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

Reminder for Church Bulletins:
Advent beings Sunday, December 2, 2012

We at The Christian Recorder and the AME Sunday School Union wish all of our subscribers and readers of The Christian Recorder; all of the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!


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

This year, we all have so much for which to be thankful.  God has blessed us with so many things and if you are reading this message, you are alive and you should be thankful! I know that I am thankful. 

God has blessed us with families and friends, with shelter of some kind; and with food, be it little or much; we give God thanks for all that God has given us.

Each Thanksgiving since I have been Editor of The Christian Recorder, I have shared my thanks and I want to continue the tradition of sharing my thanks this year!

I am thankful

I am thankful to God and for Jesus Christ who died for my sins.  I am thankful for my wife and pastor, the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Blake Sydnor; our children, grandchildren, family and friends.

I am thankful that our founder Richard Allen and others “stood up” for their dignity and refused to be treated as second-class parishioners and walked out of St. George Methodist Church in 1787. I am thankful for our Zion, which celebrates 196 years of existence as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I am thankful for all of the “mothers and fathers” of the AME Church who laid the foundation for our great Zion. I am thankful for the visionary leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, past and present.

I love the AME Church because it has done so much for me personally and has also been a blessing for my family. I love the history, doctrine, and polity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I love The Discipline and structure of the Church. I love AME worship – the liturgy and the spiritual dynamism when pastors and parishioners allow the presence of the Holy Spirit in worship. 

I love the AME Church because its ministry has always extended beyond the sanctuary. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was leader in the emancipation slaves and was a leader in the Civil Rights’ Movement. The AME Church joined the fight for Women’s suffrage and has always been a leader in the fight for human rights. The AME Church has been a leader in the effort to provide academic opportunities for those who didn’t have access to a college education both in the United States and abroad.

I love the AME Church because Wilberforce University opened its doors for my post-secondary education when my family didn’t have the money to provide for my college education. I am thankful for the dedicated professors who remained at Wilberforce when they probably could have made higher salaries at other academic institutions. Miss Askew, Miss Jackson and other instructors stand out in my mind as professors who demanded the best from their students.  

I am thankful for all of the academic institutions, schools, and institutes of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and the fine work our academic institutions are doing in spite of insufficient funding, yet always producing top-flight graduates and productive citizens.

I am thankful and appreciative for dedicated pastors who influenced my life and for the spiritual foundation the local church gave me – Bethel AME Church, Ardmore, Pennsylvania; Ebenezer AME Church, Rahway, New Jersey; and Bethel AME Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.  I am thankful for the churches I pastored – Shorter Chapel AME Church in Paris, Kentucky and St. James AME Church in Danville, Kentucky. In those pastorates I also supplied Wayman Chapel in Georgetown, Kentucky and St. Andrew AME Church in Lancaster, Kentucky. They laid the foundation for my pastoral and professional accomplishments.

I was proud then, and I am proud now

I am thankful for and am glad that I participated in the 49th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference. It was an awesome experience and it made me proud to be an AME! That was the best General Conference ever!

I am especially thankful the global African Methodist Episcopal Church and feel honored and blessed with the opportunity to serve as the 20th Editor of The Christian Recorder. After eight-years, I still feel that I have the best ministry in the AME Church; it’s not a job, it’s a ministry!

I am thankful for the many people who write articles, promise to write articles, and intend to write articles and for the many people who inquire about writing articles. I am thankful for the people who share their concerns and love for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  I am thankful for our episcopal leadership and for my fellow general officers.  I am thankful for the AME Church’s connectional leadership; for our presiding elders, pastors and laity. I am thankful for our youth and young adults. We have some brilliant young people and young adults in the AME Church. I am especially thankful for the pastors of our medium-sized and small churches who don’t make a lot of money, yet they are dedicated to their ministry.  I am thankful for the Rev. Dr. Grainger Browning and the Rev. Dr. Joann Browning, co-pastors of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington for their support of The Christian Recorder. Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, Maryland has more subscriptions than any other church in the connection.

God has been good to the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its global ministry; and to each of us, in spite of our perceived shortcomings.  Compared to other more-financially-endowed denominations, the AME Church does much with its limited funding; and I am thankful for what the African Methodist Episcopal Church is able to do in the spirit of our founder, the Right Reverend Richard Allen and the Free African Society.  I am thankful that the Church has remained faithful to the preamble of the Free African Society and remains faithful to the AME Church’s mission to “minister to the social, spiritual and physical development of all people.”

I am thankful for the people who love our Zion. I am especially thankful for all of the pastors of our Zion, especially the pastors of our smaller congregations. Pastors are the “heart-beat” of the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; they labor week after week, month after month, and year after year.  I am thankful for them because of the ministry they are doing in spite of the fact that they are doing ministry and positively impacting lives without endowments and an abundance of wealthy members. The pastoral ministry is where “the rubber hits the road.”  I suspect that most of our successful pastors were nurtured in smaller congregations. I was nurtured in smaller and mid-sized churches with dedicated and spiritually-focused pastors. I am thankful for their spiritual leadership. I am thankful for the dedicated laity in all of our churches.  We wouldn’t have a church without the laity.

I am thankful for the Church’s support for women in ministry and am hopeful that “more doors will be open” for them to be routinely assigned to top-tier pulpits. I am thankful that we elected women bishops and general officers and that we were the first black Methodist body to elect a woman bishop; and that we didn’t stop with electing just one female bishop, but have elected two more and hopefully we will elect more female bishops.

I am thankful that the AME Church elected indigenous African and Caribbean bishops, and I hope that we will elect more bishops from Africa and from the Caribbean, and in time, from India.  We are indeed a global Church.

I am thankful for the pastors who nurtured me: the Rev. Aldustus Jordan, the Rev. Jesse F. Owens, the Rev. T. S. Clements, the Rev. B.C. Burton, the Rev. C. E. Blake, Bishop John Bright; Bishop Frederick D. Jordan, who gave me my first pastoral appointment; and all of the subsequent bishops under whom I have served. I thank God for all of the clergy and lay-mentors who nurtured my ministry.

I am also thankful for the dedication and commitment of the laity love the AME Church and remain faithful in good times and bad times. 

I made some less than smart decisions (think dumb) when I was a young pastor and I am thankful that I had Cornelia Faulkner, Naomi Smith, Alberta Rice, Ralph Smith, Brother and Sister Fomas, Brother and Sister Chenault, Deaconess Hutsell and others who had the love and commitment for the Church that caused them to be patient with me. They taught me the “ins and outs” of ministry and of pastoring.  At the time, I thought that I was teaching them, but they were teaching me. I am thankful for those church-workers who were my “teachers” in ministry.

I am thankful for my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors; and all who had a hand in my spiritual development. I thank God for the spankings and punishments I had to endure because I needed them; I needed the discipline.

I thank you, the leadership and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, for this opportunity to express my thanks because I have so much for which to be thankful, and I am thankful; and, I know that you are thankful too and we all can affirm,

“Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I wish all of you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Editor’s Note: The weekly edition will not be published next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. TCR News Breaks and TCR Breaking News will be published.


Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray

We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing

We're slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold

But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for

For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head

I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know

Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure

That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace

So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided
And bless each and every person invited

--Scott Wesemann


The 2013 Bishops’ Council / General Board Meeting and Investiture of Bishop Sarah Frances Davis as the President, Council of Bishops is scheduled to be held in Kingston, Jamaica on June 23 – 26, 2013.

Head-up: Those persons traveling to Jamaica will need to have up-to-date passports.  It takes time to get a U.S. passport and if you don’t already have a passport, recommend that you start the process immediately. U.S. citizens can get a passport a last minute, but last-minute passports are expensive. Click on the link below or put the address below in your browser for information about how to apply for or renew a passport.  


The Council of Bishops
P.O. Box 147|
Little Rock, AR 72203-0147

Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr.

Bishop Sarah F. Davis

November 9, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The global membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church–the Council of Bishops, and the Commission on Social Action that successfully reached its goal of mobilizing more than one million (1,000,000) voters for the November 6th election--join in expressions of congratulations on your election to a second term as President of the United States of America. All Americans should feel empowered and emboldened by their participation in the process. To God be the Glory!

Count on the African Methodist Episcopal Church to be a partner with you and the leadership team that you select to address domestic challenges, global issues, and galactic exploration. Our commitment to this ministry can be summarized as follows: “The African Methodist Episcopal Church must fully identify with the poor and the oppressed in their struggle for human dignity. That this participation in human development is not optional, nor is it an addendum to an already crowded agenda. It must be the very heart of the life and work of the church.” We have assumed a posture of expectancy in response to your prediction that, “The best is yet to come.”

The African Methodist Episcopal Church declared at its founding two hundred and twenty five (225) years ago that mediocrity and discrimination are not of God. Just as our founder, Richard Allen, rejoiced 225 years ago as the United States of America crafted its Constitution—our Constitution–we will join forces with persons of good will who combat these forces in the halls of government, in neighborhoods, or in the world community.

We will continue to pray for you and for your family. We remain committed to working with you in convincing those who have not caught the vision for freedom with dignity.

Thank you, Mr. President, for being a person that America can believe in. Thank you for your Christian witness. And thank you for being obedient in answering the call to serve.



Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr.
Council of Bishops
African Methodist Episcopal Church

*Original letter signed by all of the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. Dr. Johnny and Mrs. Clara Barbour will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on November 24. 2012. Johnny Barbour, Jr. married Clara Mae Jackson in Springhill, Louisiana on November 24, 1962. 

Before her marriage to Dr. Barbour, Clara was featured in an article in Jet Magazine in the early sixties.

Young Johnny Barbour met beautiful Clara Mae Jackson at Campbell College, a small AME school located in Jackson, Mississippi.

Johnny had already accepted the call to ministry and majored in religion and philosophy earned an Associate of Arts degree and from Lampton School of Religion and she earned a degree in business administration and secretarial practice and procedure.

Both Johnny and Clara were native Mississippians, He was born in Greenwood, Mississippi to Zula and Johnny Barbour, Sr. and she in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to Isaac and Lucille Jackson; though born in Bay St. Louis she was reared in Waveland, Mississippi.  It was love at first sight and not only were they both native Mississippians; they discovered that they had a lot in common, which they have shared for 50 over years.

In college, Johnny was the president of the intercollegiate chapter of the NAACP. He was one of four Jackson, Mississippi students who integrated the city buses of Jackson and the Jackson Zoo, as well as participating in other demonstrations during Medgar Evers' tenure as the NAACP's field secretary in Mississippi.

Upon graduation from Campbell College they both matriculated at the University of Southern, Mississippi.

In July 1964, the Barbours arrived in Meridian, Mississippi on his pastoral assignment at Alan Chapel AME Church on the day that three young Civil Rights’ workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner were reported missing. The three Civil Rights’ workers had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer. The Reverend Barbour met with Mrs. Chaney, the wife of James Chaney who was a member of Alan Chapel.

One of the things Johnny and Clara had in common was their love and commitment to the civil and human rights.

The Reverend Johnny and Mrs. Clara Barbour were active in the Civil Rights’ Movement canvassing door to door to get people ready to vote. Mrs. Barbour worked in the NAACP office in Meridian, Mississippi lending her volunteer support to administrative duties, including filing, documentation of statistics, addresses, telephone numbers, telephone calls, and production of educational materials. The Reverend Barbour served as coordinator for the NAACP in Meridian, Mississippi as well as NAACP coordinator for voter registration and education for the state of Mississippi. Mrs. Barbour used to sing that solo at the mass meetings for Dr. King and other Civil Rights' leaders.

Johnny and Clara were also active in the life of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; he as an active pastor and leader in the annual conference and the 8th Episcopal District; and she was an active worker in the local church, annual conference and the Episcopal District Women’s Missionary Societies. Mrs. Clara worked closely with Dr. Barbour in all of his pastorates and served as a director of a daycare center.

At home they were the parents of one son, Thomas Monroe Barbour II, who when asked if his mother was a disciplinarian, laughed out loud and said, “Oh, yes she was a strict disciplinarian.”

In addition to their son, they have a daughter-in-law, Juanita Adams Barbour; and two grandchildren, Thomas Monroe Barbour III, a senior at Jackson State University; and Brianna Kathleen Barbour, a sophomore at Fisk University and a member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

Dr. Barbour pastored some of the most active congregations in Mississippi, which culminated with the pastorate of Pearl Street AME Church, Jackson, Mississippi, one of the largest churches in the denomination.  In 1986, Dr. Barbour was awarded the Doctor of Divinity Degree from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio. 

In the 50 years of their marriage, they have lived in Yazoo City, Meridian, Fayette, Laurel, and Jackson, Mississippi, and Shreveport, Louisiana. They have homes in Jackson and Nashville, Tennessee.
We wish Dr. Johnny and Mrs. Clara Barbour a blessed 50th Wedding Anniversary – their Golden Wedding Anniversary!

Dr. Barbour is the Secretary-Treasurer and Publisher of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Sunday School Union.

Congratulatory messages can be sent to:

Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr.: u_sunday@bellsouth.net; amecinfo@edge.net 

Dr. and Mrs. Clara M. Barbour
185 Bristol Blvd
Jackson, Mississippi  39204-3507


The International Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) is partnering with Church World Services to purchase key supplies for survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

Specifically, they need cleanup supply buckets ($56), hygiene kits ($10) and blankets ($5).

International President Dr. Shirley Cason-Reed asks all who respond to this urgent call to only send monetary donations.  The WMS will write one check to Church World Services to purchase the designated items.

The WMS service does not end there. President Reed will journey with area WMS to the Church World Services Center at 601 Main Street in New Windsor, Maryland to help package the items for delivery.  If you want to assist and desire more information, please call the WMS International Headquarters at 202.371.8886.

“Our sisters and brothers need those of us who are willing and able to step up and assist in this trying time,” says President Reed. “I am calling on all local societies to ask their Pastors to designate a Helping Hurricane Sandy Survivors Sunday. No amount is too small because we know God will multiply all gifts to meet the needs of the recipients.”

Please make checks payable to the Women’s Missionary Society and send them to the International Office by November 19, 2012. The address is 1134 11th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.  Please write Hurricane Sandy in the memo.

By Jacqueline Mitchell Robinson


Dr. George F. Flowers is in New Jersey assisting with disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In the recovery efforts with in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, CWS has shipped more than $750,000 in material resources to agencies in affected areas, including CWS Blankets, Kits and Clean-up Buckets. The African Methodist Episcopal Church's Department of Global Witness and Ministry partners with the Church World Service.


On Sunday, October 28, 2012, the 131st Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church visited the place where his journey in the Ministry began - New Tyler AME Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bishop Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Prelate of the 14th District delivered a powerful and inspiring message at New Tyler African Methodist Episcopal Church. His topic was “God Will Provide” and he spoke from the Scriptural text of Philippians 4:19. There was great singing by the New Tyler Mass Choir sang and the Ministry of dance was presented by the “Faith,” “Rejoice,” and “Grace” Liturgical Dancers.

Bishop Fugh was presented by Presiding Elder Emeritus Benjamin R. Booker, North Memphis District. Episcopal Supervisor Alexia Fugh, the wife of Bishop Fugh; Presiding Elder, Linda Thomas-Martin, South Memphis District; and the Reverend Eddie Brown and a host of family and friends were in attendance. The Reverend Willie V. Woods was the Host Pastor.

Submitted by Sister Catherine Brown, New Tyler AME Church


The Rev. Scott Reed, pastor of Midland Heights Baptist Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee publicly thanked Brother James Darden for the work he does with the young people of Shelbyville, Tennessee. He said, "I want to take this time to thank you for what you do for our youth. The impact you have on the youth of today goes far beyond football and is often not reflected on in the "wins" column.  I played sports all through school and still have a great relationship with my coaches. You play an important role in shaping our youth and I want to honor that." The Rev. Scott went on to say, "The congregation at Midland Heights Baptist Church would like to have you and your staff be our dinner guests to honor what you are doing for our kids.  It will take place on Thursday night, November 15, 2012 in the Fellowship Hall of our church. I look forward to meeting and thanking you personally for the outstanding work you do with our youth."

James Darden coaches football and basketball for middle school students in Shelbyville. Darden says, "I care as much about the moral, ethical and spiritual development of the students who participate in our program as I do about winning."


TCR Editor’s Note: Chaplain (Major) Shawn Menchion is an Itinerant Elder in the AME Church serving as an Air Force Chaplain

Erin Prater

An Air Force Academy program to teach cadets to respect the religious beliefs of comrades will soon go to all Air Force bases and schools if academy chaplains have their way.

While a target date has not been set for the program’s expansion, chaplains hope to transition the Religious Respect Training Program throughout the Air Force as soon as possible, Chaplain Maj. Shawn Menchion said Wednesday at the conclusion of the academy’s Religious Respect Conference.

“It may reach basic training for enlisted airmen before it reaches the officers,” Menchion said.

The program was launched in 2010 at the recommendation of senior academy leaders after several years of religious-related controversies, Menchion said.

Initially, it was a one-hour training session on the First Amendment’s clauses that relate to religious freedom, and was taught by academy chaplains to the class of 2014 at cadet basic training.

Last year the academy and its partners, including the Anti-Defamation League, developed three additional lessons that will be taught at other times: one-hour lessons during sophomore and junior years, and a two-hour lesson during senior year, Menchion said.

The training teaches cadets “to become allies to other cadets when they witness respect infractions,” he said. “We’re giving them avenues to address those issues. We emphasize addressing those issues at the lowest level.”

“This is something new,” Menchion said of the program. “No other military members are getting this training except for the cadets.”

The program was a major topic of discussion at the third biannual conference, held Tuesday and Wednesday at the academy.

Military and civilian attendees representing groups such as the ACLU, Buddhist Churches of America and Islamic Society of Colorado offered feedback on the program, which consists of lectures and discussions based on scenarios.

“Some have suggested that we continue to revise our scenarios to ensure their sensitivity and to ensure that there are no subjective or implied messages sent as we continue to develop the series,” Menchion said.

David Oringderff, executive director of the Sacred Well Congregation, an international Wiccan fellowship, said he had high hopes for the program.

“Two years ago the program was just starting out, and I didn’t think it was going to succeed, at least not the way it did,” he said. “After I left the conference, I felt that there’d be progress. But I was not prepared for the extent of the positive outcome. It’s just incredible.

“I do a lot of interfaith work, and this program should be a model for interfaith programs all over the country.”

Retired Air Force Col. Frank Clawson, director of military relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also said he was pleasantly surprised by the difference the program made in the academy’s culture in two years.

“In the military, you really have to be a cohesive team,” he said. “If you have people who are being segregated out because of their beliefs and not included in a team, you’re going to be less effective.

“I’m encouraged. They’re beginning to see results that are positive.”

Reprinted with permission of The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  


Metropolitan AME Church Groups and CBCF will sponsor a panel discussion, Stop the Pipeline to Prison: Create Educational Opportunities, Jobs and Wealth on Nov. 17, 2012.

"African Americans and other minorities continue to face a disproportionately high risk of imprisonment. Those who are released, and want to become productive members of society are consistently met with roadblocks to employment and the ability to engage."

Metropolitan AME Church organizations and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) will sponsor a panel discussion, Stop the Pipeline to Prison: Create Educational Opportunities, Jobs and Wealth on November 17, 2012 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1518 M Street, NW, Washington, DC.

The panel, moderated by Dr. Charles J. Ogletree, professor of Law, Harvard University, will highlight the impact of mass incarcerations on African-American and other minority communities. The discussion will serve as a catalyst for solutions to eliminating the disproportionate sentencing of minorities who are shuttled through the criminal justice system, and offer options for the road to economic recovery for returning offenders looking for work.

"African Americans and other minorities continue to face a disproportionately high risk of imprisonment. Those who are released, and want to become productive members of society are consistently met with roadblocks to employment and the ability to engage in the most basic of rights, to take part in the democratic process," said Krisa Haggins, interim president and chief executive officer for CBCF.

In the past 20 years the prison population in the United States has skyrocketed. According to recent statistics by the Pew Charitable Trusts, one in 106 white males, one in 36 Hispanic males, and one in five black males are incarcerated.

National experts who are especially knowledgeable about the topic of prison reform and solutions are participating in Stop The Pipeline to Prison. Panelists include: Representative Bobby Scott (Virginia), Glenn Martin, director of the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at The Fortune Society, Inc., Francine Sherman, Professor and Director of the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project at Boston College Law School, Nigel Parkinson, president and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C. - based Parkinson Construction Company, and King Downing, attorney and founder of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center.

"Metropolitan AME’s Daniel Payne Community Development Corporation (CDC) a 501(c) 3 organization, The Bethel Literary Historical Society and Public Relations Commission are excited to host this important forum. It is purposely situated on the heels of the Presidential election as the mass incarceration of African-American and Hispanic males has a huge impact on federal and state budgets. Entire communities and entire generations are suffering as a result," said the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, senior pastor.

Hundreds are expected to attend Stop the Pipeline to Prison: Create Educational Opportunities, Jobs and Wealth. Please RSVP at http://stopthepipeline.eventbrite.com/. The panel discussion will be web streamed live at http://www.cbcfinc.org. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter @CBCFInc #PIPELINE

You can sign and share the petition at:


- Saint John Hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Sister Barbara and I are thankful for your many prayers and expressions of support since her July 3rd hospitalization at Nashville General Hospital during the 49th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference and her ongoing Tulsa hospitalization. Sister Barbara was transferred via Air Ambulance to a Tulsa hospital August 6th.

Today, November 13, 2012 - To God Be the Glory for What God is bringing Sister Barbara and me through.

The surgery was successful. Sister Barbara's wound is closed. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

We were apprised in advance that the services of a plastic surgeon were required to close the wound because the flesh would not meet.

She is in ICU with some degree of breathing challenges.  These challenges are expected to be less of a problem in the next day or so and as her body heals. Breathing is aided by machine and tubes have been inserted down her throat. 

In the days ahead, her body has to heal, stomach muscles which haven't been used for over four months have to be strengthened and her body has to be slowly and systematically re-introduced to food. She has not had food on her stomach since July 9th.

We will continue to keep you abreast of Sis Barbara's progress.

Thank you for your prayers.

The Rev Dennis J. Hampton
P.O. Box 480901
Tulsa, OK 74148

Cell Phone: 918-809-3487


Bishop Sarah Davis, Presiding Prelate
Mr. Claytie Davis, Episcopal Supervisor

2013 Haiti Annual Conference
February 6-10, 2013
February 06, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
February 09, 2013: YPD Day
February 07, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
February 10, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Church: Lula Brokington AME, Mariani
Host Pastor: The Reverend Michlet Mars

2013 Dominican Republic Annual Conference
February 13-17, 2013
February 13, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
February 16, 2013: YPD Day
February 14, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
February 17, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Church: Mission David AME, Las Terena, Samana
Host Pastor: The Reverend Jaime Coplin, Host Pastor (Co-Presiding Elder)

2013 Guyana/Suriname Annual Conference
March 20-24, 2013
March 20, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
March 23, 2013: YPD Day
March 21, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
March 24, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Church: St. Peters AME, Georgetown, Guyana
Host Pastor: The Reverend Andrew Morris Grant, P.E.

2013 Windward Islands Annual Conference
April 10-14, 2013
April 10, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
April 13, 2013: YPD Day
April 11, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
April 14, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Church: Hickman AME, Grenada
Host Pastor: The Reverend Lisa Williams

2013 Jamaica Annual Conference
April 17-21, 2013
April 17, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
April 20, 2013: YPD Day
April 18, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
April 21, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Churches: St. John AME, Palmers Cross, Clarendon and Chapel of Christ Our Redeemer AME, Kingston
Host Pastors: The Reverend Lazree Davis and the Reverend Dr. Monica Spencer

2013 Virgin Islands Annual Conference
April 24 – 28, 2013
April 24, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
April 27, 2013: YPD Day
April 25, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
April 28, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Church: St. Luke AME, Kingshill, St. Croix
Host Pastor: The Reverend Phillip Walcott

2013 European Annual Conference
May 8-12, 2013
May   8, 2013: Annual Missionary Convention
May 11, 2013: YPD Day
May   9, 2013: Annual Conference Opening Worship
May 12, 2013: Annual Conference Closing Worship 
Host Church: Richard Allen AME, London, England
Host Pastors: The Reverend Rudolph Aaron, P.E.

JUNE 2013         
23-26: General Board and Investiture of Bishop Sarah Frances Davis in Kingston, Jamaica


By Dr. Oveta Fuller

Payne Theological Seminary requires a course “The Biology of HIV/AIDS” for graduation of its Masters of Divinity students. During the week that includes Election Day 2012, I am with students in this fall’s 2012 class in the battleground state of Ohio. In the amazing backdrop of the 2012 election, we are discussing “What Effective Clergy Should Know about HIV/AIDS”.

Writing from such a setting, I am reminded that during his first term, President Barack Obama made a position statement about same sex marriage. This leads back to the issue of “G20 and Homophobia”.

Among other materials, the class is reading a February 20, 2012 editorial in The Christian Recorder by Dr. Calvin Sydnor. Dr. Sydnor writes that HIV/AIDS “is a difficult issue” to which African Americans and pastors, clergy and church leaders must attend.

To reverse infection trends requires individual ownership and eliminating ignorance and shallow or misinformation about HIV/AIDS. It requires consistently addressing HIV as a virus infection and more openly discussing related issues such as sexuality, homosexuality and economics. These issues intersect with morality and make HIV/AIDS a more “difficult subject to address”.

Stigma remains with HIV/AIDS from the historical first association with gay men, IV drug use and people with multiple sex partners. To deal with the stigma, we have to address these issues. Homophobia is a priority on the list.

I understand President Obama’s position as an attorney and responsible leader of our country. I interpret his position to mean that the government should not take a position that same sex marriage between consenting adults should be illegal. Remember, at one point in our country’s history, interracial marriage between a black and a white person was illegal in some states.

I hear that the President’s position is that the legal system should not prevent or ban marriage of two consenting adults who seek the rights attributed by law to a married couple in the USA. There are very real rights of legally recognized committed partnerships that affect items such as taxes, health insurance and other benefits afforded married couples.

I can understand such an official public position of this Commander in Chief and attorney.

I perhaps could see legal civil unions among same sex couples who have a committed long-term relationship- perhaps. I personally cannot support same sex marriage. This is because of the scriptural definition of “marriage” – as between a man and a woman that is compatible with propagation and survival of the species. This is the institution God set up as the base for the family and for conception, nurturing and training of biological offspring.

But back to homophobia? Over some considerable time, I have come to understand that we cannot justify “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against same gender loving persons.” We cannot justify “negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).”  Who are you or me- any one of us- to have “contempt, prejudice, aversion, irrational fear, and hatred toward people for their sexual attraction or preference” as long as their behaviors align with standards that we hold for healthy relationships among opposite gender consenting adults.

In his recorded ministry, Jesus was inclusive and reached out to those society marginalized.  He reached out to lepers, to the sick, the lame, the blind-- to tax-collectors, Samaritans, women. He was not judgmental and instructs us “Do not judge that you may not be judged.” “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone”.

To say even, as is heard in the class and other discussions, “that we can love the sinner, but not the sin” is to judge. Are not all of us sinners who are granted mercy and grace?

How do we change the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS?

How do we change that anyone, particularly clergy or leaders, thinks that HIV/AIDS is a disease that any person “deserves to get”? 

As a main point of the Payne class, and as you understand by now, HIV is an infectious virus that can be transmitted to anyone by contact with virus found in blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk.

Like influenza is not a punishment for breathing, HIV/AIDS is not a punishment for coming in contact with the fluids that allow the virus to survive and transmit from one person to another.

How do we effectively address homophobia and the discomfort with issues such as homosexually or relating to same gender loving persons? 

What makes a person same gender loving? This has been a part of humankind for some time, in Biblical and even ancient times. Granted it seems more prevalent and visible today.

Is same gender loving nature or nurture?

Can talking more together to better understand how such a preference comes about help to break down barriers and change the silence and paralysis that feed the spread of HIV/AIDS?

HIV/AIDS and the socio-behavioral associated issues are difficult subjects to tackle especially in the context of the church.

Dr. Sydnor’s editorial states “it’s now our disease”. We must tackle the difficult associated issues in order to change current infection and disease trends and move toward zero discrimination, zero new infections and zero deaths from HIV/AIDS.

It’s now official. We move to a second term of this President of the United States of America!

Change happens.


*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby

I’m writing this Meditation in the midst of a very busy week resulting from spending most of last week at the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Post Annual Conference Planning Meeting.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Planning Meeting, but am now playing “catch up” on work that couldn’t be done while I was out of town.

This week has been busy, but in the midst of its abundant demands and deadlines, I thought of an essay by my favorite humorist, Patrick F. McManus that was included in his book, The Good Samaritan Strikes Again.  In his essay, “The Worry Box,” McManus recounts the many major and minor worries that compete for his attention and describes a fishing trip with a 93-year-old friend named Ed who seemed to have no worries whatsoever.  When McManus asked Ed if he was consistently and annoyingly cheerful because he was too old to have many real worries, Ed said, “Nope, It’s because every morning this wonderful thing happens to me...I wake up again!  Dad-gum if that don’t make my day!”

We can find comfort and reassurance in that view of life, especially in the wake of the 2012 General Election which President Barack Obama won with a little over fifty per cent of the vote.  That vote total means that for almost every American citizen rejoicing and dancing in the streets because of the election result, there’s another American citizen who’s stunned, disconsolate and profoundly worried and confused.

I ran into one of those folks in the latter category - a member of the Tea Party whom I actually like in spite of our many points of disagreement - in the grocery store yesterday.  I took the time to gloat over the election results and then dutifully asked him how he was doing.  He said, “I’m confused, I’m a bit scared, but I’m alright because when all is said and done, I’m still standing and the sun will still come up tomorrow.”

Take Pat McManus’ essay and my Tea Party friend’s words to heart as you cope with the many demands heaped upon all of us by life in this world.  It’s easy for all of us to feel swamped, stressed and swept away by the many things that come our way and to find it to be all but impossible to keep up with, cope with and handle life’s demands.
We’d do well to remember, however, that the God we serve is always there to bless us, always there to comfort us and always knows just how much we can bear. The sheer joy of knowing that the sun will come up tomorrow and of waking up each day in God’s care can bring us new hope, new comfort, new consolation and new possibilities in life.

Take the time in the midst of each busy and demanding day to thank the Lord for waking you up to see the day. Your day will be brighter, your burdens will be lighter and you’ll find new assurance in the promise expressed by the hymn writer who confidently said that, “Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide is till the day is done.  There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no, not one, no, not one.

If you are in the Charleston, South Carolina area this weekend, join us on the Third Sunday in November for Church School at 8:45 a.m. and for Worship at 10 a.m. when we’ll also recognize those who see to our children’s educational well being on Educators’ Appreciation Day.  The Combined Choir, Praise Dance Ministry, Voices of Promise and Young Adult Choir will offer praise.

Sunday’s Scripture Lessons are:

Psalm 150
Revelation 7:9-17
John 12:20-32

Sunday’s Sermons is:

“We Ought to Praise the Lord”

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


- Thema S. Bryant- Davis, Ph.D - APA Public Interest Award Recipient 2013 

Thema S. Bryant-Davis, PhD, the daughter of Bishop John Richard Bryant, Senior Bishop, Presiding Prelate, Fourth Episcopal District and Senior Episcopal Supervisor, Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, received the 2013 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (Early Career). Dr. Thema S. Bryant-Davis is a licensed psychologist, poet, dancer and minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Letter of Award dated November 7, 2012 received by Thema S. Bryant-Davis, PhD:

Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD
Pepperdine University
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
16830 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436

Dear Dr. Bryant-Davis:

I am pleased to inform you that the Committee on Psychology in the Public Interest Awards has selected you as the recipient of the 2013 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (Early Career). Congratulations! I am sure you will find it particularly gratifying to have your contributions so honored by your colleagues in the public interest community.

Receipt of this award entitles you to a $1,000 honorarium, the opportunity to present an address at the 2013 APA Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii; the waiver of your 2013 APA Convention registration fee; and up to $1500 reimbursement for travel expenses from convention. Donnie Graham, Executive Associate/Governance Manager, will contact you shortly about the logistics of the award presentation and recognition of your selection in the American Psychologist.

Again, on behalf of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) and all of us in the Public Interest Directorate, congratulations.


Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, PhD
Executive Director, Public Interest Directorate
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242

Thema S. Bryant-Davis, PhD, Biography: http://drthema.com/biography/

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:

Dr. Thema S. Bryant-Davis:  Thema.S.Bryant-Davis@Pepperdine.edu

- The Rev. Dr. Johnny and Mrs. Clara Barbour will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on November 24. 2012. Dr. Barbour is the Secretary-Treasurer and Publisher of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Sunday School Union.

Dr. Johnny Barbour married Clara Mae Jackson on November 24, 1962. They have one son, Thomas Monroe Barbour; daughter-in-law, Juanita Adams Barbour; and two Grandchildren, Thomas Monroe Barbour III, a senior at Jackson State University; and Brianna Kathleen Barbour, a sophomore at Fisk University and a member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

We wish Dr. Johnny and Mrs. Clara Barbour a blessed 50th Wedding Anniversary - their Golden Wedding Anniversary!

Congratulatory Messages may be sent:

Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr.: u_sunday@bellsouth.net; amecinfo@edge.net

Mail address:

Dr. and Mrs. Clara M. Barbour
185 Bristol Blvd
Jackson, Mississippi  39204-3507

- University of Michigan researcher, the Rev. Dr. Almyra Oveta Fuller -Caldwell, earns Fulbright Scholar Grant to study AIDS interventions in Africa examining religious leaders' ability to address HIV, AIDS in African communities

University of Michigan microbiologist A. Oveta Fuller has spent her career-examining viruses like herpes simplex virus (HSV) and HIV/ AIDS through the lens of a microscope to understand the most basic and intricate details of viruses. As a former pastor with a focus on young adults and outreach for HIV and AIDS awareness, Fuller also has seen the effect the disease can have on a community and its people.

Now, with the help of a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar grant, Fuller will use her training in the lab and in the church to conduct a study in southern Africa, assessing local religious leaders' ability to address HIV and AIDS in their communities. The nine-month study begins in January 2013 in the Copperbelt region of Zambia.

"The transmission of HIV and AIDS only happens in a few ways, but the sort of understanding and education about prevention isn't there to those on the front lines," Fuller says. "What we want to do is engage and influence clergy there who already have the trust of their communities, to get them to understand the science of HIV transmission and how it and AIDS can be prevented."

See the full release at:

Additionally, the Rev. Dr. Oveta Fuller Caldwell recently received the 2012 "Journey with God Award" from the Michigan Conference Women In Ministry (WIM). It is an award given to a former pastor who has stepped down from the pastorate to pursue a different God called ministry focus. She was pastor of Bethel AME Church in Adrian, Michigan from 2004 to 2011. 

For more information about Dr. Fuller and her work, visit:

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:

The Rev. Dr. Oveta Fuller Caldwell: fullerao@gmail.com or  fullerao@umich.edu.


The Right Rev. James E. McCoy, 94th Bishop in Succession of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church died on the morning of November 13, 2012.  He was the Presiding Prelate of the Eastern Episcopal District (Eastern North Carolina, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the US Virgin Islands). 

The funeral service for Bishop McCoy will be on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Varick Auditorium at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. 

Viewing will be from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Messages of condolence may be sent to:

Long and Son Mortuary Service 
2312 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC 28216

Telephone: (704) 394-1111  
Fax:  (704) 394-1316

*Submitted by Mr. John Thomas III and Dr. Mary Love, AME Zion Church


We are saddened to report the death of Mr. Eddie Brown, the father of the Rev. Erma Raymond, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Dalton, Georgia. He passed on Saturday, November 10, 2012 and will be funeralized on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Bradshaw & Range Funeral Home Chapel, Waukegan, Illinois. The family solicits your prayers at this time.

Condolences can be sent to:

The Rev. Erma Raymond
1503 Daisy Lane
Dalton, GA 30720

Cell: 706-264-4903
Home: 706-229-0387


Bradshaw & Range Funeral Home
2513 Dugdale Road
Waukegan, Ill 60085


We regret to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Lillian Staten Dumas, the mother of the Rev. Coleman Dumas III, Pastor of St. Mary's AME Church in the Griffin Georgia District.

Celebration of Life Service:

Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
Saint Paul AME Church
2501 Shurling Drive
Macon, GA 31211

Telephone: 478-745-0507

Services provided by:

Hutchings Funeral Home
536 New Street
Macon, GA 31201
Phone: 478-743-1212


Woodlawn Memorial Park
2005 Woodlawn Drive
Macon, GA 31217

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

The Rev. and Mrs. Coleman Dumas Jr. & Family
213 Sugarloaf Circle
Macon, GA 31204

Email condolences may be sent to:

The Rev. Coleman Dumas Jr.: colemandumas3rd@yahoo.com 


We are saddened to announce with regret and sympathy the death of Ms. Dorothy Cleveland. Dorothy transitioned from labor to reward on Sunday, November 11, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Ms. Cleveland was the sister of the Reverend Gloria Houser, pastor of St. James AME Church, Inverness, Florida. Dorothy will continue to be loved by her family.

Visitation arrangements for Ms. Dorothy Cleveland:

Friday, November 16, 2012
4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Postell's Mortuary Chapel
811 N. Powers Drive
Orlando, Florida 32818
Telephone: (407) 295-3857

Services arrangements for Ms. Dorothy Cleveland:

Saturday, November 17, 2012:

Greater St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church
11:00 a.m.
514 S. Parramore Avenue
Orlando, Florida

The Rev. Arnold Porter, pastor


We regret to inform you of the passing of Deacon Edwin and Deaconess Charlene Jordan. They were killed Friday morning, November 2, 2012 after becoming trapped inside their burning home in Willingboro, New Jersey. Deacon and Deaconess Jordan were the parents of Sister Debra Bradley who is the wife of the Rev. M. Shawn Bradley, pastor of Bethlehem AME Church in Burlington, New Jersey (New Jersey Annual Conference).

The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Evergreen Baptist Church in Palmyra, New Jersey.  The Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell is the pastor

Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:

The Rev. and Mrs. M. Shawn Bradley
30 Chandler Street
Brown Mills, NJ 08015


We are saddened to announce with deep regret and sympathy the death of Mr. Ben Mokote. Mr. Ben Mokote was the caretaker of the Episcopal Residence of the 18th Episcopal District since 2001. He began the caretaker duties under the episcopal leadership of Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie. Mr. Ben Mokote is survived by his wife Mrs. Matumelo Mokote and two sons.  Please keep the family in your prayers.

Funeral arrangements for Mr. Ben Mokote:

Saturday, November 24, 2012
10:00 a.m.
Agnes Ball African Methodist Episcopal Church
Maseru, Lesotho

The Rev. Beatrice M. Motokoa, pastor

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Mrs. Matumelo Mokote
C/O 18th Episcopal District
P.O. Box 223
Maseru, 100 Lesotho

Expressions of sympathy may also be emailed to:

Mrs. Puleng Jack, Office Manger
18th Episcopal District


We regret to share news of the passing of Mr. Bobby Samuels, the father of the Rev. Melanie Samuels-Black, pastor of Ward's Chapel AME Church in Scottsville, Kentucky.  Mr. Bobby Samuels, age 65 of Franklin, Kentucky passed away on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at the Medical Center in Franklin, Kentucky. He was a member of Greater Taylor AME Church in Franklin.

Funeral service for Mr. Bobby Samuels was held on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin, Kentucky. The Rev. Vivian Snardon was the eulogist. The Rev. Erika Taylor is the pastor, Greater Taylor Chapel AME Church in Franklin, Kentucky. The interment was conducted at the Greenlawn Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Simpson County Honor Guard.

Contact information for the Rev. Samuels-Black:

Telephone: (270) 779-5338
Church Mailing Address:

Ward's Chapel AME Church
ATTN: The Rev. Samuels-Black
446 South Court Street / P.O. Box 679
Scottsville, KY 42164


Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Phone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Phone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751


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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