Friday, May 29, 2009

Passing of Mrs. Juanita Fuller, Aunt of Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.

Dear Connectional Members and Friends,

The aunt of Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr., Mrs. Juanita Fuller of Gary, Indiana, passed last evening. Mrs. Fuller was the sister of Bishop Williamson’s mother, Mrs. Alma Carvin. She was a member of Israel CME Church in Gary, Indiana.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2009, 11 AM, at Israel CME Church, 2301 Washington Street, Gary IN, 46407. Telephone: 219-883-3859 / Fax : 219-886-9860. Dr. Essie Clark-George, pastor.

Funeral arrangements will be coordinated by Smith, Bizzell & Warner Funeral Home, 4209 Grant Street, Gary IN, 46408. Telephone: 219 887-1852.

Please keep Bishop and Mrs. Williamson, Sr., Mrs. Alma Carvin, and the Fuller family in your prayers.

The 9th Episcopal District Office
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Annual Conference and CME Events Schedule (update)

May 31–June 3, 2009: Northwest Texas Region Annual Conference, Holiday Inn, Lubbock, Texas.

June 14-18, 2009: Arkansas Region Annual Conference, Wyndam Hotel, North Little Rock, AR.
June 21-24, 2009: Southeast Texas Region Annual Conference, Houston Marriott North at Greenpoint; host churches, Beebe Tabernacle and Redeemed Chapel.
June 21-25, 2009: East & West Tennessee Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Select Hotel, Memphis, TN.
June 22-25, 2009: Arizona-New Mexico Region Annual Conference.
June 23-26, 2009: South Georgia Region Annual Conference, Hines Memorial CME Church, Albany, GA; Rev. Kenneth McMillian, host pastor.
June 28 – July 1, 2009: East Texas Region Annual Conference; Maude Cobb Convention Center, Longview, TX; host church, St. Mark, Longview, TX.
June 28-July 1, 2009: South Louisiana Region Annual Conference, Trinity CME Church, 315 Polk Street, Lafayette, LA (337) 234-1364, Rev. Leslie Dugas, pastor.
July 5-10, 2009: Kansas-Missouri Region Annual Conference, hosted by Cleaves Temple CME Church, Omaha, NE, Marriott Hotel and Resort, 10220 Regency Circle, Omaha, NE (402) 399-9000.
July 7-10, 2009: West Georgia Region Annual Conference, Hosley Chapel CME Church, Columbus, GA; Rev. Allen Page III, host pastor.
July 7-10, 2009: Florida Region Annual Conference, Carter Tabernacle CME, Orlando, FL.
July 12-15, 2009: Louisiana Region Annual Conference, Clarion Hotel, 1419 East 70th Street, Shreveport, LA 71108, Rev. Larry Anders, host pastor.
July 12-17, 2009: Michigan-Indiana Region Annual Conference, hosted by Grace CME Church, Detroit, MI.
July 12-17, 2009: Carolina Region Annual Conference, hosted by Russell Memorial CME Church -Durham, NC, Rev. Dr. Lloyd Watkins, pastor; Sheraton Hotel- Durham, NC.
July 14-17, 2009: Central Georgia Region Annual Confernece, Holiday Inn Conference Center, Macon, GA; Hosley Temple CME, host church; Rev. Durtis Russell, host pastor.
July 14-17, 2009: North Alabama Region Annual Conference, Bailey Tabernacle CME, Tuscaloosa, AL.
July 14-18, 2009: The Kentucky Region Annual Conference, Brown Memorial, Louisville, KY.
July 19-22, 2009: Central Texas Region Annual Conference; host church, St. James, Tyler.
July 19-22, 2009: Mississippi-South Region Annual Conference, hosted by Lynch Street CME, Rev. Dr. Charles Holbrook, pastor.
July 19th-24th, 2009: New York-Washington Region Annual Conference, hosted by St. Paul CME Church -Chester, PA; Rev. Aaron Donnelley, pastor; Doubletree Hotel- Wilmington, Delaware.
July 21-24, 2009: Georgia North Region Annual Conference, Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Atlanta, GA; Butler Street CME, host church, Dr. Anthony M. Alford, Sr., host pastor.
July 21-24, 2009: Southeast Alabama Region Annual Conference, St. Paul CME, Gordonville, AL.
July 26-29, 2009: Oklahoma Region Annual Conference.
July 26-29, 2009: North-East Mississippi Region Annual Conference, Bancorpsouth Conference Center, 387 W. Main Street, Tupelo, MS (662) 718-5555. Lodging, Hilton Garden Hotel, 363 E. Main Street, Tupelo, MS (662) 717-5500 or The Summit Hotel, 852 North Gloster Street, Tupelo, MS 38804 (602) 844-4343. Rev. Dr. Clementine Mays and Poplar Springs CME, hosting.
July 26-29, 2009: Dallas-Fort Worth Region Annual Conference; Hilton Garden Inn, Dallas/Duncanville; host church, Kirkwood Temple, Dallas
July 26-31, 2009: Southeast Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin Region Annual Conference, hosted by St. Matthew CME Church, Milwaukee, WI.
July 27-31, 2009: Birmingham Region Annual Conference, Southside CME Church, Birmingham, AL; Rev. Cheryl Goliday, pastor.
July 28-August 1, 2009: The Ohio-Central Indiana Region Annual Conference, Phillips Temple CME, Trotwwod, OH (Marriott Hotel, Dayton, OH).
August 9-12, 2009: Northern California Region Annual Conference.
August 23-26, 2009: Southern California Region Annual Conference.
September 19-24, 2009: The 23rd CME Convocation and the Connectional Lay Institute, Hyatt Hotel, St. Louis, MO.
October 21-23, 2009: One Church One School Annual Conference, Memphis Marriott, 2625 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Memphis, TN.
December 3-5, 2009: The 2nd Episcopal District Mid-Winter Council, Hotel Inn, Sharonville, OH.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Candidates for Bishop Who Participated in the CYAM Forum
Group A – J.J. Jackson, Wayne Williams, Wendell Oldham, James Walker and Charles King
Group B - Robert Peoples, Shirley Fletcher, Anthony Alford, and Eddie Jumper
Group C - Darryll Coleman, Jerry Christian, Joseph Gardner, Tyrone Davis and Sylvester Williams
Group D - Willie Champion, Theresa Snorton, Johnnie Dollarhide, Manuel Henderson and Kenneth Jones
Group E - Bobby Best and Arthur Green

Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 CYAM Focus Retreat Begins at Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Rev. Dr. B. Emmanuel Luther, pastor of the Brown Memorial CME Church, Louisville, KY and opening service preacher, and Brian Magwood, president of the Connectional Young Adult Ministry, at the 2009 Connectional Young Adult Ministry Retreat being held at the Galt House, Louisville, KY.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Loss of Mrs. Ruby C. Smith
Dear Colleagues, Connectional Members, and Friends,

It is with deep regret to inform you that Mrs. Ruby C. Smith, the wife of retired Presiding Elder Rev. James E. Smith, Sr. of the Alaska-Pacific Region, and the mother of five children including the Rev. James E. Smith, Jr. of the Carolina Region, passed away on Monday, May 18, 2009.

Mrs. Smith was a faithful and devoted Christian, ministers’ spouse, mother, and grandmother. She served faithfully at Christ Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Tacoma Washington and at other churches where Rev. Smith pastored in the Ninth Episcopal District. The Smiths recently celebrated 54 years of marriage.

Funeral services for Mrs. Smith will be held on Friday, May 22, 2009, 1:00 p.m., at Curry Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 172-123rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. Telephone 206-325-9344. The Rev. Barry Ray, pastor. The Rev. Carolyn A. Thomas, pastor of Christ Temple CME Church, will be officiating.

Cards, flowers (plants), condolences and other expressions may be sent to Rev. James E. Smith, Sr., 1329 Goldenrod Drive S.E., Lacey, WA 98513. Telephone: 360-455-0367. Please keep Rev. Smith, Sr. and his immediate family in prayer.

In His Service,

Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.
Presiding Prelate of the Ninth Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Sunday, May 17, 2009

AME Bishop McKenzie Inspires Carter Tabernacle CME in Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL—Bishop Vashti McKenzie is a very busy woman. Watching over the 13th AME district, as well as being a bestselling author can tend to put a heavy demand on ones time, especially when you have been elected as the first woman bishop of the AME Church.
“I pray a lot more,” said McKenzie in a brief pre-sermon interview, as she reflects on her position within the church, as well as her schedule. “I am concerned about several congregations, and about several communities,” referencing her district, which encompasses Tennessee and Kentucky. As the first female elected bishop amongst the AME ranks, McKenzie said she sees herself as a “reluctant” role model.
“Role models tend to try and be perfect,” she said. “But if anyone can look at me and say ‘if God did that for you, then he can do it for me’, then I am satisfied with that.”
The Bishop spoke at Carter Tabernacle for the annual Women’s Day celebration on March 22.
Armed with an insightful word, and enough energy light a room, McKenzie’s electric sermon brought the house down, all in the name of the Lord.
“I want up,” McKenzie shouted. Her sermon, focused on succeeding in these times of tribulation, as well as creating a better quality of life, all through your relationship with Jesus Christ.
After worship, the Carter family prepared a reception for McKenzie. She was showered with gifts from congregation members, as well as the local alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
As McKenzie prepared to leave the city of Orlando, she stopped briefly and said a brief prayer for Carter Tabernacle.
“Come back soon, Bishop,” a Carter member yells as her car pulls away. She waves as the car pulls off. She may be headed back to her duties in Nashville, but Bishop McKenzie left a lasting impression on the hearts of Christians throughout Orlando. Photo shows Pastor Dr. Vanessee Burns and Bishop Vashti McKenzie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

10th Episcopal District Expands into Sudan and Egypt
Bishop Kenneth Wayne Carter, presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District, announced today the expansion of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church into Sudan and Egypt. Members of the former Independent Episcopal Church of Sudan, Northern Sudan Province, have offered themselves for membership in the CME Church.“This is one of my greatest moments as a bishop,” said Bishop Carter. “The CME Church continues to grow.”
Under the leadership of former Bishop Peter Elbersh Kwa, the Church of Sudan brings over 20,000 new CMEs to the denomination, encompassing 50 churches, with one church located in Egypt. The Sudanese church also has affiliation here in the United States: Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; and Denver, CO, as well as in Ontario, Canada. Bishop Peter Elbersh Kwa relinquishes his order as bishop and now assumes the title of mission supervisor of churches in the Sudanese region.
In addition to Sudan, the 10th Episcopal District consists of churches in Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Liberia and Nigeria (Eastern, East Mainland, Lagos, Northern, Southern and Western) and DR Congo/Rwanda.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Very Busy Day at General Board
Memphis, TN—Today is the last day of General Board. But yesterday was very busy as expected. Even so, this year’s meeting continues to be very tame when compared with General Boards from the past. As usual, Wednesday’s sessions were all held at the Greenwood CME Church, Dr. Travis Robinson, pastor. Right off the bat, let me say that Greenwood must be commended for so efficiently receiving the delegation to the 2009 meeting. They do it every year. In fact, in his moment of introductions and announcements at Communion Service last night, Bishop L.L. Reddick, III, took special privilege in thanking the 1st Episcopal District for hosting the meeting 22 years in a row.
Wednesday morning’s session began with a devotional service, including meditation by Dr. Louis Parham, pastor of the Martin Temple CME Church here in Memphis. This was followed by the Standing Committee Reports from meetings from the previous day. All reports were received and accepted by the General Board. The Noon speaker was Bishop Thomas Louis Brown, Sr., 4th Episcopal District, who was installed as the chairman of the College of Bishops for 2009-10. After lunch, the General Board heard a special presentation by Dr. Pernessa Seale, founder and CEO of Balm and Gilead. Dr. Seale announced a new media campaign promoting HIV screening. One of the featured spokespersons in the videos presented was Senior Bishop Wiliam H. Graves, Sr.
The Service of Holy Communion last night was well attended by Memphis-area CMEs and members of the General Board, Senior Bishop William Graves presiding. The 1st Episcopal District Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Charlotte Pope, rendered the music, which was outstanding. The Communion speaker was Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham, 8th Episcopal District. A sumptuous repast followed, including shrimp, meatballs, chicken wings, and homemade ice cream. I have to go now. Pick up the May issue of The Christian Index for more detailed information regarding the General Connectional Board meeting and departmental reports.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

General Board: Let the Work Begin
Memphis, TN—The 2009 General Connectional Board meeting formally opened Tuesday afternoon, May 5th, at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel. Senior Bishop Wiliam H. Graves presided. The meditation speaker was Dr. Martha Granger, presiding elder of the
 Evansville/Hopkinsville District, Kentucky Region, with the title, “Wash Day” (John 9). Other than the excitement of the spoken Word, the opening plenary of the General Board was without a lot of fanfare. Following the calling of the roll of Board members, Executive Secretary of the CME Church Atty. Juanita Bryant read her yearly report. The report was approved by the General Board. When Senior Bishop Graves 
excused himself due to an emergency, Vice Chairman of the General Board Bishop Othal Hawthorne Lakey assumed leadership of the session. Little discussion or business ensued, except for the assigning of orderlies from each Episcopal District. The assembly was then released to go to departmental meetings. Most meetings met around a meal.
The meeting of the Editorial Board of The Christian Index was held at 5 p.m. in room 7 of the hotel, chaired by Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr. In addition to Board members, several guests were present: Dr. Louise Baker Brown, Bishop and Mrs. L.L. Reddick, III, Mrs. Frances W. Jones, Connectional Spouses’ President Mrs. Maggie C. Banks, Dr. Wardell Bonner, pastor, St. John CME, Washington, DC, and others. I gave the editor’s report, which received the approval of the Board, with high commendations. Following the meeting, I hosted a very nice supper for the Board members, if I must say so myself. We dined on ribs, baked chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, slaw, baked beans, bread, and a wide assortment of desserts. After the meal, Secretary of the Editorial Board Kenneth McMillian and I worked on the Editorial Board’s report, which will be presented in today’s open session at Greenwood CME.
The evening ended with a praise and worship program, sponsored by the Ministers’ and Laymen’s Council, Dr. Eddie Jumper, president.
Today will be the busiest day of the General Board. I’ll let you know what happened.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

From the General Connectional Board
Memphis, TN (May 5, 2009)—Hello fellow CMEs. As part of my ministry of information sharing, I will attempt to keep you somewhat abreast of what’s going on here as we begin the 2009 version of the CME General Connectional Board. As you know, the General Board is mandated by the Church to come together at this time each year to hear reports on the connectional departmental ministries. The General Board consists of representatives from each Episcopal District who are assigned to an individual departmental board convening at this meeting. As editor of The Christian Index, and one of 10 general officers, I am making my eleventh report to the General Board, and while so far each report has been well received, I never really relax until this meeting is over.
As I write this entry mid-morning on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, it’s still somewhat quiet around the Holiday Inn Select Hotel. Because I was on travel yesterday from Washington, DC to preach at my former church, Russell Temple CME, Alexandria, VA, I missed the General Officers’ Council meeting Monday morning. I heard that all went well.
As the newest member to the CME Convocation Committee, I sat in on its meeting this morning at 7 AM in the hotel restaurant. It was a very interesting meeting. Chaired by Bishop Paul A.G. Stewart, Sr., and including Bishops Brown and Brown, and Bishop Hoyt and Williamson, Sr., the committee is not lacking in good Episcopal leadership. Also on the committee are several other general officers, including Dr. Tyrone T. Davis, director of the Convocation; and Doris Herring, Convocation registrar.
The harkening message of this morning’s meeting was how each CME leader must do more to promote the CME Convocation. Several strategies were put on the table. In fact, one of the reasons the Committee invited this editor to be present was to help strengthen promotion through the use of the Index and the Missionary Messenger. We will be working closely with the committee to strike a consistent, uniform message to all CMEs on how they cannot afford to miss the “Ships” that will be sailing “From Good to Great” when we come together in St. Louis in September.
The 2009 General Board formally kicks off this afternoon at 2 PM, with Senior Bishop William H. Graves, Sr., presiding. We then will go into individual departmental meetings after 4 PM. I’ll let you know what happened. Peace.