Thursday, September 25, 2008

CME Mary Freeman Receives historic TRA Appointment. Mary W. Freeman became the first African American woman to serve as director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. With her appointment on July 1, 2008, Director Freeman will lead an agency responsible for regulating all privately-owned utilities in the state of Tennessee. A joint appointment of Governor Phil Bredesen, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh, Director Freeman will serve a three-year term.
Director Freeman, a Memphis native, grew up in Mt. Pisgah CME Church where the pastor is Rev. Willie Ward, Jr. and is currently a member of St. Luke CME Church in Nashville, Tennessee where the pastor is Reverend Ronald Powe.
Director Freeman serves in various capacities at St. Luke and very active in her community, serving on the advisory board of the Davidson County Community Corrections program; board of directors of the St. Luke Geriatric Center, Inc.; St. Luke Housing Ministry; Creative Artist of Tennessee, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Director Freeman has over fifteen years of legislative and policy experience in state government. Prior to her appointment, she served as legislative director for Governor Phil Bredesen where she assisted the Governor and the Senior Policy Advisor for Legislative Affairs in developing the administration’s legislative agenda. Prior to joining the administration, she served as executive assistant to State Representative Lois DeBerry, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Tennessee House of Representatives.
Director Freeman was born in 1966 and is the daughter of Grace Freeman and the late Wiley Freeman. She graduated from Memphis Central High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Tennessee State University.

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 15, 2008


As the bishop presently assigned to superintend the work in Haiti, I am reporting that I have spoken with Reverend Suffrant Vincent, Mission Supervisor, concerning conditions and needs in Haiti.
Food is at a serious shortage. CMEs can help directly with food by sending aid through one of the churches of the Fifth Episcopal District that has direct contact with an agency that delivers food in Haiti. Contributions to Carter Tabernacle CME Church, Dr. Vanessee Burns, Pastor, #1 South Cottage Hill Road, Orlando, Florida 32805. Checks should be made payable to Carter Tabernacle CME Church, marked in the memo "Haiti Support."
If persons would rather write checks to the Tenth Episcopal District, please likewise mark these checks for "Haiti Support" and send to the Fifth Episcopal District Office, 310 18th Street, North, Suite 400-D, Birmingham, Alabama 35203.

For further information you may call the office of the Fifth Episcopal District at 205-252-2587.

Thank you.

Lawrence L. Reddick III
Fifth Episcopal District

Friday, September 12, 2008

Funeral Arrangements for Dr. James Faulk

Dear Connectional Members and Friends,

Funeral services for Dr. James Faulk, who passed away on September 11, 2008, will be held on Friday, September 19, 2008, at 11 a.m. at Beebe Memorial Cathedral, 3900 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.  Rev. Dr. Charley Hames, Jr. is pastor. Contact information for Beebe Cathedral: Telephone: 510-655-6114 / Fax: 510 655-6170 / e-mail:
Please keep in prayer Dr. Sylvia Faulk, daughter, Heidi and son, Shannon. You may contact the family at 623 San Fernando Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707, telephone: 510-526-5536, e-mail

In His Service,

Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.
9th Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Dr. Elnora P. Hamb, President
Women's Missionary Council
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Passing of Dr. James Faulk
The 9th Episcopal District and the Northern California Region is saddened by the passing of one of it's stalwart leaders, Dr. James Faulk. Dr. James Faulk was a life long advocate for Social Justice and Human Concerns changes. A member of Beebe Memorial Cathedral in Oakland he leaves his wife, Dr. Sylvia Faulk, President Emeritus of the Women's Missionary Council of the CME Church; daughter, Heidi and son, Shannon to mourn his passing and celebrate his life.
Please lift the family up in prayer. Additional information will be passed on as received.

Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.
Presiding Prelate
9th Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Dr. Elnora P. Hamb, President
Women's Missionary Council
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Passing of Rev. Wesley Hubbard
We regret to inform you of the passing of a former presiding elder serving in the Mississippi South Region and pastor of the Holly Springs CME Church, Rev. Wesley Hubbard, on September 1, 2008 at the Anderson Memorial Hospital, Meridian, MS.

Rev. Hubbard's body has been entrusted to:
Berry & Gardner Funeral Home
1300 34th Avenue
Meridian, MS 39301 (601) 485-8521

Arrangements are as follows:
Homegoing Service: Saturday, September 6, 2008 at Noon
Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr., presiding prelate, 4th Episcopal District will serve as eulogist.
Newell Chapel CME Church
1400 13th Avenue
Meridian, MS 39301
Rev. Troy Miller, pastor
Reviewing of the body from 8 a.m. to Noon

For further information regarding arrangements or hotel information,
please contact Mr. Henry Granger at 601-917-6712, or

Please keep Mrs. Dennetta Hubbard and the rest of the family in your prayers. Expressions of condolence can be sent to her at 4801 23rd St., Meridian, MS 39307.

Submitted by Pene' Woods

Monday, September 01, 2008

Letter to the Editor on Raising Pastors' Salaries

Percy O. Norwood, Jr.
Carrollton, MS 38917
August 11, 2008

Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Jones
Editor, The Christian Index
P.O. Box 431
Fairfield, AL 35064

Dear Rev. Jones:
Congratulations on the quality of the Christian Index. You and your staff have made significant improvements to this publication during your time as Editor. However, after reading your Editor's message in the June 2008 issue of The Christian Index on "Increasing Pastors' Salaries" I decided to write this letter to help clarify something about responsibilities for setting Pastors' salaries.
As a former steward, treasurer, recording steward and trustee in various CME churches around the United States, I agree that local churches need to increase pastors' salaries. But, you misstated in your editorial how the salary should be set. The Discipline does not call for "consultation with the pastor" in setting his/her salary. Section 511.2.1 of the Discipline states, "It shall be the duty of the stewards to make, in conjunction with the stewardesses, an estimate of appropriations for the pastor." It goes on to spell out what that appropriation shall include where possible. A similar provision is spelled out in 513.1.6 of the Discipline concerning the duty of the Stewardesses. Consultation with the pastor is required when "Educational paid leave for a full-time pastor is being considered." (See section 511.2.16). Since the Church Conference handles the business of the church, the Stewardesses and Stewards bring a recommendation to the Church Conference where it is discussed and-voted on. I have seen several instances where pastors attempted to get involved in setting their salaries. In each of those cases, the process got messy and heated resulting in strained relationships between members and the pastor - to put it mildly. Pastors simply need to stay out of the salary setting business!
Now back to how we can go about increasing Pastors' salaries. I am reminded of something Bishop Thomas Brown said during the Mississippi-South Region Annual Confer'ence this past July. He said that, "we talk a lot about stewardship but we practice ownership when it comes to the resources that God has blessed us with." He went on to say that "our wallet is the last thing that gets converted on our Christian journey." If we, members of the local churches, want our churches to prosper we must become better stewards over the resources that God has blessed us with. We have to teach members how to make personal budgets and how to tithe. We have to teach people that giving more to their local church means paying less in taxes to the federal and state governments. We (officers, pastors and members) have to do a better job of encouraging and teaching people how to give back. If 50 percent of the membership would tithe regularly, most churches can meet their day-to-day operational expense (salaries, utilities, mortgages, etc.) and then some. The church can then supplement these gifts with funds raised from special askings and various programs (Women's Day, Men's Day, Church Anniversary and Homecoming, Family and Friends Day, Youth and Young Adult activities, etc) to meet the church's entire budget. Increasing the number of people tithing increases the amount of revenue that the church receives. Then, and only then, will churches realistically look at substantially increasing pastors' salaries.

Respectfully submitted,

Percy O. Norwood, Jr.
Captain-Retired, U.S. Coast Guard
Member of Helm Chapel CME Church

Editor's Note:  Chapter 30, "Support of Preachers in Charge," Para. 451., Sec.1. The compensation and traveling expenses of Pastors-in-Charge of charges shall be estimated by their respective Stewards and Stewardesses in joint deliberations, with the Minister sitting in for consultation without a vote...," page 133, The Book of Discipline of the CME Church, 2006.