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


- Pentecost Sunday: June 12, 2011


Third Episcopal District donates $100,000 to Wilberforce University


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

One of the loneliness jobs in the ministry might be reserved for the persons who are serving as presiding elders; that is, if they understand the parameters of the position.

When a person becomes a presiding elder he or she becomes a middle manager/leader. They are thrust into an important leadership position and it is important for persons who have been appointed to be presiding elders understand their leadership roles and the importance of their ministry to the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

One of the mistakes made by some presiding elders is not recognizing the change in job description of being a presiding elder; and making the mistake of thinking of the presiding elder’s appointment as an extension of his or her duties they had as a pastor.

Corporate America, governmental agencies and some religious organizations provide specific training opportunities when individuals transition from one position to another, and especially when employees are promoted.

In some organizations when a spouse is intrinsically involved with their spouse’s duties, the spouse is provided training also. For instance, in the United Methodist Church, when new district superintendents are appointed, training is provided for them and training is provided for spouses.

Not to get off point, but when pastors are provided training about issues involving the local church, it might be a good idea, at the same time, to provide training opportunities for the pastors’ spouses; and maybe some training for the children of the first families too, since all of them are so strategically involved in the ministry of the local church.

Training should be provided for all presiding elders of the AME Church so they know what to expect and know what is expected of them. Training should be provided for spouses also.

A common mistake made by a presiding elder is thinking that he or she is still one of the “guys or gals”; they are not. Once a pastor is blessed with being promoted to the position of presiding elder, he or she moves to a different level of the profession. Both the presiding elder and the pastors need to understand the boundaries of the supervisory relationship. There is an old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” It’s not always true, but sometimes contempt surfaces when there is too much familiarity. Supervision requires training if it is going to be effective.

The presiding elder is not peer of the pastors in his or her presiding elder district; and what make the position lonelier is that the presiding elder is not a peer of the bishop. And, to add to the loneliness is the presiding elder does not have a board of stewards or a trustee board. Unscheduled travel or emergency repairs to the home have to be borne by the presiding elder; no safety-net of a pastor’s aide club, steward or trustee board.

Leadership training is important and it is not only important for pastors, but leadership training is crucial for presiding elders. Presiding elders have to “grab the reins” of leadership in the district and must balance the fine-line of conveying the intent of the episcopal leadership, the AME Church Mission Statement and the needs of local churches and to ethically help pastors to navigate the needs of the local church and needs of the denomination, because sometimes is might appear that the two entities are going in different directions. Sometimes presiding elders make the mistake of not exhibiting the Wisdom of Solomon when dealing with issues of conflict related to the local church and the connectional church.

Another mistake presiding elders' make is putting themselves in the position of being perceived only as a “collector of the funds” because the collection of the budget and the quarterly conference assessment is the only issue they address. Pastors who meet their budgetary obligations are treated as first-tier pastors and pastors who might struggle or fail to meet their budgetary responsibilities are treated as second-tier pastors. And, some presiding elders do not deal with other pastoral issues and do not sit down regularly to counsel and mentor the pastors under their supervision.

Another mistake presiding elders' make is getting too involved in too many pastoral programs, in other words, too much presence. Presiding elders should be busy about the work of a presiding elder, which probably would not leave them much time to attend special programs at local churches uninvited.

Presiding elders should not make visits to the homes of parishioners. Presiding elders should not visit any homes of parishioners for any reason without the knowledge of the pastor. And, presiding elders should be extra vigilant in not visiting the homes of parishioners where the presiding elder served as pastor. Presiding elders should “cut” the ties with the members of the churches where the he or she has served as pastor.

The presiding elder is a supervisor of pastors. He or she stands between the clergy and the bishop and in that relationship, it is important for the bishop to insure that the presiding elder has the power of the position and that every pastor is clear about the delineation of the power of the presiding elder.

Some presiding elders don’t hold quarterly conferences and some presiding elders hold quarterly conferences too long; there has to be a balance. The quarterly conference gives the presiding elder a snapshot of what is going on in the local church. There are some issues that can only be addressed at the quarterly conference, but having said that, a quarterly conference should not take all night. People are busy and if quarterly conferences are too long, people will not attend.

In the military, colonels do not try to act like generals. If they did, they would be seen as being presumptive and probably would not be promoted to general. Colonels define their roles and they act like colonels. Lieutenant colonels do not act like colonels; Lieutenant colonels act like lieutenant colonels and they define their roles as lieutenant colonels.

I said all of that to say, another mistake that some presiding elders make is, acting like a bishop. Some presiding elders see themselves as little bishops, a position without portfolio. Presiding elders should define their roles as presiding elders and not mimic the behaviors of a bishop; and presiding elders who define their roles as presiding elders are respected as leaders.

There was a time, and I hope that the time was in the past, that the perception was that pastors who had nowhere to go were appointed presiding elders. The Rev. Dr. Ernest K. Emurian wrote a song about the selection of district superintendents in the United Methodist Church, entitled, “Flip Flop to the top.”

There should be power with the position of the presiding elder and that’s why leadership training for presiding elders is important.

In talking about power, at a connectional meeting a presiding elder shared that presiding elders are often given a “teaspoon of power” and when that “teaspoon of power” is used up, the presiding elder does not have any more power.

If the presiding elder position is going to be effective, presiding elders need more than a “teaspoon of power.” If the presiding elder is going to be a true middle manager/leader his or her words have to have meaning. When a presiding elder says, “We are going to have a meeting…” at such and such a date, at such and such a church, the ministers on the district need to understand that there will be a meeting and they will attend.

If pastors fail to respond to their presiding elder and if they disrespect the position of the presiding elder; that is in indication of a breakdown in authority; and, when there is a breakdown of authority, that situation needs to be addressed at the highest levels of the Church.

Training for presiding elders is the key for helping them to understand change and transition, conflict management, and helps them to develop strategies for implementing innovative programs on at the district and annual conference levels.

Presiding elders need to be given tools for responding to challenges that are part of the work of a presiding elder, including strategic appointment-making recommendations that have “teeth”; understand the importance of having "critical” face-to-face discussions with pastors and knowing how to provide difficult feedback to pastors and congregations.

And it is important for presiding elders to network with other colleagues from around the African Methodist Episcopal Church. A presiding elder who does not attend connectional meetings is short-changing his or her pastors and the episcopal team of the episcopal district.

And, one more thing

In this age of technology, presiding elders need to be proficient with technology; no more excuses about being too old to learn, age, etc. A presiding elder who submits a hand-written or report done on a typewriter should not be a presiding elder.

Training is an important key

Training should be provided for all presiding elders. Some training should be face-to-face, but a lot of the training could be done online – distance training; and in that way all of the training could be uniform.

Getting off the subject, AME History, Doctrine and Polity can be done via distance learning to insure uniformity across the denomination.

The position of being a presiding elder is a critical position and the African Methodist Episcopal Church must recapture and reignite the position of being a presiding elder.


When readers access The Christian Recorder Online at www.the-christian-recorder.org they are now able to select from 50 languages to read TCR. The drop-down block appears above my photo.

(1) Thanks to John Thomas III, 13th Episcopal District Member of the General Board for recommending and sending the information about this resource. We are using Powered by Google Translate system, which Mr. Thomas believes is more accurate than the present TCR translation system.

(2) Special thanks to the Rev. Al Paris, retired 10th Episcopal District Itinerant Elder and TCR Webmaster for doing the work of putting the Google Translate on TCR Blog site. He is preparing the link for “TCR Breaking News” and “TCR News Break” eBlasts. The Rev. Al Paris is also the owner of Faith Publishing and Consulting Corp. Additional information about Faith Publishing and Consulting Corps is forthcoming.

The Google Translate link has been put on the “TCR News Break” and “TCR Breaking News” messages. Subscribers are now able to choose the language they wish, to read “TCR News Break” and “TCR Breaking News.”

TCR is excited because making different languages available to those who read TCR Online is an evangelism tool for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the news of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Christian Recorder, available in multiple languages, is also an educational tool. Teachers are welcome to use TCR Online for classroom instruction.


- To the Editor:

Re: TCR News Break: Readout from The Congressional Black Caucus Meeting With President Obama

I am deeply disappointed with the CBC's meeting with the President. As an economist I can appreciated the importance of wanting to see expanded labor market opportunities for black Americans but the inconvenient truth is no President can "create" jobs. 75% of all jobs are created in the private sector not the public sector. The current fiscal/debt burden of the US precludes any aggressive public sector guaranteed job program. Private sector job stimulation is largely based on the availability of credit, consumer sentiment and risk perceptions. I would have liked to see the CBC talk with the President about reducing other things which immediately impact on the quality of black life like:

a). Reducing black-on-black homicides in our communities. According to the US Justice Department's Bureau of Crime Statistics, since 2000, over 30,000 blacks have been killed where 92% of the assailants are black.

b). Reducing the black high school dropout rate. Over 50% of black boys in major US cities fail to receive a high school diploma.

c). Reducing black unwed pregnancies. Nearly 75% of new black births since 1985 occur in households which are poor and under-educated thus raising the risk of an inter-generational cycle of poverty.

I rarely hear or read about black leaders (including black churches) focusing on a comprehensive strategy that targets the above "enemies of black life". A golden opportunity to discuss these matters with the President seems to have been squandered.

Bill Dickens
Lay President
Allen AME Church of Tacoma, WA


The following pastors will receive graduate honors from Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee this Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. The commencement exercises will be held at Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis.

The graduates are to be commended and congratulated for their commitment to their pastoral preparation.

The Rev. Agnes Henderson, Mt. Olive AME Church, Millington, Tennessee - MDiv
The Rev. Quinten Smith, Greater Payne Chapel AME Church, Memphis, Tennessee - MDiv
The Rev. Denise Richardson, Associate, Wrights Chapel AME Church, Arlington, Tennessee - MDiv
The Rev. Darrell Scott, Wilson Chapel AME Church, Memphis, Tennessee - MAR
The Rev. Verlie Horton, Christ Tabernacle AME Church, Memphis, Tennessee - DMin

About Memphis Theological Seminary
Memphis Theological Seminary, an ecumenical Protestant seminary serving from the Mid-South region, is committed to providing theological education for church leaders throughout the world. Besides the traditional Master of Divinity (MDiv), Memphis Theological Seminary also grants Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degrees as well as administering the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination's Program of Alternate Studies or PAS. The seminary is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and the Commission on Colleges and Schools of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award the above-mentioned degrees. The seminary is approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church to educate United Methodist theological students.

**Submitted by the Rev. I. W. Booker, The AME Connection, "Connecting ministry one saint at a time."


Master Plan for the Disaster Relief

The Reverend Ronald Sterling - Co-Coordinator
The Reverend Chris Walker, Co-Coordinator
The Reverend Vivian J. Ford, Co-Coordinator

Presiding Elder Albert L. Hyche, Montgomery Selma District
Presiding Elder Samuel Smith, Ozark Troy District
Presiding Elder David E. Reddick, Dothan Eufaula District
Presiding Elder Thomas E. Crossley, Tuskegee District
Presiding Elder Joseph Hall, Phenix District
Presiding Elder James E. Jackson, Camden District
Presiding Elder Ernest A. Rouse, Mobile District &
President of the Council of Presiding Elders
Presiding Elder Dwight E. Dillard, Birmingham Florence Tuscaloosa District
Presiding Elder Oliver Allen, South Birmingham Huntsville Bessemer District
Presiding Elder Willis Huggins, West Birmingham Ensley Greensboro District

Arelis B. Davis, WMS Supervisor
James L. Davis, Servant Bishop

9th Episcopal District – AME Church
P. O. Box 11705, Birmingham, AL 35202
205.326.4499 (office) 205.326.4434 (fax)
Email: jld123bishop@yahoo.com ** website: www.ninthamec.org

Public Statement

9th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Disaster Relief Plan of Action From the Desk of James L. Davis, Servant Bishop

May 4, 2011

Introductory Statement

I greet each of you today in the Joy of Jesus the Christ. Today we give thanks to God for the remarkable progress we have realized and the abundant offers of assistance from across the country. Again, America has shown her softer side as she rallies to soothe the pain of those affected by last week’s record-breaking storms. I am immensely grateful to each of you for your commitment to get the word out on how we will execute our plans to ease the pain and suffering of our fellow Alabamians affected by last week’s storms.

I am pleased to announce the names of the Coordinators of this effort for the 9th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church: The Reverend Ronald Sterling, Pastor of St. Paul AME Church, Smithfield; the Reverend Chris Walker, Pastor of St. Matthew AME Church, Birmingham; and the Reverend Vivian J. Ford. I have confidence in not only their abilities but also their sincere desire to bring relief to those who are homeless, discouraged, and despondent. They will keep me apprised of all operations, and I will be actively involved in execution of our plans.

Statement of Purpose And Clarity

During this collaborative execution, we will reap the benefits of the best of the sacred and secular worlds. The 9th District of the AME Church is partnering with two phenomenal social services agencies -- Mission Birmingham and the American Red Cross. We want to emphasize that our plans do not span a few weeks or a few months; we intend to remain engaged for the long haul, realizing that recovery and healing from devastation of this magnitude will take time.

Initiation of Plans

In response to the widespread devastation as a result of recent storms in Alabama, the 9th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that we will establish and operate five Relief Centers or CENTERS OF HOPE. Four centers will be located in the Birmingham, Alabama area, and one will be located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Centers of Hope will provide hot meals, food boxes, toiletries, clothing assistance, transportation services and other support for immediate and evolving needs; as well as provide information to assist displaced persons in completing FEMA forms, insurance claims, and other documents. The 9th Episcopal District will work in partnership with Mission Birmingham, The American Red Cross, and other social agencies to provide a coordinated effort to assist those in need. The Centers of Hope will be located in the following churches:

1) St. James AME Church, 529 5th Way Birmingham, AL 35214 – the Rev. Johnnie L. Edison Sr.

2) Lee Chapel AME Church – 4005 Lee Chapel Dr., Birmingham, AL 35224 – the Rev. Gregory McLeod

3) Bethel AME Church, Dolomite – 1225 Alexander St., Birmingham, AL 35061 – the Rev. Levi Billups

4) Bethel AME Church, Ensley – 1524 Ave D, Birmingham, AL 35218 – the Rev. Gloria Hall

5) St. Mark AME Church, 2715 18th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL 35204 – the Rev. Leodis Strong

We are not insensitive to the pain experienced in other parts of the state and country. As soon as practical we will expand our sphere of support and assistance into other regions beyond the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas. At this point, we must place our focus on areas hardest hit in the immediate geographical zones; however, we will make maximum use of our resources to assist as many persons as possible regardless of their location.

Rather than rush in with temporary fixes, we want to rush to insure that our plans are solid and will have the greatest likelihood of enduring the many challenges that lie ahead.

It is imperative that everyone who has a zeal to help will be patient as we mobilize and take full advantage of all the valuable skills, abilities and experience that God is providing for this great work. Visualize yourself in this long term process as it unfolds. There is a place for everyone in this collaborative, corporate mission, making it stronger than all of our well meaning individual efforts. I realize that Ninth District members are eager to help, and I applaud their generous spirit. However, I must emphasize the critical need for leaders and members of Alabama AME Churches to follow the Ninth Episcopal District’s lead on this initiative. Knowing that individuals will help via other channels as they feel led, I call each Presiding Elder, Pastor and Component Leader to encourage your entire team to follow leadership and assist in executing the Episcopal District’s Formal Plan of Action, including the list of ways to help included in this document. All 300 congregations will continuously be notified of your participation in our plan of action. Let us go into the valleys together, synchronized, and expecting to be successful as we move forward with relief to those in need.

Operational start date is projected for May 14, 2011.

Community notifications will be made by Ninth District Headquarters staff via press releases. We will distribute fliers in the community, to Red Cross, FEMA, Mission Birmingham, etc. as required.
For more information, please contact the 9th Episcopal District Office at 205.326.4499.

It should be understood that every phase is led by prayer and a belief that God will make all things right through the hands of the faithful!

Ninth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Disaster Relief Plan of Action
James L. Davis, Servant Bishop
May 4, 2011

The Plan to Meet the Immediate Need

Phase 1

1. Relief Centers are located near the areas of devastation. They will provide food, clothing, transportation, assessment of emergency needs, and information to persons affected by the storms. Operational start date is projected for May 14, 2011 with hours of operation from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Churches that will serve as Centers of Hope are:

1) St. James AME Church, 529 5th Way Birmingham, AL 35214 – The Rev. Johnnie L. Edison Sr.

2) Lee Chapel AME Church – 4005 Lee Chapel Dr., Birmingham, AL 35224 – The Rev. Gregory McLeod
3) Bethel AME Church, Dolomite – 1225 Alexander St., Birmingham, AL 35061 – The Rev. Levi Billups

4) Bethel AME Church, Ensley – 1524 Ave D, Birmingham, AL 35218 – The Rev. Gloria Hall

5) St. Mark AME Church, 2715 18th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL 35204 – The Rev. Leodis Strong

We are not insensitive to the pain experienced in other parts of the state and country. As soon as practical we will expand our sphere of support and assistance into other regions beyond the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas. At this point, we must place our focus on areas hardest hit in the immediate geographical zones; however, we will make maximum use of our resources to assist as many persons as possible regardless of their location.

2. Immediate Actions

• Assess Needs of Individuals in the areas surrounding the Centers of Hope. The Connectional Church is standing by to help us. We must be ready to receive that help. It is our intent that each Center will be stocked and staffed to attend to the special needs of the areas it will support.

• Identify those AME members whose homes have been completely destroyed. We will help them first financially; then we will assist those whose homes were damaged but not destroyed. Our planned assistance will go only as far as our resources, and pastors will be asked to verify the extent of loss.

• Prayerfully seek out a Coordinator who will be assigned to each Center. This person will assist the pastors. This is a critical piece.

• Recruit Committed Volunteers from within the surrounding local churches. This is an area where everyone can pitch in. Disseminate requests for volunteers to all churches for van drivers, relief center volunteers, clean-up crews, and persons with construction skills. The main requirement for volunteering is long-term commitment. Many hands will make the work light, and no one will have to carry a heavy load. The Ninth District Disaster Relief Coordinators will train Relief Center coordinators.

• Develop tentative schedules of operation for the center and establish work schedules for volunteers. When fully operational, Centers of Hope will provide two meals per day, with food provided by area churches.

3. Pastors and other leaders must be mindful that this is a concerted effort, and that there is a reason that God saw fit to leave our church houses virtually unaffected. We can be a blessing and receive a blessing in the midst of this catastrophe. Your enthusiasm and zeal are appreciated, but we must proceed with deliberate precision so that we can complete this marathon; for this will not be a brief sprint.

Phase 2

We will mobilize and begin collecting the following items, which will be stored in the warehouses of our partner, Mission Birmingham. As needs are assessed, these items will be moved to the Centers, tailored to that area’s requirements. Those who desire can begin purchasing these items and have them available when we are ready to proceed with this phase.


• Antibiotic Cream
• Antiseptic Wipes
• Aspirin
• Bandages
• Blankets
• Candles
• Combs/Brushes
• Deodorant
• Diapers
• Flashlights
• Hand Sanitizer
• Laundry Detergent
• Lotion
• Medical Tape
• Shampoo
• Sanitary Napkins
• Sleepers
• Soap
• Sterile Gauze
• Toothbrushes
• Toothpaste
• Towels
• Tylenol
• Water
• Wet Naps


- Provide A Hot Meal To One Of The Centers
- Gift card
- Give monetary donations: Make Checks Payable to: 9th Episcopal District Disaster Relief Fund and mail to the 9th Episcopal District AME Church, P. O. Box 11705, Birmingham, AL 35202.

Phase 3

United Efforts
1. Over the course of this recovery period, we will schedule from 5 to 7 Cleanup Campaigns in the disaster areas. The 9th Episcopal District welcomes our Connectional AME Church brothers and sisters and those in the community to join us as we roll up our sleeves and do what needs to be done. The Ninth District will provide clean-up crews to the American Red Cross, Mission Birmingham, and our other partners to assist with clean-up in areas of devastation. Dates and other details TBA.

2. As we progress, we will continue collecting needed supplies upon the request of social service partners, Mission Birmingham and American Red Cross. Because of the vast experience of Mission Birmingham and the phenomenal Global Impact of the American Red Cross, their resources and knowledge will be invaluable to us. Remember that this is for the long haul.

3. We will coordinate our efforts with Mission Birmingham, the Red Cross, FEMA, Mayor’s task force and the Neighborhood Associates.

It should be understood that every phase is led by prayer and a belief that God will make all things right through the
hands of the faithful!

Frequently Asked Question

How can I help?

1. You may collect needed items as listed and have them sent to our warehouse located at Christian Service Mission, 3600 3rd Avenue, South, Birmingham, AL 35222 or to either of the Centers of Hope. Please make the district office aware of your intent and shipping date so that all necessary preparations are made to receive your items and divided amongst all of our centers.

2. Gift Cards are essential. The persons we are seeking to help in most instances have no permanent place at this time to prepare a meal. Therefore, we are not receiving any can goods or foods for distribution at this time. Gift Cards and all financial assistance should be mailed to the 9th Episcopal District AME Church Headquarters, c/o 9th District Disaster Relief Fund, P. O. Box 11705, Birmingham, AL 35202. Your gifts will be acknowledged and a report of its usage will be sent in a timely manner.

3. You may volunteer at any one of the Centers of Hope

a. Helping to prepare meals
b. Distributing our resources
c. Being available to drive others to the doctors, pharmacy, insurance company, etc.

4. Churches, Organizations, Fraternities, Sororities may choose one day to assume the responsibility of providing and serving a meal at one of the centers. If that is your desire, you may register your desire to the 9th District Office via email – jld123bishop@yahoo.com and it will be forwarded to the committee and they will coordinate it in the schedule.

5. Volunteering to serve on the cleanup campaign is not available at this time; we are awaiting clearance through the American Red Cross. The dates for this opportunity will be posted on our website www.ninthamec.org should you or your organization choose to serve in this capacity.

More information is forthcoming as we proceed in the disaster relief. All questions may be directed to the 9th District Office at 205.326.4499 and they will be forwarded to the committee.

Let’s remember that our brothers and sisters need as much help during these challenging times as we can provide. If you want to make a difference, email us at jld123bishop@yahoo.com or call us at 205.326.4499.

It should be understood that every phase is led by prayer and a belief that God will make all things right through the hands of the faithful!


Dear Fellow Bible Speed-readers,

It has taken me a few days to make my way back to the front of the Bible-reading band. I confess that I am a couple of days behind. The series of Annual Conferences is one reason; Inspiration is another. As soon as I get to a speed-reading gallop, the Holy Spirit asks, “Did you see that?” So with iPad technology that allows me to also take notes and jot down thoughts, my blinding speed-reading is slowed to a crawl to allow for reflection. I have just concluded the reading of II Chronicles.

During this period, I have also had the benefit of reading the sentiments of many in our network through The Christian Recorder regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden. Reading the Bible and also keeping up with the news (like the dictum attributed to Karl Barth that the faithful should read both the Bible and the newspaper, and interpreting the newspaper with the Bible) provides an interesting perspective. It's a curious thing about the theology surrounding how the people of the Book were to deal with their enemies. The Hebrew Scriptures are replete with messages about leaders who were wicked. It should be noted that not all of the enemies of Israel were Philistines. Some of the leaders, counted among the wicked, were Hebrew monarchs. We should also be mindful that not all of the monarchs were men. Just in time for Mother's Day is the wicked and infamous Queen Athaliah, queen of Judah, the antithesis of the beloved paradigm that we honor in women. Lest we miss another salient feature of the Book, some of the "enemies" of Israel were considered to be agents of God. There were also leaders from whom the Lord withdrew His presence and fellowship. Did we miss the lesson about Saul?

I will leave it to those who will read my words to draw their own conclusions about the inferences contained in these narratives from the Book we still call "holy." Perhaps there is no relevance about the biblical narratives to our current reality. However, if we say there is no inference to be drawn, we are going to have to find another source from which to draw our lessons about victory over enemies, spiritual or otherwise. One thing is clear; the people of the Book always celebrated victory over the enemy. I still love the New Testament, and I am influenced by the words and spirit of Jesus Christ. However, right now I am immersed in the Hebrew Scriptures, a part of the Bible from which I have been known to preach Christian sermons from time to time.

Osama Bin Laden was not a mere enemy of the United States. If he had been only that, it would be a reasonable and justifiable take on why many of our readers should be offended by the "celebrations" or the "relief" that many (not only Americans) are feeling now that he is dead. Lest we forget that the world has been a very dangerous place in the days since Bin Laden came to prominence. It will likely continue to be a dangerous place (at least for a while) perhaps precisely because he is dead. No national military has paid a higher sacrifice in fatalities than Pakistan’s military. The carnage has been multi-national. For the average person, air travel (especially international travel) has been particularly stressful. We just don’t know what the next passenger is carrying in their brief case (or underwear), or the possible chemical combinations in their toiletries (or baby formula), or the WMDs in the soles of their shoes. These are things we never had to worry about (or think about) before. Whatever may have been Bin Laden’s objectives, a lot of innocent Muslims also died.

As I have paid attention to the stories in my speed-reading, here is a sampling of the usual eulogy for many of the kings of Israel and Judah: “He did evil in the sight of the Lord and led the people to commit the same horrible sins practiced by the nations who preceded them.” Perhaps the epitaph given in connection with the death of King Jehoram also applies to Osama Bin Laden, “He died to no one’s regret.” (II Chronicles 21:20). I wrote in my notes, "a man died and no one cared or cried."

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


*David R. Brown is a Commander, U. S. Navy, Chaplain Corps

The Virginia Annual Conference was held May 10-14 at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth, Virginia.

To Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson:

I am pleased to offer this 16th report to the Virginia Annual Conference as an itinerant elder serving as a chaplain in the United States Navy. God has been very gracious to me in my professional as well as my personal life. My family continues to be my biggest supporters and I could not do what I do as a chaplain without them.

Background: Last July, I concluded my tour as the Chaplain Program Officer for Navy Recruiting Command. Recruiting duty was one of the most rewarding tours that I have had in the Navy. I was blessed to conclude that tour with the distinction of leading the nation in chaplain recruiting.

Current Assignment: In August, I reported for duty at the Office of the Navy Chief of Chaplains, which is located at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. I’m assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps (Code REL) as the Assistant Deputy Chaplain of the Marine Corps. Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, the Chaplain of the Marine Corps, is my direct supervisor.

Responsibilities: I am responsible for Current Operations in religious ministries throughout the Marine Corps. That’s specific oversight for the religious ministry teams and programs that support over 200,000 Marines, Sailors and families around the world. It’s strategic, “big picture” ministry that deals more with policy and programs vice parishioners.

Here are some examples of the programs under my purview:

- Force Distribution – the global assignment and employment of religious ministry teams in support of Marine forces.

- Spiritual Fitness –assists Marines and Sailors with assessing their spiritual condition.

- Warrior Resilience – efforts we conduct to ensure that Marines and Sailors are ready to fight but are healthy at home.

- Operational Stress Control – programs that help mitigate combat stress disorders, such as PTSD, and also allow members to process their combat experiences

- Suicide Prevention – preserving and protecting the lives of those we serve through pastoral care and the promotion of bystander intervention.

- Marriage Enrichment/Personal Growth Retreats - Both designed to produce healthy families and individuals.

- Flag Writer - production of strategic correspondence—letters, speeches, even sermon outlines—for the Chaplain of the Marines Corps.

One of most important—and poignant—responsibilities that I have is the supervision of a religious ministry team at Dover Mortuary Affairs Operations at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. This team provides pastoral support to the families of fallen Marines and Sailors upon the repatriation of their remains to the United States. The whole process is known as a dignified transfer.

Conclusion: At this point in my career, I see myself as a mentor for any chaplain who seeks my assistance. God has made it quite clear: I am “here” (at the Pentagon) for everyone else. What I provide to my colleagues and junior chaplains is oversight, information, advice and, when required, leverage. My aim is to raise the level of my mentoring to the point where one could make a correlation between how well one is doing and how often one stays in touch with me. Again, I am here to serve others.

Thank you, Bishop Richardson, for the opportunity to apprise you and the privilege to address the Virginia Annual Conference. May God richly bless you!

The Virginia Annual Conference was held May 10-14 at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth, Virginia.

*David R. Brown is a Commander, U. S. Navy, Chaplain Corps and is stationed at the Pentagon


The Reverend Dennis C. Dickerson, Ph.D., Senior General Officer and Historiographer/Executive Director of the Department of Research & Scholarship in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, has just published "Liberation, Wesleyan Theology, and Early African Methodism, 1760-1840" in Wesley and Methodist Studies, Volume 3, (Manchester, UK, Didsbury Press, 2011).

This publication comes out of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre and the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University in Didsbury, Manchester, England. Dr. Dickerson, a well known Wesleyan scholar, is a Candidate for the Bishopric at the 2012 General Conference. Remember The Dickerson Difference.

"What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?" Judges 14:18


*The Rev. B. Williams Waters is the associate pastor of Joy Tabernacle AME Church

Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas is one of six congregations nationally awarded a 2011 VocationCare Practice Grant from the Fund for Theological Education in Atlanta, Georgia. The award was given at FTE’s Grantees Conference held at The Luce Center in Atlanta, Georgia on the campus of Emory University. Joy Tabernacle was awarded the grant to expand its The Macedonian Project, an outreach ministry empowering adolescent males through education, spiritual development and discipleship, life-skills training and mentoring. Representing Joy Tabernacle were the Rev. Michael W. Waters, founder and Senior Pastor, Brother V. Glenn Sowells, Steward Pro-Tem of Joy Tabernacle, and Brother Shaquan Hurd, Junior Steward and a participant in The Macedonian Project.

The Macedonian Project was first conceived and implemented by Rev. Waters as his ministry project when in 2002 he was selected as one of 39 FTE Ministry Fellows. In its evaluation, FTE called The Macedonian Project a “national model” for community outreach. Waters’ association with FTE has continued: he was invited to serve as Mentor Pastor to four of the twenty 2010 Ministry Fellows. Recently, Rev. Waters was invited to return as Mentor Pastor to Ministry Fellows in the 2011 in-coming class. The Macedonian Project is an outreach initiative of the Men of Joy who serve as mentors in the program. Young men ages 12-17 can participate.

Fueled by an ever-increasing vision to provide holistic ministries that meet the needs of urban communities, in the two years since its founding, Joy Tabernacle has supported multiple initiatives towards improving public education and empowering urban youth. Joy Tabernacle was the sole church invited to participate in the 2010 Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Principal for A Day Program, and subsequently, Joy Tabernacle adopted Pearl C. Anderson Middle School of South Dallas. Joy has provided on-going support to the African American Success Initiative of DISD that seeks to increase African American student performance and the Child Protective Service Collaborative Law Project of Dallas County that provides families with pro bono collaborative services to better mediate their case in the best interest of the children involved The church has been invited to join the P.E.A.C.E. (Parents, Educators, and Clergy for Education) Project, a national initiative of Faith Leaders for Community Change whose purpose is to develop partnerships to improve the quality of public education in America.

For the past two years Joy Tabernacle has served as worship participants with Rev. Waters delivering the annual lecture at the Gospel Brunch, the closing event of the Tulisoma South Dallas Book Fair and Literary Arts Festival. This festival is the largest African American book fair in the Southwest. This year, Dallas City Councilperson Carolyn R. Davis (District 7), whose office hosts the annual event, has requested that Joy Tabernacle coordinate a youth empowerment and literacy program for the 2011 Tulisoma.

Embracing its name as a “moving” House of Worship, the members of Joy Tabernacle have founded ministries to provide feeding programs to the homeless, supported addiction recovery programs, provided on-going support to young unwed mothers, and volunteered at elderly-assistant homes, among other outreach initiatives. The congregation has also supported Connectional missions to India and Haiti.

Joy Tabernacle is the fastest-growing church in the North Texas Annual Conference of the Tenth Episcopal District. Its pastor, the Rev. Waters, was named one of the top young leaders in America by Ebony Magazine in 2009. Waters, who is an honors graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Religious Studies and a Master of Divinity degree in Urban Ministry and African American Church Studies from the SMU Perkins School of Theology. He is currently completing his dissertation towards the Doctor of Ministry degree at the University. Waters serves as chair of the Board on Evangelism for the Tenth Episcopal District.

The Rev. Waters is wonderfully married to Attorney Yulise Reaves Waters, a founding partner of the Law Offices of Cox Waters, PLLC and president of the North Texas Conference Clergy Spouses. They are the proud parent of two children: Michael Jeremiah (4) and Hope Yulise (1).

Website: www.joytabernacleame.org; Contact Joy Tabernacle: email: joytabame@aol.com; telephone, church office: 214-565-8975

*The Rev. B. Williams Waters is the associate pastor of Joy Tabernacle AME Church


On Saturday, May 21, 2011, 12:00 noon, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church will honor the Rev. Johanna Newberry Green at an Appreciation Luncheon. Ticket Price: $25.00

The Reverend Johanna Newberry Green has attended and served at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church her entire life.

She was baptized as an infant at the church by the Rev. William H. Thomas, Metropolitan’s pastor at the time.
In 1943, under the pastorate of the Rev. J. Campbell Beckett, Johanna became a fourth generation Metropolitan member. Her great-grandparents were among those church members who washed bricks that were used to build the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church edifice.

Born in Washington, D.C., Johanna Newberry is the daughter of the late Hudson and Helen Newberry, the maternal granddaughter of Stewardess Florence Douglas Butler, and the eighth of fourteen children. Johanna was joined in Holy Matrimony to David F. Green in 1951, by the Rev. G. Dewey Robinson, who along with his wife Darrie C. Robinson nurtured Johanna and David’s relationship. David Green, a soft-spoken, unassuming gentleman, has been supportive and encouraging to his wife as she pursued the calling and anointing on her life. Though David too was employed, first in private industry and then later in the federal government, he was there with and for his family, available to assist Johanna in whatever was needed at that particular phase in their lives. David always sought to be a strong and compassionate helpmate to his wife and father to his family. The Greens will celebrate 60 years of marriage in July 2011. They are proud parents to two daughters, Francine C. Green Robinson and Jacqueline Green Stanton; grandparents of seven, Imani Nock, Jennifer Bruce, Kimberly Stanton, Janelle Bruce, Aaron Blue, Dwayne Stanton, and David Stanton; and great-grandparents to two, Jaron Bruce and D’mitric Stark.

The words of the hymn “To God be the Glory” by Fannie Crosby, describe a major part of Johanna’s praise testimony and reflection on a portion of her life’s journey in ministry. She has said, “I thank God for the great things He has done through others for me and for my recognition and response… and the impact it has had on my life – a really graced and blessed journey!”

Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, its pastors and members, have been very pivotal and essential in the spiritual growth and maturity of Johanna Newberry Green. As the Rev. Robinson started, many persons continued to give Johanna similar encouragement and guidance. She enhanced and developed her biblical knowledge, skills in service, and leadership experience through work in the church, particularly Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. This training was meaningful and beneficial as Johanna pursued a professional career.

From her childhood years, Johanna Newberry was trained in the Sunday Church School Beginners/Primary Department through her tenure in the Young Adult Class. She served as an intern with Mrs. Alverta Thornton in the Sunday Church School Primary Department. There Johanna developed personally and spiritually, even strengthening her ability to be in service to others. In the early 1960’s Johanna was asked to be an apprentice teacher. She later joined the Church School staff as a teacher, and eventually was assigned as the Acting Superintendent of the Primary Department. Johanna was blessed through her participation in Vacation Bible School; Junior Choir; Allen Christian Endeavor League; Junior Missionary Department; and Young Adult Club, among various other church organizations. Each organization proved to be excellent training opportunities. Through personal reading, studying God’s Word, and explaining the relevance of the scriptures to children and adults, Johanna was continually growing in her own personal understanding of the Word.

As an adult, Johanna actively worked in the Sunday Church School, was elected and served on Metropolitan’s Board of Trustees, and joined the Sarah Allen Missionary Society. She had a thirst for knowledge, was inspiring and encouraging to all, and strived to uplift others. Church leaders saw these admirable character traits in Johanna and thus guided and recommended that she assume more leadership roles at Metropolitan, as well as on the Conference, District, and Connectional levels of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS).

The Rev. Frank M. Reid, Jr., in addition to giving guidance to strengthen the Green Family, encouraged Johanna to attend Continuing Religious Education courses that were taught in evening school. The Rev. Reid felt that Johanna’s skills and abilities, which were so effectively nurtured and used in service to Metropolitan, should be shared with a wider audience. Her commendable and dedicated work as a member of Metropolitan’s Sarah Allen Missionary Society was recognized by others and seemed to be a natural progression for her to embark upon greater opportunities of mission service. Johanna became the Local Director of the Junior Department of Metropolitan’s Missionary Society, predecessor of the Young People’s Division (YPD).

Johanna has said, “In my work as a missionary, my knowledge of the Bible grew; this increased even more when I put the teaching of Christian social outreach responsibilities into action. I served the poor, the disinherited, the sick and shut-in, and others. Even my employment in the federal government was influenced and blessed by my missionary service. Learning, participating in, and teaching others God’s way of living as faithful believers was both challenging and rewarding.”

Johanna was elected YPD Director of the Washington Conference Branch WMS and later YPD Director of the Second Episcopal District WMS. In 1980, she was elected Connectional YPD Director by missionary delegates representing A.M.E. churches nationally and globally. Johanna, who has a great appreciation and enthusiasm for travel, as the Connectional YPD Director visited many locations in the United States, the Caribbean, West Africa, South Africa, Europe, as well as places in Asia. Her travels included visits to various churches and attendance at A.M.E. and other denominational and ecumenical conferences and meetings. She found mission outreach to be meaningful and exciting work.

While Connectional YPD Director, Johanna was challenged by an A.M.E. bishop to demonstrate her concern for her sisters and brothers in Christ in West Africa, the 14th Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. A caring person, Johanna showed her concern through action, which manifested itself as the foundation of her missionary service through the WMS. During a six-week missionary journey Johanna had a spiritual epiphany. This out of body experience where her spiritual body hovered above her physical body had a dramatic impact on the direction of Johanna’s life. She sought spiritual counseling to interpret and understand the meaning of this experience; and after a conversation with her pastor, Rev. Rodger Hall Reed, he then referred Johanna to Dean Lawrence Jones at Howard University. Johanna subsequently decided to continue her educational studies and she earned a master’s degree in Religious Studies in 1988.

Before Johanna completed her thesis in December 1987, she consented to fill a temporary position as one of the Protestant chaplains in the Campus Ministry Office at Georgetown University. In 1989, Johanna was encouraged by her superiors at Georgetown to apply to enter the ordained ministry of the A.M.E. Church. She accepted the advice and was ordained a Local Deacon in May 1989, assigned to serve as an assistant minister at Metropolitan. The Rev. Green then became an Associate Protestant Chaplain of Campus Ministry at Georgetown University. For seven years, the Rev. Green assisted Georgetown students through a ministry called, “Worship in the Gospel Tradition.” Each week she provided spiritual guidance and counseling to approximately 100 students at the Sunday worship services and evening Bible Study classes.

Serving Metropolitan from 1989 through December 2010, Rev. Green was assigned the responsibility for sick and shut-in visitation, which included serving Holy Communion to persons she visited. She started The Anchors Ministry to support and embrace new members of Metropolitan. The Anchors members welcome, pray with, provide church orientation, and serve as a connection and contact point for persons just joining the church.

The Rev. Green believes that events are divinely ordered. She stated that “we are all given opportunities for service. We have to make the decision to be available to be used by God. We must be open to the Holy Spirit in our lives and to God’s purpose to extend love and nurturing to others through us. We must experience being chosen.” Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, its pastors and members have served as a catalyst and a place of incubation for the Rev. Green’s spiritual growth and maturity.

Education and learning were always centerpieces of Johanna Newberry Green’s personal and professional development. She was educated in the District of Columbia Public School system; graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology (Howard University, DC), completed after retiring from federal employment; and earned a Master’s degree in Religious Studies (Howard University, DC).

Johanna retired in 1980, from a federal government career that spanned 29½ years of dedicated service. She began her federal service as a GS-2 and retired as a GS-14. During her career Johanna served in a Personnel Management Intern Program which culminated in a senior-level professional position in Organization and Management. At the time of her retirement Johanna was serving as the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator for the Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor. She also worked for the Veterans Administration, State Department, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). While employed in the federal government, Johanna had the rare opportunity to have flown as a passenger on one of the U.S. presidential aircrafts.

The Rev. Green has served as a Protestant Chaplain for Campus Ministries, Georgetown University (DC) and was an Associate on staff of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.

**Submitted by Mrs. Jacqueline Dupont walker and extracted from the Metropolitan AME Church Newsletter


Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Presiding Prelate
Dr. Patricia McCloud, Episcopal Supervisor

The Angola Annual Conference
Angola Conference WMS Convention: 24 August 2011
Angola Annual Conference
25 – 28 August 2011
Host Church: Job AME Church, Luanda

The Namibia Annual Conference
Namibia Annual Conference WMS Convention: 31 August 2011
Namibia Annual Conference
01 – 04 September 2011
Host Church: Windhoek

The Queenstown Annual Conference
Queenstown Annual Conference WMS Convention: 14 September 2011
Queenstown Annual Conference
15 – 18 September 2011
Host Church: Mdantsane

The Eastern Cape Annual Conference
Eastern Cape Conference WMS Convention: 28 September 2011
Eastern Cape Conference
29 – 02 October 2011
Host Church: F.C. James, Port Elizabeth

The Kalahari Annual Conference

Kalahari Conference WMS Convention: 12 October 2011
Kalahari Annual Conference
13 – 16 October 2011
Host Church: Pampierstad

The Cape Annual Conference

Cape Annual Conference WMS Convention: 09 November 2011
Cape Annual Conference
10 – 13 November 2011
Host Church: Sims Chapel, Montagu

Amadodana Convention

17 – 19 November 2011
Host Church: Mt Horeb AME Church, Grahamstown

15th Episcopal District Planning Meeting
02 – 03 December 2011
Bethel Memorial, Hazendal

Cape Conference Mid Year Meeting
13th – 14th April 2012
Host Church: Gow Chapel, AME Church

Namibia and Angola Mid Year Meeting
20 – 21 April 2012
Host Church: Windhoek

Queenstown, Eastern Cape, Kalahari Mid Year Meeting
27 – 28 April 2012
Host Church: F.C. James, AME Church, Port Elizabeth



Copies of the Scholarship Applications for the Connectional Lay Organization can be accessed on the CLO Website.

Please feel free to forward the applications throughout all Episcopal Districts. Please ensure that the applications are reviewed for adherence to deadline submission. The applications will also be posted to the Connectional Lay Organization Website.


Compliments of Mrs. Helen Brown Oliver

**Submitted by Mrs. Eileen S. Warner

Editor’s Note: If you don’t share this information and if young people don’t apply they cannot be recipients of any of these generous scholarships. God provides food of the birds, but God does not drop the food in their nests. I would hope people reading this message would share it with the young people in their churches; and I would hope that students, in need, who receive this information, would take the time and initiative to apply. Please share this information.


Washington, DC - Today, the Congressional Black Caucus held their first full Caucus meeting with President Obama. The CBC emphasized the importance of innovative job and wealth creation, especially for the African American community, which is the hardest hit by the recession. President Obama and the CBC discussed a myriad of issues, but jobs were the primary focus including ways to address the conditions of the long term unemployed. The CBC commended President Obama on the successful military action taken by the Administration and our armed forces in capturing Osama bin Laden. Additionally, the CBC acknowledged the importance of Assistant Leader, Jim Clyburn’s significant role in the budget deficit and debt ceiling discussions.

The CBC expressed to the President the importance of immediately identifying resources available for investment for critical programs that serve vulnerable communities. The Caucus proposed the idea of youth jobs through aid and clean-up of the recent tornado and flood ravished areas. President Obama expressed his commitment to short and long term strategies to ensure economic growth thereby creating a more prosperous America. The President also assured the Caucus of their critical role as a partner in addressing the economic woes of our time. President Obama expressed his goal to create a robust economy that will generate jobs for those in the African American community and for all Americans. The Congressional Black Caucus is committed to continuing its work with the Obama Administration to get America back to work.


Click Here: http://withoutsanctuary.org/movie_play.html

This is a piece called "Without Sanctuary.” The link contains very graphic historical images and deals with a very serious subject: http://withoutsanctuary.org/movie_play.html

We must not forget! Our children must not forget.


Education and Leadership Ministries Commission gathers to ponder the future of Christian Formation

Evanston, Ill., May 9, 2011 -- The future of Christian formation in the ecumenical context was considered here April 27-29 by Christian educators at a conference sponsored by the National Council of Churches' Education and Leadership Ministries Commission (ELMC).

The Rev. Dr. Daryl B. Ingram, chair, Education and Leadership Ministries Commission.

Leaders who attended the conference agreed that education must be a major component of church program and mission. "The proper question," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC general secretary, "is not, 'Does the church have an educational program?' but 'Is the church as a whole programmed for education?'"

In a message welcoming participants, the Rev. Garland F. Pierce, NCC associate general secretary for ELMC, expressed the hope that the ecumenical space provided for the conference "will be broad and spacious enough for us to wrestle with the difficult issues and realities of our times."

Christian education, Pierce said, is an essential discipleship resource "for the empowerment of people, the strengthening of the church, the good of the world, and to the glory of God."

The conference marked Pierce's last official function at the National Council of Churches. He has been named a senior assistant to the World Council of Churches general secretary, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, and will live in Geneva, Switzerland.

Psalm 66:12c set the scene for the conference: "...Yet you have brought us out to a spacious place."

"That space," said the Rev. Mayra Casta┼łeda, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Westfield, N.J., and a conference planner, "was framed through the lens of acknowledging past of the education stream in the ecumenical movement, the viewing of snapshots of the present and envisioning of the future with hope and innovation, to move from information to transformation and new methodologies and pedagogies that are relevant to today’s world with its media and technological teaching/learning world views and spiritual quest."

In his address, Kinnamon presented four educational principles that have guided the National Council of Churches in society, and four that have guided the NCC in the education of the church.

Kinnamon said: "We at the NCC have maintained that faith formation, in this era and setting, demands a) biblical literacy (through which we learn to challenge our culturally-shaped prejudices), b) interfaith literacy (through which we come to know neighbors who adhere to other religions), c) cross-cultural literacy (through which we come to relativize our own perspectives by encountering those of others), and d) social literacy (through which we move beyond the individualism of our culture, including the tendency to see education solely in terms of personal betterment). I hope we will add to this list during our days together." President Philip Anderson of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary brought greetings.
Other presenters were:

Fr. Dr. Ioan Sauca, director of the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, who spoke on ecumenical formation and global Christianity; the Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, editor of The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, who spoke on "Snapshots of the Present;" and the Rev. Dr. Joseph V. Crockett, American Bible Society, who spoke on the bible and Christian formation.

Also, the Rev. Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, who spoke on formation for justice and witness; the Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, president of the Seminary Consultation for Urban Pastoral Education, who spoke on leadership development and formation in the context of religious pluralism; and Dr. Marcia Bunge, Valparaiso University, who spoke on childhood and formation.
Also, Dr. Julie Lytle, Episcopal Divinity School, who spoke on the media and technology and the implications for faith formation; John Roberto, Lifelong Formation, who spoke on the future of faith formation; and the Rev. Dr. Daryl B. Ingram, chair, Education and Leadership Ministries Commission.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.


By Bishop Don DiXon Williams

You’ve surely heard something in the news lately about our nation’s federal budget and debt ceiling, or credit limit. There are many implications of the fiscal year 2012 budget proposals and the debt ceiling, but perhaps the most dramatic are the possible impacts on hungry and poor people. As citizens and as people of faith, there are a few things you need to know.

Contrary to what you may be hearing, only 14 percent of our federal dollars go to domestic social safety-net programs (not including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program). But these programs do a lot to ensure people do not go hungry. In 2009, for example, U.S. poverty reached record levels—14.3 percent for the general population and 25.8 percent among African-Americans! However, poverty and food insecurity would have been much higher had it not been for social safety nets such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps), unemployment insurance, and federal feeding programs, which helped feed millions of families.

At the same time, less than 1 percent of our federal budget goes to foreign assistance programs for hungry and poor people. However small the percentage of the budget, U.S. foreign aid provides school breakfast and lunch for 5 million children each year; supportive care for more than 10.1 million people affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide, including more than 4 million orphans and vulnerable children; vaccines that save 3 million lives each year; and clean water and sanitation projects for 750 million people. Cuts to U.S. foreign aid will cost lives, add to global instability, and have long-term consequences for America’s leadership role and national security.

The bottom line is, in the wake of one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen, people—your friends, relatives, neighbors, even you—are still suffering. Cutting programs that provide vital assistance to millions of people is not the way to reduce the deficit—especially since they did not get us into this deep deficit in the first place. The debt ceiling and FY 2012 budget are at the top of lawmakers’ agenda right now, so we must urge them to create a circle of protection around programs that help those most in need.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “How can I help?” The answer is simple—advocacy. As my friend and colleague the Rev. David Beckmann says, “I believe God is calling us to change the politics of hunger.” Tell your lawmakers that reducing our nation’s debt is important to you, but it shouldn’t be done on the backs of hungry and poor people. Urge Congress to not to cap federal spending at the expense of programs that protect hungry and poor people. It’s as easy as writing a letter. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.bread.org/help/.

Bishop Don DiXon Williams is 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, Virginia.


President’s First Renaissance Class Graduates

Sole-surviving Female Graduate From Morehouse to Attend Ceremony

ATLANTA, May 12, 2011- Four years ago, when he took the helm of the presidency, Robert M. Franklin stood before members of the Morehouse freshman class and challenged them, as Renaissance Men, to take their respective places in the world.

On Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 8 a.m. on the Century Campus, nearly 500 graduates will receive their degrees from Morehouse and begin to fulfill that challenge. The men who will graduate are the first to matriculate all four years under Franklin’s presidency. From the first day they walked on campus, they were told to embody the president’s Five Wells: well-spoken, well-read, well-traveled, well-dressed and well-balanced. They’ve studied hard, fulfilled their coursework, some have traveled abroad, and now all are poised to become Morehouse Men.

As they make that journey, they will hear messages from noted attorney, author and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree, and award-winning journalist and moderator of PBS’s Washington Week Gwen Ifill. Both will receive honorary degrees and deliver the commencement address to the class. Also receiving honorary degrees are Billye Aaron, member of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees and wife of baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, and attorney Willie “Flash” Davis, chair of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees.

Among the graduates is Camron Yarber, who will finish at the top of his class as valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. There are two salutatorians this year, both with a cumulative 3.92 grade point average. They are Lemario Bland and Emmanuel Marish.

>From 1929 to 1933 Morehouse College had 33 females enrolled as full-time students. The last of those women still living is Mary Cecilia Spivey, who graduated from Morehouse in 1933. Mrs. Spivey will attend the Commencement ceremony on May 15th and will receive a diploma to replace her original, which was stolen. Spivey said that being the only female student to attend daytime classes with men was just fine, “What I got from Morehouse I will never forget, she said. “Morehouse is a place that gave you drive.”

Spivey worked in the Atlanta Public School system focusing in the area of special education. She was named Teach of the Year while teaching at Jessie Mae Jones Elementary School. She still lives in Atlanta and is a resident of Cascade Heights.

The class of 2011 will be treated to its final spiritual service during Baccalaureate on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at 3 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. The speaker for Baccalaureate is the Reverend Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

During the service, a special portrait will be unveiled honoring The Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York. Richardson’s portrait will join dozens of others in the International Hall of Honor in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. The Hall of Honor was initially established to celebrate preachers and presidents, but has been expanded to include persons of the 20th and 21st centuries who have made significant contributions to the civil and human rights nonviolence movement internationally.

Media Logistics:

Arrival/Parking: Suggested arrival time for working media is 7:15 a.m. Parking for media will be available during Commencement along Fair Street (eastbound from Euhrlee to Milton streets). Enter the Century Campus from the Fair Street gate, near Danforth Chapel.

Video/Still Photography: Credentialed photographers may approach the stage during the evocation, introduction of speakers, and the first three minutes of speeches.

Broadcast Media: Photographers wishing to get a clean audio feed may plug into the mult box stationed near the control panel between Hope and Sale halls. The mult box is not located central to the stage, so photographers will need to bring a wireless system for audio.

**NOTE: This is a 9-camera professional production. Please be mindful of photographers who are with the production team so as not to interfere with their shots.

About Morehouse College
As the nation’s largest, private liberal arts college for men, Morehouse College was recently recognized as the number one liberal arts college in the nation by Washington Monthly; one of 45 “Best Buy” schools for 2011 by the Fiske Guide to Colleges; one of the nation’s Most Grueling Colleges in 2010 by The Huffington Post; the number three HBCU in the nation for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report; and as one of American’s Best Colleges for three consecutive years by Forbes magazine.

Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil and human rights non-violent leader; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care of Morehouse School of Medicine; Shelton “Spike” Lee, filmmaker and president of 40 Acres & A Mule Productions; Samuel L. Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actor; Maynard H. Jackson, founder of Jackson Securities and the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Nima A. Warfield, the first African American Rhodes Scholar from an HBCU.


By Bartholomew Sullivan
Originally published 11:25 a.m., May 10, 2011
Updated 03:24 p.m., May 10, 2011

Washington – President Barack Obama will travel to Memphis on Monday to deliver a commencement address for Booker T. Washington High School, the White House has confirmed.

After the announcement was expected last Friday and again Monday but delayed, the winner of the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge was named to great expectations after each of the three finalists were notified.

Vice President Joseph Biden called Principal Alisha Kiner today to tell her the school had won.

"I'm so proud of the schools that participated in this year's commencement challenge and I want to thank all of them for their hard work and dedication," said Obama. "Booker T. Washington High School proves what can be accomplished when students, teachers, parents and administrators come together to support achievement in the classroom and I'm looking forward to delivering the commencement address at this extraordinary school soon."

In his first 27 months in office, Obama has not visited Memphis as president.
The other finalists were High Tech High International in San Diego, Calif., and Bridgeport High School in Washington state. Nearly 100,000 people participated online in ranking the schools’ video pitches for the presidential visit.

BTW outpaced state goals in Algebra 1 by 27 percentage points last year. It also surpassed the goal in English and raised its graduation rate from 60.4 percent in 2009 to 81.6 last spring.

Booker T. Washington is the city’s oldest high school created for black students during segregation.

"I'm ecstatic. I almost came to tears," U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said minutes after it became official. "Booker T. Washington students will have the memory of a lifetime."

Cohen said the decisive factor was "not a red-state, blue-state thing," but the presentation the students made with their video.

"It gives them hope. It's the idea of rewarding students who have been underdogs... giving them recognition, self-confidence."

The school was chosen from among 460 high school applicants.

Cohen said he hopes Obama will continue the tradition begun by former President Bill Clinton of leaving town with barbecue ribs.

He also hopes he'll take a look at the flooding of the Mississippi River, he said.

The White House will dispatch officials to speak at the commencement exercises at the runner-up schools based on a list of choices the students submitted, the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting on its website.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting only that the Bridgeport, Wash., high school was "bypassed" on its website.


See attachment and links appended below:

Editor’s Note: Dr. Marable wrote a number of articles for The Christian Recorder

Please see the following details for the public memorial service for Dr. Manning Marable:


For book information:


For information about the Malcolm X Project:


For all other questions or more information, please call 212-854-1489 or email clt2121@columbia.edu.

Submitted by Courtney Teague, Administrative Coordinator


Regretfully we share the following Episcopal Family Bereavement Notice

On Thursday, May 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida:

The passing of Mrs. Mamie S. Hartsfield, the mother of Episcopal Supervisor Penny H. White and the mother-in-law of Bishop John F. White, Ecumenical & Urban Affairs Officer & Endorsing Agent, AME Church.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and additional information is forthcoming.

Supervisor Penny H. White
Email: phw137@comcast.net
Tel: 954-665-3101

Bishop John F. White
Email: bishopwhite130@aol.com


We are saddened to inform you of the death of Mrs. Leila Mitchell Hunt of Rockledge, Florida. Mrs. Hunt was 96 Years old and a member of Allen Chapel AME Church, Melbourne, Florida. She was also the wife of the late Presiding Elder Clarence Wiley Hunt, who served as Presiding Elder of the Daytona Beach District-Orlando Conference, Miami District-South Florida Conference and the Fort Pierce District-South Florida Conference.

Mrs. Hunt is survived by three sisters: Mrs Bobbie McKinney and Mrs. Lois Bush of Bartow, Florida, Mrs. Vernell Thomas of West Palm Beach, Florida and one brother, Mr. Bradley Mitchell of Riviera Beach, Florida.

Services are announced as follows:

Wake: Friday May 13, 2011 at 5:00-7:00 pm
Allen Chapel AME Church
2416 S. Lipscomb Street
Melbourne, FL 32901
The Rev. Joyce Moore, Pastor
Ph: (321) 724-1557

Homegoing Celebration: Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 12:00 Noon
Allen Chapel AME Church
2416 S. Lipscomb Street
Melbourne, FL 32901
The Rev. Joyce Moore, Pastor
Presiding Elder Hartford Lee, Eulogist
Ph (321) 724-1557

Services entrusted to:
Stone Funeral Home
516 King Street
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone (321) 636-2344
Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:

Mrs. Wylinda Johnson
973 Brunswick Lane
Rockledge, FL 32955
Ph (321) 632-7322


We regret to announce the passing of Deacon Daniel Thomas, father of the Rev. Dr. Mickarl D. Thomas, Sr., Senior Pastor of Grant Memorial AME Church, Chicago, Illinois. The service of transition was held on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, in Detroit, Michigan.

Messages of condolence may be sent to:

The Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Mickarl D. Thomas, Sr.
637 E. Woodland Park, Unit 612
Chicago, IL 60616

The Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Mickarl D. Thomas, Sr. email: lomi4@comcast.net Grant Memorial AME Church email: grantmame@ameritech.net


We regret to announce the passing of Mother Mary Ann Meekins, age 87, mother of the Rev. Mallory A. Tarrance pastor of Bethel AME Church, Noblesville, IN. Mother Meekins was a member of Allen Chapel AME Church, Indianapolis. The funeral arrangements are as follows:

Thursday: May 12, 2011
Viewing 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Funeral 1:00 pm
Stuart Mortuary, Inc.
2201 North Illinois Street
Indianapolis, In 46208
Fax: 317.925-3204

Condolences may also be sent to:

The Rev. Mallory Tarrance
697 South 5th Street
Noblesville, IN 46060

Eulogist, the Rev. Mallory Tarrence; Officiant, the Rev. William L. Gary


It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Sister Eldora Lewis Myrick, Monday morning. The late Sister Eldora Lewis Myrick is the Mother of Rev. Delanor Myrick, Sr., Pastor of Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church, Red Bay, and the Mother in Law of Rev. Mary Dawson Myrick, Pastor of McChapel A.M.E. Church, Marianna, Florida.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2011, 12:00 P.M.

The funeral will be at:
Springfield A.M.E. Church
4194 Union Road,
Marianna, Florida 32446
The Rev. Sinclair Forbes, Pastor
The Rev. G. T. Barkley, retired Presiding Elder, Eulogist

Services entrusted to:
Vann Funeral Home
4265 St. Andrews St.
Marianna FL 32448
850-482-5363 (FAX)

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

The Rev. Deleanor Myrick (Son)
4246 Union Road
Marianna FL 32446
Home: (850) 352-1256
Cell: (850) 718-5406

The Rev. Mary D. Myrick
4218 Union Road
Marianna FL 32446
(850) 352-3383


- Congratulations to Miss Erica Nicole Hysmith the daughter of Dwayne and Tenner Hysmith and the granddaughter of Bishop John F. & Supervisor Penny White

Miss Erica Nicole Hysmith is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Prairie View University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Her honors and memberships include, Outstanding Freshman Civil Engineer of the Year (2007-2008); Vice-President of Prairie View Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) (2010-2011); Member of Tau Beta Pi-Engineering Honor Society (2010-2011); Treasurer for Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society (2010-2011); Outstanding Senior Mechanical Engineer of the Year (2010-2011) and College of Engineering Student of the Year (2010-2011).

Erica and her family are members of St. Paul AME Church, Dallas, TX, the Rev. Dr. Juan Tolliver, Pastor, and the 10th Episcopal District, Bishop Gregory G., and Supervisor Jessica K. Ingram, Presiding Bishop and Episcopal Supervisor.

She is the proud sister/ god sister of Dwayne Jr. and Brianna, the granddaughter of Roberta Washington, and Jessie Hysmith, and the niece and cousin to a host of family spread all over the South.

Congratulations Erica; we are so proud of you!

Bishop John F. White: bishopwhite130@aol.com

Supervisor Penny White: PHW137@comcast.net

- Congratulations to the Rev. Carolyn Habersham

The Rev. Carolyn Habersham received her M.Div. with a concentration in Pastoral Care from Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The Rev. Habersham is the pastor of Greater Turner Chapel, Greensburg, Louisiana; she is the daughter of Rev. Ezekiel Habersham, retired Presiding Elder of the Fifth Episcopal District. Congratulatory message can be sent to revhabersham@aol.com.

- Congratulations to the Rev. Jai S. Haithco, Sr.

The Rev. Jai S. Haithco, Sr. graduated from Turner Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia with honors on Saturday, May 7, 2011 with a Master of Arts in Christian Education. Rev. Haithco is the current pastor of Cosmopolitan A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, Georgia and the Director of Christian Education for the Sixth Episcopal District. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) and the Master of Divinity Degree from Virginia Union University School of Theology

Congratulatory messages can be sent to: revjai@hotmail.com

Or to:

The Rev. Jai S. Haithco, Sr.
Cosmopolitan A.M.E. Church
170 Vine Street, NW
P.O. Box 92385
Atlanta, Georgia 30314
Phone: (404) 525-0168

- Congratulations to the Rev. Ezekiel Powers and the Rev. Esther K. Powers

Congratulations to the Rev. Ezekiel Powers and the Rev. Esther K. Powers of Powder Springs, Georgia who were awarded the Masters of Divinity Degrees during the Fifty-Second Commencement Exercises of the Interdenominational Theological Center and Turner Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia; Dr. Ronald E. Peters, President and Dr. John Green, Dean.

The Rev. Ezekiel Powers is the Pastor of Mathalama AME Church, Morrow, Georgia and the Rev. Esther K. Powers, co-pastor, graduated with honors and as a member of Theta Phi Religious Honor Society. It was noted during the commencement exercises that the Powers were the first husband and wife team to graduate together in the history of the institution.

Congratulatory messages can be sent to:

- Congratulations to Dante Carter Schenck, son of the Reverend Dorrian H. Schenck and First Lady, the Reverend Miyoshi Taylor- Schenck

Congratulations to Brother Dante Carter Schenck for graduating on Saturday, May 7 2011 from Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.

Dante is the son of the Reverend Dorrian H. Schenck, senior pastor of Bethel AME Church, Passaic, New Jersey and the Reverend Miyoshi Taylor-Schenck, First Lady, New Jersey Annual Conference, Newark District WIM Coordinator. Dante is also a member of the National Leadership Honor Society. Brother
Carter was the former YPD Vice President and Parliamentarian of the Delaware Conference YPDers.

Congratulatory messages can be sent to:

The Reverend Dorrian H. Schenck
C/O Dante Carter Schenck
232 Howe Avenue
Passaic, NJ 07055
302-388-7527 or 973-471-0704


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.

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