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
is National Stroke Awareness Month!
Ascension Day – May 17, 2012
Pentecost – May 27, 2012
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“One who condones evils is just
as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.”
– Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr., civil-rights leader (1929-1968)
1. EDITORIAL – I CAN’T BELIEVE IT -
Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III,
The 20th Editor, The
As strongly as I feel about the lack of a large segment of the
AME Church’s failure to use technology, there is one more thing that surprises, shocks and disappoints me.
I am disappointed because…, but let me digress and, hopefully,
put my disappointment in perspective.
Having a mentor is
When I arrived at my first assignment as a military chaplain representing
the African Methodist Episcopal Church at Fort Benning Georgia in 1972, my
astute commander, Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Hunt assigned a mentor to me;
Captain Dan Johnson who was an infantry captain and a helicopter pilot. He had
served a tour in Viet Nam.
My commander knew that I had never served in the military and
had not taken ROTC in college and he knew that I needed to “learn the ropes” of
the military. I am sure that he knew that I probably was not taught about the
“real Army” in the basic chaplain course; and he was correct.
Captain Dan Johnson would have been a great mentor for a young
man or woman in any profession and the insights that he gave me apply across
the board and apply even in the AME Church.
Things my Infantry
captain mentor taught me
He explained that I had to learn how to navigate the Army
culture. He told me that I needed to join the officers club, even if I didn't
use it because the Army leadership encouraged all officers to belong to the
officers club. He also told me that I needed to join the Association of the
U.S. Army (AUSA) because they advocated for soldiers in Congress. He also told
me to make sure that I banked with a military-friendly bank because soldiers
moved so often and that was great advice. He also told me to make friends with
the Army doctors, dentists and lawyers and to treat privates with the same
respect that I would treat first sergeants, command sergeants major, colonels
Perhaps the greatest
Young Captain Dan Johnson was the same age as I, but having
served in combat, knew how to navigate the military. He went on to do great
things and retired as a colonel.
Thinking back on his mentorship to me, the first thing Dan
Johnson explained that it was important for me to learn about the Army how the
Army worked and to anticipate what was expected.
I can hear his voice, even today, “The Army is not like the
civilian sector; the Army is different.”
He told me that the best way to stay abreast about knowing what was
going in the Army was to subscribe to The
Army Times. It was only later that I learned how important that advice was;
and forty-years later, I am still subscribed to The Army Times, both the print and online editions. He also advised
me to read the local post newspapers and when overseas read The Stars and Stripes. What great
Now, getting back to…
I am amazed that thirty-years ago, a young Army Infantry captain
understood the importance of staying abreast of what was happening in the
profession of the military and reading the professional periodicals.
I am surprised, shocked and disappointed that there are so many
persons at all levels of our Zion who refuse and fail to understand the
importance of staying abreast in the profession of ministry. I am amazed that
young men and women are admitted into the profession of ministry and apparently
are not required or encouraged to subscribe to the periodicals of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Every profession, even barbers have professional journals that
those in the profession are supposed to read. Mechanics have professional
journals. Doctors and lawyers have professional journals and those who want to
stay abreast read their professional journals.
When I was a young pastor in the Kentucky Annual Conference,
every pastor was verbally asked by the bishop, “Which periodicals are you
subscribed to?” There was only one
correct answer in the “old days.” The
only correct answer was, “Bishop, I am subscribed to all of the
I am amazed and perplexed that men and women come forth to enter
the profession of ministry and no one asks them to which periodicals they are
subscribed; not the bishop, the presiding elder, the pastor or the Board of
We tell them they need to possess a Bible, The Discipline and the AME
Hymnal – Duh! Should we have to tell an applicant for ministry that he or she
needs to possess a Bible, The Discipline
and a Hymnal? Probably not, because if an applicant for ministry had an ounce
of sense, they should know that they needed the Bible, The Discipline and the AME
Responsibility needs to
be taken early-on in the process
On the other hand, it’s not far-fetched to think that applicants
for ministry might not have thought about the importance of the AME periodicals
and would not understand the importance of subscribing to them unless someone
pointed out the significance of the periodicals to their ministry.
Pastors should explain to those who express an interest in going
into the ministry the importance of subscribing to the AME periodicals before
presenting them to the Church Conference; presiding elders should reaffirm to
the applicants of ministry the importance of subscribing to the AME periodicals
at the Quarterly Conference and at the District Conference.
As with any other profession, Boards of Examiners should ask
each applicant for ministry this question: “Which AME periodicals are you
subscribed to? And, if you are not already subscribed to the AME periodicals,
which ones are you planning to subscribe to today?”
But that’s not enough; pastors, presiding elders and members of
the Boards of Examiners should be knowledgeable enough to give a brief rundown
on the significance of each of the AME periodicals.
The process continues
When ministerial applicants are presented to the bishop, the
bishop should ask each person who comes to be admitted to the annual
conference, “Which periodicals are you subscribed to?” By the time an applicant stands before the
bishop at the annual conference, he or she should have already been subscribed
to all of the AME periodicals. The only
correct answer: “Bishop, I am subscribed to all of the AME periodicals.”
It is not too much to expect those who want to be a part of our
ministerial profession to pay $171.00 a year for all of the AME periodicals.
It’s not too much to expect all persons in the clergy to pay $171.00 a
year. Ask a doctor, lawyer or barber the
costs of his or her professional journals.
If they are not told…
The Christian Recorder
(TCR) is important because it keeps
clergy and laity abreast of what’s going on in the AME Church, the religious
community and in the world. The Christian
Recorder is responsible for presenting opinions and comments dealing with
contemporary issues (The Discipline, 2008,
page 154 ff)
The A.M.E. Church Review
is the scholarly journal for the denomination. It has historical data,
intellectual articles and addresses and is, or should be, a “must-reading”
periodical for clergy; and for lay members who enjoy scholarly articles.
The Journal of Religious
Education is the periodical is a “must-read” periodical for those who are
involved with Christian Education. In
addition to the pastor, every Church School teacher should be subscribed to The Journal of Religious Education. It is full of pedagogical materials
related to religious education.
The Voice of Missions
is devoted to the global ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church. I suspect that our ministerial training
programs in the United States are oblivious to what’s going on in Episcopal
Districts 14 – 20. I wish that every ministerial applicant in the United States
would be required to do some form of overseas ministry in Episcopal Districts
14 – 20; even if only for a week or two. The African Methodist Episcopal Church
is a global church. Every applicant for ministry should be required to
subscribe to The Voice of Missions,
which would help them to see the big picture of the African Methodist Episcopal
The Women’s Missionary
Magazine is another “must-read” periodical because it focuses on missionary
ministry in Episcopal Districts 1 – 20; in the United States and overseas. It’s
a wonderful periodical.
The Secret Chamber provides
invaluable resources for personal spiritual growth. Those persons who want to
be members of the clergy need to understand the importance of spiritual
direction and daily spiritual reflection; and The Secret Chamber provides that resource.
The YPD Newsletter is
the hidden secret in the AME Church. It is a wonderfully written and presented
periodical and youth-focused. It is
packed full of information and directed to the youth of our Zion. Young people
from Episcopal Districts 1- 20 should subscribe to this wonderful periodical
and those who want to minister to our youth should start with reading The YPD Newsletter! How can clergy minister to our youth if they
are not connected to our youth? Every
member of the clergy should be subscribed to The YPD Newsletter. The YPD
Newsletter should be made available to all of the youth in our Zion.
I am Disappointed
I am disappointed because we, as members of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church, can do better; we are not living up to our
As it relates to our AME periodicals, we have drifted into a
culture of doing just enough to get by, which results in mediocrity.
Some of our churches do not support our AME religious education
materials and we use other folks’ Church School materials. We have a “Their ice
is colder than our ice” mentality.
Just one, not two or
three; just one…
We have drifted to one periodical per church or one periodical
per pastor at our annual conferences. I am appreciative, but amazed when I see
one subscription per pastor, which means that those churches with multiple
ministerial staff members have minister who are most likely not subscribed to
the AME periodicals.
There is one annual conference that submitted less than 10
subscriptions for each periodical. I
honestly didn’t know that we had an annual conference that small.
Thankfully, there are several exceptions; and the most notable
exception is Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, Maryland where the Rev.
Dr. Grainger Browning and the Rev. Dr. Joanne Browning serve as co-pastors.
They apparently subscribe for all of their ministerial staff members and their
church officers and for anyone else who wants to read the AME periodicals. They
and several other churches are the exceptions.
I wish every bishop would ask every preacher and every person
who serves on the annual conference level: “Which AME periodicals are you
subscribed to? I would love to see a
cultural shift where annual conferences, district conferences and local church
would set up tables so persons could subscribe to all of the AME periodicals.
I am excited
As a connectional church, it is important for churches and
pastors to work together and to know what others are doing around the
connection. Our best learning is what we can learn from each other.” Helen Keller
was so correct, “Alone we can do so
little; together we can do so much.”
I would love to see AMEs get excited about what we, the AME
Church is doing in our communities and around the world.
This week, I had a Baptist minister to call me and excitedly
said, “I went to (and he named the AME Church) and what a worship service!”
And, he went on and one commenting about the music, the hymns, the liturgy and
the sermon. In his excitement, he said, “I am thinking about joining the AME
I was encouraged by his enthusiasm, and that’s the kind of
enthusiasm I want all of us to have; to be excited about the ministry of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church.
READER RESPONSE TO EDITORIAL AND OTHER ISSUES:
- To the
RE: Editorial, Military, Veteran Affairs
and Federal Prison Chaplains are Active Members of the Clergy of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church
Your editorial about the chaplaincy is very interesting and informative,
particularly as it relates to AME Chaplains. I never realized that the
Bishop assigned to the Office of Ecumenical and Urban Affairs was the
"endorsing agent" for the AME Chaplains. I've always known that
chaplains are members of the clergy, but I do have a few questions in follow-up
to your article:
Question: I am
assuming that in order to be a military chaplain, one must be a member of the
military. Which comes first, chaplain endorsement or joining and
receiving commission as an officer in one of the military branches? By
virtue of one's chaplaincy, is one automatically entered into service at a
particular officer's rank?
Response: A chaplain is a military officer. Candidates for the chaplaincy must
be college and seminary graduates from fully accredited academic institutions.
They can apply to become accessioned in the military, but an endorsement from
the applicant’s denomination must be a part of the packet that goes to the
Department of Defense. Chaplains are commissioned as captains (0-3).
2: If the endorsement agent withdraws
one's chaplaincy, what happens to one’s military service obligation and rank?
Can one return to civilian life and is one then eligible for an
appointment as a pastor at Annual Conference, excepting anti A.M.E. or
heretical conduct on the part of the chaplain?
Response: When a chaplain’s endorsement is
withdrawn, the person can no longer serve as a chaplain and can no longer serve
as an officer unless, he or she gets an endorsement from another denomination,
which is difficult on short notice. Ideally the person should report to his or
her bishop for a pastoral appointment. Of course receiving a pastoral
appointment on short notice might be difficult and receiving or not receiving
an appointment might depend on why the chaplain’s endorsement was withdrawn.
3: Does the AME endorsement process
apply to chaplains in non-federal civilian positions the same as with those in
military service? For example, I have encountered chaplains serving in
hospitals, hospice services, police departments and fire departments.
Response: Only federal chaplains, i.e. Military, Veterans Administration and
federal prison chaplains go through the endorsing process in the AME Church.
Some denominations however use the endorsement process for all chaplain
positions, federal, state, private, academic institutions, etc.
Very interesting area
of service all around and it seems to me as if Chaplains within the A.M.E.
Church get little attention generally until General Conference time.
I enjoy seeing Chaplains in their uniforms marching in the
procession at the General Conferences.
I was fortunate enough to
gain more awareness about chaplains since my former pastor, the Rev. John A.
DeVeaux, was a retired military chaplain. He would use local chaplains to
preach when he had to be away attending one of the AME Conferences.
- Letter to the Editor:
RE: Editorial I Can’t Believe it (April 27, 2012)
Love this editorial and
I'm smiling because I
was just in deep conversation with my pastor(age 33) about why folk have not
complied with his wish to email items to his desk, i.e. Quarterly Conference
reports so that they can be compiled (I almost can't spell these two
"c" words) for the Elder, who is very savvy by the way. Pastor just told me an hour ago that his next
announcement is that no ministry or auxiliary will elect a secretary who is not
technically astute. I reminded him that
his congregation is quite senior and does not feel the need to be in the 21st
Century. Some of the members think
texting is sinful because you're "telling" the pastor stuff. Some won’t give their cell phone numbers to
the office because it's their number, but you ought to hear the number of
phones that go off during a meeting.
Then there are the rude and disrespectful ones who think it's nothing
wrong with not putting them on silent or vibrate and answering the blasted
thing during a meeting. They get all
kinds of looks from me and I believe they do it just to push my buttons.
The funniest situation
just happened this week when pastor needed to know the choir selections and has
asked many times that they be emailed to him.
The director (over 62), doesn't have time to read and send emails. She
uses the computer for her grandson's homework, but doesn't have time for any
church work. When pastor was ready to
complete the bulletin, he asked me for her email address (yes, I had to give it
to him) so that he could get the requested info unless I knew what he
needed. I politely responded to his
email by saying that she would not read an email unless he called her and told
her he was sending it, so just ask for what he needed, which is what he had to
do. I knew the selection titles, but it wasn't my place to tell him or my
Most of our members do
not own computers or will not update the computers they have; and so their
computers are just sitting idle.
Another funny is the
WMS secretary (over 70) who was gonna buy a new computer last year and
didn't. So I offered to sit down with
her and establish an email address and then she could go to the public library
and do what ever she needed to do. Her
reply was, "I go to the library all of the time." The branch is near her house. She is the only one who still brings a hand
written report for the quarter. They
hate me, but when they need something sent, compiled, created, etc., then I'm
their best friend. Trust me hate is not
a strong word. Since I serve as the
Public Relations for our church, it's a joke sometimes what I deal with. Mind
you I am not an officer, just the public relations person.
My father and I are in
the same Annual Conference, but we are on different districts and live in
different cities. He is very
well-respected by his District Lay Organization as well as the conference. He is the conference treasurer by the way. He
serves as church secretary, member of the Steward Board, Sons of Allen, and the
whole nine yards. When he retired 12
years ago, he became more active with the organization. Our joke is that he followed in my footsteps
since I was the Episcopal District director of Lay Activities and used him for
workshops during my tenure. In the 12
years he has been sought after to conduct workshops on stewardship, stewards
and trustee training, parliamentary procedure, you name it, he's doing it, from
the presiding elder district to the episcopal district.
This funny occurred
when he came home to conduct a steward and trustee training for our sister
church and I attended. He pulled out his
overhead projector and transparencies (I kid you not). Two of my first cousins were there and they
can verify. The three of us looked at
each other and had tears in our eyes, because we knew we couldn't laugh out
loud or in his face. We let him finish
this excellent presentation with handouts too.
At the end, my cousin who is a trustee and a member of the church where
the workshop was held, said, "Uncle, you need to put that on a
laptop. My other cousin said,
"Uncle, you do too much to be riding around with an overhead and
transparencies. She's a retired media
specialist, so she really laughed. While
I smiled a lot, I wouldn't harass him like that. I took the handout with me and made him a
PowerPoint presentation of it and put it on a jump drive. He did tell his nieces that his laptop was in
the shop. At the next conference
meeting, I made a sample for him to "approve" of and he did like it
and accepted it. Now he tells his
audience that his nieces and daughter brought him into the 21st
Century. Did I mention he's 77?
I said all of that to
say he was willing to change because he's a quick study, multi-tasker and
brilliant. One could not be the church
secretary for over 50 years and not be capable.
He does the bulletins, financial statements / reports on computer, but
was still using that overhead projector.
We are proud of our accomplishment with him and know he won't regress.
A friend conducted a
workshop at our church on leadership. He
suggested that persons over 50-years of age probably should not be involved in
the technical ministries because things change too quickly. I wouldn't go that far, but I understood his
point of keeping young adults involved.
- To the Editor:
RE: Editorial I Can’t Believe it (April 27, 2012)
Technology is the way
we have raised our children and grand children, yet we have not made the transition
in our churches. We AME’s truly have fallen behind in technology and we wonder
why our churches are empty. Some of us ole timers hate not having the
conveniences at our churches but stay anyway because we love the AME church. I
pray every leader who reads this article will look at where we are and create
plans for change. I love reading my
bible from my cell phone or iPad or from the T. V. Monitors at churches (not in
the AME). Almost no young person carries the big heavy bible, stuffed with paper. We really need to come into the 21st Century
before our doors are closed. There will be no reason to ask why. Praise God.
Mrs. Nelda Hills,
St. Paul Berkeley Lay
3. WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT AND BACCALAUREATE SERVICES WITH
JUSTICE YVETTE MCGEE BROWN AND BISHOP JEFFREY N. LEATH:
University’s Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 5, 2012 brings two prominent
speakers to campus – one from Ohio’s Supreme Court and one from the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Ohio Supreme Court
Justice Yvette McGee Brown will speak at Wilberforce University’s commencement
(2:00 p.m. May 5, 2012) at the University’s Alumni
Brown is the first
African-American female justice on the Ohio Supreme Court. Prior to her
appointment in January, 2011, Brown was the founding president of the Center
for Child and Family Advocacy, a non-profit organization at Nationwide
Children's Hospital in Columbus dedicated to the treatment and prevention of
child abuse and domestic violence.
Judge Brown served in
the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and
Juvenile Court from 1993 to 2002, when she founded the Center for Child and
Family Advocacy. She was the first American of African Ancestry and the second
woman to be elected to this court.
In 2008, Brown was
inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, which honored her for her
community service and dedication to child and family protection.
Speaking at the
Baccalaureate Service (10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012) will be the Rt. Rev.
Jeffrey N. Leath, 128th elected and consecrated Bishop of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church, the denomination, which established
Wilberforce University in 1856.
Bishop Leath is the
Presiding Prelate of the 19th Episcopal District (South Africa). He
also serves as the chair of the Commission on Women in Ministry.
Dr. Leath is a graduate
of Yale College, Yale Divinity School and United Theological Seminary (Dayton,
Ohio), where he earned his doctorate in ministry. Bishop Leath has served
churches in New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
For more information:
Linda Renner at 937-708-5704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. THE 190TH SESSION OF
THE NEW YORK ANNUAL CONFERENCE:
Wilfred D. Lewis
Session of the NEW YORK Annual Conference convened at the Historic Bridge St.
African Methodist Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York on April 24th through April
conference was ably hosted by the Rev. David Byron Cousin and First Lady, the
Rev. Valerie Cousin.
York Conference Women’s Missionary Society celebrated their annual day on
Tuesday April 24th, 2012. They were led in their business sessions by
President, Sister Anne Brunson, First Vice-President Sister Shermanita Dixon,
Second Vice-President Sister Berthena Wiggins, and 3rd
Vice-President Sister Coleen Williams-Lewis. The sanctuary was resplendent in a
sea of white outfits as the Missionary sisters filled the house with praise.
Mother Mary Anne Norris, the Supervisor of Missions, and Sister Jewel McAshan,
the President of the First District Missionary Society were present to give
leadership and directions to the proceedings of the day. The noon-day sermon
was delivered by the Rev. Ella Brandon, the pastor of Greater Bethel African
Methodist Episcopal Church, New York City. Her scriptural text was taken from
St. Luke 5. Her subject was, “It is Your Mission.” The Rev. Brandon’s message
was deep and thought-provoking as she raised the question, “Have you won souls
recently?” As the preacher pranced about
the pulpit, there were many shouts of Hallelujahs! Amens! And Praise the Lord!
The message was a tremendous blessing to all in attendance.
the lunch period, the Turner-Tanner Memorial service was led by 3rd
Vice President, Sister Coleen Williams–Lewis. Bishop Richard Allen Hildebrand,
Bishop Richard Allen Chappelle, Retired Editor of The Christian Recorder, Dr. Robert Reid and several other local
members were memorialized. A single white rose was placed in the vase for each
the Tanner Turner Memorial Service, Sister Coleen Williams Lewis led in the
Presentation of Membership Awards.
of Officers for the year 2012-2013 was the order of the day. The outgoing
President was Sister Anne Brunson. After the Credential and Nominating
Committees made their Reports, the election process began. The new officers
elected were as follows: Sister Shermanita Dixon, President, Sister Melisa
Garvin, 1st Vice President, Sister Clyde Correa, 2nd Vice-
President, and Sister Coleen Williams-Lewis, 3rd Vice-President.
This day closed out with the Missionary Benediction.
Official opening of the conference took place on Wednesday 24th April at 10
a.m. The Worship Leader was the Rev. Dr. Alvan N. Johnson, the indomitable
Presiding Elder of the Brooklyn/Westchester District of the New York Annual
conference. The Call to worship was given by the Host Pastor, the Rev. David
Cousin. We sang the great opening hymn of all Annual Conferences, Hymn Number
304, “And, are We Yet Alive.” The Invocation was given by the Rev. Albert Turk.
The music provided by the Annual Conference choir was majestic and inspirational.
There was an eclectic mix of spirituals, anthems, gospel as well as
contemporary selections. What a
absence of Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Bishop Jeffrey Leath, Presiding
Prelate of the 19th Episcopal District presented the preacher for
the Annual Sermon. The preacher for this momentous occasion was the venerable
Rev. Dr. Floyd Harold Flake, the pastor of Greater Allen Cathedral AME Church
in Jamaica, New York. The Rev. Flake took his text from Acts 1:8. His sermon
subject was, “Can I Get a Witness?” The Rev. Flake preached with power and with
Holy Ghost fervor. His message was a classic evangelistic appeal to all of us
present to really become witnesses like Peter and the 120 did on the day of
Pentecost, and 3000 souls were won to Christ on that day. Following the message, Rev. Flake gave an
Altar Call for preachers who really wanted to become true witnesses. Every
preacher in the house came and flooded the altar. Dr. Flake also laid hands on
Bishop Norris who had come in during his sermon and prayed for the complete
healing of our Bishop.
Afternoon session convened at 3.30 p.m. Bishop Norris presided over this
session with finesse and great skill. The roll-call of preachers and members of
the Annual Conference was taken; the various committees were put in place and
the boundaries of the conference were established. Bishop Norris then listened
to the reading of Pastoral reports, and commended the pastors for their
leadership and direction of their charges.
service began at 7.30 p.m. This was our Communion service. The Presiding Elder
of the Manhattan District, the Rev. Dr. Nicholas G. Tweed was the Worship
Leader. This writer must pause to indicate that this was a great spiritual
service. Bishop Norris had invited the Rev. Generelle Keith, Presiding Elder of
The Mt. Pleasant District of Palmetto, South Carolina to be the evening
preacher. The Rev. Keith took his text from St. Luke 22:23. His message was
entitled, “When Saints Act like Sinners.” We were all blessed with this very
thought-provoking Message. To God be the glory!
the Business session on Thursday additional pastoral reports were given.
into the noon day Hour of Power. The preacher for this hour was the Chief
Information Officer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Dr.
Clement W. Fugh, a candidate for Episcopal Service 2012. The Rev. Fugh took his
text from Philippians 2:5 and Job 38:1-12. His subject was, “I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings.” The preacher said that in spite of the fact that Paul was
caged in a Roman Prison cell, he could write these words to music, “Let this
mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus...” So that Epaphroditus could
sing the lyrics to the Philippians converts. We were all blessed by this great
the message, we were then led in the Communion service by Bishop Jeffrey Leath
and retired Bishop Henry Allen Belin, Jr.
Evening, the Lay Organization had their special annual worship service. The laity
travelled from the other six annual conferences to be a part of the New York
Annual Conference Lay night activities. The church sanctuary was filled to
capacity, and the Lay Annual conference choir was at their best In terms of
their rendered selections. The atmosphere was spiritually charged with Holy
Ghost-power. The Guest Speaker was Mrs. Cheryl Hammond Hopewell, President of
the Philadelphia Lay Organization. Prior to her message, Mrs. Hopewell’s
pastor, the Rev. Jay B. Broadnax, pastor of Mt. Pisgah AME Church in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania rendered a selection entitled “Sovereign.” The Rev. Broadnax lifted the sanctuary with
his powerful and inspirational singing. Mrs. Hopewell’s Message was entitled “A
Legacy Worth Living.” Her message was well received.
Bishop Norris presided as other special reports were given such as Presiding
Elder’s Support, Classification of churches and pastors.
lunch the Board of Examiners led by The Rev. Henry Belin presented the students
in the various levels of their preparation for ministry in the African
Methodist Episcopal church. It is to be noted that a greater number of the
candidates for the preaching ministry are women, and most of them already
possess seminary degrees. A few candidates were placed on hold as they did not
complete the educational requirements for ordination. However several persons
were passed on to be elected and ordained for both the local and itinerant
tracks. Bishop Norris carefully questioned each candidate as to their call as
well as to their knowledge of the twenty-five Articles of Religion, and other
pertinent scriptural knowledge.
Friday afternoon Hour of Power the preacher was none other than the Chairman of
the Episcopal Committee of the African Methodist Episcopal church, and pastor
of First AME Church in Oakland, California, the Rev. Dr. Harold Mayberry. The
Rev. Mayberry took his text from 2 Samuel 9. His sermon topic was “God Has
Saved us a Place at the Table.” The Preacher talked about how David provided a
place of respect and honor for Mephibosheth at his table. Although Mephibosheth
was crippled in both feet, his father Jonathan’s property was returned to him
and he was now able to dine at the King’s table. This message was a great
evening was youth night at the Annual Conference. The sanctuary was packed with
youth from the length and breadth of the New York Annual Conference Sister
Aisha Bugg was the Youth worship leader. The youth Choir filled the sanctuary
with powerful and inspirational singing.
blessed with some talented young people in our churches. Two gifted young men
were presented and they blessed the audience with classical musical piano
selections. The keynoter speaker was 18-year-old Uche Nwokelo from Bethany AME
Church in Yonkers, New York where the Rev. Wilfred D. Lewis serves as pastor.
His message was entitled “Am I the New Negro?”
His sermon was a powerful word from a young man who describes himself as
a young African, Caribbean, American. At the conclusion Brother Nwokelo
received a standing-ovation.
and medals were given to deserving young people at the conclusion of the
morning, Bishop Norris completed the remaining business of the Annual
Conference and passed the character of the preachers. Then it was time to get
ready for the Ordination service.
Dr. Henry Belin, the Chairman of the Board of Examiners was the worship leader.
There were four bishops in attendance: Bishop Richard Norris, Bishop Henry
Belin, Jr., Bishop Philip R. Cousin, and Bishop Samuel L. Greene.
Philip R. Cousin was the Ordination preacher. His text was taken from Exodus
14:15. His subject was “Positive Orders for Negative Times.” Bishop Cousin
emphasized three points: “Be daring and go forward, know where you are going,
and know the Holy Ghost. The sermon was
a classic Philip R. Cousin message. It was a message of encouragement for the
new Ordinands and for all who are engaged in ministry. What a blessing!
service of the Annual Conference was held on Sunday, April 29th at
the Greater Allen Cathedral AME Church where the Rev. Dr. Floyd. H. Flake and
the Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake serve as pastors of that great congregation. The huge
edifice was filled to capacity for the Sunday School hour at 2 p.m. The Worship service began at 3 p.m. and Rev.
Dr. Henrietta Fullard served as the capable worship leader. The Rev. David
Cousin led in the Call to Worship. The Rev. Marcellus Norris lined the opening
hymn number 8, “Rejoice ye Pure in Heart.”
The Invocation was given by the Rev. Robert Lowe. The conference choir
was led by choir director, the Rev. Robert Lowe. This conference choir was
magnificent as they sang with so much energy. There was dancing in the pulpit
and in the aisles. Some of the selections were: “I Can Go To God in Prayer,”
“Gratefulness,” and “Lord You Are Mighty.”
Henrietta Fullard then presented Bishop Norris in a creative way. She
contrasted him to the Italian captain who abandoned his ship with 4000
passengers and tried to escape with his own life. When he was ordered to return
to his ship he refused. She then said that Bishop Norris has had to sail his
ship through difficult and treacherous waters, but he did not abandon his ship.
He stayed the course and saw the ship of his responsibilities safely to the
Norris stood up to acknowledge this generous and kind presentation; he received
a standing ovation from the massive congregation. This was a very emotional
time for Bishop Norris as he acknowledged every good wish that had come his
way. He reflected on his eight years of episcopal leadership in the First
Episcopal District and expressed his gratefulness to God and to the people of
the New York Annual conference.
Norris invited the Rt. Rev. Samuel L. Greene, the Presiding Bishop of the 12th
Episcopal District to the closing service to be the keynote preacher. Bishop Norris
presented Bishop Greene as one of the great bishops of the AME Church who had
given us a great church, the St. Mark AME Church in Orlando, Florida and said
that Bishop Green has lifted the 12th Episcopal District to new
Greene took his text from St. John 12:9, 20, 22. His subject was, “Don’t Get it
Twisted.” What a powerful message. In this message Bishop Green discussed those
who came to the place where Jesus was simply to see Lazarus who was resurrected
from the dead. They had it twisted. The Greeks had it right. They came to see
Jesus. It is more important to see the Miracle Worker than to see the Miracle.
Bishop Green masterfully handled the text and in his inimitable style added
some “gravy” to the mix. The congregation was on its feet shouting and praising
juncture, Bishop Norris called his wife, Mother Mary Ann Norris to his side. He
held her close and thanked her publicly for the support and all that she does
to undergird his ministry, even during his illness of the past year. He then
planted a tender kiss on her lips to the rapturous applause of the
congregation. To God be the glory!
the announcements Bishop Norris led in the Commissioning service and the
singing of Hymn Number 242, “A Charge to Keep I Have.” Then the good Bishop gave out the
certificates to the Annual Conference Officers.
The Hymn of
Commission Number 220 “Go Preach My Gospel,” was sung. Bishop Norris then read
the pastoral appointments for the last time in the New York Annual Conference.
closing Hymn Number 258 “Go Forth Ye Heralds,” the benediction was pronounced
by Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Presiding Prelate of the 1st
Wilfred D. Lewis is the New York Annual Conference Reporter
5. SOUTH GEORGIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL
SESSION IN ALBANY, GEORGIA:
*Ms. Sandra J. Webb
Session of the South Georgia Annual Conference, Sixth Episcopal District,
convened February 28-March 1, 2012 at Bethel AMEC – Albany, Georgia. The South
Georgia Conference consists of 60 churches in two districts: Albany/Valdosta District, the Rev. Jacqueline
D. Smith Presiding Elder; and Thomasville/Bainbridge District, the Rev. Harvey
R. Williamson Presiding Elder. It was fitting that this historic celebration
would be held at Bethel – Albany because it is the lead church in the
conference and its pastor, the Rev. Ernest Davis, Jr., was selected the 2011-12
Pastor of the Year for the Albany/Valdosta District.
William P. DeVeaux, Presiding Prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District, was
unable to attend the conference due to sudden illness. The very able Retired
Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings stood in his stead and, as scheduled, the 100th
Session of the South Georgia Annual Conference opened in grand fanfare on
Tuesday, February 28, at 10:00 a.m. with a communion worship service in the
Albany Civic Center. The worship processional was led by the graceful “DOLLS”
Praise Dancers of Saint Paul AMEC – Valdosta in colorful attire and bright flags
that were brandished by several members of the congregation in full praise to
Almighty God. The high-stepping, poised dance movements and flag salutes set
the tone for celebrating a century of blessings on the South Georgia
Conference. More than 500 members of South Georgia as well as visiting pastors
and lay persons from the five other conferences in the Sixth Episcopal District
journeyed to Albany for the opening. The Rev. Patrick Brinson, Jr., Pastor,
Bethel AMEC – Quitman, delivered the annual sermon. He stirred attendees with
“You’re In Good Hands,” scripture text Jeremiah 18:1-6. He cautioned that
Allstate’s good hands are no substitute for God’s unchanging and powerful
hands. The melodious voices of both the conference choir, directed by the Rev. Deborah
Sirmans, and Bethel AMEC – Quitman male chorus added another dimension to the
already heightened spirit of the service.
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard proclaimed Tuesday, February 28, 2012, “African Methodist
Episcopal Day” in the City of Albany and urged citizens to welcome conference
attendees and reflect on the impact the conference has made in South Georgia.
Tuesday afternoon ministers and delegates answered roll call as Bishop Cummings
opened the 100th business session of the conference. All delegates
received conference bags with special mementos to commemorate the 100th
Session of the conference. Twenty-three students under the Board of Examiners
were presented to the conference with recommendations for the next phase of
their ministry journey. The Board announced that beginning August 2012 Thomas
University (Thomasville) and Interdenominational Theological Center/Turner
Seminary (Atlanta) are setting up satellite courses in partnership with the
South Georgia Board of Examiners to provide opportunities for students to
further their education.
services during the conference include:
Organization’s Witness Service on Tuesday evening. The Rev. Jermaine Harris,
pastor, Allen Temple AMEC – Tifton, delivered a spiritually uplifting message
entitled, “God Made Me Who I am,” taken from I Samuel 17:38-40.
Noonday Hour of Power – The Rev. Thomas Stegall, pastor, St. Paul AMEC,
Covington (Southwest Conference), brought the soul-stirring message entitled
“Method to the Madness,” scripture Romans 8:28.
Sons of Allen’s Wednesday evening service – The Rev. George Vereen, Pastor, St.
Timothy AMEC – Valdosta, preached a powerful and self-examining message
entitled, “Lame Men at the Gate,” scripture Acts 3:1-6.
In Ministry conducted Thursday’s Noonday Hour of Power service by presenting a
skit written by the Rev. Sandra Yates entitled, “I Will Not Be Turned Around.”
The skit was about Bishop Richard Allen’s ordination of the Rev. Jarena Lee,
the first woman minister in the AME Church. This powerful performance concluded
with a sermon delivered in rapid, breath-taking, non-stop succession by the
Rev. Beverly Griffin, pastor, Emmanuel AMEC – Dixie, that made the congregation
realize that the preacher was not role-playing, but bringing a divine
Rev. Joseph Hankin retired after 27 years in ministry. Bishop Cummings praised
him for his service and helpful servant-spirit, regardless the task. Special
recognition was paid by Presiding Elder Harvey R. Williamson.
pre-conference events occurred prior to the opening session. Saturday, February
25, was the Young People’s Division (YPD) Annual Day, consisting of a worship
service with Brother Dexter Bonner, former YPDer, bringing a motivating
message, “Knowing Your Destiny,” with Ephesians 5:1-2 being the scripture text;
a business session; and physical fitness routines.
than 300 young people from the South Georgia Conference participated in the
activities. Conference YPD Director Cassandra Davis anticipates even greater
things next conference year. The culminating event was the Christian Debutante
Master Commission Dedication Program.
Sixteen former debutantes and masters participated in this reunion
program, “Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Preparing for the
Conference DMC Director, Jacqueline P. Smith, presented three scholarships to
Sunday, February 26, the Welcome Program/100th Session Observance
was held to welcome the Bishop and Episcopal Supervisor to Albany.
Representatives of the city were in attendance, and Mayor Dorothy Hubbard read
a proclamation highlighting the AME Church’s century of service in South
Georgia. Three centurions of the conference were honored: Mrs. Essie M. Thomas, Bethel AMEC (Albany),
102 years old; Mrs. Rosetta
Register, Mt. Vienna AMEC (Valdosta), 100 years old; and Mrs. Ora Walder, St.
James AMEC (Adel), 104 years old.
conference closed with the Ordination Commissioning Service and Closing Worship
on Thursday, March 1. The Reverend Dr. George F. Flowers, Executive Director of
Global Witnessing and Ministries, delivered a commanding message on the
subject, “We Preach Christ,” scripture text II Corinthians 4:1-3; 7-12.
Outstanding musical accompaniment was again provided by the Annual Conference
Choir. The Rev. Renee Gee-Theophille and the Rev. Sharon Jackson were ordained
Itinerate Deacons; the Rev. Ellis Smith, Sr. was ordained Local Deacon; the
Rev. Marshall Ingram and the Rev. Timothy White were ordained Local Elders.
curtain closed on the milestone 100th Session, Bishop Cummings and
conference attendees praised the Rev. Ernest Davis, Jr., and Bethel – Albany
for the outstanding manner in which they hosted the conference, the second in
as many years.
2013 South Georgia Annual Conference will be held at Saint Paul AMEC in
*Ms. Sandra J. Webb is the Assistant Church
Secretary at Bethel AME Church in Albany, Georgia
6. WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY’S BISHOP C. GARNETT HENNING INSTITUTE FOR
In honor of his
lifetime service in advancing social programs around the world and his service
to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Wilberforce University is forming
the Bishop C. Garnett Henning Institute for Social Justice. Everyone is
encouraged to attend. Admission is free.
The new Bishop C.
Garnett Henning Institute for Social Justice at Wilberforce University honors
an influential clergyman who has spent nearly four decades as a strong advocate
for the poor and marginalized on two continents. This institute will bring
distinguished individuals to the campus each year to discuss social agendas
that advance human rights.
Topic of discussion
will be “Basic Human Rights: Where Are We Today?” Featured speaker will be Dr.
Dennis C. Dickerson, Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. Response
panelists will include the Honorable Marsha Bayless, Mayor, Xenia, Ohio; the
Honorable Rhine McLin, former Mayor, Dayton, Ohio; Mr. Brian Jarvis, Councilman,
Beavercreek, Ohio; and Ms. Angelica Rucker, Wilberforce University Senior. Dr.
Leah Gaskin Fitchue, President of Payne Theological Seminary will be the
As a young minister,
the Rt. Rev. C. Garnett Henning’s passionate Christian advocacy in Los Angeles
and St. Louis helped win battles against discrimination in both cities. His
advocacy for economic, social and political justice for blacks and other
minorities has been the hallmark of his ministry wherever he has served. He has
been a forceful fighter in areas of police brutality, housing, quality
education and employment. Bishop Henning served as Senior Shepherd of Ward AME
in Los Angeles. He was also Executive Vice President, President and Chairman of
the Board of Southern Christian
and served as a member of the city's Housing Authority for seven years and as
president for two years.
In St. Louis, where he
was Senior Minister of St. Paul AME, the Mother Church west of the Mississippi
River, Bishop Henning founded the Committee for Equal Justice, an organization
that exposed corruption in the bail bond system. His efforts helped establish
an "Own Recognizance" program – and later, a Pre-Trial Release
Program allowing qualified applicants to be released prior to trial without
posting a financial bond. Bishop Henning also founded the Black Clergy
Coalition, which provided valuable leadership in economic development and
political empowerment for African Americans St. Louis. He also founded the
Superintendent Advisory Committee, which interacted with the Superintendent of
education on matters related to quality education for the people of St. Louis
city school district.
Bishop Henning served
as Executive Director of Block Partnership, a program what fostered cooperation
between inner city and suburban churches in empowerment programs, and led his
congregation in participating in other city-suburban leadership exchange
abilities and contributions gained even wider recognition with his 1992
election as the 112th elected and consecrated bishop of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church and his assignment as Presiding Prelate of the 14th
Episcopal District. The 14th Episcopal District is in West Africa,
and comprises Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire.
Despite a civil war
then being fought in Liberia, Bishop Henning established AME University, an
institution which now has a student enrollment in excess of fifteen hundred
students. He also established C. G. Henning, Jr. Memorial Institute, in Danane'
d'Ivoire, a refugee area, a
school that continues its mission today.
In 1996 Bishop Henning
took the helm of the denomination's 19th Episcopal District, South
Africa. Since then, he has been a forceful leader among bishops and lay leaders
in support of indigenous leadership in Africa. While there, he completely
modernized the office operations at the AME. Church’s Johannesburg center and
built and paid for the C. G. Henning, Sr. Wing of the headquarters building,
which was dedicated in 1998.
For more information:
Linda Renner at 937-708-5704 or email@example.com.
7. MICHAEL WATERS RECEIVES BEATITUDES SOCIETY FELLOWSHIP:
SANTA BARBARA, CA (May
1, 2012) ‐ The Beatitudes
Society has announced that Michael Waters, Perkins School of Theology, ‘06, has
been awarded a $10,000 Beatitudes Fellowship.
He is one of eight
emerging faith leaders from across the United States selected for the annual
award. “We are delighted that Michael is one of our game‐changing new leaders,” said The Rev. Anne
Howard, Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society. “We are working toward
the day when we will see a thriving
nationwide web of courageous, authentic, innovative faith leaders and their
communities who are engaged in the public square on behalf of inclusion,
compassion, and the common good, and Michael will be a vital part of that
The Beatitudes Fellowship
equips a select group of new entrepreneurial faith leaders with the resources
and relationships that empower them to create new models for church and the
pursuit of social justice. This Fellowship is focused on building Progressive
During the yearlong
Fellowship, each Fellow develops their own project, working in their faith
community, and gathers four times each year in a retreat setting in Berkeley,
CA for customized leadership training workshops that include evaluation and
strategic planning: how to figure out what each Fellow needs in their ministry
project, from the tangible (people, money, time) to the intangible (faith,
Fellows were nominated
by professional colleagues and completed an application process that included a
description of their project idea. Candidates for this Fellowship have
- A commitment to the
intersection of faith and social justice
- A commitment to
interfaith and multi‐faith collaborations
- A proven track record
- A willingness to take
- Intellectual capacity
- A willingness to
collaborate with others
- Potential to be game‐changers
- A call to match up
their deep gladness with the world’s great need.
To find out more,
please visit: www.BeatitudesSociety.org
Submitted by Anne
Howard, Executive Director
8. UMC GENERAL CONFERENCE
2012 - VOTE ENDS GUARANTEED APPOINTMENTS:
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
TAMPA, Fla. Many delegates were surprised and even shocked by
how quickly a far-reaching proposal that takes away the security of guaranteed
appointments for ordained elders breezed by The United Methodist 2012 General
The item was approved as part of a large number of proposals in
the assembly’s April 30 consent calendar. The consent calendar is a tool used
by General Conference to expedite legislation wherein recommendations from
legislative committees with no more than 10 votes in opposition are grouped and
There was a motion to reconsider the item but that motion also
failed by a vote of 564 to 373.
Under this new legislation, bishops and cabinets will be allowed
to give elders less than full-time appointment. The legislation also would permit
bishops and their cabinets, with the approval of their boards of ordained
ministry and annual (regional) conference’s executive session, to put elders on
unpaid transitional leave for up to 24 months. Clergy on transitional leave
would be able to participate in their conference health program through their
Under the legislation, each annual conference is asked to name a
task force to develop a list of criteria to guide the cabinets and bishops as
they make missional appointments.
The cabinets shall report to the executive committees of Board
of Ordained Ministry the number of clergy without fulltime appointments and
their age, gender and ethnicity. Cabinets also will be asked to report their
learnings as appointment-making is conducted in a new way.
Earlier the assembly voted down a proposal that would have
allowed elders and deacons to be eligible for ordination as soon as they
complete their educational requirements and after serving a minimum of two
years as a provisional elder or deacon.
The commission stated security of appointments for elders has
been a major stumbling block for missional appointments.
Focus on mission
“Although I knew it was coming, I’m shocked at how fast it just
passed right by in front of us,” said the Rev. Gloria Kymn, pastor of
Marysville (Wash.) United Methodist Church and delegate of the Pacific
Northwest Annual (regional) Conference. She said she is “grieving” the loss of
United Methodist heritage this petition brings.
“I am a true disciple of Jesus Christ, I am United Methodist and
I am an effective clergy,” she said. However, as a woman from an ethnic
minority, she has experienced discrimination.
The Rev. Vance Ross, pastor of Gordon Memorial United Methodist
Church, Nashville, Tenn., said guaranteed appointments have been critical to
discouraging cultural bigotry.
“We have put something in place that allows an awful amount of
opportunity to move in ways that are not part of the diverse and including
values that we get from Jesus of Nazareth.”
Security of appointment was established in 1956 to protect women
clergy and later clergy of color, said the Rev. Tom Choi, Hawaii district
superintendent and a member of the ministry study commission.
“These days, the group most protected by security of appointment
is ineffective clergy,” Choi said. “To that point, I have sometimes felt that
there has been a distortion to a line in the Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan
Tradition: ‘Let me be employed for Thee, or laid aside for Thee.’ The cynical
side of me thinks that a handful of elders and associate members have the
attitude of ‘Let me be employed for Thee, or let me be employed for ME.’
“My opinion is that the actual numbers of clergy affected by
this legislation is very small.”
The Rev. We Hyun Chang, pastor of Belmont (Mass.) United
Methodist Church and a delegate of the New England Annual (regional) Conference
said guaranteed appointments were represented as something outside of missional
“Without (security of appointments) we would still be a
male-dominated denomination … with even smaller numbers of ethnic clergy
compared to any other denominations. It has served the church missionally and I
regret that is promoted as one of the reasons we are losing our members.”
In the United States, one in three churches have less than 40 in
worship on Sunday, said the Rev. Ken Carter, chair of the Western North
Carolina delegation and co-author of the ministry study report.
“What we have done is to displace local pastors often in poor
and marginalized areas or created charges that are sometimes artificial and not
helpful to the local churches to try to provide employment for elders,” he
said. They have continued despite ineffectiveness and this has done harm to
Carter said an amendment to the legislation allows for the
monitoring of cabinets and bishops by an independent group of people not placed
there by the bishop or cabinet.
“Most of our local United Methodist churches cannot provide
continued appointment,” he said. “The future may well look more like a
bi-vocational ministry for a substantial number of our clergy.”
*Gilbert is a multimedia reporter for the young adult content
team at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Tampa, Fla., (813)
574-4837, through May 4; after May 4, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470, or
Used with Permission of United Methodist News Service
9. MEDITATION BASED ON I
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby
I had a rare Saturday
morning with nothing on my schedule this past weekend and decided to spend some
time cleaning up my study and watching TV.
Doing so left me both amazed and amused.
I was amazed - as I always am - at the broad range of viewing
choices. There were only four local TV
stations to choose from in the days of my youth, but I now have cable TV with
well over one hundred channels. I was
amused because when I flipped through all of those channels, I couldn’t find
one single thing that I really wanted to watch!
My amazing and amusing Saturday morning experience mirrors
what’s sometimes less amazing and amusing but still significant, for we all
face choices in life. Some of them -
like what to watch on TV or at the movies, where to eat, what to wear, what to
do for recreation and relaxation - are trivial.
Others - like our choice of colleges or careers, of casual and lifelong
companions, of how to handle our business and care for ourselves and for those
what we love - are more critical.
Life presents us with many choices, and we sometimes make the
wrong ones. That can simply be annoying
when the choices are minor, but can have a considerable impact on our lives
when the choices are major. Many people
go through life with heavy burdens, cares, fears and heartaches because we make
the wrong choices and have to live with the consequences.
That’s why it pays to choose to follow Jesus. When we stay in step with the Savior who
sacrificed his earthly life to deliver us from our sins and missteps, we can
find forgiveness for our bad choices and assurance that we can recover and
receive healing, renewal and new direction.
Bad choices are a part of our human condition, but we don’t have
to let them limit or haunt our lives or our futures. The God we serve sent His Son into this world
so that even when we face confusing choices in life, we can confidently say
with one writer, “I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords
If you are in the Charleston, South Carolina area this weekend
please feel free to join us on this First Sunday in May for Church School at
8:45 am and for Worship and Holy Communion at 10 am, when the Combined Choir,
Gospel Choir and Morris Brown Mass Choir will offer praise.
Sunday’s Scripture Lessons are:
I Thessalonians 5:1-11
Sunday’s Sermon is entitled:
“Stay Ready for Jesus”
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby is the pastor of Morris Brown AME
Church in Charleston, South Carolina
10. EPISCOPAL FAMILY
Supervisor Retired, Reverend Rosalyn K. Brookins is asking the
African Methodist Episcopal Church Family to pray fervently for her husband,
The Rt. Reverend Hamel Hartford Brookins, who is in the Hollywood Presbyterian
Medical Center in Los Angeles.
"The Effectual Fervent Prayer Of the Righteous Availeth
Contact Information for the Rev. Rosalyn Brookins:
Telephone: (323) 719-6197
**Received by Mrs. Ora L. Easley, Administrator, The Clergy
Family Information Center
11. EPISCOPAL, GENERAL
OFFICER AND CLERGY FAMILY CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Supervisor, the Rev. Rosalyn Kyle Brookins will graduate from San Francisco
Theological Seminary on May 12, 2012
The Reverend Brookins said, "I am so excited to announce
that it is official. I am graduating MAY 12, 2012 with my M. DIV degree from San
Francisco Theological Seminary! What a journey this has been and I couldn't
have made it without the prayers of the righteous! Through heartache, pain,
sunshine, and rain, the lord has gotten me to the finish line! Amen! Please
come and celebrate with me this glorious event! This degree is for all of our
ancestors who didn't have an opportunity to receive what we would a formal
education, and yet had more education than any institution could offer."
San Francisco Theological Seminary Class of 2012 Commencement
Exercises at the Southern California Campus on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 10
a.m. at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena,
Reception following at the South Hall of the Pasadena
Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attorney Derek E.
Bruce, Principal, Edge Public Affairs, Orlando, Florida was named by Governor
Rick Scott to serve on the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection to
examine the "Stand Your Ground" Law.
Attorney Derek E. Bruce, Principal, Edge Public Affairs,
Orlando, FL was named by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Task Force on
Citizen Safety and Protection to examine the "Stand Your Ground" Law.
The purpose of the Task Force is to examine this law and any other laws, rules,
regulations or programs that relate to public safety and protection in wake of
the Trayvon Martin incident. They will make any necessary recommendations to
the Governor and Legislature to improve public safety in Florida. Input for the
Task Force can be emailed to CitizenSafety@eog.myflorida.com. For more
information, visit www.FLGov.com/citizensafety. The website for Edge Public
Affairs is www.edgepublicaffairs.com.
- Ms. Yolanda A. Bruce,
Esq. has been named Senior Attorney with the Florida Division of Children and
Ms. Yolanda A. Bruce, Esq. who currently serves as Assistant
State Attorney, Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida
has been named Senior Attorney with the Florida Division of Children and
Families starting in May.
Attorney Derek E. Bruce and
Ms. Yolanda A. Bruce, Esq. are the son and daughter of the Late Dr. Y.
Benjamin Bruce, Sr., former Director, Worship and Evangelism and Presiding
Elder, North Orlando District, Central Conference and Ms. Gloria S. Bruce,
Central Conference Commissioner, Debutante-Master Commission.
Well wishers are appreciated and send emails to the following
Ms. Gloria S. Bruce: email@example.com
Ms. Yolanda A. Bruce, Esq.:firstname.lastname@example.org
12. CLERGY FAMILY
We ask for your prayers at the death April 28, 2012 of Mrs.
Tessie Bernice Ray Parks (102 years old). Mrs. Parks was the grandmother of the
Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Connectional Consultant AME/WIM, Sixth Episcopal
District and Sister Richelle Fry Skinner, DMC Commissioner, Fifth Episcopal
Homegoing services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday May 5,
Ward Memorial Baptist Church
412 North Osage Avenue
Sedalia, Missouri 65301
The Rev. John Williams, Officiant
The Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Eulogist
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown
1080 Palmer Road
Lithonia, Georgia 30058
Sister Richelle Fry Skinner
Denver, CO 80205
13. CLERGY FAMILY
"Earth's loss is
heaven's gain" - It is with sadness that we announced the homegoing of
the Rev. Willem Moses Hanse, a pastor in the Namibia Annual Conference, of the
Fifteenth Episcopal District under the leadership of Bishop E. Earl McCloud Jr.
The late Rev. W M Hanse transited to glory on Thursday, 26 April and is to be
laid to perpetual rest from the St. James AME Church, Mariental on Sunday, 6
May 2012. The late Rev WM Hanse was the brother of two AME ministers: Presiding
Elder Willem Simon Hanse from Cape Town and Presiding Elder Penias E. Topnaar!
Enquiries and expressions of condolence may be emailed to:
The Rev. W S Hanse, Presiding Elder: email@example.com
The Rev P E Topnaar, Presiding Elder
14. CLERGY FAMILY
We regret to inform you of the passing of Aaron Stanley Kayser,
the brother of Sean Pillay and the cousin of the Rev. Clive Pillay, pastor of
Young Chapel, Tafelsig, South Africa.
Aaron Stanley Kayser passed after being hit in a car accident in
Merrydale Street in Mitchells Plain on Sunday 29 April.
Expressions of sympathy can be emailed to:
The Rev. Clive Pillay: firstname.lastname@example.org
15. CLERGY FAMILY
On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, retired Presiding Elder Raymond G.
Heastie went home to be with the Lord.
The Rev. Heastie pastored for 30-years throughout the 11th
Episcopal District. He served as a Presiding Elder for 10 years. He retired in
2007 from the Wonderful North
District of the South Conference under the leadership of Presiding Bishop
McKinley Young and Supervisor Dr. Dorothy Jackson Young of the 11th
Episcopal District. The North District is currently under the leadership of
Presiding Elder and Mrs. (Magdalene) Vincent Mitchell and is now named the Noble North District. Elder Heastie was
married to Sister Doris Heastie for 57 years. She was his college classmate at
Bethune Cookman University.
They are the parents of five children: Deon Eleanor, Ricardo
Anthony, Donna Maria, Roddrick Joseph, and Daphne L'nette, ten grandchildren
and eleven great-grandchildren. Sister Doris is a past 8-year elected
Connectional Officer of the Women's Missionary Society. Presiding Elder Heastie
was a member of Payne Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in West Palm
Beach, Florida; the Rev. Milton Broomfield (Rhonda) is the pastor.
The Celebration of Life service for Elder Heastie is as follows:
Thursday, May 3rd 2012
Celebration of Life Service: 11:00 a.m.
Eulogist: Bishop McKinley Young
Payne Chapel AME Church
801- 9th Street
West Palm Beach, 33401
Professional Services are entrusted to:
Shuler's Memorial Chapel
5301 N. Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Phone: (561) 882-4255
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
Mrs. Doris L. Heastie
1148 West 32nd Street
Riviera Beach, Fl 33404
Phone: (561) 881-1224
Expressions of sympathy may be emailed to: email@example.com
16. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT
We regret to announce the passing of the Rev. Wendell H. West,
Superannuate of the Michigan Annual Conference, 4th Episcopal
During his active years, the Rev. West pastored in both the
Michigan and Canadian Conferences. After his retirement, the Rev. West
relocated to Sacramento, California to reside with his son and family. He
attended St. Andrews AME Church in Sacramento, California.
Funeral Services for the Rev. West is scheduled for Saturday,
April 28, 2012
Family Hour: 10:30 am - 11:00 am
Home going Celebration: 11:00 am
New St. James AME Church
9321 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Detroit, MI. 48206
Telephone: (313) 867-2851
The Rev. Tammy Harris, Pastor
Friday, April 27, 2012
Public Viewing -
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Haley Funeral Directors
24525 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI. 48075
Telephone: (248) 356-4800
Words of sympathy and comfort may be sent to:
Mr. Mark West (Son)
6116 Sampson Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95824
17. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY
ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/
Phone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Phone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751
18. CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
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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