2021 Congratulatory Announcements


Bishop Frederick Calhoun James and Episcopal Supervisor Dr. Theressa Gregg James Commemorated their Seventy-Sixth Wedding Anniversary on Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Dr. Theressa Gregg James, Episcopal Supervisor,  commemorated their Seventy-Sixth Wedding Anniversary, Wednesday, December 30, 2020. They were married on December 30, 1944.
Bishop and Mrs. Frederick Calhoun James, “a model Christian Couple” actively served together in Episcopal Ministry in the 15th (South Africa and South West Africa), 18th (Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Mozambique), 12th (Oklahoma and Arkansas), 7th Episcopal District (South Carolina), the Ecumenical and Urban Affairs Office of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the 2nd (Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, respectively.


Seventy-Sixth Wedding Anniversary congratulatory messages can be mailed to: 

Bishop and Mrs. Frederick Calhoun James

2421 Lang Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29204

Phone Calls: 803-256-8756
Email: BishopFCJ@aol.com or BISHOPFREDCJAMES@aol.com
Or mailed to: 

Office of Bishop Frederick C. James
3700 Forest Drive #420
Columbia, SC 29204
(803) 787-8201
(803) 787-8215 – FAX


The Reverend Brandon L. Montague, Youth pastor of Fair Havens AME Church in Curtis Bay, Maryland united in Marriage to Ms. Shantrice Reaves


On Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:30 PM (EST) the Reverend Brandon L. Montague, Youth pastor of Fair Havens AME Church located in Curtis Bay, Maryland declared his love for Ms. Shantrice Reaves. They were joined together in Holy Matrimony at Memorial Baptist Church located in Baltimore Maryland. Where the Pastor and Officiant was the Rev. Dr. Calvin Keene.   

Due to COVID-19, the in-person attendance was kept to a small number according to Maryland State restrictions. However, zoom and Facebook Live allowed the ceremony to be available to over 500 attendees. 

As the Reverend Montague is a High School Teacher (conflicting schedule) they have set their honeymoon for Grand Turk in June of 2021. Continued prayers and support are desired for this young couple as they start a new life together.

Black History Moment “Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Madison, Illinois Style ” - A Living Legend,  THE REVEREND DR. JOHN Q. OWENS, JR.

For a young man who had no interest in being a Minister, a World War II Veteran of the U.S. Army, who intentions were to re-enlist, also of the Pentecostal faith, that pastored Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for over 20 years must have been the work of God. Until Rev. Owens’ retirement, many members born into the Church only knew of one Pastor. A long running tenure of 20 years at one Church was almost unheard of in the itineracy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Before the appointment to Bethel Rev. Owens and his wife Dorothy, served a combined 20 years at three other Churches. Rev. Owens is a prolific preacher-teacher, he became a Connectional Officer in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and will always remain in the History, hearts, and legacy of Bethel. We love you and thank God for Rev. John Q. Owens.

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Madison, Illinois (Reprint)
Rev. Ralph (Rick)Jackson, Pastor
Gail Gordon, Media Ministry

The Rev. Dr. John Q. Owens Social Action Director/Consultant Tenure began immediately following the death of Dr. Leroy Nesbit in South Africa. Attending the General Board Meeting as a Member for 16 years In Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Owens was approached then, by the Church Secretary, Dr. Richard Allen Chappell to serve as the interim Social Action Director/Consultant, several Bishops approved, Bishop John H. Adams, Bishop Vinton R. Anderson, Bishop Howard Thomas Primm, Retired; a Motion was Made by Bishop Frank Madison Reid, II And several seconded the Motion, Dr. Owens Served faithfully with His Spouse, Dr. Dorothy with perfect Attendance over 21, years. Serving on the Connectional Level, pastored over Forty Years and Retired Under Bishop John R. Bryant from Bethel AME Church, Madison, Illinois.
Dr. Dorothy Owens, the spouse of Rev. Dr. John Q. Owens is the Founder (1989) and President Emeritus of Conn-M-Swawo+P.K.'s and a Life Member of the Women’s Missionary Society, having served in numerous capacities on all levels.
Congratulatory responses can be emailed to: mrsdo7@aol.com  (Rev. Dr. John Q. Owens) 


*Tampa Bay Gospel Awards is excited to announce the Reverend Kenny Irby as the 2021 Dr. C.P Epps Pastoral Leadership Award Recipient.


The Reverend Kenny Irby is the Pastor of the Historic Bethel AME St. Petersburg (West Coast Conference - 11th Episcopal District). Rev. Irby also serves as the Community Intervention & Juvenile Outreach Director for the St. Petersburg Police Department.

He is also the Co-Creator and Current President of Men & Women In the Making program, an innovative role modeling and academic enrichment program for minority male youth.

Kenny travels widely trumpeting the need for justice ministry, amplifying the voices of the visual journalists and is a frequent motivational speaker, lecturer, and content judge. He brings to his teaching endeavors 30+ years of experience focused on quality leadership, building integrity and excellence.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: irbyman@poynter.org (Rev. Kenny Irby)

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr.  Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church  Baton Rouge Approved to teach as a Graduate Faculty Member,  Louisiana State University 

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Baton Rouge, Louisiana was recently approved to teach as a Graduate Faculty member at Louisiana State University. His course History of The Civil Rights Movement is presently offered as a graduate course. Dr. Kelly was also involved in developing a Service-Learning optional course Introduction to African American Studies. This course will highlight the African American presence at Louisiana State University and the legacy of the African American presence in this country. Dr. Kelly is graduate of Morehouse College, where he received the Forbes Prize as Athlete with the highest GPA. He continued his education at Springfield College and serve as Graduate assistant under Legendary Coach Silvia, Olympic swimming Hall of fame Coach honoree. He was named as Bethune and King Scholar at Boston University School of Theology. While at Boston University he served as Black Seminarian President.

He is also a graduate of Memphis Theological Seminary, where he completed his D.Min. In addition to teaching Graduate students, he also teaches with undergraduate faculty in The African And African American Studies Program. 

*Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis invited to be a Speaker at the Annual Psychology Day to be held at the United Nations in New York City Thursday, April 15, 2021  

I am writing to you on behalf of the Psychology Day at the United Nations Planning Committee to invite you to be a speaker at our event scheduled for Thursday, April 15, 2021.  Our annual Psychology Day at the UN, usually held at the United Nations in New York City, will be a virtual event this year due to the pandemic.  This flagship event is organized by the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations (PCUN), whose members are representatives of Psychology NGOs accredited at the United Nations. The event is devoted to the exploration of how psychological theory, research and practice can address issues of global importance.  Previous Psychology Day programs have focused on topics such as climate change, peace and human rights, global violence, migration, education and sustainable development, and well-being in the context of political and ecological instability.
This year, the title and theme of Psychology Day is “Psychological Contributions to Building Back Better in a Post-Pandemic World”.  Currently we are experiencing the worst pandemic in 100 years, but now there is some amelioration of this disease as a result of the vaccines. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that we should not simply return to the way the world was prior to the pandemic but try to build a better world. Planning for a better future amid dire events is a sign of optimism for the future of the world.
In our virtual event, we are inviting experts from five different areas in Psychology to outline how to address the challenges stemming from the pandemic and provide recommendations to build a better world.  Evidence-based research from social, clinical, educational, health, and industrial/organization psychology can provide insight into achieving the goals proposed by the UN Secretary-General.  The Planning Committee is reaching out to several accomplished psychologists with expertise in these areas, to form a panel that will describe approaches to planning for the future.  Please, note that the United Nations is a secular institution, and PCUN would like the presentation to be psychology-content based.
In light of your expertise in the cultural context of trauma recovery and providing relief and empowerment to marginalized persons, we would be honored if you would accept our invitation to be one of five speakers on the panel. The specific theme for the clinical psychology area is: Ways to expand and improve mental health services for all individuals including those in underserved populations, as well as the equitable treatment of communities with low resources. 

We would be very appreciative if you could respond to this invitation by March 1, 2021 to let us know if you are available and interested in participating.  If so, we will send further details. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Comfort B. Asanbe, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Psychology Day at the United Nations
Janet Sigal, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Psychology Day at the United Nations
Walter Reichman, Ed.D.
Co-Chair, Psychology Day at the United Nations
Leslie Popoff, Ph.D.
President, Psychology Coalition at the United Nations
UN Representative, International Council of Psychologists


Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, is the youngest child of Bishop John R. Bryant the 106th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Episcopal Supervisor (Retired)  Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant.  Dr. Thema Byant-Davis went to high school in Monrovia, Liberia when her parents served in The Fourteenth Episcopal District. She is a licensed psychologist and an ordained minister in the A.M.E. Church, serving on the Ministerial Staff at FAME Los Angeles where Dr. Edgar Boyd is her Pastor. She is a sacred artist who has worked nationally and globally to provide relief and empowerment to marginalized persons. Dr. Thema, a professor at Pepperdine University, is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women. Her contributions to psychological research, policy, and practice have been honored by national and regional psychological associations. 

Congratulatory email can be forwarded via: queenakosua@hotmail.com.

Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Marcellus A. Norris pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church in Harlem New York for successfully defending his dissertation on Securing Future Generations: Adaptive Model for Mentoring in the A.M.E. Church from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio

The Reverend Dr. Marcellus A. Norris, Pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church, Harlem, New York successfully defended his dissertation on Securing Future Generations: Adaptive Model for Mentoring in the A.M.E. Church from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio.  Dr. Marcellus A. Norris, pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church, Harlem, New York is also a Candidate for Executive Director of Church Growth and Development. He is the husband of Anethia Théréss Norris, father of London Nicholas Arnell and Marcellus A. Norris, II.  He is the son of Bishop Richard Franklin Norris (retired) and the late Episcopal Supervisor Mary Ann Norris, and the brother of Rev. Richard F. Norris, II.  
A third generation A.M.E. preacher, Rev. Dr. Marcellus A. Norris graduated in May 2007, from Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg with a Master of Divinity Degree.
Rev. Dr. Marcellus A. Norris has also pastored the following churches:

  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, Cito, PA
  • St. Peter’s A.M.E. Church, Shippensburg, PA
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, West Chester, PA
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, Bryn Mar, PA
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, Norwalk, CT
  • St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Cambridge, MA

In November 2012, Rev. Norris was appointed by Bishop Ingram as the First Episcopal District Chairman of Christian Education.
Pastor Norris has held the position as the Connectional Parliamentarian for the Richard Allen Young Adult Council.
Pastor Norris is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and is a Master Mason and member of Xenia Lodge #50.
His favorite scripture is: Proverbs 17:22
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:  marcellus.norris@gmail.com

*The Mayor and the Village Of Maryville Illinois Held a Drive By Birthday Celebration for Dr. John Q. Owens “Honoring a Hero” 95 years old and a World War II Veteran

The Maryville community spent time Saturday celebrating Rev. John Q. Owens’ 95th birthday with a drive-by parade and small gathering.

Over the years, Rev. John Owens has served the U.S. Army in World War II and is a retired pastor from Bethel AME Church in Madison.

“It is an honor to have a citizen in the village who has reached such a milestone,” said Mayor Craig Short. The village set up a parade to include a fire truck, ambulance and police car to drive from Anderson Hospital to Rev. Owens’ home in Maryville, where he and his wife Dr. Dorothy Owens have lived since 1997.
The socially distanced celebration included balloon decorations, a large happy birthday sign and refreshments for neighbors who decided to socialize with the family following the parade. Rev. Owens made a 10-minute speech, during which he spoke about taking so many lives in battle and remembering feeling happy about it. Now, many years later, he said cares about all lives.

Rev. Owens was accompanied by his wife as well as Gary McCants, presiding elder of the South District of AME Church, who referred to Rev. Owens as a mentor.

Family and friends helped make the celebration idea a reality, under the direction of Ruth Hibbler, who has been the Owens’ neighbor for 24 years.

“We are just going to see if we can celebrate his day, it’s a big day and everything,” she said.

The families have been close-knit for years. The Hibbler’s six-year-old daughter, at the time, welcomed Rev. Owens and his family to the community and the Rev. Owens used to play chess with the Hibbler’s son. “Our two kids have always been dear to their [Owens] hearts. There is a long history,” says Hibbler.

Serving the public for the past year 40 years, Rev. Owens has always helped those in need. Hibbler recalled when her husband, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served his 20 years, become sick and disabled.

“I remember when that all came about, Mr. Owens and the whole neighborhood donated a flagpole to our yard and. Owens came down and dedicated the flagpole,” said Hibbler.

As a young man, Rev. Owens did not have a desire to follow his father into service with the church. However, following his service in WWII, he did just that through the Pentecostal faith. He was the pastor at three different churches before starting his 20-year tenure at Bethel AME Church.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: mrsdo7@aol.com


*Sis. Fredia Ann Hanley-Johnson, the Immediate Past President of CONN-M-SWAWO Plus PK'S, Celebrates her 60th Birthday on Mother's Day, May 9th  

Blessings and congratulations are extended to a phenomenal woman, Sis. Fredia Ann Hanley-Johnson, the Immediate Past President of CONN-M-SWAWO Plus PK'S.
She will celebrate her 60th birthday on Mother's Day, May 9th.  Her birthday celebration with family and friends as well as her trip to Italy has been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19. 
Her husband, Rev. Dr. Wayne A. Johnson, Sr., her children, grandchildren and the Shiloh AME Church Family, Morganton, NC salute her and praise God for her love of family and God's people.
Birthday wishes can be sent to: 
Sis. Fredia Hanley Johnson
1293 N Powerhouse Rd
Morganton, NC 28655
Thank you for helping us celebrate this great woman God. 

*The Reverend Dr. Jermaine Mulley Celebrates Two Academic Achievements, receiving his DMin from Payne Theological Seminary and Graduating From The US Army Chaplain School and Center

The Reverend Jermaine K. Mulley has successfully defended his dissertation on Good Friday 2021 and has now earned his DMin in Biblical, Political & Social Ethics from Payne Theological Seminary. He is the pastor of St. Luke AME Church, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, the Sixteenth Episcopal District, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, Presiding Prelate.

Additionally, he is a graduate of The US Army Chaplain School and Center (22 APR 2021) endorsed by Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, Endorsing Officer and The African Methodist Episcopal Church Chaplains Commission.


Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: jermainemulley@gmail.com, Rev. Dr. Rev. Jermaine K. Mulley.

*46th Year Pastoral Celebration in honor of Presiding Elder Thomas L. Bess, Sr., Member of the Judicial Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Atlanta East District, Atlanta North Georgia Annual Conference will be hosting a 46th Year Pastoral Celebration in honor of Presiding Elder Thomas L. Bess, Sr.  on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 4:00 PM at Antioch AME Church, 765 South Hairston Road, Stone Mountain, GA. It will be an evening of celebration and fellowship through worship which will include special presentations of gifts from ministries, family and friends, greetings, and salutations from invited guests.

CDC guidelines will be followed, and mask worn at this event.  Live stream options will also be available.

A souvenir booklet will be published to commemorate this momentous occasion. Click the link below for the souvenir booklet information.


For more information, please feel free to contact Rev. Vandy C. Simmons, Host Pastor @ 404-680-3626, or Rev. Garland Higgings at 860-916-7298.

Presiding Elder Dr. Thomas L. Bess, Sr. Bio

THE REVEREND DR. THOMAS L. BESS, SR. has been in the pastoral ministry for more than 46 years. He began his pastorate at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Macon, GA in 1982. In 1988, he was appointed as Senior Pastor of St. Phillip's Monumental Church in Savannah, GA. In 1991, he was appointed as Senior Pastor at Flipper Temple A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, GA. In 1997, he received an appointment to St. Paul A.M.E. Church where he served until May 2013 when he was assigned to the Awesome Allen Temple. In addition to his service as pastor, Dr. Bess also served as an Adjunct Professor of A.M.E. Polity at Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center from 1994 to 2013.  He also served as a Chief Chaplain at Coastal State Prison in Savannah, GA, as well as, Clinical Chaplain at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, GA. Dr. Bess was appointed Dean of the Board of Examiners and Treasurer for the Sixth Episcopal District which he served honorably.

As a staunch supporter of education, Dr. Bess obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fort Valley State University; his Master of Divinity from Turner Theological Seminary (ITC); his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary; and matriculated for a year at John Marshall Law School. Dr. Bess is author of The Funeral and co-author of “When Black Folks Die.”

His greatest gift of service is his ability to shepherd others in their calling to the pastoral ministry. He has many sons and daughters in ministry who have been appointed as Senior Pastors throughout the A.M.E. denomination. He has been a vital resource to many pastors across denominational lines. 

His professional organization memberships include a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Board of Trustee member of Turner Theological Seminary, and Board of Trustee member of the Interdenominational Theological Center. Dr. Thomas L. Bess is also a member of the Judicial Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving as the Chaplain.

Dr. Bess has been happily married to Dr. Gretchen Bess for over 40 years. They are the proud parents of two sons, Stephen and Thomas, Jr. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their granddaughter Mia. 

In all his accomplishments and accolades, Dr. Bess continues to hold fast to Isaiah 40:31, "...those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength...They shall mount up with wings like eagles...They shall run and not be weary...They shall walk and not faint."

Congratulatory expressions can be sent to:

Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Bess, Sr., Presiding Elder

P.O. Box 1205, 3435 Roosevelt Hwy

Red Oak, GA 30272

Email: BlessBess46@gmail.com



*Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Celebration - The Reverend and Mrs. Ronald A. Boykin

Congratulations to Reverend Ronald A. Boykin and Mrs. Helen A. Boykin who will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday, June 12, 2021. The couple were wed in Washington, DC and have celebrated five decades of joy in ministry.  The Reverend Ronald A. Boykin is the distinguished pastor of the historic Seaton Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lanham, Maryland and Sister Helen A. Boykin is the charming and gracious First Lady.

A special drive-by parade celebration in honor of this Golden Anniversary will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 2:00 pm at Seaton Memorial A.M.E. Church.

There will be time during the parade for everyone to briefly greet the celebrating couple while remaining socially distant. 

Congratulatory messages can be sent to: 

Rev. and Mrs. Ronald Boykin 

14521 Penderlea Court 

Gainesville, VA 20155 


*The Reverend Bruce Points, Sr. Pastor of Zion A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Proudly Announces the Graduation of Their Granddaughter, Darien Branche

The Reverend Bruce D. Points, Sr and Mrs. Cassandra Points proudly announce the graduation of their granddaughter Darien Branche from Howard University in Washington D.C. on May 7, 2021.  She received a bachelors degree in Bioethics, cum laude.  Rev. Points is the pastor of Zion A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, PA. 

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:



*Two Tennessee Conference PK'S  selected to participate in The Higher Education Leadership Foundation Institute.

Congratulations to Dr. Alexis Gatson Heaston, who has been selected to participate in The Higher Education Leadership Foundation Institute.

The Higher Education Leadership Foundation is pleased to announce the Lambda and Mu cohorts for the 2021 Inspire Institute that will take place June 3-6th, 2021 on the campus of @wileycollege1873.  These 44 Scholars, Practitioners, and Administrators make up the 11th and 12th cohort and were selected for participation in this 4-day leadership institute.

For more information click the link in the bio or visit www.heleaders.org.

Dr. Heaston, a member of Payne Chapel AME Nashville, TN under the leadership of Dr. W.A. Sinkifield, is the Daughter of Presiding Elder, Alexander Gatson and Mrs. Annette Gatson of the North District, Tennessee Annual Conference of the 13th Episcopal District.

Congratulatory responses can be sent to: alexisgatson08@gmail.com

*Congratulations to Dr. Jeffery Wayne Norfleet II. who has been selected to participate in The Higher Education Leadership Foundation Institute

The Higher Education Leadership Foundation is pleased to announce the Lambda and Mu cohorts for the 2021 Inspire Institute that will take place June 3-6th, 2021 on the campus of @wileycollege1873.  These 44 Scholars, Practitioners, and Administrators make up the 11th and 12th cohort and were selected for participation in this 4-day leadership institute.

For more information click the link in the bio or visit www.heleaders.org.

 Dr. Norfleet is a General Board Member and the 1st Vice President of the Tennessee Conference Lay Organization. Jeffery is a member of Saint Paul AME Church Oakwood, Tennessee where his father Reverend Jeffery W. Norfleet, Sr serves as pastor and his mother Mrs. Cathy Norfleet is the first lady.

Congratulatory responses can be sent to: Jeffery.Norfleet@gmail.com

*Introducing The Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by IndyClass of 2021, Tiffany Marie Kelly

Tiffany Marie Kelly, daughter of Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. and Linda Marie Kelly, Pastor and First Lady of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana was selected to participate in the Techstars Sports Acclerator Class of 2021 Indy Class. Her company Curastory based out of Brooklyn, New York allows creators to shoot and edit high quality video, monetize shows, and distribute to all of their video channels, 100 percent free.
This mentorship with startups is a 13-week mentorship-driven accelerator program, culminating with a Demo Day on September 2nd, where they will showcase their progress in front of an expected audience of over 500 investors from around the world. Techstars only accept 3 percent of applicants each year.
Tiffany Kelly is an honor graduate of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida in 2016, where she received the highest award, The Wayne Huizenga Award for the best technology and scholarship presentation thesis for a graduating senior in 2016. The award is named after Mr. Huizenga, who was the former owner of the Miami Dolphins. She is a former Analytics Associate at ESPN where she was the first minority women of color hired on the team. 

Congratulatory messages can be sent to:  spidermh7@yahoo.com

*Dr. Paulette Coleman Retired General Officer Awarded Louisville Institute 2021 Project Grant for Researchers


The Louisville Institute is pleased to announce the 2021 Project Grant for Researchers (PGR) grants. The Project Grant for Researchers supports research, reflection, and writing by academics and pastors concerning Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions. Grants of up to $30,000 support a diverse range of projects that may involve independent study, consultations, or collaboration between pastors and academics. “The seventeen awarded grants represent a diverse group of grantees," noted Dr. Don C. Richter, the Institute's Associate Director. "The quality of the grant entire proposal pool made the work of the selection committee challenging indeed. We gave preference to projects that show potential for generating and analyzing reliable new data rather than repacking conventional knowledge."  

Dr. Paulette Coleman, a retired General Officer, of the AME Church was recently awarded one of the 2021 Project Grant for Researchers.  Her research will explore ways of rethinking or reimagining lay ministry in the three major African American Methodist denominations:  African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Church Zion (AMEZ), and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.  Her research question is how can the principles of community organizing inform lay ministry in the three major African American Methodist denominations?   

Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. and based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky). The Louisville Institute’s mission is to bridge Church and academy through awarding grants and fellowships to those who study North American religious institutions, practices, and movements, and thereby promoting scholarship that strengthens Church, academy, society, and contributes to the flourishing of the Church. To receive further information about the Louisville Institute’s fellowships and grant programs, please consult https://louisville-institute.org/ or contact the Institute at info@louisville.org 

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: saico7@aol.com   (Dr. Paulette Coleman).


*Duke University President Vincent Price has appointed the Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine, senior pastor at St. Joseph AME Church (Durham, NC), to the Board of Visitors of Duke Divinity School

Duke University President Vincent Price has appointed the Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine, senior pastor at St. Joseph AME Church (Durham, NC), to the Board of Visitors of Duke Divinity School. The three-year appointment is effective July 1, 2021. 

Dr. Augustine will work closely with the Duke Center for Reconciliation, in furthering his work on race relations. His forthcoming book, Called to Reconciliation: How the Church Can Model Justice, Diversity and Inclusion, will be published by Baker Academic in the spring of 2022. In addition to his pastoral service, Dr. Augustine is an adjunct professor of law at North Carolina Central University, member of the board of directors at PartnersGlobal, and member of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's Andrea Harris Racial Equity and Environmental Justice Task Force.

Pastor Jay Augustine earned a B.A. from Howard University, J.D. from Tulane University, M.Div. at United Theological Seminary and D.Min. at Duke University. He is married to St. Joseph's first lady, Sister Michelle Burks Augustine.

Congratulatory responses can be emailed to: jayaugustine9@gmail.com, Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine.


 *The North Little Rock/Fort Smith District of the 12th Episcopal District, presents An Evening of Elegance for Presiding Elder Mary V. Williams and Brother EDWARD WILLIAMS, District Consultant

The North Little Rock/Fort Smith District of the 12th Episcopal District, AME Church is celebrating the retirement of Presiding Elder Mary V. Williams and Brother EDWARD WILLIAMS, District consultant with “An Evening of Elegance.”  A virtual celebration will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at 5:00 pm where we will highlight Presiding Elder Williams’ 25 years of dedicated service in the ministry.  During her tenure, she made history in 2014 when she was appointed as the first female AMEC Presiding Elder in Arkansas.
The Anniversary Committee, PE Mary Williams Retirement Committee, Reverend Tyrone Broomfield, Chair, is compiling a Retirement Souvenir Journal of congratulatory messages. 


Tickets for the event are available online, visit:
Advertisement retirement submission guidelines and other species can be obtained from the Office of the Twelfth Episcopal District, Email - anitame.brannon58@yahoo.com,, Mrs. Anita Brannon, 12th District Administrator.

*Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott Named Inaugural Chief Diversity Officer

Mary Baldwin University announced today that Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott has been named chief diversity officer (CDO), an inaugural executive staff position. 

As CDO, Cornett-Scott will build upon her 25 years of experience in diversity strategies, inclusive programming, and student-centered mentorship at Mary Baldwin to provide strategic vision to develop and implement proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at MBU and most effectively foster a community of awareness, belonging, and respect.

Cornett-Scott will expand DEI efforts and resources across the enterprise in her new role at the executive level, reporting directly to President Pamela R. Fox.

Fox announced the CDO role as part of the university’s ongoing work to infuse DEI principles into all aspects of its operations — including policies, programs, services, and activities — and most effectively empower students to become inclusive leaders in their personal and professional lives.

“Rev. Cornett-Scott has been essential to building the diverse and inclusive community at Mary Baldwin over the course of her extraordinary 25-year tenure,” said Fox. “A strong and proven leader of inclusive excellence, she will bring both experience and inspiration to the inaugural position of chief diversity officer, as well as a keen sense of compassion for our students and their individual lived experiences.”

Cornett-Scott will work with the entire campus community as well as the broader regional community, and will leverage her decades-long experience bolstering and collaborating with Mary Baldwin’s diverse student body, which now comprises more than 50% representation of people of color and is represented by diversity in gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic class.

Collaborating with university stakeholders, she will assess the need for training initiatives on cultural competency, racial sensitivity, gender equity, and other topics designed to increase awareness and support of DEI values.

"I am thrilled to have forged much of my life’s work at Mary Baldwin University creating programming that prepares students to serve in a diverse world," Cornett-Scott said. "I am looking forward to working closely with the executive staff, the Coalition for Racial and Social Justice, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the broader Staunton community to grapple with complex issues and to lead an intentional effort to sustain an environment that fosters greater inclusive excellence."

Since she joined Mary Baldwin in 1996 as director of African American affairs, Cornett-Scott has impacted the lives of hundreds of students through her work as an advisor and her leadership in MBU’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary during the upcoming academic year.

Also a member of the philosophy and religion department, Cornett-Scott taught the courses  African American Religion and Community and Practice, both of which support the African American studies minor, as well as Faith, Life, and Service and Community Service.

In 2000, Rev. Cornett-Scott planted Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in downtown Staunton, where she continues to serve as pastor. She has also served as the dean for the AME Virginia Annual Conference Board of Examiners for many years, and last year was appointed as the dean of the Second Episcopal District Board of Examiners.

Congratulatory comments may be sent to: ascott@marybaldwin.edu

*Rev. Dr. E. Gail Anderson Holness Elected Vice Chair of Ward One Democrats Executive Board for the District of Columbia

Rev. Dr. E. Gail Anderson Holness currently serves as the Committeewoman for Ward One with the DC Democratic State Party. Dr. Holness is Lawyer, Author and Senior Pastor of Adams Inspirational African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Ft. Washington, Maryland, and she has served as the Director, Faith Based Outreach for the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health. She has degrees from Clark Atlanta University (B.A.); Howard University School of Law (J.D.); Howard University School of Divinity (D. Min); St. Mary’s Ecumenical Seminary & University (M.T.S.). She is the immediate past President of the DC Democratic Women’s Club, appointed by DC Mayor to serve on the Mayor’s Interfaith Council and the D. C. Commission for Women. On the historic night of November 4, 2008, she was elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single Member District ANC 1B11 and re-elected three terms. She was also elected Chair of ANC 1B. Dr. Holness is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to  egailandersonholness@gmail.com


*Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. nominated to the be a Peoples Health Champion for special achievements after 65 Years old

Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was nominated to the be a Peoples Health Champion for special achievements after 65 Years old. He will be recognized at a New Saints Football Game and his journey will be presented in Video to the audience. Dr. Kelly is a member Southern Masters Swimming Program at Crawfish Aquatic Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and presently he is Seven-time State Champion in Louisiana in his age group. He training for the Louisiana State Olympics and has already qualified for the National Senior Olympics in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He former member of the legendary Morehouse Tigersharks Swimming team, and upon graduation received The Forbes Prize for athlete with highest academic grade point average. Dr. Kelly organized the James Haines Swimming Ministry in honor of his Coach and mentor from Morehouse College. He also a graduate of Springfield College, where he was graduate assistant and taught an Olympic Wrestler to swim. Dr. Kelly was a King and Bethune scholar at Boston University School of Theology. He also graduate of Memphis Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry. He is adjunct Instructor at Louisiana State University in African American Studies Department and School of Education. He is married to the former Linda M. Kelly of Eunice, Louisiana and the father of Herman III DC Metropolitan Police and Tiffany Marie CEO of Curastory and data scientist.

Congratulatory responses can be emailed to: hkelly1@lsu.edu


*Congratulations - Reverend Dr. Ammie L. Davis for the Successful Defense of Ph.D. Research

n Friday, August 6, 2021, Pastor Ammie L. Davis successfully defended her Ph.D. research at Regent University in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Ecclesial Leadership. 

Title: Understanding the Self-Efficacy and Call of Jarena Lee: A Narrative Case Study   
Research Question: How does Self-Efficacy research inform the recognition and response to the call of African American female ecclesial leaders as evident in the life and ministry of Jarena Lee?
The research focus unearthed Jarena Lee's self-efficacy in her religious experience despite being rejected.  Jarena Lee’s strong conviction in her ability to achieve demonstrates how self-efficacy influenced how she recognized and responded to her call to preach in a society that was hostile to her gender and race.   
Pastor Ammie L. Davis is the senior pastor at Zion Chapel AME Church, 
Hattiesburg, Mississippi and State Director for Child Evangelism Fellowship of Mississippi, Inc.
Pastor Ammie L. Davis earned a B.S. in Business Administration & Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University, M.A. in Management & Leadership from Webster University, M.B.A. from Webster University, MDIV with a concentration in Psychology of Religion & Pastoral Care and Counseling from Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theology Center.


Congratulatory responses can be emailed to: pastorzcame@gmail.com, Reverend Dr. Ammie L. Davis.

*Reverend & Mrs. Charles (Jeanette P.) Singleton Commemorate Sixty-Fourth Wedding Anniversary

Again, WE, Reverend & Mrs. Charles (Jeanette P.) Singleton of Awendaw, South Carolina, gratefully and joyfully say “Thank You Jesus, Thank You Lord”, as You continuously allow us to walk together in ONENESS for 64 years; September 7, 1957 – September 7, 2021.  This marriage has taken us many places and acquainted us with many beautiful people.  It gave us beautiful children – daughter Charnette E. Singleton, son Charles P. Singleton (Gwendolyn), son Charlton P. Singleton (MaryJo), and grandchildren.  We are blessed to still be active participants in many organizations.  So, Reverend Singleton, as a proud Retired Pastor of the AME Church, and Mrs. Singleton, as a proud Life Member of the Women’s Missionary Society of the AME Church, say “TO GOD BE THE GLORY”!

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:

JeanettePSing@att.net  (Reverend & Mrs. Charles (Jeanette P.) Singleton)

*Master Jacob Cuthbert, III Certified by the Programs of Religious Activities (P.R.A.Y.)  as a Four-Star Award Recipient

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth, also known as P.R.A.Y. Programs, is a Bible-based religious emblems program for Protestant and Independent Christian churches designed to bring youth and families to Christ. The P.R.A.Y. program [God & Me (Grades 2-3), God & Family (Grades 4-6), God & Church (Grades 6-8), and God & Life (Grades 9-12)] has impacted the lives of thousands of youths nationwide. The Jesus & Me (K-1) curriculum has recently been added to the series. The P.R.A.Y. Four Star Award is a very prestigious one. Candidates must start in the first, second, or third grade, and as the name implies, they must earn all four P.R.A.Y. awards. Less than 1% of the P.R.A.Y. recipients in any year receive this prestigious award.

Master Jacob Cuthbert,  has been certified by P.R.A.Y. for this special commendation. The Four-Star pin features four gold stars on a red, yellow, blue, and green background. The four colors represent the four levels in the series, but the stars are reminiscent of Matthew 5:16: Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Jacob is a member of Saint Mark AME Church, Orlando, where the Reverend Terence R. Gray, I, serves as the pastor. Saint Mark celebrates Jacob's accomplishments because they are for the glory of God. It is our prayer that he will continue to live his life in such a way that others will see Christ in him and give God the glory. If your church is interested in completing one or all of the P.R.A.Y. Program series, please make contact P.R.A.Y. at https://www.praypub.org/pray.

Jacob is the son of the Reverend Dr. Missiouri McPhee, Connectional Secretary for the Association of African Methodist Episcopal Scouts (AAMES), Secretary for the 11th Episcopal District Board of Christian Education, Dean of the Board of Examiners for the Central Annual Conference, and Minister of Worship at Saint Mark, Orlando.

Congratulatory messages for Jacob can be shared with: Missiouri.McPhee@gmail.com


*Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a Candidate for President of American Psychological Association 

Thema S. Bryant-Davis, PHD  is the daughter of Bishop John Richard Bryant (Retired) and Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Supervisor Retired

Campaign website is www.thema4apa.com and below is a video link

  • Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Duke University and her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical Center's Victims of Violence Program.  Upon graduating, she became the Coordinator of the Princeton University SHARE Program, which provides intervention and prevention programming to combat sexual assault, sexual harassment, and harassment based on sexual orientation.  She is currently a tenured professor of psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, where she directs the Culture and Trauma Research Laboratory.  Her clinical and research interests center on interpersonal trauma and the societal trauma of oppression.  She is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and a past APA representative to the United Nations. Dr. Thema also served on the APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology and the Committee on Women in Psychology.  The American Psychological Association honored her for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest in 2013.  The Institute of Violence, Abuse and Trauma honored her with their media award for the film Psychology of Human Trafficking in 2016 and the Institute honored her with the Donald Fridley Memorial Award for excellence in mentoring in the field of trauma in 2018.  The California Psychological Association honored her for Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology in 2015.  She is the editor of the APA text Multicultural Feminist Therapy: Heling Adolescent Girls of Color to Thrive.  She is one of the foundational scholars on the topic of the trauma of racism and in 2020, she gave an invited keynote address on the topic at APA.   In 2020, the International Division of APA honored her for her International Contributions to the Study of Gender and Women for her work in Africa and the Diaspora.  Dr. Thema has raised public awareness regarding mental health by extending the reach of psychology beyond the academy and private therapy office through community programming and media engagement, including but not limited to Headline News, National Public Radio, and CNN. 

 Dr. Thema discusses her campaign platforms - YouTube

Congratulatory Responses can be emailed to: info@drthema.com (Thema S. Bryant-Davis, PHD)



Chaplain, Colonel Regina O. Samuel selected for promotion to Colonel on the Air Force CY21B-621B Chaplain Colonel Board


We are proud to announce that Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Regina O. Samuel was selected for promotion to Colonel on the Air Force CY21B-621B Chaplain Colonel Board. Pending Senate confirmation, Chaplain Samuel will be the first woman Chaplain Colonel in the Air Force Chaplain Corps endorsed by the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Chaplain Samuel is currently assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, VA.  She is a member of the Northeast Annual Conference.  Her home church is Mt. Zion AME Church, Florence, SC.


Bishop Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath

Office of the Ecumenical & Urban Affairs

P.O. Box 43037
Philadelphia, PA 19129
(267) 579-2558




*Rev. Enercida Rodriguez and Mr. José Manuel Tolentino announce the birth of their daughter  Alana Zoé Tolentino Rodriguez

Rev. Enercida Rodriguez and Mr. José Manuel Tolentino announce the birth of their daughter Alana Zoé Tolentino Rodriguez born on September 27 at 5:03 PM.

Rev. Rodriguez is an ordained itinerant elder in the Dominican Annual Conference and the former Connectional YPD Third Vice President and 16th District YPD Director.

Her father, Rev. Abraham Rodriguez is the Presiding Elder of the Southeast District of the Dominican Annual Conference, pastor of Impacto de Vida AME Church, La Romana, and a former member of the General Board. Her mother Sonia Pacheco is a former Dominican Annual Conference YPD Director.

Congratulatory expressions may be sent to enerruez@gmail.com.

Electronic gifts may be sent via PayPal to enerruez.



*Supervisor Ainsley M. Byfield and Bishop Anne Henning Byfield celebrate 45 years of marriage on December 24, 2021 

Supervisor Ainsley M. Byfield and Bishop Anne Henning Byfield joyfully celebrate 45 years of marriage on December 24, 2021.  On Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Bishop Henning Byfield met Bro. Ainsley in Indianapolis, and she knew he was the one.  She was dating his friend who was about to graduate from seminary and leave for Cameron. Two weeks after her boyfriend’s graduation party and her return from the 1976 General Conference she and Bro. Ainsley dated and were married six months later.  This union has taken them to many places and through many life challenges and joys.  They have one son, Michael Ainsley and four grandchildren.   They celebrate their 45th union in Tennessee where Bishop Henning Byfield was born.  Supervisor Ainsley Byfield was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

They shout “to God be the Glory” for being the rock of their marriage. 

Email well-wishes can be sent to: ahenningbyfield@gmail.com


*Birthday Celebration Missive - Mrs. Gloria Sykes Bruce widow of the Late Dr. Yale Benjamin Bruce Retired General Officer Celebrates Eighty-Fifth Birthday

December 14, 2021, marked a blessed milestone; eighty-five years of life. I was born the youngest child of Deacon Washington T. and Mrs. Drucilla Sykes of Jacksonville, FL. My father was a builder, and his name appears on the cornerstone of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church today as Chairman of the Deacon Board and involved in its construction during my childhood. My mother had very little education beyond elementary school, but she was aggressively intentional that all of us attend and graduate from college. As spirit-filled parents, the church and Christian Education were tenets of my growth and development.

I was a product of Duval County Public School System, graduating from New Stanton High School, June 1954, first graduating class of the new school from the Ashley Street location. I enrolled at Edward Waters College (now University) with no idea that this educational institution would be the change agent of my future life.
I met this young man who was enrolled in Lee Seminary of Edward Waters College. As part of their training, seminary students were in charge of Chapel on Friday. When Yale Benjamin Bruce preached, the Lee Seminary Chapel would be packed. His preaching, singing, and praying were exceptional gifts from God! We met and became friends the spring of my sophomore (last) year at EWC which was a two year college at the time. Our friendship grew and blossomed as we continued matriculating at different institutions of higher learning but not losing focus of the goal to complete our education. After receiving the Associate of Arts degree, I continued at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, FL, majoring in Library Science/English with a minor in Contemporary Literature and graduating in 1959. The fall of that year, my career commenced as School Librarian at Northwestern High School, Jacksonville, FL.
On September 26, 1959, Yale Benjamin Bruce and I became one flesh as man and wife. Our Marriage and Ministry started at Zion Hill AME Church, Tallahassee, FL and spent our entire years of ministry in the Eleventh Episcopal District beginning with the late Bishop William Franklin Ball and ended with the late Bishop McKinley Young on July 16, 2006. Dr. Yale Benjamin Bruce was appointed Presiding Elder of the “Nurturing” North Orlando District of the Central Conference, Eleventh Episcopal District by Bishop John Hurst Adams, November 2000.

From 1985 to 1992, Dr. Bruce served the Connectional Church as Executive Director, Department of Worship and Evangelism. The centerpiece of his tenure in this position, was the start of the Evangelism Seminars that were held in January starting in 1986 in Orlando, FL and they continue today.  We are grateful that his successors continue to sponsor the Seminars in various cities throughout the Connection. On a personal note, I do recall the impetus for the seminar was to bring a more cohesive relationship for clergy and laity. The month of January was selected because it didn’t affect any other connectional gatherings/meetings.
Along the journey, God blessed us to have a family of children from our ministry at New Bethel, Sanford, FL, Allen Chapel, Plant City, FL, Allen Chapel, Pensacola, FL, Mt. Olive, Jacksonville, FL, Mt. Zion, Tampa, FL, Greater Bethel Gainesville, FL, Allen Chapel, Daytona Beach, FL, Mt Olive, Orlando, FL, Mt. Hermon, Opa Locka, FL and Greater Grant, Jacksonville, FL which was his last pastoral appointment by Bishop John Hurst Adams.

Our marriage produced six children; three that are deceased and three who are making notable contributions in their professions. Clifton Bruce, Architect, MLM Architects, Maitland FL. His architectural skills can be seen at Orlando International Airport at the expansion of the Security Check Point and the new international section that opens in 2022. Derek Bruce, Esq., Managerial Shareholder, Gunster Law, Orlando, FL who is on the List of Best Lawyers of America from 2018 - 2022 and received the Bishop’s Award, October 1, 2020, from Bishop A. J. Richardson, 11th Episcopal District. Yolanda Bruce Nash, Esq., United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington, DC.
The word of God that has been a guidepost in my marriage and raising our children and continues today is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” On my birthday, I have very little to regret in Marriage and Ministry because I always lived by the Golden Rule, remembered precepts and examples from my God-fearing parents and gave my best!
I do live a portion of the year in Upper Marlboro, MD with my daughter, Yolanda and her husband, Johnny Nash, an Administrator, Anne Arundel County Public School System and enrolled in the Doctoral Program, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. I am a member of Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Columbia, MD. Rev. C. Michele Langston, Pastor. When at home in Orlando, FL, I maintain membership at Mt. Olive AME Church which has been our family place of worship since 1980 when we were the Clergy Family and Dr. Bruce became an AMEC General Officer.
Have a blessed Christmas and blessings in the New Year 2022.
My email address is brucegs@bellsouth net to connect with me. It would be my pleasure to hear from you!

 - Gloria Sykes Bruce 



*The Reverend Terence R. Gray I, senior pastor of Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, Florida was awarded the Black Lives Matter Award by the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) 

PICTURE: (from left to right) Mrs. Jacqueline Burton (CNBC President), The Rev. Terence R. Gray I (Honoree), and Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson (CNBC Board Chair) 

CONGRATULATIONS are extended to The Reverend Terence R. Gray I, senior pastor of Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, Florida who was awarded the Black Lives Matter Award by the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) at its 2021 National Ecumenical Service held at Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, FL on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. The Ecumenical Service served as the opening event for the CNBC's 2021 Consultation gathering, The Consequences of Racism: Impact and Revelations of COVID-19: What's Next? 

CNBC is comprised of the national leadership of the seven largest historically Black denominations in America. The organization represents more than 80% of African American Christians across this nation that have a combined membership of over 20 million people and 30,000 congregations. CNBC serves as the vehicle by which its member denominations collaborate in the areas of health, social justice and public policy on behalf of African American communities. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, CNBC was founded by the late Bishop John Hurst Adams, former Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Congratulatory announcements can be emailed to:

The Rev. Terence R. Gray I

Email: pastor@saintmarkorlando.org

On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, and  Dr. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant, Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestone reached.