Bishop T. Larry Kirkland - Chair, Commission on
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr.,
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor
III, the 20th Editor, The Christian
Black History Month
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday – January
Mark your Calendars:
Richard Allen’s Birthday /
AME Church Founder’s Day – February 14, 2013
Ash Wednesday- February 13, 2013
Easter Sunday – March 31, 2013
Pentecost Sunday May 19, 2013
1. EDITORIAL – THERE ARE SOME THINGS
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE RESTORED IN AME CHURCHES, BUT I STILL HAVE SOME CONCERNS
Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III,
The 20th Editor, The
TCR Editor’s Comment: I personally addressed one of my concerns
this week, but it was not a week of rest and relaxation as we had planned. I
had an upper respiratory illness, which I apparently gave my wife and added to
that a muscle spasm event, which was painful and required a lot of meds. We are
getting better, but still recovering. Rest and relaxation week will have to be
Someone once told me that I was the kind of person who believed
that anything I am a member of or connected with, is the best.
Well, I have to admit that I am guilty. I am one of those persons who sincerely
believe that anything I belong to is the best. My family is the best. My parents and grandparents were the best
that a child could wish for. I attended the best schools, no matter what anyone
else thought or said about them. My fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, Inc. is the best
fraternity; the Army is the best military service. My car, the Mini-Copper is
the best car on the market. I served the best churches in the connections and I
belong to the best church, Woodfork Chapel AME Church in Shelbyville,
Tennessee, pastored by the best pastor, the Rev. Dr. Charlotte B. Sydnor. In
the Army, I served on the best military installations and I had the best
commanders and I served with the best soldiers.
My children are the best children and my grandchildren are the
best grandchildren. I have the best wife and we have the best friends that
anyone could have.
So, it’s no wonder that I think the AME Church is the best
church of any denomination. Not only am I a member of the best denomination, I
was blest with the best pastors; I am who I am in ministry, in a large part,
because of the wonderful, dedicated pastors who served as my spiritual mentors.
All of them were dedicated men of God.
Every now and then I go back and thumb though and re-read the Encyclopaedia of African Methodism 1948
compiled by the late Bishop R. R. Wright, Jr., my appreciation for the AME
Church is renewed and refreshed. I wish every AME had a copy of that great
historical treatise, which showcases the genius of African Methodism – hard
working people dedicated to the uplift of the community; doing so much with so
little money. There are photos of the great edifices that our forefathers and
mothers built that we are having a hard time maintaining. We built colleges and
seminaries that educated our youth.
What are we missing today
that we had then?
We had a commitment to our Zion and believed that we were the
best. We were not trying to be something else or trying to be like other
denominations. Some of the other denominations were trying to be like us, e.g. they
adopted terms like “presiding elder,” “Prelate,” and “the Right Reverend.”
Fifty years ago, the term “reverend” was anathema for many Pentecostal
Other denominations and independent groups saw in the AME Church
what they wanted to become and have done a great job accomplishing what they
sought from our Zion; and added to their brand what they “borrowed” from
us. So often it seems that some in our
Zion are trying to eliminate what others admire and “borrow” from us. Some of us may have forgotten the old saying,
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
I am glad to be among the best. When I went in the Army and had
to process for my dog tags, I was told that my dog tags had to display,
“Catholic,” “Jewish” or “Protestant.” My
official U.S. Army dog tags hang on a clip on my desk and imprinted on my dog
tags along with my blood type and Social Security Number is “Afr Meth Epis Ch”
in all upper case. I insisted that’s what I wanted on my dog tags. I wanted the
African Methodist Episcopal Church designation because I loved the AME Church.
If I got killed in battle, I wanted whoever found my body to know that I was
more than a “Protestant”; I was African Methodist Episcopal.
As much as I love the AME Church, I have a couple of more
concerns that just might be mine and no one else’s concern.
The sacredness of the
Gosh, when did we start using those throw-away communion cups
with the attached wafer that so many people have a hard time and struggle to
separate? When did we get in such a rush to speed up the sacred Communion
And, speaking about Communion, it seems like clergy have begun
to read the liturgy so fast that it’s hard to understand and looses it
sacredness. And, with multiple liturgists, it seems that the preachers are in a
contest to see who can read their portion the fastest.
When I was a pastor, and in many of our churches in the Kentucky
Annual Conference, stewardesses or a deaconess made the unleavened bread; it’s
easy to make and there are recipes on the internet. Here is a simple recipe for
Communion Bread: 4½ cups whole wheat flour; 11/3 cups all purpose
flour and 2 ¼ cups warm water. Mix flours together, then add water all at once,
and knead. Roll out thin and bake in preheated oven, 450 F for about 15 – 18
What happens to the leftover consecrated elements of Communion?
Don’t put it in the trash! Don’t flush it down the toilet. Either consume it or
put it back on the earth. In Roman
Catholic sacristies, the sink drain does not go into the sewer system, but to
When did memorization go
by the wayside?
I notice in churches that use the Apostles’ Creed that many of
the young people don’t seem to have it memorized, which tells me that local
church leaders are not taking the time to train and to teach the young people
the Apostles’ Creed. When I was a youngster, the Apostles Creed had to be
memorized. I am almost certain that some
of our children have not been taught the Lord’s Prayer. It seems that most
children read what used to be memorized.
By definition, the pulpit is the place where the sermon is
preached and the Gospel Lesson is read; nothing else! No politicians, no
announcements, not even announcements given by the pastor. The pulpit is a
sacred place from which the sermon is delivered. I have heard of some of our churches, and
even some of our largest pulpits that have permitted Muslims to speak from the
pulpit. A politician would never expect to deliver a message from the pulpit of
a Roman Catholic Church or Jewish synagogue; and even the Muslims would not
allow a politician or non Muslim to speak from the pulpit; yet we have pastors
who allow politicians and others to speak from our pulpits.
The altar is a sacred part of our sanctuary, yet we allow
children and others to take shortcuts through chancel area. Amazingly some
people have not learned how to spell “altar.”
Let’s add some decorum on
how we compensate clergy
Please don’t make a pastor wait for his or her check each
Sunday. Make electronic payments of pastor’s salaries, presiding elder’s
salaries and recurring bills. Presiding elders should be paid electronically.
In this day of technology, don’t be passing money and checks in church; utilize
electronic payments. A quick trip to the
bank and the process can be set up in minutes. Please utilize 21st
Century technology and treat the payment of bills in a professional manner.
Provide the pastor with a statement of earnings and Social Security should be
Pastoral compensation should not be with the notion, “We are not
trying to pay you, but we just wanted to…”
Stewards and church congregations should always attempt to compensate
the pastor to the best of their abilities. If pastors are doing their jobs,
they should not have to ask for a raise.
Many of our churches have gotten out of the parsonage business
and when that’s the case, a fair and equitable housing allowance should be
provided. Ideally, the housing allowance should be equal to what the pastor
pays for his or her mortgage, rent or lease; plus utilities. The parsonage
provided housing and utilities for the pastor and his or her family.
The responsibility on the part of the pastor is to give a “good
Give your pastor some
Make sure the pastor has a vacation and insist that he or she
take a vacation. Better than that; insist that the pastor take a Sunday off
each quarter. A lay speaker could be
utilized on the Sundays that a pastor is reenergizing him or herself. The pastor needs a break from the
congregation and the congregation needs a break from the pastor; and encourage
the pastor not to accept a preaching engagement on the Sunday off.
The Golden Rule
Treat the pastor the way you expect to be treated in the
Pastor, love the people and nurture their spiritual needs;
preach the word, administer the Sacraments, visit the sick, give drink to the
thirsty, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit those in prison, clothe
the naked, and bury the dead.
Give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
"Whatever you do,
work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
READER RESPONSE TO EDITORIAL AND OTHER ISSUES:
To the Editor:
– There are Some Things I Would Like to See Restored in AME Churches, But I
Still Have Some Concerns (Part 2)
I don't like announcements either. In my opinion, the
worship service is about worshipping the true and living God. It's about
hearing a word from the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit and Christ
Jesus; anything that distracts from that annoys me.
3. SUPERB FOUNDER’S DAY RESOURCE:
The 253rd Birthday of our church founder, Bishop Richard
Allen is just around the corner. Celebrate "Founder's Day" by
ordering your copy of the documentary "Bishop Richard Allen: Apostle of
Click here or paste address in your browser to order your copy from
Mother Bethel AME Church:
The cost is $18.20, which includes tax and shipping anywhere in the
Episcopal Districts 14 – 20 please contact us immediately at email@example.com to find out the
procedure for ordering the Richard Allen DVD.
You can also download special Founder's Day Church School Lessons,
developed by members of the Philadelphia Conference Church School, designed
specifically to compliment the documentary (adult, junior, primary, and
beginner). For more information contact Mother Bethel at (215) 925-0616 or
CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH SEVEN FILMS NOW AVAILABLE TO BRING TO THE
BIG SCREEN NATIONWIDE - LOOKING FOR AME CHURCHES TO HOST FILM EVENTS:
Note: This looks like a great opportunity for local churches.
AME Churches are invited to celebrate Black History Month by hosting
films in local theaters. Tugg, Inc. will reserve the theater (Read information
below and contact Tugg, Inc. directly – information listed below)
Tugg, Inc. (“Tugg”) is a web-platform that enables individuals to
choose the films that play in their local theaters. Through Tugg, individuals are empowered to
select a film, screening time, and nearby theater, and then spread the word to
their immediate and online community. Once a necessary amount of people commit
to attending, the event will be confirmed, and Tugg will reserve the theater,
manage ticketing and ensure delivery of the film; allowing the audience to sit
back and enjoy the show. Tugg is
currently working with exhibitors Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, AMC Theatres, Bow Tie
Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, Goodrich Quality Cinemas, Rave Cinemas and Regal
Cinemas, as well as additional regional and independently-owned theaters across
the country. These exhibitors will provide theatrical venues for individually
curated events showcasing Tugg’s growing library of hundreds of studio and
List Includes Landmark Martin Luther King Documentary - In Theaters
for the First Time Since 1970
Austin, TX--- Thursday, November 15, 2012--- Tugg, Inc. (“Tugg”), a web-platform
that enables individuals to choose the films that play in their local theaters,
unveils newly available titles in honor of Black History Month. The title selections include classics like
Malcolm X and The Color Purple as well as powerful documentaries like The Black
Power Mixtape, Mumia: Long-Distance Revolutionary and King: A Filmed Record,
which originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970 and is
now available to bring back to the big screen for the first time in over forty
years through Tugg.
The list of title selections appear below along with links to request
a screening at your local theater:
Filmed Record… From Montgomery to Memphis
Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970, King:
A Filmed Record is a landmark documentary that combines dramatic readings with newsreel
and archival footage to create a powerful record of Dr. King’s legacy and the
American Civil Rights movement. King: A Filmed Record is an indispensable
primary resource of a pivotal moment in history.
Director Spike Lee and Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington
vividly portray the life and times of the influential and controversial civil
rights leader, Malcolm X. (1992)
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, The Color
Purple chronicles the trials and tribulations of an African-American woman in
the early 1900s. (1985)
Black Power Mixtape
Footage shot by a group of Swedish journalists documenting the Black
Power Movement in the United States is edited together by a contemporary
Swedish filmmaker. (2011)
A middle-class boy from Atlanta finds his worldview changed as he
spends the summer with his deeply religious grandfather in the housing projects
of Red Hook, Brooklyn. (2012)
A documentary about political prisoner and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal,
profiling his career as an author and broadcaster from Pennsylvania’s Death
A young African-American man and his life-changing experience at the
HIVE, an alternative school for troubled boys, show us the power of love,
discipline, and the expectation of excellence. (2012)
Browse Tugg’s library and request to bring a favorite title to your
city at www.tugg.com/titles.
Contact: Ryan Fons
Phone: (323) 445-4763
DISCIPLES RESOURCE - MEMBERSHIP CLASS 102
WRITTEN BY SISTER MARY VAUGHN:
Writing a book was the last thing on my mind, but God had other plans,
it was in 2008 when I was asked by my pastor to teach a new members class
I told myself as I collected information to complete the task that I
would document and save all information, so the next time I would at least have
an informational base available. In
developing and researching the materials for the new members class it dawned on
me that I should write the class material in a way that it would be easy to
read and understood by both adult and youth.
So, that is how the Membership Class 102 book was born!
Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church 2008 gives
the outline of what should be taught in a new member’s class and I just
expanded upon that.
The book can serve as a refresher course for long-standing members of
the AME Church, as well as for those that are just coming in the door. At First AME in Gary, Indiana, a Home Study
Course was developed using the Member
Class 102 book with amazing results and we are now reaching youth, young
adults, and seniors.
For additional information call Mary Vaughn at 219-576-2340. The book can be ordered at www.membersclass102.com or from the
AMEC Sunday School Union.
* Mary Vaughn serves as the 4th District
Women’s Missionary Society Historiographer/Statistician and has served as the
President of the Indiana Conference WMS.
BETHEL ARCHIVE LOOKS FOR NEW MATERIALS AFTER MAKING ROOM FOR DOCUMENTS AND
ARTIFACTS – AWARD WINNING ARCHIVIST AT THE HELM:
The archive room at mother bethel African Methodist episcopal (AME)
church feels a little emptier now, after the historic church moved much of its
documents and printed materials to the nearby Presbyterian Historical Society
(PHS). “The archive room at Mother
Bethel was filled to capacity,” says Margaret Jerrido, Mother Bethel’s Archivist
and congregant. “We were unable to accept new material. By leasing space at PHS
and relocating the documents, we were able to free up much needed room so we
can continue to expand our collection.”
The Archive at Mother Bethel receives frequent visitors and
researchers, including history scholars and AME Church pilgrims.
Over the years, many AME’s have shared their legacy with Mother Bethel
by bequeathing items to the church for historical preservation. By moving the
materials, Mother Bethel is able to accept new material. The PHS is located one
block away from Mother Bethel on South 5th and Lombard Streets,
which is extremely convenient. The facility is humidity and temperature
controlled, secure, and large enough to store items from Mother Bethel. “None
of the material has been given away and Mother Bethel still maintains exclusive
control of our collection,” says the Rev. Dr. Mark Tyler, Mother Bethel’s 52nd
pastor. “In order to view materials stored at PHS, researchers must still make
an appointment with Mother Bethel’s Archivist.”
Reservations can be made online at www.motherbethel.org or by
contacting Margaret Jerrido at the church at (215) 925-0616. Mother Bethel is
fortunate to have Ms. Jerrido as a part of the family. Prior to her retirement
from Temple University, she was Director of the Urban Archives in the Paley
Library for 17 years. Ms. Jerrido is a respected member of the archival
community in Philadelphia and beyond.
The Mother Bethel Archives contain materials from Bishops, General
Officers, Pastors, AME Church members, deeds, microfilm, funeral programs,
photographs, framed certificates, plaques, and many other objects of interest
to researchers. It should be noted that no items from the Richard Allen Museum
(also housed in the lower level of Mother Bethel) were moved.
To donate your items to the Archive at Mother Bethel or to schedule an
appointment to research our materials please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
(or call our Archivist Margaret Jerrido at (215) 925-0616.
Margaret Jerrido is the Archivist for the Mother Bethel AME
Church. Previously she was Archivist and
Head of the Urban Archives, in the Temple University Libraries, for 17
years. Prior to this position, she was
the Assistant Archivist in the Archives & Special Collections on Women in
Medicine at the former Medical College of Pennsylvania. Ms. Jerrido has conducted workshops on how to
preserve all formats of historical materials, planned workshops and lead
discussion groups on forming an archive.
She has participated in panels on how to conduct oral histories. In addition, she has consulted with various
repositories throughout Philadelphia on how to establish and maintain
archives. She has written, was awarded
and served as project manager for grants from the Pennsylvania Humanities
Council, William Penn Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
Commission. She is a member of the
Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG) and the Mid-Atlantic Archives
Conference (MARAC). She was the first
Chair of the former group and has been involved in the latter holding various
offices and presenting a number of papers on various aspects of collecting,
preserving and maintaining historical records.
Following are some of the publications which Ms. Jerrido has written
for, contributed to or edited: Directory of African American Collections in
Greater Philadelphia and Selected Suburban Areas, PACSCL Photograph Directory,
The Encyclopedia of African American Cultural and History, Black Women in
America: An historical encyclopedia, and the Handbook of American Women's
Contact: Leslie Tyler
Phone: (609) 247-2632
WILLIAMS BEGINS THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTES AT THE 6TH DISTRICT 2012
After successfully implementing eight years of Christian education
based theological institutes in the 7th Episcopal District (2004-2012),
the Rt. Rev. Dr. Preston W. Williams II, Presiding Bishop of the 6th
Episcopal District, has introduced his signature theological institutes to the
6th Episcopal District during its 2012 Mid-Year Convocation. The
purpose of the theological institute is to provide both clergy and laity at
every level of intellectual and theological development the opportunity to sit
and study, fellowship and philosophize, side-by-side under the tutelage of some
of the brightest and most inspiring minds throughout the theological Diaspora.
Thus, October 17-19, 2012, the 6th Episcopal District
conducted its Mid-Year Convocation and Theological Institute at the Centreplex
Coliseum & Convention Center in downtown Macon, Georgia, U.S.A. The
convocational theme was “New Rules of Engagement.” In attendance were retired
Bishop Carolyn T. Guidry, and the Rev. Dr. Jeffery B. Cooper, Chief Information
Officer (CIO), Connectional AME Church. The Rev. Dr. William Watley, pastor of
St. Philip AME Church in Atlanta, Georgia served as the dean of the theological
institute, and Sister Kabrina Bass, the 6th District’s newly appointed
Christian Education Director, served as the conference coordinator. St. Paul
AME Church in Macon, Georgia served as the host church where the Rev. W. Jerome
McClain is Senior Pastor.
Wednesday morning, October 17th, attorney Renardo Hicks,
Chief Legal Counsel for the 6th District, opened the Mid-Year Convocation with
a sexual misconduct and safe sanctuary training workshop designed to educate
both clergy and laity on ways to help keep our churches and people safe from
sexual harassment. Other session topics included: Risk Management, led by Mr.
Richard Harper; component meetings of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Christian
Education leadership, Debutantes & Masters Commission (DMC), Health
Ministries, Lay Organization, Richard Allen Young Adult Council (RAYAC), Sons
of Allen (SOA), Women in Ministry (WIM), and the Women’s Missionary Society
(WMS). The first day concluded with a scholarship banquet hosted by the WMS,
which annually awards more than 20 scholarships to deserving high school
graduates pursuing college degrees.
The next two days the convocation was taken to a higher level as
internationally acclaimed preachers and teachers blessed the conference with
their anointed gifts. Guest teachers included: Dr. Lance Watson, who led a
workshop which examined the many uses of technology in ministry, from e-mail to
websites, Facebook to online giving; Dr. Walter Malone Jr., whose seminar
explored Biblical examples of leadership and identified key elements that are
effective for today’s ministry; and Bishop Claude Alexander Jr., whose
presentation evaluated the role of the church leader in ministry growth,
engagement and evangelism. Guest preachers included: Dr. Michael Bell, Pastor
of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Southeast, Washington, D.C., and Dr. Carolyn
Showell, ordained preacher of First Apostolic Faith Church in Baltimore,
Maryland where her brother, Bishop Franklin C. Showell is pastor.
Friday, October 19th, the last day of the conference, the
City of Macon, Georgia blessed the 6th District’s Mid-Year
Convocation by hosting a special welcome luncheon for Bishop Williams. The
luncheon was organized by the Honorable Robert Reichert, Mayor of the City of
Macon, Georgia, and the Rev. Benjamin Ridley, Presiding Elder of the East
Macon-Milledgeville District. Mayor Reichert welcomed the AME Church to the
city of Macon by assembling various business, civic and ecumenical leaders in
the Edgar Wilson Convention Center for a luncheon to meet and greet the
leadership of the 6th Episcopal District which included the newly
appointed bishop of the state of Georgia, Bishop Preston W. Williams II. Also
in attendance were the presiding elders and their spouses who govern the 17
presiding elder districts throughout Georgia.
During the luncheon, Mayor Reichert introduced the distinguished
guests, some of whom included: Mr. Romain Dallemand, Bibb County School
Superintendent; Mr. Mike Ford, President and CEO of New Town Macon; Mr. Samuel
Hart, Chairman of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners; Bishop James R. King
Jr., Presiding Bishop of the South Georgia Annual Conference of the United
Methodist Church; Ms. Karen Lambert, President of the Peyton Anderson
Foundation; Mr. Patrick Madison, Executive Director of the College Hill
Alliance; Mr. Tony Rojas, Director of the Macon Water Authority; Rabbi Larry
Schlesinger, Macon City Council President Pro Tem; the Rev. Ronald G. Toney,
Vice Moderator, Southern Baptist Convention in Macon, and Pastor of Lizzy
Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Macon; and the Rev. Dr. Marcus V. Tripp,
Pastor of Vineville United Methodist Church.
Mayor Reichert led the guests in an exploration of potential
partnerships with the AME Church in numerous areas such as housing development
near Mercer University, the support and assistance of Macon’s at-risk youth,
the educational development of Macon’s students, and the restoration and
revitalization of the downtown Macon area.
Presiding Elder Ridley stated, “This is the first time in the history
of Macon that all of these political leaders received our bishop and we are
proud of what God is doing with the AME Church in Georgia.” Bishop Williams
thanked Mayor Reichert for hosting such an excellent reception and thanked all
of the guests who took time out of their busy schedules to attend. Bishop
Williams stated, “The AME Church looks forward to working with the city of
Macon and its many leaders so that together we may help each other to develop
Macon and the state of Georgia into the best communities they can be.” To God
be the glory for an outstanding 2012 Mid-Year Convocation!
*Benjamin Harrison is the Communications Director for the 6th District
TUSKEGEE AIRMEN INSTRUCTOR ROSCOE DRAPER ATTENDED INAUGURAL ACTIVITIES:
"Coach" Roscoe Draper
Mr. Roscoe Draper is a member (life-long) of Bethel AME Church in Bryn
Mawr, Pennsylvania attended the Inaugural Events for President Barack Obama.
Born in Haverford, PA on May 14, 1919, Roscoe Draper grew up in
Haverford and Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. He graduated with honors from Haverford
High School and continued his education at the Hampton Institute (later became
Hampton University). After enrolling in the civil pilot training program in
1939, Roscoe received his Private Pilot license in 1940. He was one of two men
selected for the secondary course at the Tuskegee Institute (later became
Tuskegee University) and completed his pilot training in 1942. He was one of
the first ten men of color selected to serve as flight instructor for the Army
Air Corps "Tuskegee Experiment". He taught Army Air Corps cadets in
the primary phase of their flight training at Moton Field, Tuskegee, Alabama
(from 1942 to 1946) and he also served on the academic board for the Tuskegee
"Coach" was mentored by another aviation legend,
"Chief" Charles Alfred Anderson (1907-1996) who was also from the
Philadelphia area. Together, they trained the famed Tuskegee Airmen who went on
to compile their own impressive list of accomplishments. Roscoe was
affectionately given the nickname "Coach" by his flight students
because it described his teaching style.
Coach later worked for the US Postal Service and the FAA in several capacities,
including Pilot Examiner and Accident Investigator. Among his many airplane
ratings, Coach is also certified in helicopters. His ratings are still current
and he is teaching others to become better pilots.
The above is a summary of an article in a local Philadelphia newspaper
but barely scratches the surface of "Coach" Draper's remarkable life.
U.S. Army Colonel-Retired James Williams wrote:
“Thanks for sharing your experience at the inauguration ceremony of
President Obama's second term. I am so pleased that you had the opportunity to
witness this historical event.
For those of you who don't know my friend Roscoe - read below. Roscoe
was flying planes over our home in 1941, before WW II. I remember my older brother - Donald telling
me, that Roscoe gave him his first plane ride.”
Roscoe, "Coach", was one of the people who became the
keystone of the Tuskegee flight program. He trained scores of black aviators
before they were deployed to Europe between 1942-45. He truly is a Tuskegee Airman and at age 93,
is one of the few living members of this august body. Roscoe was rejected by
the commercial aviation industry after WW II and worked for years in the US
Postal Service. During this time, he
continued to fly and stay "current” and flew charter fights as 1st or 2nd
seat as often as possible. If fact, he retired from flying, just a couple of
years ago at 85+ years old.
I grew up in Haverford, PA, just across the street from Roscoe and
have marveled at his accomplishments during the turbulent times of race
relations in the US after WWII into the '60's.
At age 92 he is having some physical challenges, but mentally, he is
"sharp as a tack". We correspond almost daily via email and it is
always a pleasure to receive his excellent communiqués like the one below.
Please join me in thanking Roscoe, a true living legend, for a life of
service and good works: email@example.com.
9. MACON DISTRICT CONFERENCE SHINES FOR JESUS:
Alphonso B. Varner
Scripture: II Corinthians 13:5-7; District Motto: "Do Right in God's
Sight"; District Slogan: "Results Not Excuses."
Macon District African Methodist Episcopal Church of the Macon Georgia
Conference, Sixth Episcopal District held its Annual District Conference on
November 15 - 17, 2012, Thursday through Saturday, under the dynamic and
efficient leadership of the Rev. Alan Hale Wicker, Presiding Elder.
Steward Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church located in downtown Macon,
Georgia was the ideal setting for the occasion where the Rev. Charles Lewis
serves as the pastor. The Reverend Dr. Gloria J. Wicker,
Women's Missionary Society and Consultant and the Reverend Caroline Adams,
District Christian Education Director provided their expertise in assuring that
the conference was a successful event. The Right Reverend Preston
Warren Williams II is the Presiding Prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District.
Conference Theme, "Temple Assessment" was uniquely emphasized
throughout the conference during the Worship Service and Workshop
experiences. Clergy and Laypersons representing the twenty-two churches
in the District were in attendance.
Elder Alan Wicker met with the pastors on Thursday evening. District
Conference Allocations were collected.
Kabrina Bass, Sixth Episcopal District Christian Education Director conducted
an Orientation & Training Session for the District CED's Friday afternoon.
Opening Worship Service and Lord's Supper were held Friday evening. The
Reverend Dr. G. Dianne Lewis, pastor of Duresville AME Church in Macon,
Georgia performed a masterful task as Worship Leader.
Macon District Choir ignited the congregation into the spirit of
the hour with the Praise Service and selections throughout
the service. Sisters Latrellis O. Dent, Pamela Veal, Directors and
Vivian Stephens, Organist.
singing of the Doxology, the Rev. Charles Lewis led the congregation in the
Call to Worship, followed by the singing of the Opening Hymn, "My Hope is
Built on Nothing Less than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness," lined by
the Rev. Marlette Gilbert. The Reverend Marvin Colbert sent up a
powerful prayer which stirred up the congregants. The Scripture
Readings: the Old Testament, the Epistle and the Gospel lessons
were read by the Rev. William Hopkins, the Rev. Daniel Johnson and the Rev.
Cynthia Hughes respectively. The Reverend Charlie Hicks led the
congregation in the Decalogue.
Wicker led the congregation in “Passing the Peace of Christ.” The
Reverend Sharon Homer read Sentences from the AMEC Hymnal during the
Benevolence Offering. The Reverend Yvonne McGhee lined the Sermon Hymn,
"Sing Them over Again to Me."
Elder Wicker preached a challenging sermon using as his text
reference Mark 13:1-2. His subject, "Salvation for Failing Temple
and Falling Stones." Some key points made: Build your hope on
things eternal; do not build your hope on things that your hands made.
Religious leaders should have integrity; lay people can see a felony leader.
Focus and embrace on the eternal; minister to meet the needs of the people, be
a sheep, not a goat;
disciples, evangelists and Christian Education leaders. Always hold to
God Unchanging Hand.
the Worship through Giving, announcements were made by the Reverend
Lord's Supper was conducted by the Presiding Elder and selected Celebrants.
Macon District Conference Workshop was held on Saturday for all Clergy and
Church Leaders of the District. Plenary Session
was on the topic "How
to Begin Necessary Ministries at the Local Church." Sister Kabrina
Bass was the presenter.
afternoon session included a Panel Discussion by the Rev. Caroline Adams, the
Rev. Bertram Smith, the Rev. Marlette Gilbert, the Rev. Sharon Homer and the
Rev. Charles Lewis.
Session and Committee Reports were given, followed by a delicious
ELIE JACKSON WIFE OF THE LATE RALPH JACKSON, AMEC GENERAL OFFICER:
Jackson was born May 18, 1924, in Elaine, Arkansas to loving parents, Willie
and Estella Parker Elie. A year and a half later, she became a big sister to
her only sibling, Carrie Elie Gilbert. The two of them were inseparable and
best friends for life. Being a part of a devout family, Hattie accepted Jesus
Christ as her personal Lord and Savior early in life, and was a faithful
lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
received her Bachelor’s Degree from Arkansas A. M. & N University (now the
University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff). In 1944, she married the love of her
life, Rev. H. Ralph Jackson, AME minister who later became a connectional
General Officer (founder and director of the former Minimum Salary Department)
and Presiding Elder; and civil rights leader and activist. To this union was
born two daughters, Zita Ralphaye and Cheri Estelle. While serving as wife,
mother and First Lady of their church, Hattie continued her education by
completing her Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York, and her
Ed.S. degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
educator in the Memphis City School System, Mrs. Jackson taught at Riverview
Elementary School and later became the Principal of Doubletree Elementary,
where she was a guiding force in getting the first Public Montessori School in
Tennessee off the drawing boards. She not only recruited qualified teachers,
but also created an environment where the students could thrive in “The Best
School in the Whole Wide World.” Former students, known as “Doubletree Dolls”,
continue to say that Mrs. Jackson was a loving, but firm principal; and
Doubletree was a nurturing, yet challenging school.
had a special God-given talent in getting people to do what was needed to
accomplish organizational goals and objectives; and she did it with a smile, or
frown if necessary. This was especially evident in all her educational and
church leadership roles. She did not turn down the challenge of serving as
leader to make improvements in the lives of others. As a woman of faith, Mrs.
Jackson served as the Dean and Promotional Missionary Education (PME) Director
of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) for the 13th Episcopal District of the
A.M.E. Church, where she provided instructional material and conducted
workshops for the missionary institutes. Also, she was named one of the first
Torch Bearers in the West Tennessee Conference of the WMS. Mrs. Jackson was the First Lady of several
A.M.E. churches in Arkansas and Tennessee, including Bethel A.M.E. in
Nashville, and Providence A.M.E. and St. Andrew A.M.E. Churches in Memphis. At
“The Saint” she served as a mentor and Sunday School Teacher, a Trustee, president
of the Ruth Circle Club, member of the Sarah Tanner Women’s Missionary Society,
and the Good Life Ministry. She also served as co-chair of the “No Limits”
church capital building campaign.
Jackson was an outstanding wife, mother, grandmother, and educator. Eight years
ago, she added a new title… that of author. At the age of 80, Mrs. Jackson was
inspired to write a book entitled 65 Dark Days in ‘68 - Reflections: Memphis
Sanitation Strike. With the support of her daughters who served as managing
editor and business manager in this endeavor, she incorporated and
self-published her book. Her primary purposes for writing this account were to
honor her late husband, Rev. H. Ralph Jackson, and his tireless efforts during
the sanitation strike; and to inform and inspire the younger generation.
Jackson was an extraordinary, highly sought-after public speaker. She often
spoke at Church Women’s Day Celebrations, and served as mistress of ceremonies
at celebratory events. As an educator, community activist, leader, and
motivational speaker, Mrs. Jackson was a woman of many talents and
accomplishments. Having achieved much in her blessed life, she gave God the
Glory for the wonderful things He had done. She firmly believed that she was
“God’s Favorite Child” and she lived her life to glorify Him. Mrs. Jackson was
a warm and congenial woman with a great sense of humor. Throughout her life she
positively impacted many people and was the recipient of numerous community
service awards and recognition. She was a 50 year member of the Beta Epsilon
Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and a charter member and past
president of the Shelby County (TN) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated.
Jackson truly loved being surrounded by her family, of whom she was very proud.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Dr. H. Ralph Jackson; her
parents, Willie and Estella Elie; and her sister and brother-in-law, Carrie and
Elijah Gilbert. She leaves to cherish her memory: two daughters and their husbands,
Zita Jackson Blankenship (Glenn) and Cheri Jackson Harrell (Joseph); five
grandchildren, two great-granddaughters, and a host of nieces, nephews, and
extended family and friends. Her
homegoing service was on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at St. Andrew A.M.E.
Church, Memphis, Tennessee where she was a member for over 57 years. Pastor Kenneth S. Robinson, MD officiated and
preached her eulogy.
Reverend Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Bishop of the 14th Episcopal
District, provided the prayer. The Right Reverend Jeffrey N. Leath, Sr.,
Presiding Bishop of the 13th Episcopal District, offered words of
comfort to the family.
COMMUNITY MOURNING AME FRANK L. GILYARD JR., AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSEUM FOUNDER:
document black history
Reading Eagle: Ron Devlin
African-American community is in mourning after one of its most visible
leaders, Frank L. Gilyard Sr., died Thursday morning.
gone, and the community is in a state of shock," said Nonnie E. Singleton,
a board member of the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum in Reading.
82, founder and president of the museum, died after being stricken about 11
a.m. while driving in the 2100 block of North Front Street. His car then struck
several parked vehicles.
Coroner Kay I. Eisenhower said it looked like Gilyard had a coronary event
while driving and ruled that he died of natural causes.
had no injuries from the crash," Eisenhower said.
Gilyard, surrounded by family members in their Temple home, said her husband
was in good health and working on a $7.6 million expansion of the
was his dream, his vision," said Mildred, who worked with her husband at
the museum in the Old Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on North 10th
Street. "His passion was to tell the story of his people."
Thompson II, president of the NAACP Reading chapter, said Gilyard's work
benefitted the entire community.
passing is a tremendous loss," Thompson said. "He was the one among
us who understood the importance of archiving the history of blacks in Berks
board member Hilda Letman said Gilyard was a one-man repository of black
just had all this oral history in him," said Letman, 77, former owner of
the Goddard School in Wyomissing. "There's no way we can ever replace him.
He was the one who held the keys to our culture."
technician by day, Gilyard spent more than 30 years collecting and cataloging
art, documents, court records and books that chronicled nearly two centuries of
black history in Berks and surrounding counties.
collection was the foundation upon which the African-American museum was built.
he was particularly proud of the contribution made by blacks in the military.
He was instrumental in honoring four black World War II veterans from Reading
in a program at Alvernia University.
conducted the annual Berks County Underground Railroad bus tour, which included
a stop at the home of abolitionist Thomas Rutter in Douglass Township.
Cynthia L. Rudolph of Bethel AME in Reading, where Gilyard was a member, said
his commitment to history was matched by his devotion to his church.
He had been
a church trustee since the 1960s and served as delegate to the General
Conference of the AME Church in Philadelphia. As recently as Thursday morning,
Gilyard had helped out at the church's food pantry.
of the last things he did was service to his church," Rodolff said.
"He was a pillar of the church and his community."
grief, Mildred Gilyard took a few minutes to reminisce about their more than
50-year marriage, which was blessed with five children, 18 grandchildren and
traveled widely, twice to Africa and once to Asia.
walked on the Great Wall of China," she said. "Frank always wanted to
Asked in a
2010 interview to explain his knack for storytelling, Gilyard said he was
inspired by his father, William C. Gilyard.
In a 1927
issue of Bethel News, he found a reference to his father as a
"teller" or storyteller.
inspired me," Gilyard said. "It seemed like my dead father was coming
out of the ground and telling me something."
permission of the Reading Eagle newspaper.
12. THE REV. GILBERT HARPER HELPS
PASTORS BY PREPARING AMEC ORDER FOR RECEIVING MEMBERS INTO THE CHURCH:
Note: In the spirit of helping one
another, the Rev. Gilbert Harper, pastor of Brown’s Chapel AME Church in
Smithfield, Virginia expressed his appreciation for our sharing the AMEC Call
to Worship and the Service of Holy Communion The Discipline 2008, Page 510), which he put in his iPad. In
response he typed the Order for Receiving Members in Full Membership and
thought it might help someone else. He has done the hard work for those of
you who would like to copy and paste and reformat (as needed) the service and
put it in your electronic device. I believe that it is best to save it in PDF and
for those of you, who have iPads, download the document in iBooks. Thank you
FOR RECEIVING MEMBERS INTO FULL MEMBERSHIP:
On the day
appointed, class leaders shall present the persons to be received into the
church, call them by name.
minister, addressing the congregation, shall say:
beloved members: The Scriptures teach us that the church is the household of
God, the body of which Christ is the Head; and that it is the design of the Gospel
to bring together in one all who are Christ’s. The fellowship of the Church is
the communion that its members enjoy one with another. The end of this
fellowship, the maintenance of sound doctrine and of the ordinances of that
power, Godly admonition and discipline which Christ has committed to His Church
is for the promotion of holiness. It is the duty of all people to unite in this
fellowship; for it is only those, “the planted in the house of the Lord,” that
will “flourish in the courts of our God.” Its more particular duties are to
promote peace and unity; to bear one another’s burdens; to prevent each other’s
stumbling; to seek the intimacy of a friendly society among themselves; to
continue steadfast in the faith and worship of the Gospel, and to pray and
sympathize with each other. Among its privileges are: peculiar incitements to
holiness from the hearing of God’s Word; sharing Christ’s ordinances; placing
persons under the watchful care of pastors; and the enjoyment of the blessings
which are promised only “to those who are of the household of faith.” Into this
holy fellowship this person (these persons) before you who has (have)
already received the sacrament of Baptism, comes (come) seeking
purpose, in the fear of God, to question this person (these persons) as
to his (her/their) faith and purposes, that you may know that he (she)
is a proper person (they are proper persons) to be admitted into the
the applicant(s) for admission, the minister shall say:
Beloved: You are now seeking the great privilege of union with the Church which
our Savior has purchased with His own blood. We rejoice in the grace of God,
given unto you, n that He has called you to be His follower(s). You have
heard how blessed are the privileges and how solemn are the duties of
membership in Christ’s Church, and before you are fully admitted, it is proper
that you do here publicly renew your vows, confess your faith, and declare your
purpose by answering the following questions:
Question 1: Do you here in the presence of God
and of this congregation renew the solemn promise contained in the Baptismal
Covenant, ratifying and confirming the same and acknowledging yourself (yourselves)
bound faithfully to observe and keep this covenant and all things contained
Answer: I do.
2: Have you saving
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Answer: I have.
3: Do you possess
friendly feelings toward all the members of this Church?
Answer: I do.
Do you believe in the Doctrine of the Holy Scriptures as set forth in the
articles of religion of the African Methodist Episcopal Church?
Answer: I do.
5: Will you be
governed by the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, hold sacred
the ordinances of God and try as much as possible to promote the welfare of
fellow members and the advancement of the Kingdom of God?
Answer: I will.
6: Will you give of
your time, talents, and money for the support of the Gospel, Church, poor, and
various ministries of the Church?
Answer: I will.
minister, addressing the church, shall say:
Members: Is there any reason why this person (these persons) should not
be received into full membership?
If no objection
is alleged, the minister shall give the name(s) of the candidate(s), and say:
welcome you into fellowship of the Church of God, and in light of our Christian
love, I extend to you the right hand of fellowship, and may God grant that you
may be a faithful and useful member of the Church militant till you are called
to the fellowship of the Church triumphant, which is faultless before the
presence of God.
receiving the member(s) there should be fellowship and greetings from
13. GETTING TO ZERO AND STD
a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) can be transmitted by contact with breast milk or blood of an infected
person, sexual transmission through contact with semen or vaginal fluid is the
major means of spread. Here we examine how STDs may be associated with
diseases are caused by microbes- viruses, bacteria, and spirochetes. The major
STDs are: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis (each is caused by a type of
bacteria), herpes, genital warts from infection with human Papilloma virus
(HPV) and hepatitis B (each is caused by a virus). These microbes
physiologically are unrelated. They can be grouped together because they are
transmitted mainly by sexual contact.
STD causing agents relevant to stopping HIV/AIDS?
Like HIV, each can be transmitted by sexual contact.
of any one of these indicates that actions to allow exposure to semen or
vaginal fluids have occurred. If an STD causing microbe could enter the body,
the same contact might have allowed HIV to enter. Presence of an STD indicates
that a person may have been exposed to HIV.
Second, infection and replication of any one of these pathogenic (disease
causing) viruses or bacteria can lead to changes in the mucous lining of the
genital tract. The mucosal layers form an important protective barrier. This
natural barrier is made of normal flora (good) bacteria and immune defenses
(immune cells and specialized fluid secreting cells to maintain a certain pH).
These are part of our defense system that is designed to keep out disease
causing agents. Good bacteria work by making it difficult for pathogenic
microbes (syphilis, gonorrhea, etc) to have enough physical space to attach or
access to essential nutrients required for survival.
disrupting the balance provided by natural flora, STD causing microbes can lead
to lesions (sores, breaks, tears) in skin and mucosal layers. Such breaks in
epithelium linings of the genital organs make it easier for HIV to move from
semen or vaginal fluid pass natural barrier protections to eventually enter
into capillaries that are part of the circulating blood system.
It is all
connected. Indeed, the human body is “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
STDs and resulting physical changes increase likelihood that exposure to HIV in
the semen, vaginal fluid or blood of an HIV+ person will allow infection of a
partner. Unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, anal or oral) that allows
transmission of one pathogen can allow transmission of the other.
who is diagnosed with an STD infection should get an HIV/AIDS test.
home point: STD microbes use some of the same transmission routes. They take
advantage of relatively thicker, neutral pH body fluids of blood, semen or
vaginal fluids of an infected person to gain contact with tissues of another
person. In the newly infected human host, the microbe eventually reproduces to
make more virus or bacteria as is required for its survival.
you (or someone you care to tell about this) do?
1) Use one
of the ABCs of prevention at all times. This will stop possible exposure
to HIV or STD causing microbes. ABCs = Abstinence from sexual
intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral), Being faithful to one sexual
partner, or Consistent Correct use of latex condoms at
each sexual encounter to prevent exposure to STD causing microbes including
2) If you
have symptoms (we will explore these more), get a specific test or medical exam
at a neighborhood clinic or from your doctor. Most STDs can be treated. Lack of
treatment can lead to more severe disease and possible loss of fertility for
3) If you
have an STD, or could have an STD, also get an HIV/AIDS test to determine if
the virus is present. Early detection can slow or prevent progression to AIDS.
of a feather flock together. In
transport, STD microbes take advantage of the fact that humans are created as
To get to
zero, be wise. Use what we know. Avoid the contacts that allow microbe
transmission. At all times, every time, follow one of the ABCs to
prevent infection that leads to STDs or possibly to HIV/AIDS.
14. MEDITATION BASED ON I
Dr. Joseph A. Darby
Meditation is a day or so late because I just returned from the Inaugural
activities for President Barack Obama. I
found a common element in his Sunday Worship appearance at Washington’s
Metropolitan AME Church; his Monday Swearing-In Ceremony, Parade and Inaugural
Ball and in Tuesday morning’s National Day of Prayer at Washington National
Cathedral - careful attention to logistics.
What looks calm and easy on television is the result of an amazing
amount of unseen planning, organizing and attention to detail.
million people who came for the Swearing-In Ceremony comprised the largest
crowd that I’ve ever seen, the law enforcement and military agencies involved
screened and directed that massive crowd with more precision and less
difficulty than I’ve ever seen, but one detail in particular stood out for me -
I saw more “porta pottys” positioned on the Mall between the Capitol and the
Washington Monument than I’ve ever seen!
Those simple “convenience stations” may seem to be a minor detail, but
for those urgently seeking one in that massive crowd, they were a major,
important and welcome presence.
reminded me of something the Apostle Paul told Christians in the City of
Corinth who were arguing over whose talents and abilities were most important
to the church. Paul reminded them that
they were all members of the Body of Christ and that each of them had critical
roles to play, no matter how trivial, menial or inconsequential those roles
seemed to be by human standards.
that as you seek to serve the Lord. Many
good people settle for being “faces in the crowd” when it comes to church
involvement, believing that they don’t have the talent, wisdom or ability to
serve and often end up frustrated and discouraged. We’d do well to remember, however, that what
matters is not what we can do but what God can do with us and through us. When we faithfully and prayerfully seek God’s
will and God’s way for our lives, we’ll discover new capabilities, experience
new joys, develop new spiritual strength and see new blessings.
time each day to seek God’s will and God’s way for your life. You’ll find that God has work for you to do
and that God will equip you to joyfully do the work and you’ll discover why one
Gospel song entitled “Ordinary People” says; “Little becomes much when you
place it in the Master’s Hands.”
Join us on
the Fourth Sunday in January for Church School at 9:45 a.m. and for Worship at
8 am and 11 a.m. The Combined Choir,
Mime Ministry and Young Adult Choir will offer praise.
Scripture Lessons are:
8 a.m. –
“There’s Still Work to Be Done”
11 a.m. –
“We Have Work to Do”
Dr. Joseph A. Darby is the pastor of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston,
15. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT
to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Rebecca Houston, the mother of the Rev.
Juanita Houston-Brown, an associate minister of St. James/St. Philip AME Church
in Harlem, New York (New York Conference, Manhattan District). The following
information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.
held on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12 noon
& Williams Funeral Home
expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
James/St. Phillip AME Church
New York 10035
16. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT
Episcopal District AME Church Bereavement - Service arrangements
arrangements for Mr. Brian Jacobs Khan, father of the Rev. Clive Pillay, pastor
of St John African Methodist Episcopal Church, Kensington and grandfather to
the Khan family who succumbed after a short bed of affliction.
service for Brian Jacobs-Khan will be at:
St John AME
Ave and 11th Street
January 24th at 19.30hrs
Elder Cape Eden Distr. Officiating
January 25th at 9 a.m.
5th Ave and
the Rev. Clive J. Pillay
17. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT
to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Loretta Rushing, the mother of the Rev.
Myrtle Floyd, pastor of Delano Community AME Church, Delano/Earlimart, CA and
member of the Southern California Conference WIM.
of Life Services for Mrs. Loretta Rushing:
January 24, 2013 at 12 Noon
Chapel AME Church
701 South U
are entrusted to:
& Smith Funeral Home
409 N. K
of sympathy may be sent to:
The Rev. Myrtle
Floyd and Family
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information
Phone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Phone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751
19. 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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