Saturday, March 31, 2012

The CME Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns Calls for Justice for Trayvon Martin

(March 28, 2012)  The Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church stands with all religious and civic organizations in the demand for justice in the unprovoked slaying of 17-year old African American, Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.

On behalf of the College of Bishops and all CMEs, we extend our deepest condolences to Tracey Martin (father), Sybrina Fulton (mother), and the entire family.

The Commission stands with the parents, community and civil rights organizations, and local churches in demanding the prosecution of Zimmerman, and for a full and thorough investigation into the handling of the Trayvon Martin case by the Sanford Police Department and the City of Sanford, Florida. We also stand with community leaders across the country who are calling for a repeal of the dangerous “Stand Your Ground” law that is shielding Martin’s killer. The Commission also expresses appreciation for the role of social media in stoking the flames of awareness of this case, which apparently authorities wish to cover-up. We must begin to invest in our existing and new networking substructures to aid in the organizing of our work together to stand for our children.

In the wake of this tragic and incomprehensible killing, we must be evermore vigilant in our efforts to surround, support and save our Black children. Like the brutal slaying of Emmitt Till on August 28, 1955, the shooting of Trayvon Martin once again brings to our national consciousness the appalling plight of Black boys growing up in America. We are grateful to popular personalities like Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden who, like Ebony/Jet publisher John H. Johnson did fifty-seven years ago with the Emmitt Till story, trumpeted this case to their national audience and demanded proper attention be given. Now we as the Black Church must pick up the baton and once again lead the social movement for justice.

We salute Ben Jealous and the NAACP, Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, and Rev. Jesse Lewis Jackson, Sr. and Rainbow/PUSH for their critical courageous leadership in bringing clarity and conscience to the fight for justice in the Trayvon Martin incident. We call upon all Black Churches and all religious organizations in the nation to concerted prayer for justice in the Trayvon Martin case and encourage all congregations to observe a “Moment of Prayer for Black Children” on Easter/Resurrection Sunday. We also call for the implementation of Rites of Passage Programs, as suggested by the 2010 Great Gathering of Combined Black Methodist bodies. In our efforts, we must work to more effectively address the issues of education, employment, healthcare and social ethics—from social media to rap music—to develop our boys and girls in safe, supportive environments to be strong moral leaders. We must protect our children from racial profiling, as is evident in this case, and also protect them from the psychologically debilitating and spiritually demonic impacts of racism upon their minds and hearts that create the conditions for fratricidal conflict within the Black community—including Black-on-Black homicide, domestic violence, rape and incest. Furthermore, we must partner with local schools and youth organizations to help educate, inspire and mentor our children through programs like One Church One School and the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools.

Lastly, we must realize that the issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin case are not short-term issues, but long-term issues that require deep commitment and investment. Therefore we call upon our national religious, educational, political, business, and civil rights leaders, across the spectrums of race and political party, to convene a national summit to address the critical issues facing our Black youth today.

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, under the leadership of Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. and its College of Bishops, is a 141-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 and fourteen African nations. There are four CME related colleges, Lane College (Jackson, TN), Miles College (Birmingham, AL), Paine College (Augusta, GA) and Texas College (Tyler, TX).  There is additionally a CME sponsored seminary, Phillips School of Theology, which is an affiliate member of the Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta, GA).  For additional information about the C.M.E. 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, Chair
Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr.                                              
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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Funeral Arrangements for Mr. John W. Leonard
March 28, 2012

Dear Connectional Members and Friends:

The Homegoing Celebration for Mr. John W. Leonard, father of Mrs. Carmen Williams, wife of Bishop Sylvester Williams, Sr., will be Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 902 Daphne Avenue, Daphne, AL 36526 (near Mobile).

Arrangements have been entrusted to:
Rollins Mortuary, Inc.
2701 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Tuscaloosa, AL  35401
Telephone: 205-759-4202

Condolences may be sent to Bishop and Mrs. Williams at 5115 Rollman Estates Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45236.

Please keep Bishop and Mrs. Williams and their entire family in your prayers.


Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr.

Bishop James B. Walker
Chairman, College of Bishop

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lay Department Announces Graham-Webb Scholarship Guidelines

The Department of Lay Ministry of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church believes that educating our young is a positive step in helping to provide role models for future generations.  Thus, the Graham-Webb Scholarship named in honor of Dr. Willie L. Graham and Dr. Roscoe Webb, will provide assistance to deserving CME male students who plan to further their education after graduating from high school.  The Department of Lay Ministry will, therefore, award nine (9) Graham-Webb Scholarships (one from each Episcopal District within the United States) in an amount no less than $500 and not exceeding $1,000. An additional 5% of the award amount will be provided to young men who choose to attend a CME College. We believe that this scholarship is one small way of helping to make dreams come true.

Applicants for the scholarship must plan to enroll in a full-time program of study at an accredited institution of higher learning, vocational, or technical school.  The recipients must provide proof of enrollment prior to receiving the award.  After sufficient proof of enrollment, one-half of the award shall be made available for the fall semester and the remaining one-half at the beginning of the spring semester.  When the learning institution’s classes are scheduled on a trimester basis, the award amount will be made in equal parts during each trimester.   Scholarship awards are to be used to assist with the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board and/or supplies.

Selection of the Scholarship recipients will be based on: membership in the CME Church, academic achievement, financial need, strength of references, and a 300-400 word essay.  Completed applications must be postmarked no later than June 16, 2012.  Please Note: Emailed applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Note:  An impartial committee of educators will review the applications and recommend a winner from each United States Episcopal District.

The complete 2012-2013 application package (with detailed guidelines and instructions) can be accessed online at:  and also on the Department of Lay Ministry Web page.  
If there are questions, please contact:

Ms. Yvonne Peters, Chair
Graham-Webb Scholarship Committee
Telephone: 314-398-5461
Email –

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Hotel Update for Lakey-Addison Funeral:
Sheraton Hotel reservation must be made by 3:00 p.m. PST on Monday, March 5, 2012 to receive the $99 rate. Please request the Lakey-Addison Family group rate.
Celebrating the Life of Geneva Hamilton Coles

Mrs. Geneva Rose Hamilton Coles was called to her heavenly home on March 2, 2012 after complications related to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ended her earthly life.  Funeral services will be held at Geneva's home church, Ebenezer CME in South Boston, VA on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 1:00pm.  Senior Bishop Thomas Hoyt will officiate and Bishop Thomas Brown will deliver the eulogy.  Funeral services are being provided by Jeffress Funeral Home in South Boston.

In addition, a Memorial Service will be held at West Mitchell CME Church in Atlanta, GA on Monday, March 12, 2012 at 7:00pm.  Bishop Kenneth Carter will officiate and Bishop L.L. Reddick III will deliver the eulogy.

Geneva and her husband who preceded her in death, Bishop Joseph C. Coles, Jr., spent more than 40 years together in marriage and ministry.  After serving as pastor in South Boston, VA, Cleveland, OH and New York City, Rev. Coles was elected to the Episcopacy and was assigned to the 6th Episcopal District, comprising of Georgia and Jamaica.  The Sixth District didn’t just get a new bishop, they received a dynamo with the arrival of Lady Coles.  She touched many lives during the four decades she served the people of the CME Church prior to retiring in 1994.  Geneva spent the past 18 years in South Boston, surrounded by her devoted family and a community of loyal and loving friends.  She returned to Ebenezer, where she first met Joe Coles in 1950, and worshipped alongside her brother, Levi and sister, Vivian.  There, she remained active in building God's Kingdom by nurturing the young adults and freely sharing that divine smile.

Geneva leaves to cherish her memory an adoring family, Rubie G. Coles of Washington, D.C.,  Jocelyn C. Wheaton and her husband, David L. Wheaton of Mableton, GA, her son, Joseph C. Coles III and his wife Delitha Morrow Coles of Marietta, GA; four loving grandchildren, David Wheaton, Jr., Janice Wheaton, Joseph Coles IV and Jonathan M. Coles; three sisters: Mrs. Emily Driggins of Baldwin, NY, Mrs. Ann Nelson of Memphis, TN and Mrs. Vivian Clark of South Boston, VA; a brother, Mr. Levi Hamilton, Sr. and his wife Amelia Hamilton.  

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider sending donations in memory of Geneva Hamilton Coles to either the

·        National MS Society, Central VA Chapter
         4200 Innslake Dr.; Ste. 301
         Glen Allen, VA 23060 or an online donation can be made by clicking here:

·        Ebenenzer CME Church Young Adult Ministry
         Rev. Andre Williamson, Pastor
         2309 N. Main Street
         South Boston, VA 24592

Expressions of sympathy may be mailed to the family: Ms. Rubie G. Coles, 6203 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 or via email to

[This information was received by Bishop L.L. Reddick III from Mr. Joseph Coles III.] 

Friday, March 02, 2012

Passing of Mrs. Geneva Coles
Dear Connectional Members and Friends,

It is with heartfelt sadness that we acknowledge the passing this morning of Mrs. Geneva Coles, the widow of Bishop Joseph C. Coles, Jr.

Funeral arrangements are pending.  Please keep the Coles family in prayer.

Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., Presiding Prelate
Seventh Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Bishop James B. Walker, Chair
College of Bishops

Bishop Lawrence  L. Reddick, III, Secretary
College of Bishops

Ms. Jeanette L. Bouknight
Executive Secretary
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
"An Essential Church: Poised for 21st Century Ministry
Funeral Arrangements for Mrs. Alice Lakey Addison
Arrangements for Mrs. Alice Lakey Addison, sister of Bishop Othal H. Lakey, are as follows.
Evening of March 8, 2012
Funeral Service
March 9, 2012, 11 a.m.
All services will be held at the Hays Tabernacle CME Church, 10121 South Central Ave.,  Los Angeles, CA 90002; ph. (323) 564-5121
Note: The LAX Four Points Sheraton Hotel (310-645-4600) is offering a rate of $99 per night for those who plan an overnight stay. Ask for the Lakey-Addison Family.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Passing of Mrs. Alice Lakey Addison
Dear Members and Friends of the 9th Episcopal District,
It is with sadness that I must inform you of the passing last evening of Mrs. Alice Lakey Addison, the sister of Bishop Othal H. Lakey and Justice Rev. Lawrence Lakey.  Mrs. Addison was a faithful member of Hayes Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (Pastor Julio Andujo) in  Los Angeles, California, Southern California Region.  She was the former American Bible Society representative of the Women's Missionary Council of the CME Church.
Arrangements are forthcoming. Please keep the Addison and Lakey families in your prayers. 
In His Service, 
Bishop James B. Walker
Presiding Prelate
Ninth Episcopal District