Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 - time to forget what is past...
time to experience 'a new thing!'

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
 - Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Important Web Links
  • Upcoming Gala Event Celebrating Presidents' Legacies

  • To register for One Church One School 14th Dream Keepers Workshop

  • Christian Education Resources

  • Online Christian Education Certificate

  • The CME Church Official Web Site

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Updated Arrangements for Rev. Raymond L. Graves

Viewing/Service for the Community
Thursday, December 30, 2010  -  2 p.m.
Aenon Baptist Church, Rev. James Cherry, Pastor
175 Genesee Street
Rochester, NY  14611
(585) 436-6755

Final Home Going Service
Friday, December 31, 2010  - 11 a.m.
New Bethel C.M.E. Church, Rev. Weldon G. Thomas, Pastor
270 Scio Street
Rochester, NY  14605
(585) 232-3815

Funeral Home
Lattimore's Funeral Home
983 Plymouth Avenue
Rochester, NY  14608
(585) 528-2680

Condolences and other acts of kindness should be sent to: 
Mrs. Pauline H. Graves
55 Horse Shoe Ln. North
Henrietta, New York  14467
(585) 334-9043
Passing of Mr. James Tyiska

I regret to inform you of the passing of Mr. James Tyiska, the brother of Mrs. Belvia J. Strickland, Mrs.  Ora Smith, and Mrs. Demetrius Sims.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:
Thursday, December 30, 2010
11 AM Family Hour  and 12 Noon – Funeral Service
Quinn Chapel AME Church
2101 Lippincott Blvd
Flint, Michigan 48503

Funeral Home 
Lawrence E. Moon
906 W. Flint Park Blvd
Flint, Michigan 48505
Phone 810-789-6666
Fax 810-789-1988

Please keep in prayer his wife, Mrs. Alice Jean Tyiska, and the other family members.


Dr. Elnora P. Hamb
Women's Missionary Council President

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Services for Rev. Raymond Graves
A community service to honor the late Rev. Raymond Graves is scheduled for Thursday, December 30th at Aenon Missionary Baptist Church, 175 Genesee Street, Rochester, NY.  The viewing will be held from 2-4 p.m., and a public program from 4-6 p.m. The funeral service will be held at 11 am on Friday, December 31st, at the New Bethel CME Church, 270 Scio Street, Rochester, NY.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Passing of Bro. Bryan Honeysucker

I have been informed that my nephew, Robert Bryan Honeysucker of Milwaukee, who suffered a massive stroke on Christmas Eve, passed away last night around 9:30 p.m.   He was 33 years old.  Please keep his parents, my brother Robert and his wife Gwen, and his sister Tamika, as well as the rest of my family, in your prayers.


Leela Pearl Honeysucker-Miller, Ed.D.

Friday, December 24, 2010

CME Christian Education Certification Now Available Online

December 23, 2010—The Department of Christian Education presents a new series of online courses aimed towards Christian Education Certification.  We have created this Online Christian Education Certification Program for Pastors, Christian Education Leaders, Teachers in the Church, Young Adult Leaders, and Children and Youth Leaders.  Upon completion of this certification program, the learner will be able to:
    * Define Christian Education
    * Develop a Lesson/Teaching Plan
    * Lead an evaluation of local church’s Christian Education Ministry
    * Understand basic learning styles

Our online courses are designed to provide Theory, Knowledge, and Skills.  The Classes will be offered January 2011 through August 2011 and the Certificate of Completion will be recognized at the Annual CME Convocation in September for those persons completing all six modules (CED101-CED106).   This six-session online courses will cover topics that are important to the design, process or evaluation of efforts to improve the quality of Christian Education in our local churches. The learning modules include:
    * CED101 - Christian Education in the African American Church
    * CED102 - Understanding C.M.E. History and Polity
    * CED103 - Providing Age-Appropriate Educational Ministry
    * CED104 - The "Graying" Church Through Educational Ministry
    * CED105 - Identifying Leadership Skills
    * CED106 - Creating Christian Education Project
Students will access the course information remotely, and will need access to a computer with 32 MB RAM and at least 28.8 kbps modem, an internet connection, and an email account.  The registration fee for the course is $50. There may be additional costs for text and materials. Register online from the Department of Christian Education eStore

We must receive your registration prior to January 15, 2010, in order for your name to be included on the class roster for the first class CED101 which begins January 27th.  Upon successful completion of the course, students will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield, General Secretary, CME Department of Christian Education at

Join us as we focus on the "FORMATION" element of the MISSION Formula:

Formation + Nurture + Leadership = MISSION  

"Our goal is to make disciples through "events that form and transform."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Passing of Rev. Raymond L. Graves

I greet you in the Precious Name of Jesus Christ!

It is with sadness in my heart that I inform you that one of our very dedicated pastors, Rev. Raymond L. Graves, passed away Thursday morning at Highland Hospital, Rochester, NY. He was the retired pastor of New Bethel CME Church in Rochester for over 40 years.  Rev. Graves was married to Mrs. Pauline Graves.

Homegoing Service arrangements have not be made at this time. When they are available everyone will be notified.

Pass this information on to others, and please pray tor the Graves family.


Emma Cox-Lovelace, President
NY/Washington Region Women's Missionary Society
68 Post Avenue
Rochester, NY  14619
(585) 436-1270 (Home)
(585) 4l1-2659 (Cell)

'Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.' - Luke 2:11-14

The Christian Index
The Christian Index Online
Wish Everyone a Happy, Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Arrangements for Bro. Gerard W. Herring
Services for Gerard W. Herring will be 11 AM, Thursday, December 23, 2010 at the Byrd's Funeral Home, 3409 West Main Street, Dothan, AL 36305. If you would like to express your condolences to the family, you may send it to 114 Sheridan Street, Gadsden, Alabama or call at 256-547-8130.

Gerard will never be forgotten by his daughter's, Sharla and Carmen Herring; stepson, Chad Bishop; his mother, Margaret H. Lightsey; sister, Rev. Sudealia Douthard, pastor of Mt. Carmel CME Church, Adamsville, AL; brothers, Douglas and Roderick Herring; and former wife, Claudette Herring.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Arrangements for Bro. LeRoy Kennedy

Dear Connectional Members and Friends,

It is with our deepest regret to inform you of the passing of Mr. LeRoy Kennedy on December 13, 2010.  Mr. Kennedy was the brother of Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, State of Alabama Representative.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 11 a.m. at Stewart Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located at 1268 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Mobile, Alabama 36603.  The Rev. Dr. Anthony Alford, pastor. Telephone: 251-432-3791.

Arrangements have been entrusted to: Johnson-Allen Mortuary, 600 Chestnut Street, Mobile, AL 36603. Telephone: 251-433-2574.

Condolences may be sent to Dr. Kennedy and the family at 1205 Glennon Avenue, Mobile, AL 36603.

Please keep Dr. Kennedy and the Kennedy family in your prayers.

Jeanette Bouknight
Executive Secretary
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
"An Essential Church: Poised for 21st Century Ministry"

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Loss of Our Beloved 
Rev. Dr. Nehemiah Mitchum

Rev. Dr. Nehemiah Mitchum went home to be with the Lord on December 12th at his home.

Home Going Services:
Thursday, December 16, 2010, 10 AM
Mt. Olive Cathedral CME Church
538 Linden Avenue
Memphis, TN
(Body will lie in state from 9 AM until service)

West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery
4000 Forrest-Hill Irene Road
Memphis, TN

His Body has been entrusted to:
R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home
374 Vance Avenue
Memphis, TN
(901) 526-3264; Fax: (901) 526-3265

Please keep Mrs. Juanita Mitchum and the entire Mitchum family
in your prayers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr. 
Releases 140th Anniversary Litany

The 8th Episcopal District is grateful to be able to share a litany of celebration titled, “Litany of Celebration—140th Anniversary of the CME Church.”
(click below to expand)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arrangements for 
Mrs. Barba E. Stewart-Merriweather

The Memorial Service for Mrs. Barba E. Stewart-Merriweather of Rehobath Beach, DE, the sister of Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr., presiding prelate of the 3rd Episcopal District, will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 1 PM, at the Mount Nebo CME Church, Baldwyn, MS, Rev. Carl Z. Jones, pastor.   Phone: (662) 365-8714. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are to be made payable to The Bessie Agnew Stewart Scholarship Trust.

Donations and condolences may be sent to Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr.,  at 5925 West Florissant Avenue, St. Louis,  MO  63136.

Please keep Bishop and Mrs. Stewart and the entire family in your prayers.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Passing of Madam Nko Sunday Okuidem, 
Mother of Rev. Emmanuel Okuidem

To the College of Bishops, General Officers, Missionaries and Connectional Members:

It is with deep regret to inform you that, Madam Nko Sunday Okuidem, the Sweet Mother of Rev. Emmanuel Okuidem, now Regional Coordinator of CME Church, Lagos and Northern Regions of Nigeria, has passed away at a ripe age of 85 years.

Funeral arrangements and services for Madam Nko S. Okuidem were held:

Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wake:  10:00 a.m.-Noon
Funeral services: Noon

Venue: Okuidem’s Compound
Ata Idung, Minya
Southern Region Annual Conference Nigeria
Mkpat Enin LGA
Akwa Ibom State
Rev. Emmanuel Okuidem
+ 234-803-354-4431

Please keep Rev. Okuidem and his family in your prayers.  Donations in lieu of cards, and condolences may be sent to Rev. Emmanuel Okuidem via Western Union Money Transfer, Abuja, Nigeria.

Friday, December 03, 2010

New Association of Black Methodist 
General Officers Charts Its Future
          When the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church assembled in Columbia, SC last spring for their historic “Great Gathering,” creating formal alliances was not on the agenda. Yet, in a meeting of general officers representing the three communions where there was intense dialogue on issues of the day, and answers, a new partnership was formed.
The Association of Black Methodist General Officers (ABMGO) consists of duly elected officials of each of the three churches, representing some of the greatest talent, gifts, and graces ever in the history of Methodism. While an official mission statement is currently a work in progress, the spirit of the agenda of the Great Gathering remains an important focus of the ABMGO, and making a positive impact on the lives of Black Methodists throughout the world is paramount.
Since that first dinner meeting in Columbia last March, the ABMGO has had several meetings by phone. Led by President Dr. Mary A. Love, Editor of the Department of Church School Literature, of the AMEZ Church, the ABMGO is taking all of the necessary steps to grow into an effective, competent group, with a strong organizational structure. Several committees have been established, including committees on Program, By-Laws, Courtesy/Amenities, Ad Hoc/Missions, Finance, Public Relations Committee and a committee on Nominations. Extensive efforts have been made to emphasize and take advantage of the “parallel relationships” among the Black Methodist General Officers. In this vein, there is a concerted effort to maximize the skills of those general officers that are in related, or similar, ministries to the benefit of Black Methodists around the world.
The Association of Black Methodist General Officers is looking forward to the first of what is expected to be an annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 19, 2011, as the Consultation of Methodist Bishops will hold their annual meeting at that time. The meeting in Atlanta ostensibly will be the first anniversary of the seminal work that took place at the Great Gathering last year, with heightened prospects for moving the Association forward.
Current members of the ABMGO are:
AME Church
Richard Lewis, Clement Fugh, John C. Wade, Jerome V. Harris, Daryl Ingram (Secretary), Calvin H. Sydnor, III, Johnny Barbour, Dennis Dickerson, George F. Flowers

AME Zion
W. Robert Johnson, III, Otis McMillan, Raymon E. Hunt
Shirley Welch, Kermit DeGraffenreidt, Mike Lisby
David Miller, James David Armstrong, George E. McKain
Bernard Sullivan, Terrance Jones, Mary A. Love (President)

CME Church
Tyrone T. Davis, Joseph Neal, Elnora P. Hamb, Leo Pinkett, Jeanette Bouknight, Dewayne Golightly, Clifford Harris, Carmichael Crutchfield (Treasurer),
Kenneth E. Jones, Roderick D. Lewis
Submitted by Dr. Kenneth E. Jones, Editor of The Christian Index

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Lilly Endowment Announces
2011 Clergy Renewal Grant
(For details click on widget below)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Loss of Dr. Patricia Willis

Dear CME Members, Missionaries and Friends,

We are saddened by the passing of Dr. Patricia Willis, past president of the Louisiana Region Missionary Society.

Funeral arrangements for Dr. Patricia Willis are as follows:

Quiet Hour - Monday, November 29, 2010 - 6-7 PM
Evening Star CME Church, Cullen, LA  - Rev. Shirley Duty, pastor
1103 Henrietta White Blvd., Cullen, LA  71021
Telephone:  318-994-3172

Home Going Services - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 11 AM
William Memorial CME Church, Shreveport, LA - Rev. Larry Anders, Pastor
1501 Peabody Street - Shreveport, LA  71103
Telephone: 318-424-0843

Burial will be in Springhill, LA under the auspices of Memorial Funeral Home.

Condolences may be sent in care of Gwendolyn Frazier, Memorial Funeral Home, 40343 Hwy 79, Homer, LA 71040. Telephone: 318-927-5241.

Please remember to keep the family of Dr. Patricia Willis in your prayers.

In His Service,

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mrs. Marilyn Thomas Continues Progress
To all of you expressing concern for Marilyn Thomas:

What a great day of Thanksgiving on yesterday! The kids and I joined Marilyn with a "home cooked" thanksgiving dinner in the hospital. She's making a miraculous recovery, thanks to the Master Healer, your prayers, and the hospital staff including her personal physician. We're continuing to offer much praise to God for the great things God is doing to restore Marilyn to wholeness!  Keep the prayers flowing and thank you all so much! things God is doing for Marilyn. Don't stop the prayers... Again, Thanks!

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,  "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  We're doing just that!

Please pass this praise report on...Thanks!

Weldon G. Thomas
New Bethel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
270 Scio Street, Rochester, NY 14605

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 
continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, 
strengthened in the faith as you were taught, 
and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

Happy Thanksgiving 
from The Christian Index

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Loss of Mrs. Elaine P. Williams

Dear Connectional Members and Friends,

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs. Elaine P. Williams, the wife of Rev. Dr. W. Clyde Williams, longtime C.M.E. pastor, former Executive Secretary for the C.M.E. Church, and former president of Miles College.  

The Homegoing Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, November 27, 2010, 11:00 a.m., at West Mitchell Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 560 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive S.W., Atlanta, Georgia, 30314.  The Rev. Frederick L. Braddock, Sr., Pastor.  Telephone: 404-525-2337.  Fax: 404-525-1575.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Murray Brothers Mortuary, 1199 Utoy Spring Road Southwest, Atlanta, GA  30331. Telephone: 404-349-3000.

Condolences may be sent to Dr. W. Clyde Williams at 2805 Shoreland Drive SW, Atlanta, GA, 30331. 

Please keep Dr. W. Clyde Williams, Rev. Gregory Williams, Rev. Randy Williams, and the family in your prayers.  

Jeanette Bouknight
Executive Secretary
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
"An Essential Church: Poised for 21st Century Ministry"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Passing of Mrs. Mary Paige 
Please be advised of the arrangements for Mrs. Mary Paige, the mother of Rev. James Mitchell Paige, presiding elder of the Columbus-Meridian District, Mississippi South Region.

Mrs. Paige's body has been entrusted to:

Chapel of Angels Funeral Home
823 Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue
Laurel, Mississippi 39440
(601) 428-2011

Family Hour:  
Thursday, November 18, 2010, 6  to 7 p.m.
Chapel of Angels Funeral Home
(See address above)

Home Going Services:
Friday, November 19, 2010,  2 p.m.
Christian Valley Baptist Church
810 South Walters Avenue
Laurel, MS 39440
(601) 428-7837

Please keep Rev. and Mrs. James Paige and family in your prayers.  Rev. Paige can be reached at 601-527-4237; email: Condolences can be sent to Chapel of Angels or Rev. Paige at 6200 11th Avenue, Meridian, MS 39305.

Submitted by Pene' Woods

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Services for Bro. Henry Boyd, Sr.

Mr. Henry Boyd, Sr., brother of Editor of The Christian Index Dr. Kenneth E. Jones and Dr. Margarie Stovall, pastor of Haynes Chapel CME, Pelahatchie, MS, will be remembered in a home going service at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at the Adolphus Chapel CME Church, Holly Springs, MS. Arrangements are being handled by Brittenum Funeral Home, 125 N Memphis St., Holly Springs, MS 38635-2210; (662) 252-2341.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

L-R: Bro. Anthony Farley, Bro. William B. Sims, Rev. John D. Johnson, Bro. Herbert Titus, Bro. Jim Johnson, Bro. Terrence Lowe, Ms. Ann Woods, Bro. Bruce Livingston, Bro. Ralph Davis, Ms. Geneva Reese, Ms. Doss Tyson, Rev. Pansy Washington, and Ms. Wanda Thomas.

Connectional Lay Day 
At Lewis Metropolitan CME
           Los Angeles, CA—On October 10, 2010, under the leadership of Bishop James B. Walker, the presiding prelate of the 9th Episcopal District, the Southern California Region observed Connectional Lay Day at Lewis Metropolitan CME. The theme for the event was "Building a Bridge of Unity Between Laity and Clergy: Poised for 21st Century Ministry." Ms. Anna Woods was the worship leader for the event. Rev. Wendell Oldham, the host pastor and presiding elder of the LA District, conducted the installation of officers for the local and District churches. Rev. Pansy Washington, Ms. Geneva Reese, and the Calvery CME choir, under the direction of Alicia Lawerence, provided the music. Rev. Napoleon Goshay, presiding elder of the Los Angeles/San Diego District, introduced the speaker, Reverend Harlon K. Jones, the pastor of Phillips Temple CME Church, Los Angeles. Mr. Donald Bruce Livingston, president of the Southern California Region Lay, praised the clergy and laypersons attending this historic event. Submitted by Warren Bryant

L-R: Presiding Elder Rev. Wendell Oldham, Rev. Brian Smith, Rev. Nolan Jones, Bro. Elliott White, Bro. Bruce Livingston, Sis. Dessie Tyson, Rev. William Smart, Rev. Thembeckarla Smart, and Presiding Elder Napoleon Goshay.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

From the College of Bishops:

The Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church addresses the importance of voting in the upcoming Mid-Term Election being held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

We join with the College of Bishops and request that every Pastor, Missionary, and Lay Leader accept the responsibility for giving leadership to a “Get Out the Vote” effort in their respective communities; encourage others to vote next Tuesday; and transport persons to and from election poll sites.

The ability to vote is our constitutional right which many persons fought, marched and died for over the decades. We encourage every member to exercise their voting right,  participate in the upcoming congressional, state and local elections, and to take advantage of early voting processes.  Please vote on Tuesday!

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, under the leadership of Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. and its College of Bishops, is a 139-year old historically African American Christian denomination with more than 1.2 million members across the United States, and has missions and sister churches in Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan/Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda Rwanda and Burundi.  For additional information about the CME Church, visit .

Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., CEO
Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr.
Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III
Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr.,
Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr.
Bishop Kenneth W. Carter
Bishop James B. Walker
Bishop W.E. Lockett
Bishop Sylvester Williams
Bishop Teresa Snorton
Bishop Godwin T. Umoette
Bishop William H. Graves, Retired
Bishop Othal H. Lakey, Retired
Bishop Edward Lynn Brown, Retired
Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham, Retired
Bishop Dotcy I. Isom, Jr., Retired
Bishop Marshall Gilmore, Retired
Bishop Nathaniel Linsey, Retired

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New theme song is a Ministers' Spouses,
Widows and Widowers' Department first
The CME Ministers' Spouses, Widows and Widowers' Department, founded in 1995, has been blessed with its own theme song. During the administration of Rev. Maggie Banks, who served as president of this department from 2005 to 2009, it was brought to the Executive Board's attention that Dr. Edith Farrar, of the 3rd Episcopal District, had written a song that would serve as a theme song for this department.
Dr. Farrar, born in Durham, NC, has been a minister's spouse for over 40 years and has been a minister's widow for nearly five years. She is the mother of four children, three daughters and one son; six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She graduated from Aspen Christian College and Seminary in Lackland, CO, with a PhD in Music. She is a member of St. Paul CME Church in Mexico, MO, where her pastor is her daughter, Rev. Dr. Rinalda Farrar.
Dr. Edith Farrar shares that the inspiration for this song came to her one day while she sat in her husband's truck. Her husband, Rev. Dr. Joe Louis Farrar, who pastored Israel CME Church in Gary, IN at the time, had gotten out of the truck to go into a store. While sitting in his truck she was inspired to write the lyrics to the "Minister's Wives" song. She later showed it to their organist, Ms. Louise Lee. As Dr. Farrar was being inspired with the words, she did not have anything to write with or write on. She looked in the glove compartment of the truck and found an envelope and pencil and began to write the words. She knew that this inspiration came from God. The words came as an overwhelming flood resulting in her writing as quickly as possible. When her husband returned, she told him what had taken place and showed him what she had written. Every word was given to her, even the music. The first tune given was "O' Rapturous Scenes." However, when the song was presented during the 2008 National Meeting of the Ministers' Spouses, Widows and Widowers' held during the 22nd CME Convocation in Knoxville, TN, we were advised by our, then, Patron Bishop Ronald Cunningham that it would not be appropriate to use the music of "O Rapturous Scenes" because of the legacy of our late Bishop Lucius H. Holsey who wrote the words to this great hymn of the CME Church and the sacredness attached to this hymn. Also, the word "Wives" had to be changed to "Spouses" because of the many male spouses that are present within the CME church.
It was during that 2008 meeting that President Maggie Banks instructed the worship leader at the time, Mrs. Debora C. Gant, of the 1st Episcopal District, to develop another tune that would be appropriate for our theme song and make this presentation at our next connectional meeting that was to be held in St. Louis, MO. In order to be inclusive and involve all the spouses that would be present, Mrs. Gant wrote three different tunes. She prepared ballots indicating the three different instrumentations and made the individual musical presentations at the MSWW's connectional meeting held during the 23rd Convocation in St. Louis, MO. Assisting Mrs. Gant in making this presentation was Mrs. Janice Mitchell, current vice president of the MSWW's Department, representing the 2nd Episcopal District; and Mrs. Gail Anders of the 4th Episcopal District. They joined Mrs. Gant in singing the three different tunes, at various tempos. The body voted and the majority decided which tune would accompany the words that Dr. Farrar had given as a gift to this department. Bishop Cunningham humorously stated that he liked "all three versions" but he knew we were to decide on only one.
Under the new administration of President Linda Whitlock, 3rd Episcopal District, a CD with words and instrumentation was presented to the Bishops' spouses and the Executive Board of the Connectional Ministers' Spouses' Department, at the recent connectional meeting that was held during the 24th Convocation in Louisville, KY. Each Executive Board member, which is also the representative for their episcopal districts, will be responsible for sharing the CD with their Region presidents who will in turn, share it with the district presidents within their regions. It is the hope that eventually the song will permeate the entire CME Church for all ministers' spouses, widows and widowers to use during their various programs and events and during the connectional meetings by the current worship leader, Mrs. Linda Wilson of the 4th Episcopal District, and those who follow.
Mrs. Debora C. Gant is currently the Financial Secretary serving on the Executive Board of the Minister's Spouses' Widows and Widowers' Department. She is a member of the 1st Episcopal District, where she resides with her husband, Rev. William C. Gant in the Arkansas Region in Searcy, AR at St. Mary CME Church.
We thank God for Dr. Farrar's gift to this department.

Ministers' Spouses' Theme Song
(Adopted September 2009)
Words: Mrs. Edith J. Farrar, PhD,
3rd Episcopal District
Tune: Mrs. Debora C. Gant, 1st Episcopal District

1. We are Ministers' Spouses of the CME Church
We are striving to do our best.
With God on our side, we shall run this race,
To enter the Golden Gate.

2. We are Ministers' Spouses of the CME Church
We long to make Heaven our home.
Through many hard trials, we must overcome,
With Jesus our Lord by our side.

3. We are Minister's Spouses of the CME Church
With the love of God in our hearts.
We work so patiently day after day,
With spouses whom God has supplied.

The CME Church, the CME Church
May God ever be by our side.
The CME Church, the CME Church
May God ever be by our side.

Mrs. Debora Gant is the former worship leader for the Connectional Spouses. Photo above shows Patron Bishop Godwin Umoette with Spouses at their departmental meeting at the 24th CME Convocation in Louisville, KY.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One Church One School Conference Events
The Hilton Jackson Hotel, Jackson MS
October 21-22, 2010

OCOS Student Empowerment Seminar
Thursday, October 21, 10:00 a.m.
Keynote Presenter: Professor Lance Williams
Assistant Director
Northeastern Illinois University’s Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Thursday, October 21, 7:00 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Bishop Thomas L. Brown
Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District of the CME Church
Lifetime Achievement Awardees:
Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore, Mrs. W. Jean Moore, Mr. Jewell Wagner
Opening Plenary Session
Friday, October 22, 9:00 a.m.
Keynote Speaker: Bishop James B. Walker
Presiding Prelate of the Ninth Episcopal District of the CME Church
Los Angeles, California
Awards Recognition Luncheon
Friday, October 22, Noon
Guest Speaker: Dr. Beverly Wade-Hogan
President of Tougaloo College
Tougaloo, MS
Workshops: Partnership Workshop: Thursday, October 21, 2:00 p.m.
Educational Workshops: Friday, October 22, 10:30 a.m.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Senior Bishop Hoyt Calls for
2nd Rally at Atlantic Beach, SC

TO: Pastors and Members
Winston-Salem/Greenville District
And to other Concerned CME's
FROM: Dr. James E. Russell, Jr., Presiding Elder
SUBJECT: Atlantic Beach March/Rally
DATE: Saturday, October 30, 2010
TIME: 10:00 am

In August of 2010, during the praise and worship service at Atlantic Beach CME Church, members of the Atlantic Beach police department entered the church and ended the worship service. The pastor and her husband were handcuffed and taken away while the remaining members were forced to leave the premises. This was done under the pretense that the building had been condemned. This has sense been proved not to be true.
In September of 2010, Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyts, Jr. and others traveled to Atlantic Beach where we met and talked with the Town Manager and Police Chief. We expressed our concern about their action and requested that the light be turned on and the pastor and members be allowed to re-enter their church for worship.
To this day, the lights in the Atlantic Beach CME Church have not been turned on. The pastor’s husband has been arrested on two occasions and remains in jail even as I write this note to you. Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. has expressed his concern for the church and safety of some of its members.

Atlantic Beach, S.C. is a small municipality composed of approximately 500 people on about .2 SQ miles. The town is nestled between two of the largest resort municipalities (Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle) in the United States. It is governed and managed by an all-black town council. Bishop Senior Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. feels strongly that the Town Council of Atlantic Beach has the responsibility to uphold the constitution of the United States of America and protect and respect the right of all of its citizens.
The fact that the town of Atlantic Beach is incorporated for the purpose of self government means that it has the responsibility and the duty to protect and respect the constitutional rights of all of its citizens regardless of race, creed, or religion. For the past few years this has not been the case where the Atlantic Beach CME Church is concerned. A disturbing and distinct pattern and practice of abuse of power towards the church, it members, it pastor and her family by the town have been clearly evident.
These abuses include but are not limited to threats, false arrest and unconstitutional incarceration. It is sad when in 2010 in the United States of America that an all-black town council has chosen to openly abuse and hinder a black congregation from expressing their rights to worship without abusive re-action from the government which has been elected to protect them.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Loss of James Irvin Herring

James Irvin Herring, 300 Peach Tree Street, Buffalo, New York, departed this earth on Sunday, October 10, 2010. He is the son of Margaret Lightsey and the late Frank Herring, and brother of Rev. Sudealia Douthard, pastor of Mt. Carmel CME, Adamsville, AL.

Funeral Arrangements
Saturday, October 16, 2010, Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine Street Buffalo, New York 14209.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to noon. Service begins at noon.

Anigone Funeral Home
1132 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14209

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Trailblazing Mississippi Judge Curtis Austin Passes

Municipal Court Judge Curtis Austin, a giant of the community who was one of the first African Americans to serve on the Columbus City Council and as a lawyer and judge in Columbus, Mississippi, died yesterday morning in Birmingham, Al. He was 60. Austin died of an undisclosed illness at about 5:30 a.m. October 6th after almost two weeks at UAB Hospital.

City Councilman Kabir Karriem called Austin a "trailblazer" who was a staple of local politics.
"(He) was one of those giants in our community whose shoulders we stand on," Karriem said.
The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member was the second African American on the City Council, which paved the way for better race relations in the community, said Councilman Gene Taylor.
"To have another black person on the board as an attorney and as a judge at the time was a tremendous boost, not only to the black community but to the city as a whole," Taylor said.
Austin practiced as an attorney for about 30 years in Mississippi before becoming a Municipal Court judge in January 1994. He received a degree from George Washington School of Law and was a graduate of Jackson State University. He was a member of the Sanders Chapel CME Church in Columbus.

Those Austin worked with also praised him for his candor and community service.
"He was a very good person—always approachable, always helpful," said Police Chief Joseph St. John. "We're going to miss him, and that's not just a nice line." Although he was reserved and generally quiet, Austin had a "great sense of humor," said Lowndes County Supervisor Leroy Brooks.

The father of four and grandfather of two will be sorely missed, Brooks said.
On the city website, Austin listed reading, gardening and cooking as his hobbies.
Carter's Funeral Services is handling funeral arrangements, which had not been completed Wednesday morning.

Submitted by Pene' Woods
2011 CME Pastors' Conference Announced

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Loss of Selwyn Langdon,
Son of Sister Edna Barksdale Langdon

I am sorry to report to you that around 2 a.m., Thursday morning, September 30th, Brother Selwyn Langdon was killed in an auto accident on Interstate 20, near Jackson, MS. He was the son of Mrs. Edna Barksdale Langdon, nephew of the late Elder Dorothy Claybon and Mrs. Marjorie Culver. Arrangements are pending, but will be handled by Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home.
You may reach the Claybon family at 662.701.9247. Please be in prayer for the family during this very difficult period.

Pene' Woods
Funeral Arrangements for
Mrs. Georgiana Williams,
Mother of Bishop Sylvester Williams
The funeral service for Mrs. Georgiana Williams will be held on Monday, October 4, 2010, at noon at the Bass Tabernacle CME Church, 22890 County Road 32, Akron, Alabama, ph. 205-372-0769.

Arrangements are being handled by Rollins Mortuary, 2701 Martin L. King, Jr. Blvd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, ph. 205-759-4202.

Condolences may be sent to Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr., 8044 Montgomery Rd., Suite 700, Cincinnati, OH 45236.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bishop Williams and the Williams family.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Funeral arrangements for
Dr. Fredrick Sebastian Phillips

Dear CME's:

Dr. Phillips is the son of our dear sister, Virgie Phillips, a member of the By Laws and Constitution Committee of the Women's Missionary Council and the Arkansas Region Vice President. Please let us share our love and support at this time of sorrow.

Dr. Elnora P. Hamb
Women's Missionary Council President
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

Services to be held on Friday, October 1, 2010
New Haven Church
404 West Street
West Helena, AR 72390

Wake will be held on Thursday, September 30, 2010
Pettis Memorial C.M.E. Church
121 South Coanza Street
West Helena, AR 72390
phone: 870-572-5046

Funeral Home in charge:
Jackson & Highley Funeral Home
126 Panama Road
West Helena, AR 72390
phone: 870-572-2111

Parents are Leon, Jr. and Virgie G. Phillips
14818 Highway 44
Helena, AR 72342
Phone: 870-827-3449 (home)
870-817-1651 (cell)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

College of Bishops Delays Considering
Any Action in Response to Carter Suit
The College of Bishops will, for the time being, take no action in response to a recent decision of a jury in judicial proceedings of the 48th District Civil Court of Tarrant County, Texas, in which Bishop Kenneth Wayne Carter, presiding prelate of the 6th Episcopal District, was found to be liable in a monetary judgment for Negligence and Assault. In a statement read at the opening of the 24th CME Convocation in Louisville, KY, by Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, Secretary of the College of Bishops, on behalf of the College, ..."[I]n the absence of a formal charge filed within the Church, there is no action to take against Bishop Carter."
Earlier in the statement, Bishop Reddick read, "The College of Bishops recognizes the rights of all persons involved in this matter but above all realizes that the church is of God and not of human beings. While the church exists in a civil society and is subject to the laws of that society, it has its own laws and procedures which in this society are given due deference when followed. For this reason, until a final judgment has been entered regarding the...finding, the College of Bishops asks members of the CME Church to refrain from rash and partially informed judgments or actions."
The judgment rendered by the Civil Court on August 27, 2010, found the CME Church to be 25% or one-quarter responsible for the judgment amount, according to the statement. But the CME Church, through its legal representative, has filed a motion for a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict "which asks that the judgment against the church be reduced and/or set aside." The Bishops' statement suggested that a final judgment is expected in the next six weeks.
In the statement, the College of Bishops said that with respect to "issues and questions of theology and [CME] doctrine raised by this case...[the College] will present a report to the General Connectional Board suggesting steps for the church to take in order to define and clarify the church's position on" those issues related to the civil suit against Bishop Carter. The statement made clear that the suit against the Bishop was in fact "civil" and not "criminal." Finally, the statement again made clear that once a final judgment by the judge is rendered, the College of Bishops will "...determine any appropriate follow-up action."
Bishop Reddick asked that any CME members with questions should direct them to each members respective Episcopal leader.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Christian Index Has A New Number

For all questions that relate to the submission of articles and photos to The Christian Index, please call 205-504-6120. For questions pertaining to subscriptions and circulation, please continue to call 901-345-4120. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2010-11 Liturgical Calendar

Monday, September 06, 2010

Video from Atlantic Beach, South Carolina Rally - 9/4/2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Home Going of Mrs. Pearl Valentine
Sister of Retired Senior Bishop William H. Graves, Sr.

Family Hour
Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 5 - 7 PM
O.H. Pye III Funeral Home
176000 Plymouth Rd.
Detroit, MI

Friday, September 3, 2010 at 10:30 AM
St. John CME Church
8715 Woodward
Detroit, MI
Information on the Atlantic Beach, SC Rally

This information is for those who will join with Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. in Atlantic Beach, South Carolina on September 4, 2010, as we speak out against the injustice and discrimination the city has demonstrated against the pastor, Rev. Windy Price, and members of the Atlantic Beach Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. We will meet at the church, located at 502 30th Avenue South, at 10:00 am. Pastors are encouraged to wear your clerical attire to show that the people of God are standing against the injustice and discrimination shown by the city.

A timeline of events is available. It will help you to understand what this pastor and members have gone through over the pass years and why we will join together on Saturday in support of them in the fight for justice, fairness and religious freedom. You may contact Dr. James E. Russell, Jr. via email at

We look forward to seeing you in Atlantic Beach on Saturday.

Because He Lives

Dr. James E. Russell, Jr.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

TEL: 011-233-244630267
Dear Editor,

SCAM IN E-MAIL Regarding Justice Adjei K. Lawson

I bring you greetings in the precious matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I humbly send in this e-mail to inform the worldwide connection that I, REV. JUSTICE ADJEI K. LAWSON, have not been held up in United Kingdom by any law enforcing authority whatsoever. I have not asked for any financial help from anyone. I have safely arrived back to Ghana from USA on August 16th, 2007. I have clean international traveling records and have never had any problem anywhere that I travel to in the world.

I am therefore alerting all members of the CME and friends worldwide who have access to my e-mail and have received any e-mail that I need money to get out my problem in UK is a scamp and must be ignored outright.

My new e-mail address is
Thanks for your co-operation.

Your Humble Servant,
Rev. Justice Adjei K. Lawson
(Member of the Connectional Judicial Council & Mission Supervisor of Ghana Region Annual conference)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Call to Rally on September 4, 2010
In Atlantic Beach, SC

On September 4th we want to remind the town of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina that a sanctuary is a “sacred place”’ a place that has historically provided refuge, asylum and/or immunity from being arrested. The history of this country and all of civilization is filled with examples of persons going into a sanctuary seeking immunity from being arrested. Therefore, the removal and arrest of Pastor Windy Price, her husband and the Atlantic Beach Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in their sanctuary during worship has unlimited negative implications for worshippers everywhere. This small town has struck a gigantic blow against humanity.
Based on the 1st and 14th amendments of the Constitution of the United Stated of America we want the harassment of the pastor and members of the Atlantic Beach Christian Methodist Episcopal Church to stop immediately.
Furthermore, we call upon the town of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina to fully reimburse the Atlantic Beach Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for all expenses and fees that this congregation has incurred since the night of July 28, 2010. .
Finally, we call upon all the people of faith to come to Atlantic Beach, South Carolina on September 4, 2010 at 10 am and meet us at the Atlantic Beach Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 502 40th Avenue, South.
This rally is not just about the injustices that this pastor and congregation have been made to face; it is about the threat that every sanctuary will continue to face if we do not show up and speak out.


Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. is hereby asking all pastors, members and friend of the “Mighty 7th Episcopal District” to join him on September 4, 2010 at 10:00 am at 502 40th Avenue, South, Atlantic Beach, South Carolina. Together we will rally and march in protest of the ill treatment of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina toward the Atlantic Beach CME Church. The rally will begin at the Church. Further information and hotel accommodation will be sent shortly.
Bishop Hoyt is hopeful that those pastors within a couple hundred miles radius would gather their members and friends and car pool to Atlantic Beach. Our presence will send a message to the authorities of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina and others who would harass and disrespect our right to worship.

Submitted by Dr. James E. Russell, Presiding Elder of the Winston-Salem/Greenville District

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bishop and Mrs. Sylvester Williams Visit
Nonnie Bryant in Nursing Home

At the close of the 77th Session of the Ohio-Central Indiana Region Annual Conference in Beachwood, Ohio, Bishop Sylvester Williams, the newly elected 58th bishop of the CME Church, visited one of his constituents in the Montefiore Nursing Home. Mrs. Nonnie Bryant has been in rehabilitation at the home for two weeks after suffering a fractured pelvis from a fall at the hotel at the General Conference in Mobile, Alabama in June. Mrs. Bryant, who will be 91 in September, rarely misses an annual conference and other meetings on the regional level.
She wanted to see her new bishop. So Bishop Sylvester Williams and Mrs. Carmen Williams visited Mrs. Bryant and shared with her in prayer in the nursing home.
Bishop Sylvester Williams closed out his very first annual conference with a spirited commissioning message, taken from Mark 6:7-13, calling for both preachers and members to trust God and be faithful to the charge where they would be sent or to the new pastor that comes to the church.
Prior to his election to the episcopacy, Bishop Williamson served as pastor of the Carter Temple CME Church in Chicago, IL.
Submitted by Warren Bryant

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Message From the General Secretary of Lay Ministry

August 13, 2010
TO: CME Laity
SUBJECT: 2010 Annual CME Convocation

Greetings and may the joy of the Lord be yours!
I, first, remind you that the 2010 CME Convocation is fast approaching. I hope that many of you who have not attended a CME Convocation lately or have never attended before, will consider attending this year. The dates and location, as most of you know, are September 21-24, 2010 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY. Louisville and the Galt House accommodations have proven in the past, in my opinion, to be an excellent venue. Get your registrations in and let’s have record numbers in attendance and leave with a new zeal to serve and make a difference in the life and witness of our Zion. Additional information about the Annual CME Convocation is available at .
Second, I want you to know that a meeting/assembly for the Laity have been arranged for Tuesday afternoon, September 21st from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. During this time I will share with you the work and accomplishments of the Department thus for and how we can, together, help make the Quadrennial Theme of “An Essential Church: Poised for 21st Century Ministry, come alive in the work of equipping God’s people. During this time frame, Mrs. Barbara C. Campbell, Connectional Lay Council President, Ms. Diana Winton, Connectional Ushers President, Mrs. Jolinda Dugger, Connectional Stewardesses President, and Mr. Charles Taylor, Connectional Stewards President, will be provided time and space to share with those who are part of their respective ministries, as well.
Third, on Thursday, September 23rd from 3:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. each of the Presidents will engage members of their ministry team in a workshop, focused on the Quadrennial Theme. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to hear first hand the thoughts, challenges, and how-tos of how these ministries will be “essential” in “An Essential Church.”
Last, I pray God’s favor on each of you and may He lift you as you are lifting Him!

Sincerely & In Christ I trust,
Clifford L. Harris
Mr. Clifford Harris, General Secretary
Department of Lay Ministry

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

General Secretary Harris Urges Adoption of CME Ushers Manual

July 27, 2010

TO: CME Ushers, Other Laity, Pastors, and Presiding Elders

May the joy of the Lord be yours as you continue to give thanks and service to Him everyday!

I write this communication primarily to share information about and the availability of the newly published CME Usher Manual that was written by our Connectional Usher President, Ms. Diana Winton. Dr. Victor Taylor arranged to have the manuals printed by the CME Publishing House, just prior to the 37th General Conference. All of the 300 copies that were made available for sale at the General Conference for a price of $10 were sold. I have since secured the remaining manuals and they are available through my office.

I am, thus, requesting that Usher Ministry organizations at the regional, district, and local levels of our church secure copies of the manual for information, teaching and training. We have a wonderful opportunity as a church to establish connectivity throughout this very vital ministry by studying and teaching from a manual written by the CME Connectional Usher President - for CME Ushers. There is no further need for Ushers, at any level of our church, to incorporate processes and procedures taken from manuals printed by other denominations or individuals. In Sister Winton’s words, “We wish to see and help promote our Ushers being on one accord.”

Please go to and download the Lay Ministry Order Form and place your order. You can receive your order by mail or arrange to pick it up at the up-coming CME Convocation, September 21-24, 2010 in Louisville, KY. Additionally, relative to the Convocation, I am encouraging Lay Council members, Stewards, Stewardesses, Ushers, and other laity to register and be in attendance to share in the assemblies and teaching sessions for these ministries. Our focus will be on the Quadrennial Theme: “An Essential Church:” Poised For 21st Century Ministry.

As I close, allow me to provide the latest update that I have relative to Mrs. Faye McGhee, who was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery while at the General Conference in Mobile, AL. Faye is still in Mobile at the Infirmary Medical Center. She is doing better but is in need of our constant prayers. Any cards or expressions should be sent to the McGhee's family address: 303 Serena Street, Kettering, MD 20774-1933.

Again, may the joy of the Lord continue to be yours!

Sincerely & In Christ I trust,

Clifford L. Harris
General Secretary
Department of Lay Ministry

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Attention CME's! Corrected Address for the
24th CME Convocation Registration

The published address to return your CME Convocation registration form is incorrect. The correct address is below.

24th CME Convocation
P.O. Box 300904
Memphis, TN 38130-0904

Please contact the Convocation office at 901-345-9730 if you have questions about this notice or anything concerning the CME Convocation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Beginning of a New Era of
Leadership in the CME Church

Bishop James B. Walker
Bishop James B. Walker is a third generation CME pastor; grandson of the late Rev. O. W. and Ruth Walker (retired CME pastor, 9th Episcopal District); son of the late Rev. John P. and Emma Walker (retired CME pastor, 9th Episcopal District); nephew of the late J. B. Walker (retired CME Pastor, 1st Episcopal District); two brothers are active CME pastors. Bishop Walker was born in Boley, Oklahoma, on March 17, 1956. He is married to Delois Woody-Walker. They have two daughters and one grandson.

Extensive Pastoral Experience
Phillips Metropolitan CME Church,
Hartford, Ct. (23 years)
Served as Interim Presiding Elder,
New York-New England District
Trinity CME Church, Toccoa, Georgia (3 years)
Sykes Memorial CME Church,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (7 years)
Delegate to the General Conference
each Session since 1974
Member the General Connectional Board
Member, New York Washington Region,
Joint Board of Finance
Former President of the Greater Hartford
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
Diverse Work Experience
Interim Dean, Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT
Adjunct Professor, BMP Program,
Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT
Founder & Executive Director,
North Star Center for Human
Development, Inc.
Human Services Advocate, State of Connecticut
Office for Protection and Advocacy
Group Manager, Operator Services, Southwestern Bell
Telephone Company
Manager, Central Administrative Group,
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company

Community Involvement
Co-Chair, Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care
Board Member, Habitat for Humanity
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
Past Community Involvement
Commissioner, City of Hartford Planning
and Zoning Board
Elected Hartford Democratic Town Committee
(7th District)
Trustee, Hartford Seminary
Community Advisory Board, St. Francis Hospital

Bishop Sylvester Williams
Bishop Sylvester Williams is the last of three children born to Edward and Georgiana Williams. Growing up in a small rural town in Hale County, Alabama, Rev. Dr. Williams was surrounded by a loving family who taught him values such as respect and caring for each other, honoring your word, being responsible, but more importantly to love the Lord. As Rev. Williams watched his family, particularly his mother and father, display these values, he became more keenly aware of his calling and how God partnered with them to shape him for ministry.
Rev. Williams’ parents not only taught him social and spiritual values, they instilled educational values as well. Having received his early education in the Hale County School System, he continued his education by attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL where he earned a B.S. degree in Health Care Management. Between his studies at UA, he earned an A.A. degree in Mortuary Science from Jefferson State Junior College in Birmingham, AL. Later, having accepted the call to ministry, he furthered his education at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA, where he received the Master of Divinity degree. Desiring to be the best he can be, he went on to obtain the Doctorate of Ministry Degree from ITC.
After accepting the call to ministry in 1981, Rev. Williams has served the Church and community in many capacities which included pastoral leadership at Owens Chapel, New Church, Emory Chapel, and Franconia CME Church from 1981-1988 in Alabama; Mt. Olive CME Church in Orlando, FL in 1988, and Southside CME Church in Birmingham, AL where he served as pastor from 1989-2002.
Rev. Williams has served as the chaplain of Brookwood Hospice in Birmingham. He was a member of the Joint Board of Finance for the Birmingham Region, a member of the Board of Trustees at Miles College, and served as chairman, Board of Directors, for the Commission on Religion in Appalachia.
Along with 21 other ministers selected by the Interdenominational Theological Center, Rev. Williams recently attended a dynamic 15-day Holy Land Pilgrimage for Pastoral Renewal where the Word of God truly came to life. Before being elected a CME bishop, Rev. Williams served as chairman of the Joint Board of Finance for the Southeast Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin Region, Budget director for the 3rd Episcopal District, and for the past six years, has been the proud pastor of Carter Temple CME Church in Chicago.
Bishop Sylvester Williams is married to the former Carmen Elaine Leonard. They have three children: Samantha, Sylvia, and Sylvester II.
Bishop Teresa Snorton
Prior to her election as a CME Bishop, Rev. Dr. Teresa Snorton served as the Executive Director of the National Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE), ( She is the former Executive Director of the Emory Center for Pastoral Services in Atlanta, Georgia and former Director of Pastoral Services at Crawford Long Hospital. She has been adjunct instructor in Pastoral Care at Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
She is a fourth generation, life-long CME. Her great-grandfather, father and uncle were all CME pastors and her grandmother was an active missionary. Her two sisters are also CME ministers. As an ordained minister in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, she was a former pastor in Kentucky. Prior to moving to Atlanta, in addition to being a pastor, she was a Psychiatric Staff Chaplain in Louisville, on the adjunct faculty of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky, and on the faculties of the Patient Counseling Program at the Medical College of Virginia and the School of Theology of Virginia Union University in Richmond.
Bishop Snorton has a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology in Pastoral Care from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Patient Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Bishop Snorton was active on several boards and committees of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, including the Commission on the Concerns of Women in Ministry and immediate past President of the Chaplains Commission. She has been a delegate to six CME General Conferences, is a former National Youth Conference officer, and a member of several committees in her region/annual conference, including the Joint Board of Finance, the Committee on Ministry, the Leadership Training School faculty. Prior to her election, she served as the coordinator of the Renewal Plan for the 2nd Episcopal District.
Bishop Snorton is a member of the International Congress of Pastoral Care and Counseling, a member of the Society for Pastoral Theology, and Business Manager of the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling. She has been a member of several boards and advisory committees related to interfaith dialogue, religion and health, and pastoral education. She is the 2001 recipient of the Wayne Oates Pastoral Care Award from the Long Run Baptist Association in Louisville, Kentucky, a recipient of the B. Julian Smith Award from the Board of the Christian Education in the CME Church and a recipient of the Legacy Award of the CME Women’s Missionary Council.
She is frequently a guest preacher at churches of all denominations and lecturer and speaker for hospitals, seminaries, conferences, leadership schools and retreats on religion and health, multicultural, ethical and gender issues, pastoral care and spiritual development. She is the author of several articles, chapters and book reviews on topics related to pastoral care and ministry.
A co-edited work with Dr. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Women Out of Order: Risking Change and Creating Care in a Multi-Cultural World is scheduled to be published by Fortress Press in fall 2009.
Rev. Snorton is married to Charles Short. They have three sons and three grandchildren.

The Vision of Bishop W.E. Lockett
“I see a Church that is a movement of committed servants who love people enough to work for them in the world to become all that God has ordained them to be.
They build a place on earth to build a place in eternity.”
Our great Zion has from its inception been relevant and relational. The harvest is great...great is our ability to bring the lost to Jesus the Risen Savior. Rev. W.E. Lockett Metropolitan CME Church was totally destroyed by fire on Christmas Day, 2005.
With the visionary leadership of Rev. W.E. Lockett, the building of the church has been reconstructed in a modern edifice with state of the art facilities for the members, the community, and the city.
The church family and the mission of the church have not wavered, yet grown stronger as the congregation has experienced continued growth, service, outreach, and a spiritual journey that has been unparalleled.

Bishop Godwin Umoette has served as chairman of the political science department at the University of Uyo in Nigeria. He will serve as bishop of the 10th Episcopal District, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Lagos and Nigeria.
Note: Information found in this article was captured from the bishop's respective Web sites.