Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rev. Regina Reese-Young preaches Revival at Mt. Olive Cathedral CME, Memphis, TN. Rev. Regina Reese-Young is shown above with Sister Mozella Williams-Jones and Bro. Charles Champion, chairperson of the Commission on Membership and Evangelism at Mt. Olive Cathedral CME in Memphis, TN. Rev. Reese-Young, pastor of Calvary CME Church in Buffalo, NY, was the October 2006 Revival evangelist at Mt. Olive, where Rev. Dr. Stevey Wilburn is pastor. Sisters Greta Wilburn, Jacqueline Harvey and Deborah Brown were revival program coordinators.
"She opened her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness" (Proverb 31:26).
Rev. Reese-Young left the congregation and community visitors many octaves higher in spiritual enrichment as a result of her powerful delivery of three nights of challenging sermons and songs. Truly, the CME Zion is in Divine Order for moving from "Good to Great" with the caliber of Holy Ghost fire generated by this powerful sister in the ministry of the gospel.
"Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates" (Proverbs 31:31).
Submitted by Mozella Jones.

Monday, February 12, 2007

CME youth and young adult murdered and wounded in tragic drive-by in Wadley, AL. By Rev. Jacob G. Colbert, Jr., pastor, Coger Hill CME Church, Daviston, AL. There are four towns located close to one another, about 25 miles above Alexander City, AL. The towns are New Site, AL; Daviston, AL; Wadley, AL; and Roanoke, AL. There are CME churches in New Site, Daviston and Wadley. All three churches have members who reside within the four “country towns.” Terrance Wilkes (shown above) and Jasper Buchannan (below) were both members of Coger Hill CME Church in Daviston, Alabama, where the pastor is Rev. Jacob G. Colbert, Jr.
Terrance was a senior at Wadley High School, and was well known as an outstanding football running back. He was the second leading rusher in Alabama high school history, with a total of 9,680 yards and 152 touchdowns. Terrance was also an honor student; he was looking forward to a promising future. His cousin, Jasper Buchannan, is a senior at the University of Alabama. Jasper was visiting with family in Wadley for Thanksgiving. He, along with his cousins and friends, decided to go to the park and play a friendly game of basketball. While playing basketball in the park, suddenly two cars drove up to the court. As the passengers unloaded, they began to open gunfire on all of the young men playing basketball. When the dust settled and the two cars had left the scene, Jasper and Terrance were shot and bleeding. Their friends and family rushed them to the nearest Medical Clinic where Terrance was pronounced dead upon arrival.Jasper was air lifted to the University of Alabama, Birminghamm (UAB) Hospital.
Two of the perpetrators turned themselves in to the local sheriff, and there were three others arrested within a few days. Pastor Colbert was visiting family in Buckeye, AZ and Jasper’s brother, Stephen, who is stationed in Denver, CO, telephoned Pastor Colbert to make him aware of what was going on. Pastor and Mrs. Colbert caught the next flight they could, to return to Alabama to minister to the families.
When Bishop Lawrence Reddick III (5th Episcopal District) found out about this tragedy, he immediately telephoned the family to comfort Jasper’s mother. The funeral for Terrance was planned and held in the high school gymnasium. Terrance's football team mates sat together, all of them wearing their jerseys. Attendance was well over 1000. The school principal and the football coach gave remarks, and Pastor Colbert officiated and preached the eulogy. There were seven ministers from the community present, including Rev. Gregory Scott who is pastor of White Chapel CME Church in Wadley, who offered the prayer.
Jasper’s recovery was painful, and his medical care very expensive. His mother insisted on either she or a family member being present with Jasper 24 hours a day. Pastor Colbert is employed in the Finance Department at UAB, so he was able to visit Jasper daily. Bishop Reddick directed Pastor Colbert to share the news at the Mid-Winter Accounting meeting of the Southeast Alabama Region and also offer a plea for financial support for Jasper’s medical treatment. In a free will offering, the conference raised over $1,400 and Bishop Reddick delivered the donations to the family at the hospital.
Possibly because Terrance in his death and Jasper in his recovery were receiving so much attention, a local newspaper printed an article quoting the local county sheriff’s office as saying that the violence possibly was the result of gangs fighting over drug-dealing turf. Neither of the young men had any proven ties to gangs or drug dealing. They both are excellent examples to the youth in their community. The article printed in the paper only proved to upset the families who are all active members of Coger Hill CME Church.
On Saturday, January 13, 2007, Coger Hill hosted a musical benefit service to raise more funds to assist in covering Jasper’s hospital bills. Gospel musical groups from all over the local counties came to participate. The service lasted four hours, and a good sum of money was raised. Jasper’s Mother, Sis. Edith Buchannan, stood to announce that whatever amount was collected, half will be given to Terrance’s family. The perpetrators are being held in the local county jail. Investigators are still searching for a motive.
The death of Terrance and wounding of Jasper have inspired the church family to begin to organize a Boys and Girls Club in that local area. Less than a month later there was another shooting in Wadley, and two teenagers severely beat another young man. Both of these violent crimes were centered on disputes concerning young females. Pastor Jacob Colbert was invited to preach a special revival focusing on the four “country towns” working together as “one village” to reclaim their communities. The revival was well attended, and there is now a greater focus on seeking solutions to stop the violence in these communities.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

One Church One School 11th Partnership Conference. One Church One School (OCOS), the 13 year-old Chicago-based community partnership organization celebrated its 11th Annual Partnership Conference on Thursday and Friday, October 19 and 20, 2006.
An orderly crowd of over 400 public high school students from Chicago and Gary, IN, filed into the imposing International House on the campus of the University of Chicago to attend the OCOS Student Empowerment Seminar held in conjunction with the Conference. Marcellus Jones, Gospel Radio AM 1390 personality facilitated the program. The seminar addressed the hip-hop industry’s impact on today’s youth
Professor Lance Williams, Ph.D. assistant director of the Jacob H. Carrouthers Center for Inner City studies at Northeastern Illinois University, engaged the youth, their chaperones and the religious leaders attending the conference in a dynamic dialogue surrounding the images depicted in hip-hop videos and music. He also provided the historical setting for hip hop’s evolution from social consciousness to its present negative state espousing vulgarity and demeaning women. The reaction from the audience was full of applause shout-outs and other signs of agreement. The students did not want to leave and expressed their appreciation to Professor Williams and the One Church One School Sponsors.
After the power packed morning with the students, the religious leaders, educators, community members, program volunteers and parents returned to the Oak Lawn Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois for a demonstration of the revolutionary and powerful Professor B Mathematics Program. Professor Everard Barrett has created a guaranteed strategy for parents, tutors and teachers to help children successfully learn mathematics.
In the evening all gathered to enjoy the Lifetime Achievement Awards Banquet with sumptuous food, a dynamic message and a celebration. Emcee, Bishop Dotcy I. Isom, Jr. enhanced the evening with his quick wit. Bishop Thomas L. Brown, presiding prelate, 4th Episcopal District, CME Church and former Dean, Phillips School of Theology in Atlanta, GA, banquet speaker, reminisced with the audience on when we were Christian and Colored. The banquet hall, full to capacity, came alive with responses of applause, verbal affirmations and laughter. Dr. Elnora Daniel, president, Chicago State University, and Dr. Elnora Hamb, president, Women’s Missionary Council, CME Church, received One Church One School Lifetime Achievement Awards for their dedication and lifetime commitment to the education and welfare of our young people.
On Friday morning, Bishop Paul A.G. Stewart, 3rd Episcopal District, CME Church and Bishop Tom G. Benjamin, Senior Pastor Light of the World Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN, presented compelling motivational and inspirational messages. Bishop Stewart challenged the conference with the apostle Paul’s message to keep on pressing toward the mark...regardless of the obstacles, for our children are in trouble. Bishop Benjamin’s charge was captured in the phrase “What’s your purpose?” Whatever one’s position or achievements, most important is knowing and fulfilling one’s purpose. He praised One Church One School for fulfilling its purpose in supporting the academic and social development of our children.
Plenary sessions were followed with interactive workshops including The Impact of the Hip Hop Industry, Community Health Issues, No Child Left Behind Act, Freedom School, Steps to a One Church One School Partnership. Participants expressed the value of the workshops in helping them to understand and gain the skills necessary to do the work of One Church One School
Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. facilitated the Recognition Luncheon that recognized those on the front line in service to our children: Mr. Earl Bryant - Educator of the Year, Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham - Religious Leader of the Year, Mrs. Ruth Vance - Volunteer of the Year. Scholarships and award plaques were given to Mr. Dion Broughton and Ms. Kayla Moore Students of the Year. Dr. Barbara Eason Watkins, CEO Chicago Public Schools saluted the awardees and shared with the audience her history with church/school relationships and their positive impact on her life.
Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr. founded One Church One School in 1992 and has spearheaded the organization from a single church and school partnership to a nation wide network of more than 300 partnerships. For more information, please contact Mrs. Phedonia Johnson at (773) 651-0071; Fax: (773) 651-1056;