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities emeritus and he was the founding director of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, also funded by Lilly Endowment.

“For many years the College ran the Wabash Executive Program that developed potential for leadership in executives in business and industry,” said Williams. “The College now runs the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning that develops leadership in faculty of colleges, universities, and seminaries. So it is exciting to be part of this new profession-specific leadership program for talented pastors in Indiana.”

The program is housed in Trippet Hall on the Wabash College campus. Please contact Dr. Williams (williamr@wabash.edu or 765-361-6336) for additional information.
Biographies of participants in the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program


Mrs. Gloria Montague and Pastor Bill Johnson and Mrs. Elizabeth Willis

The Saint Phillip African Methodist Episcopal church, of Santa Maria, California multi-cultural Kwanzaa event was sponsored during the week of December 26-January 1. Families and guests were invited to bring a food that represented their cultural or ethnicity. Guests shared their historical stories, poems or shared about their heritage.

The Saint Phillip instrumental Group, "Full Circle" provided music. The Young People's Department from Saint Phillip, presented a original dance "Folklorico" that reflected the personal ethnicities of the dancers who were of Latin American, African American, French Canadian, and Barbados cultures.

The Reverend Bernadette Johnson, pastor of Providence First AME Church in Lompoc, California participated on the program.

Lompoc resident, Mrs. Gloria Montague received the community service award. Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson-Willis was the recipient of the Laura K. Simmons for dedicated service to Saint Phillip, her local church. The Lauar K. Simmons award was named in honor of AME pioneer missionary and deaconess from Saint Paul AME Church, Santa Barbara.

To contact the AME Church: www.stphillipamechurch@yahoo.org, Pastor Bernadette Johnson in Lompoc (bjohnsonamec@yahoo.com); for Santa Maria, Pastor Bill Johnson, wjohnsonamec@yahoo.com, telephone: (805) 737-6523.

Ms. Chryshea Bryson, Ms. Nayada Garcia, Mr. Joshua Willis
Mr. Avery Cutting-Bryson


(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement at Jackson State University will host a three-day conference featuring Minister Louis Farrakhan, Shirley Sherrod and Myrlie Evers-Williams on its 1400 John R. Lynch St. campus March 23-26.
The sixth annual conference, themed “Too Much Reform and Not Enough Change. NEEDED: A New Grassroots Movement for Change in EDUCATION,” is designed to inspire and empower youth through social activism education. Topics include: “The Threat to Free Speech,” “Cradle to Prison Pipeline,” and “Islamophobia and Religious Intolerance.”

Now one of the largest annual gatherings of civil rights veterans in the country, this event brings together civil rights activists, historians, students, community organizers, educators, filmmakers and producers, second generation activists, grassroots organizations and hundreds of others from across the United States and abroad with today’s youth to discuss ways to continue positive change in society.

Among the special guests confirmed this year are Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam; Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Myrlie Evers Williams, former NAACP chairman and widow of Medgar Evers; Marion Barry, Washington D.C. councilman; Kathleen Cleaver, Yale professor and former Black Panther; Haki Madhubuti, author and poet; and Karima Al-Amin, community activist.

Farrakhan will be the keynote speaker for the Veterans Freedom Gathering at 7 p.m., Friday, March 25, at the JSU Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium. Sherrod will be the keynote luncheon speaker for the Veterans Activist Luncheon at noon, Saturday, March 26, at the JSU Student Center. Evers-Williams will speak at the Intergenerational Cultural Expression Night at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26, also at the Student Center.

Having begun in 2004 with small gatherings, the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement became an official arm of Jackson State in 2008. In addition to collecting and archiving oral histories of civil rights veterans across the country, the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement support persons actively using those stories to continue the pursuit of freedom, justice and equality.

“We are trying to be true to our reason for being,” said Owen Brooks, executive director for the organization. “This conference, like others, will allow an exchange of ideas and to engage participants in discussions regarding issues that are important to them.”

Admission to the conference, which begins on Thursday, March 24, is $100 for adults and includes admission to all events. College student registration is $25. High school student registration is $10. Prices include all events except the Veterans Freedom Gathering featuring Minister Farrakhan, which will cost $10 with a student ID. The registration fee includes a one-year membership to the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.

Events schedule and ticket prices:

• Veterans Luncheon featuring Karima Al-Amin, Thursday, March 24: $20 adults; $10 students
• JSU Presidential Banquet, Thursday, March 24: $25 adults; $10 students
• Veterans Luncheon featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Friday, March 25: $20 adults; $10 students
• Veterans Freedom Gathering with Minister Louis Farrakhan, Friday, March 25: $20 adults; $10 students
• Veterans Luncheon featuring Shirley Sherrod, Saturday, March 26: $20 adults; $10 students
• Cultural Expression Night featuring Myrlie Evers Williams, Saturday, March 26: $20 adults; $10 students

Space for all events is limited. Tickets will not be sold at the door, so interested persons should purchase tickets in advance. The registration deadline is March 15.

For complete conference details, schedules, online registration, souvenir book form and to volunteer, visit www.MSCivilRightsVeterans.orgor call 601-979-1515.

About Jackson State University: Bridge to a Brighter Tomorrow

Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of the state of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.


“The Reverend Marguerite Handy was a woman of faith, a strong advocate for the vulnerable, a true friend to everyone she knew, and a beautiful person. Reverend Handy brought warmth and eternal optimism to the Mayor’s Office and the Greater Philadelphia clergy community. She cared deeply about government’s role in improving the lives of people all across the city, and she was dedicated to ensuring all communities of faith had access to city government. Reverend Handy was a friend and advisor to me and individuals in my Administration, and we’re all very saddened at her passing.”

Reverend Handy began her public service with city government in 2004. After years in the healthcare industry with Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Reverend Handy felt the calling for religious pastoral care and then public service. A minister of Mount Pisgah AME Church, she was consistently recognized by the Greater Philadelphia community as being a dedicated community servant.

She was a leader during the Peaceful Surrender initiative, which encouraged individuals with outstanding warrants to take responsibility for their actions and turn themselves in to their religious leaders. She also coordinated with Philadelphia clergy to persuade cooperation and implement HIV testing and prevention education by congregations throughout the city. Reverend Handy provided vision, innovation and pastoral care while tackling some of the most difficult issues of city faces.

“Reverend Handy deeply loved working in the AME church and especially with her home congregation. She also was committed to her family especially her children Pamela, Christopher, Kenneth and Douglas. We’re all very saddened by her passing, but we know her legacy will continue to affect the lives of the communities she selflessly and tirelessly served,” said Mayor Nutter.


By Bishop Don Williams,

The economic recession may have left Americans struggling for the past couple of years, but the African-American community has been disproportionately impacted. As a result, our community continues to suffer from hunger, poverty, unemployment, and income and education disparities when compared to the total U.S. population. To help contextualize this crisis, here is a countdown of some of the most startling statistics:

In the top Ten states with the highest poverty rates, the African-American poverty rate was significantly higher than the overall state poverty rate in 2009—the last full year for which data is available. In some states, it was double the overall rate.

NINE out of ten African-American children will receive SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) at some point before age 20. Compare this to the 49 percent of all U.S. children who will receive SNAP benefits before they turn 20.

Eight point four (8.4) percent of African-Americans were unemployed in November 2007. The unemployment rate for the United States as a whole did not reach that level until May 2009. Thus, African-American families experienced recession-like conditions even while the broader U.S. economy was strong.

More than one in Seven (14.6 percent) American households struggles to put food on the table. Among African-American households, the situation is far bleaker: one in four struggles to put food on the table.

More than one in Six African-Americans (15.7 percent) is currently unemployed, compared to less than 10 percent of whites.

In the Five states with the highest poverty rates, more than 25 percent of African-Americans live in poverty, although the average poverty rate for the general population in those states is less than 19 percent.

One in Four African-Americans lives below the federal poverty line, compared to one in eight Americans overall. In 2009, the federal poverty line for a family of four was $21,756—a figure that many single individuals would have trouble living on, let alone families with children.

More than one in Three (35.7 percent) African-American children lives in poverty, compared to one in five children in the United States as a whole.

In 2009, the poverty rate for African-Americans reached 25.8 percent—nearly Two times as high as the poverty rate of the general population.

That leaves One question: what are you doing to help?

These figures are unnerving, but it is within our power to end hunger in our time. In fact, as people of faith, God is calling us to reach out to those in need and confront structures and policies that allow hunger and poverty to persist. And where better to start than within the African-American church? Advocacy is the most effective way to secure brighter futures for our children and help our neighbors. We must make our voices heard and urge lawmakers to enact policies that are vital to hungry and poor people. To learn more about Bread for the World and how you can help, please visit www.bread.org.

Bishop Don DiXon Williams is a racial/ethnic outreach associate at Bread for the World, and bishop of ecumenical and political affairs at United Way of the Cross Church of Christ, Danville, VA.


The Rt. Reverend Preston Warren Williams II, Presiding Prelate
Dr. Wilma Delores Webb Williams, Episcopal Supervisor

Palmetto Annual Conference
August 22 – 26, 2011
101st Session
Host Church: Morris Brown AME Church, Charleston
Host Pastor: The Reverend Joseph Darby
Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Charles Graves
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Rosalyn Coleman
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Dr. Allen W. Parrott

Northeast Annual Conference

August 29 – September 2, 2011
120th Session
Host Church: Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Sumter
Host Pastor: The Reverend Dr. Betty Deas Clark
Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Dr. Robert McCants
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Robert Cooper
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Dr. William Smith

Columbia Annual Conference

September 12 – 16, 2011
134th Session
Host Church: Bethel AME Church, Columbia
Host Pastor: The Reverend Dr. Ronnie Brailsford
Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Sandy Drayton
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Dr. James R. Glover
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Joseph Postell

South Carolina Annual Conference
September 19 – 23, 2011
148th Session
Host Church: Mother Emmanuel AME Church, Charleston
Host Pastor: The Reverend Clementa Pinckney
Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend John H. Gillison
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Jonathan C. Roberts
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Malachi Duncan

Piedmont Annual Conference
October 3 – 7, 2011
101st Session
Host Church: Allen Temple AME Church, Greenville
Host Pastor: The Reverend James E. Speed, Sr.
Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Judy Richardson
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Samuel L. McPherson

Central Annual Conference
October 10 – 14, 2011
88th Session
Host Church: Williams Chapel AME Church, Orangeburg
Host Pastor: The Reverend Dr. Caesar Richburg
Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Dr. Juenarrl Keith
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Harry Wilson
Co-Host Presiding Elder: The Reverend Barbara Chisolm

Post Conference Convocation & Theological Institute
November 2 – 4, 2011
Florence Civic Center
Florence, SC


*MaDonna Awotwi

Born into slavery
Though slavery didn't make me
Who I am
What I am took his rib to create me
Though there was one before me
Let me properly introduce myself they call me Sara, Sara Allen

My husband built the church upon his back
Blood sweat and tears went into each and every slat
Each brick that was laid yielded him some form of pain
But I was his comfort the one who kept him sane
Reminded him of Gods vision and plan for him
Helped him to realize the mark of the man in him
Ever humble never stumbled always saved face while knowing my place
Let me introduce myself they call me Sara, Sara Allen.

I woke up with the sun made sure everything was done
Clean the house
Feed the babies
Fold the clothes
Wipe down the walls
Air out the windows
All in a day’s work for me
Then help a few runaway slaves
God worked through me to set them free
Let me introduce myself...see they call me Sara, Sara Allen

While my husband was out preaching the gospel
My missionaries were feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, cheering the fallen, providing jobs for the jobless, administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and, encouraging thrift and economic advancement to all who see fit .Let me introduce myself...my name is Sara, Sara Allen.

The first mother of the first church we could call our own back when us folks weren't really allowed to own, when we were still considered 3/5th of a man, couldn't buy cattle, wouldn't dare buy land

Couldn’t get a house, or plot of earth but by the grace of God we had a church, where 3 or more are gathered let them be, Let me introduce myself I’m Sara Allen and I am AME.

*MaDonna Awotwi is a member of Bethel Village AME Church, 1721 N. 5th Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where the Rev. Martin D. Odom is the pastor


*Miacia F. Porter

I am not sure what it is about my people that I love so dearly. I am not sure if it’s our ebony hue, our mahogany tone, our salmon swag, or our caramel glow that appeals to my senses. But there is something about this mosaic group of people, my people that beseeches me to seek the history, know the story, and understand the culture.

Learning about African American history is just as important as understanding the complexities of Charles Darwin’s theory. Or at least it is to me.

I have reckoned with the fact that most people, especially youth don’t value history. On several occasions my peers have told me that historical events such as “The Civil War” or the adoption of the 13th , 14th, and 15th Amendments are no longer important.

They often support their statements with phrases like “we are in a new era and time has changed.” And although I reckon with their reasoning I often find statements of this nature to be misleading truths.

I agree we are in a new day, but to reject the existence or importance of such historical events is like forgetting what yesterday will give to tomorrow.

There is much more to our history than the accomplishments of Martin L. King Jr., Rose Parks, and Malcolm X. There was activism before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. We have pioneers, inventors, men and women whose stories have never been told and we owe it to them and ourselves to celebrate their bravery.

However, we can’t celebrate if we continue to live in a world that praises the new day and forgets the days that foreshadowed it.

And I understand everyone’s love for history will not be the same, but as a Church with such great historical and spiritual significance. I believe it is part of our duty to educate our people about our story. I heard an African proverb, “If the lions don’t tell their stories, the hunters will.”

After all Richard Allen is not only the founder and first Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal church, but he is an individual on our “chain of individuals” in the African American community who dared to make a difference.

We celebrate his actions in terms of what it has done for the A.M.E. Church specifically, but historically, his actions make a difference to the African American community.

Without his actions the A.M.E. Church as we know it, this “new day” would not be the same, which potentially means the black church as we know it in the African American community might not be the same.

We pay homage to our founder because we recognize his past action still impacts our present day, and this is how it should be in regards to every men, women, boy, or girl that has left a footprint on our heritage and culture.

Our past impacts our present whether we reckon with it or not.

I prefer we reckon with the past, acknowledge it and love it because it essentially defines who we are.

There is so much life, motivation and excitement and so much we can learn from the past.

Charlotte Ray was the first African American woman to earn a law degree in 1872. If she could do it when there was so much adversity, racism, and hatred in the world, I know I can do it now. Her story reassures me that if God is for you; that is more than the whole world against you. Her story motivates me, and I simply gained this motivation through obtaining my history.
I argue that knowing our history teaches us just who and what we are capable of. We come from a lineage of success and we should capitalize on it. But you can only capitalize on what you know.

History doesn’t have to be a boring timeline of facts. It’s a mount that we should build on, but first we have to teach it.

As one of the largest African American spiritual institutions in the black community let’s take a political stand and encourage our people to seek out our history so that the footprints of those that labored before us don’t become invisible sand washed marks.


*The Rev. N.T. Pitts, Pastor is a retired itinerant Elder who lives in Eatonville, Florida

I have often wondered how medicine really works. How does a medicine taken for one part of the body, has no affect on the other parts of our body.

How does a medicine know where to go?

The other day I sat and saw a woman take out five different kinds of medicines, pills, tablets and capsules and put the in her mouth. Oh by the way, I have never seen a black pill, tablet or capsule. Maybe there is a reason.

Walk with me if you will with this medicine as they entered her mouth.

Green pill: Where are you guys going?

Red pill: I am going over to kidney city there is a drainage problem and they want me to fix it.

Pink capsule: I'm headed down south to ankle junction there is some swelling I need to tend to.

Green pill: Hey Pink, you're going to pass a few joints.

Pink capsule: Yes but I will not be stopping.

Green pill: What about you white?

White tablet: I'm going over to lungs-ville. I understand there's quite a bit of pollution and they want me to clear it up.

Pink capsule: Man you got a job on your hand.

White tablet: Yes, I know they are going to send some back-up later. Hey Green, you are asking us where we are going, where are you going?

Green pill: Ah I'm headed north; it's a bit cold up there and things are frozen. I will try to thaw them out if possible.

Pink capsule: I'm glad I'm going south I can't take all that cold.

Green pill: Say Orange, you haven't said a word. Where are you going?

Orange pill: I am headed down to Stomach valley, there is quite a bit of turbulence and they want me to settle things down a bit.

Green pill: Man you are going on a roller-coaster ride.

Orange pill: Yes but I will not like the odor. I guess I won't see you guys any more because I will be headed out.

White pill: Oops, here comes the water.

Orange pill: Hey Pink, stay away from those joints.

Pink capsule: OK Good luck you guys.

Can you imagine that going on in your body? Ha! Ha! Ha!

*The Rev. N.T. Pitts, Pastor is a retired itinerant Elder who lives in Eatonville, Florida


- Congratulations to the Rev. Lucille Wakefield-Moore

Congratulations to the Rev. Lucille Wakefield-Moore, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Cookstown, New Jersey. She was sworn in as Councilwoman in the state of New Jersey, County of Camden, Township of Lawnside on February 2, 2011.

- Congratulations to Marcita Bell-Johnson and Denicka Johnson

Congratulations to Marcita Bell-Johnson (Master Degree in Higher Education) and Denicka Johnson (Associate Degree in Business) on their recent graduation, February 5, 2011, from Kaplan University. They are the daughter and granddaughter of the Rev. Tonda Kay Bell, local elder, Shaffer Chapel AME Church in Muncie, Indiana.

Congratulatory responses can be sent to:

The Rev. Tonda Kay Bell
1001 N. Macedonia Ave.
Muncie, IN 47303

Phone: 765-288-1019
Email: tbell@msdeng.com

- Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Ralton Moses in the birth of a baby girl, Zoe Odelia Moses

Congratulations to Ralton and Esther Moses in the birth of a healthy baby girl, Zoe Odelia, born Wednesday morning, 09 February 2011. Ralton Moses is the son of the Rev. David and Mrs. Sandra Moses, pastoral couple serving at Mount Olive AME Church in Piketberg, and Esther Moses is the daughter of the Rev. Clive and Mrs. Beryl Pillay, pastoral couple serving at Metropolitan AME Church in Mitchells Plain in the Cape Annual Conference, 15th Episcopal District - Bishop Earl McCloud, Jr., presiding prelate. "God's Name be praised for bringing another miracle to fruition."

Message of congratulation may be shared with:

The Rev. Dawid Moses: djmoses@telkomsa.net
Mr. Ralton Moses: raltonm@gmail.com
Mrs. Esther Moses: esther@taurenz.co.za


We became aware of a disturbing situation. We need your prayers!

Please pray for Pastor Sampat and Pastor Shantima; they are discouraged, as some miscreants have destroyed their church building at K. V. Nagar.

They request for your earnest prayers for a breakthrough in this situation.

They are not going in for any legal action, because they are in prayer and trusting God to do a miracle.

This 22nd February they were supposed to celebrate the 12th Anniversary of the church.

With Prayers,

Presiding Elder Sarah & Presiding Elder Abraham Peddiny


Dear Connectional Church Family,

Sincere gratitude is extended for your expressions of concern and sympathy, and also for your prayers. I am grateful to the many persons who have e-mailed me or sent me cards sharing encouraging and comforting words after learning of my family's time of bereavement. I wish I could respond in a timely manner to each, but I can't right now. Tomorrow after the funeral service, I travel and next week we travel again to my aunt's funeral service in New Jersey. I am exhausted! But, God is great and I keep going. Someone has said that if you feel you are suffering great loss, it is only because you have been so richly blessed by life! I feel richly blessed right now.

"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks". - Unknown

Thank you for all that you do to bring encouragement and hope to God's people.


Sylvia Ross Talbot


- To My AME Family

Please accept my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for all of the declarations of sympathy, care, and most especially, the prayers you offered for my family and me during the loss of my mother, Hattie Lucille Fitzpatrick Lewis.

As many of you can attest, losing a mother is one of the most difficult events in life, but the outpouring of love from my AME Church family has helped sustain and strengthen us during this difficult time. We appreciate it immensely.

On behalf of the entire Lewis family, again, thanks to each and every one of you for everything, and I pray for God’s abundant and everlasting blessings on you all.

With sincere appreciation,

Richard Allen Lewis, Sr.


Dear Connectional Church Family,

Please remember in prayer, retired Bishop Hamel Hartford Brookins, the 91st Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the AME Church, who was hospitalized at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center on Sunday, February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Remember as well, my father, Mr. Thomas Wendell Smith, who underwent a quadruple bypass in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (women) availeth much."

Thank you and God bless,

The Rev. Rosalynn K. Brookins, Retired Supervisor
Email: rrosethequeen@aol.com
Phone: (323) 719-6197

Contact for Bishop H.H. Brookins:

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center - Room 1003
1300 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90027
(213) 413-3000

Contact for Mr. Thomas Wendell Smith:

2800 West Madison
Little Rock, AR 72004


Please remember in prayer, Mrs. Hattie Jackson of Memphis, Tennessee, the widow of servant of the church, Dr. H. Ralph Jackson, a former General Officer. Dr. H. Ralph Jackson was one of the past Directors of the Department of Minimum Salary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Get-well cards, cheer cards, and other expressions of caring can be sent to:

Mrs. Hattie Jackson
1443 S. Parkway East
Memphis, Tennessee 38106
Phone: (901) 774-8633


Mrs. Condami Sepa Daniels, the Mother of the Right Reverend David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr., Presiding Prelate, Fourteenth Episcopal District

We regretfully share news of the passing of Mrs. Condami Sepa Daniels, the mother of The Right Reverend David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr., Presiding Prelate of the Fourteenth Episcopal District. Mother Condami Sepa Daniels passed on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 10:45 GMT.

Service arrangements for Mother Condami Sepa Daniels are as follows:

Wake Keeping will be on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at Susan Brooks AME Church on Clay & Perry Streets in Monrovia, Liberia.

Homegoing Celebration will be held on Friday, Friday 25, 2011 at 9:00 A. M. at Eliza Turner Memorial AME Church on 34 Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia, Liberia

Interment will be in Topoe Town, River Cess County, Liberia.

The family is requesting of all our friends, please do not send any flowers. A Scholarship Fund has been set up in Memorial of Mother Condami Sepa Daniels to help educate less fortunate girls whose parents cannot pay their tuition. In lieu of flowers, please direct all gifts and funds to the "Condami S. Daniels Scholarship Funds." Send to: 301 Garvey Circle, Columbia, SC 29203-9126.

Contact Information for Bishop & Mrs. David R. Daniels, Jr:

US Address

Bishop & Mrs. David R. Daniels, Jr.
301 Garvey Circle
Columbia, SC 29203-9126
Phone: (803) 691-6706

Fourteenth Episcopal District Contact

011-377-467-565-679 (cell-Liberia)
011-233-27-713-6785 (cell-Ghana)
Email: rwysayma@aol.com


We are saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Antoinette Petersen Bolling, the aunt of retired Supervisor, Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot

We regret to announce the passing of Mrs. Antoinette Petersen Bolling, the aunt of retired Episcopal Supervisor, Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot. Mrs. Antoinette Petersen Bolling died this morning, 2-12-11, in Livingston, New Jersey.

Service arrangements are pending.

Please be in prayer for Bishop Frederick H. Talbot (retired) and retired Episcopal Supervisor, Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot. This is the third death in the family of Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot in the past two weeks. Mrs. Antoinette Petersen Bolling was the youngest sister of the mother of Dr. Talbot, and the sister of her Uncle Frank Petersen who passed last week in St. Croix.

Messages for Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot may be left at 340-772-2763 and 615-221-9673.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Bishop Frederick H. and Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot
240 Ashington Court
Brentwood, TN 37027
Phone: (615) 221-9673

Email: srtalbot@comcast.net


Service arrangements for Dr. Katherine Middleton Brown, president emeritus of the Lay Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

There will be two services for Dr. Katheryn Middleton Brown.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 12 Noon
Big Bethel A.M.E. Church
204 Auburn Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 827-9707
The Rev. Gregory V. Eason, Sr., Pastor

Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 11 a.m.
Morris Brown A.M.E. Church
13 Morris Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
(843) 723-1961
The Rev. Joseph Darby

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Katheryn Middleton Brown Scholarship Fund. Please make checks payable to: Cosmopolitan A.M.E. Church (in memo section: Katheryn Middleton Brown Scholarship Fund.)

Mail to:

Cosmopolitan A.M.E. Church
170 Vine Street, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30314
The Rev. Jai S. Haithco, Sr., Pastor
(770) 634-4966

Contact for Condolences:

Hasell D. Brown, Jr.
4947 Memorial Drive, Apt. 106
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
Phone: (515) 556-7355


It is with deepest regret that I inform you of the passing of Mrs. Cora Crutchfield, wife of Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield, General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. Mrs. Crutchfield passed last night (2/15/11) due to complications from surgery yesterday morning.

Please be in prayer for Dr. Crutchfield and his family.

The funeral has been held.

Information for this message provided by Ms. Jeanette Bouknight, Executive Secretary, CME Church

- Congratulations to the Reverend Betty L. Furbert-Woolridge, Presiding Elder East-West District, Bermuda Conference

Congratulations to the Reverend Betty L. Furbert-Woolridge, the FIRST Woman Presiding Elder of the AME Churches in the Bermuda Annual Conference, and the third Female to be appointed in the First Episcopal District. Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Presiding Prelate of the First Episcopal District, made the appointment on Friday, April 30, 2010. The Reverend Furbert-Woolridge hosted her first Annual Conference in the Bermuda Conference as a pastor in March 1990, and also hosted in 1996 and 1999.

Bishop Norris and Mother Mary Norris will arrive in Bermuda on Monday, February 28, 2011 to convene the historic 125th Session of the Bermuda Annual Conference from March 1st to 6th 2011, with Presiding Elder Betty L. Furbert-Woolridge at the helm and Brother Edward McDonald Woolridge, the First 1st Gentleman of the Bermuda Conference who also represented Conn-M-SWAWO for five years, with the A.M.E. Ministerial Alliance, family, and a host of friends in all congregations and the community at their side, supporting and praying for them.

Congratulatory responses can be sent to: revbetty@northrock.bm
(Presiding Elder Betty L. Furbert-Woolridge, East-West District, Bermuda Conference)

Congratulations to Maurice Ellis Dolberry

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!! Maurice Ellis Dolberry, the son of the Reverend Maymette and Brother Gary Dolberry of Ypsilanti, Michigan, graduated with honors recently from Florida Atlantic University with a master's degree in multicultural education. In addition, he was selected as Palm Beach County wrestling coach of the year. He was awarded a Graduate Opportunity Position (GOP) at the University of Washington in Seattle where he is currently enrolled as a PhD, student at the Center for Multicultural Education in the School of Education. The GOP award consists of full tuition waiver, a monthly stipend and health insurance including dental and vision. He is a research assistant to one of the pioneers of multicultural education, Dr. James A. Banks, and is head wrestling coach at Cleveland High School. Maurice is one of the "top scholars" at UW. God continues to bless Him and just recently he was offered a summer fellowship position from the Education Pioneers Fellowship Program.

Congratulatory responses can be e-mailed to:

The Rev. Dolberry Email: dolberrym@comcast.net
Staff Minister, Brown Chapel AMEC, Ypsilanti, Michigan


We regret to announce the passing of the Reverend Edsel F. Robinson, Sr., retired Presiding Elder of the Augusta/Athens District-Augusta Georgia Annual Conference.

The Edsel F. Rev. Robinson, Sr. passed away on February 19, 2011. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Mrs. Pearlie Haynes Robinson; his son, Edsel Ford Robinson, Jr. of Atlanta, Ga.; his daughter, Desiree Robinson-Phillips (Antonio) of Atlanta, Ga.; his brother, Hardwick Robinson (Sandra) of Chicago, Ill.; a cherished sister-in-law Vernice Beard (Joseph) of Thomasville, Georgia.; grandchildren: Tyler Isaiah Robinson, Taylor Symons Robinson, Skye Celeste Walker, Malcolm Ford Walker and Baron Haynes Walker; and a host of relatives and close friends.

Services arrangements for the Reverend Edsel F. Robinson, Sr.:

Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 11:00 AM
Turner Chapel AME Church
492 North Marietta Parkway
Marietta, Georgia 30060
Phone: (770) 422-6791
The Reverend Kenneth E. Marcus, Senior Pastor


Westview Cemetery
1680 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, GA 30310

Services entrusted to:

Murray Brothers Funeral Home
1199 Utoy Springs Road, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30331
Phone: (404) 349-3000
Fax: (404) 349-5001

Online guest book: http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/atlanta/guestbook.aspx?n=edsel-robinson&pid=148735321&cid=full

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Mrs. Pearlie M. Haynes Robinson & Family
115 Tellstone Point SW
Atlanta, GA 30331-9462

Email condolences: efmrs@bellsouth.net (Mrs. Pearlie M. Robinson)


We regretfully announce the passing of Sister Jessie Lee Bryant Clark, widow of the Late Rev. L.A. Clark of Jackson, Mississippi.

Sister Clark will be funeralized on:

Saturday, February 26, 2011, 11:00 A.M.
Viewing from 9:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
2202 Decatur Street
Jackson, MS 39213
(601) 355-8017

Services entrusted to:

Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home
3580 Robinson Road
Jackson, MS 39209
(601) 922-3666
(601) 922-5033 - FAX


Messages may be sent to:

Mr. Sidney L. Clark, Sr.
37 High Point Circle East, Apt. 602
Naples, Florida 34103


17 Bale Place
Neptune, New Jersey 07753


We regretfully announce the passing of Brother M. L. Berry, brother of the Rev. Sherman Berry, pastor of Union Chapel A.M.E. Church, Kentwood, Louisiana.

Brother Berry will be funeralized on:

Saturday, February 26, 2011
1:00 P.M.
Mt. Sinai United Methodist Church
420 Monticello St.
Hazlehurst, MS 39083
(601) 894-4346

Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home
19068 Highway 51
Crystal Springs, MS 39059
(601) 892-7770

Messages may be sent to:

The Rev. Sherman Berry
Union Chapel A. M. E. Church
23011 Silver Creed Road
Kentwood, Louisiana 70444


It is with deep regrets that we announce the passing of Mr. Acy William Snipes, Sr., the father of Mrs. Anna Marie Keith, 7th Episcopal District M-SWAWO plus PK's President, and the father-in-law of the Reverend Dr. Juenarrl Keith, Presiding Elder of the Orangeburg District of the Central Conference in the 7th Episcopal District. Bishop Preston Warren Williams II, is the Presiding Prelate of the 7th Episcopal District and will officiate at the Homegoing Celebration.

Homegoing Services:

Friday, February 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Mt. Lebanon African Methodist Episcopal Church
3445 County Line Road
Andrews, South Carolina 29510
(843) 221-5488 Church

Services entrusted to:

McKnight-Fraser Funeral Home, Inc.
406 West Ashland Street
Andrews, South Carolina 29510

Floral Arrangements:

In Lieu of Flowers, those desiring may make donations to:

Saint Andrews African Methodist Episcopal Church
107 South Beech Avenue
Andrews, SC 29510
(843) 264-5175


The Rev. & Mrs. Juenarrl Keith
329 Reown Drive
Georgetown, SC 29440.
843-992-1520 or 843-485-4853


We regret to inform you of the passing of Sister Agnes Allen. Sister Allen is the mother of the Rev. David Robinson, pastor of Bethany AME Church, Capital Heights, Maryland, the mother-in-law of the Rev. Colette Robinson, Bethany AME Church and the mother-in-law of the Rev. Vanetta Brice, ministerial associate at Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church, Bowie, Maryland and mother of Mr. Kenneth Brice. Sister Allen was 90-years-old.

Funeral Arrangements for Sister Agnes Allen:

Thursday, February 24, 2010
Viewing from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
"Celebration of Life" Service will begin at 11:00 a.m.

Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church
1001 Old Mitchellville Road
Bowie, Maryland 20716
The Rev. Jonathan L. Weaver, Pastor

For directions, you can go to www.gmnebo.org or call the church at

We ask for your prayers and support of the Rev. Robinson and the Rev. Brice during this time of bereavement.

Expressions of condolence may be sent to:

The Rev. David and Colette Robinson
9112 Fox Park Road
Clinton, Maryland 20735
Email: pastor@bethany-ame.org

The Rev. Vanetta and Mr. Kenneth Brice
700 Avis Drive
Largo, Maryland 20774
Email: vbrice@briceaccounting.com


We regret to announce the passing of Sister Lillian Coats, the wife of the late Rev. George A. Coates, 4th Episcopal District. Sister Coates served as First Lady in the Canadian Conference and in the Illinois Conference. She and Rev. George A. Coates served at St. Peter A.M.E. Church for over 40 years. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Service arrangements for Sister Lillian Coats:

Monday, February 21, 2011
Viewing: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
St. Peter A.M.E. Church
515 S. Church Street
Decatur, Illinois 62521

Phone (217) 423-5648
Fax: (217) 423-0569
Email: stpeterame@sbcglobal.net

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Family Hour: 10:00 a.m.
Funeral: 11:00 a.m.
St. Peter A.M.E. Church
515 S. Church Street
Decatur, Illinois 62521

Internment (immediately following service)
Greenwood Cemetery
606 S. Church Street
Decatur, Illinois 62522

Expression of Sympathy can be sent to:

George Coates, Jr.
102 S. Shores Ave.
Decatur, Illinois 62521

The Rev. Vivian D. Clarington, Pastor and Eulogist
The Rev. Tyson J. Parks, Presiding Elder
The Right Rev. John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop, Presiding Prelate, 4th Episcopal District


We are saddened to announce the death of Mrs. Rebecca Lewis Welch, the aunt of Mrs. Bernice Lee, District Consultant of the North Orlando District.

Arrangements are as follows:

Wake: February 19, 2011 12 - 1 p.m.

Holsey Chapel CME Church
515 East Suwannee Street
Fitzgerald, GA 31740

Funeral Services: February 19, 2011 at 1 p.m.

Holsey Chapel CME Church
514 East Suwannee Street
Fitzgerald, GA 317470
Ph (229) 423-7785

Services entrusted to:

Luke Strong and Son Mortuary
20 1st Street, NE
Moultrie, GA 31768
Ph (229) 890-1717
Fax (229) 985-7854

Condolences should be sent to:

Mrs. Bernice A. Lee
2450 King Richard Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
Ph (321) 254-7647
Fax (321) 254-5953


We regret to announce the passing of the Rev. Dr. Marguerite E. Handy. The Rev. Handy served as the Chief of Protocol for the First Episcopal District. She was an associate minister at Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Conference, West District) and she served as the Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Faith Based Initiatives. The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

Viewing and Funeral, Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Viewing - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Service of Celebration - 11:00 a.m.

Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church
428 North 41st Street
Phone: 215-386-6181
Fax: 215-386-3341
Email: info@mtpisgahamec.org

The Reverend Jay B. Broadnax, pastor an eulogist

Bishop Richard F. Norris will give Words of Comfort

Internment (immediately following service)
Fernwood Cemetery
6501 Baltimore Ave
Lansdowne PA, 19050

Expression of Sympathy can be sent to:

Mrs. Pamela Ball (Daughter)
420 Virginia Avenue
Milmont Park, PA 19033
Email: pamball21@yahoo.com


We regret to announce the passing of the Rev. Marion Elaine Allen Christian, local elder at St. Paul AME Church, Newport News, Virginia. Rev. Marion Elaine Allen Christian passed away on February 13, 2011.

The funeral has been held.


Expressions can be sent to:

The Rev. Christian’s sister, Mrs. Lynne C. Allen or her daughter, Ms. Sabrina Christian

1019 35th Street
Newport News, Virginia 23607

Submitted by,
St. Paul AME Church
Newport News, Virginia
(757) 245-6181
The Rev. Donald F. White, Sr., pastor


It is with heartfelt sympathy that we announce the death of the Rev. John Mainer, retired Presiding Elder in the 11th Episcopal District, after serving three Presiding Elder Districts, Orlando District-Central Conference, Lakeland District-West Coast Conference and Central District-South Conference. He had also served as an alternate member of the Judicial Council of the AME Church. The Rev. Mainer is survived by his wife, Mrs. Francina Maine; three daughters, one of whom is Mrs. Helen Mainer Hymes, First Lady of St. Paul AME Church in Fort Pierce Florida; Grandchildren and other relatives and friends.

Arrangements are as follows:

The funeral has been held.

Messages of Sympathy may be sent to:
Mrs. Francina L. Mainer
6177 Rhythm Circle
Orlando, FL 32808

Ph (407) 291-1385
Email: LjacqueL3@aol.com


We regret to announce the passing of Mrs. Margaret Chadrick, the mother of the Reverend Anthony P. Booker, pastor of Disney AME Church in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Conference, Philadelphia District). The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

The funeral has been held.

Expression of Sympathy can be sent to:

The Rev. Anthony P. & Mrs. Sheila D. Booker
118 E. Hortter Street
Philadelphia, PA 19119
Home: 215-849-6633


It is with sorrowful hearts that we announce the passing of Mrs. A.M.E. Marshall Logan, lifelong member of the A.M. E. Church, N.A.A.C.P icon, and "preacher's kid." Mrs. Logan was the daughter of the late Rev. J.C. Marshall, an A.M.E. pastor who loved the Church so much that he named his daughter "African Methodist Episcopal". Mrs. Logan was the widow of Mr. Styles Logan, Sr., and they were the parents of Styles Jr., Vivian (Leo) Hawkins, Shirley Logan Montague and Willis H. Logan.

The funeral has been held.

The Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Eulogist

Interment: Willow Park Cemetery
Jackson, MS

Arrangements entrusted to:
Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home, Inc.
3580 Robinson Road
Jackson, Mississippi 39209
Telephone: (601) 922-3666
FAX: (601) 922-5033


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.