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