Please join Rev. Lishers Mahone, retired pastor, Chicago Annual Conference and Mrs. Betty Mahone as they pray that God will be with their son, Kenneth Strickland (NBC Bureau Chief-Washington, DC), as he delivers the Commencement Address at the Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on tomorrow, December 13, at 2:00 P.M.  Kenneth is a 1989 graduate of MTSU.

Herman Osby Kelly, III, son of Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. and Linda M. Kelly Pastor and First Lady of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Baton Rouge, Louisiana graduated from the Metropolitan Police Academy on Friday, December 12, 2014. Officer Kelly was selected as the class flag bearer (Guidon).

The Reverend Dr. Maxine Thomas, First Lady and Assistant Minister of Quinn Chapel AME Church, Louisville, Kentucky, received the Doctor of Ministry degree from  Asbury Theological Seminary. The Reverend Linda Roberts Jackson, Pastor of St. Mark AME Church, Louisville, Kentucky, received the Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.  We praise God for the significant milestones and accomplishments reached by two of our West Kentucky Conference Ministers.

The Reverend Dr. Michael W. Waters' debut book Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture, with foreword by Bishop John Richard Bryant, Senior Bishop of the A.M.E. Church, is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards in two categories: Religion: Christianity and Social Change. The publisher's press release of these awards may be found at the following link: Dr. Waters is the founder and Senior Pastor of Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church in Dallas, Texas. .

Jonathon Weary graduated University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a Bachelors Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology, Summa Cum Laude. Jonathan is the son of the Rev. Willie and Mrs. Jackie Weary, pastor and first lady of Peters Chapel A.M.E. Church, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Jonathon also serves as the Nominating Chairperson of the Connectional YPD.

On Friday, December 12, 2014, Joshua C. Sylvester received a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Southern University A&M College, Baton Rouge Louisiana.  Joshua is the son of the Reverend Kecia A.  Lewis, Pastor of St. Paul A.M.E Church, Lake Charles LA and brother of Miss Zacchea Lewis the Central North Louisiana Conference YPD President.

The Rev. Darryl J. A. Narcisse, Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Fifth Episcopal District of the Midwest Annual Conference, earned a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Missouri Kansas City at the 81st Mid-Year Commencement, Friday December 19, 2014.

The Rev. Margaretta Smith Narcisse, M. Div., an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Fifth Episcopal District of the Midwest Annual Conference was named Associate Dean of Students at The Saint Paul School of Theology Greater Kansas City, February 2, 2015.  Rev. Smith Narcisse Pastored Saint Luke AMEC in Norborne, MO, Harbert Chapel AMEC in Flagstaff, AZ, and served as the Coordinator of WIM Desert Mountain Annual Conference and Pastored the Historic Saint Paul AMEC in Independence, MO.  Rev. Smith Narcisse serves as a Chaplain at Truman Medical Center East and West.

The Reverend Dr. Michael W. Waters, founder and Senior Pastor of Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church in Dallas, Texas, has been named to the Dallas Business Journal's 2015 “40 Under 40” List. The honor highlights executives and entrepreneurs 39 years of age or younger who, per the nomination criteria, “have a proven track record in both business and community involvement.”    A formal announcement can be found @

On April 10, 2015, Felecia E. Commodore successfully defended her dissertation "The Tie That Binds: Trusteeship, Values, and the Presidential Selection Process at AME Affiliated HBCUs" to complete the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.  Felecia is a member of Reid Temple AME Church in Glendale, Maryland and currently serves as the Connectional Lay Organization Young Adult Representative.  She is the daughter of Rev. Bedelia Commodore and Frank Commodore, Jr.

Dr. Betty W. Holley, Professor of Environmental Ethics and African American Religious Studies at Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio will serve as a panelist at the Smithsonian Institute, in the discussion "Imagining the Human Future:  The Ethics of the Anthropocene," April 26, 2015.  She give thanks to God for the awesome opportunity.

Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown, Executive Director of Research and Scholarship/Historiographer for the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Professor of Homiletics at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta has been tapped as Emory's next Bandy Professor of Preaching, effective September 1. The Bandy Chair in Preaching was created in 1986 with a gift from B. Jackson Bandy, and is considered by many to be the premier chair in homiletics in the country. Selected from a national pool of candidates, Dr. Fry Brown will be Candler's fourth Distinguished Bandy Chair following Drs. Tom Long, the late Robert Kysar and the late Fred B. Craddock. “Dr. Fry Brown has served Candler wonderfully well since 1994, is a powerful and effective preacher, and holds renowned leadership positions in both church and academy. I welcome the opportunity to have her continue serving our community by holding this prized position in the field of homiletics,” Dean Jan Love said. 

We recognize that study, hard work, due diligence and God's favor are elements in being successful in any endeavor or pursuit.  It is our honor to celebrate the path of success of our daughter and sister. Ms. Yolanda A. Bruce, Esq. now serves as Attorney/Advisor for the Social Security Administration in the Washington, D C area. Previously she has served as Assistant State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida and was Senior Attorney for the State Department of Children and Families of Florida. As an exemplary litigator and advocate for children and families, she recently received the 2015 Inspiration Award from the State Department of Children and Families. Attorney Bruce is the daughter of the late General Officer/Presiding Elder Dr. Y. Benjamin Bruce, Sr. and Mrs. Gloria S. Bruce of Orlando, FL.

Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith, who completed her doctorate as the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in New Testament at Emory University. She is an elder from the 6th District residing now in the 2nd District and is an Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Dr. Smith holds additional degrees from Fisk University, Candler School of Theology, and Columbia Theological Seminary. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including being named an ESU Luard Fellow to study theology at Oxford University in England and an Essence Magazine Awardee. She has contributed to multiple writing projects and series, including the Feasting on the Gospels series and Reading & Writing Theologically series. Contact her at Wesley Theological Seminary,

The Reverend Elizabeth E. Yates, Presiding Elder of the Alachua-Central District and Brother Kenneth M. Yates announce the graduation of their daughter Kimberleigh Michelle Yates on Saturday, May 2, 2015 @ 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon; from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Kimberleigh will receive the Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. 

Rev. Charles Lee-Johnson, pastor of Corona Community African Methodist Church, in Corona, California has successfully defended his dissertation. On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Rev. Charles Lee-Johnson successfully defended his dissertation: "Young, Gifted, Saved and Prospering: A Discipleship Model to recruit and retain Young Adults in the local church" to complete the requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Rev. Dr. Charles Lee-Johnson is the son of Rev. Joyce Reece Kitchen, pastor of Emmanuel-Henry McNeal Turner African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, California.

Mrs. Starr L. Battle will be conferred the Juris Doctor degree with concentrations in Family and Veterans' Law by The North Carolina Central University School of Law on May 8, 2014.  During her matriculation at the NCCU Law School, she served in various capacities including President of the Black Law Students Association and Marshal of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.   Starr currently serves as the Third Vice President of the Connectional Lay Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.    Starr is the oldest daughter of the Reverend Milton O. Battle and Mrs. Doris Taylor Battle.  Reverend Battle is Pastor of St. Stephens AME Church in Liberty, North Carolina in the Western District of the Western North Carolina Conference (Dr. Conrad K. Pridgen, Presiding Elder) of the Second Episcopal District (the Right Reverend William P. DeVeaux, Jr., Presiding Prelate).

The Rev. Dr. Moses A. Simms, Jr. and the Rev. Karen D. Simms will celebrate their 30th Year Wedding Anniversary on May 18, 2015. Both are Itinerant Elders in the 8th Episcopal District.The Rev. Dr. Moses A. Simms, Jr. Is the Pastor of Greater Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church in Greensburg, LA, a Graduate of Ashland Theological Seminary, June 2014, with a D.Min Degree and a Candidate for Episcopal Service.

Courtney Sharisse Green was awarded the Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Relations from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida. The Commencement Exercises took place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Courtney is the daughter of Rev. Dr. John Frank Green, President-Dean of Turner Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia and Mrs. Phyllis N. Green, Supervisor of the 12th Episcopal District. She is the niece of Bishop Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr., Presiding Prelate of the 12th Episcopal District, Rev. Dr. Henry E. Green, Sr. (Jennifer), Rev. Dr. David W. Green, Sr., (Kim) and Mrs. Minerva Green Miller (Johnny). Courtney’s future plans include an internship in Public Relations and pursuing a Master’s Degree at Florida State University in Integrated Marketing/Public Relations.
John Foster, Jr. received the Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) on May 15, 2015 from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. John is the son of the Rev. John Foster, Ph. D., Pastor of Big Bethel AME Church and Sister Mary Ann Foster, First Lady of Big Bethel AME Church, Atlanta, GA of the Sixth Episcopal District; Bishop Preston Warren Williams, II, Presiding Prelate, Dr. Wilma Delores Webb Williams, Episcopal Supervisor.


The Reverend Geoffrey S. Ellis, pastor of Asbury Chapel AME Church in Louisville, Kentucky was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Simmons College of Kentucky at the Commencement Exercises held on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 5:00 P.M. Simmons College of Kentucky located in Louisville. Rev. Ellis, a community activist, was employed with state, county, and metro governments for over 22 years. He served under County Judge Executive Harvey Sloan, County Judge Executive and Mayor David Armstrong, and Mayor Jerry Abramson. He was also employed by the Kentucky Human Rights Commission and the Louisville Urban League. He is a past president of the local branch of the NAACP and the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition of the NAACP. He has also served as the Chairman of the Board of West Louisville Community Ministries. He currently serves as President of the Greater Louisville AME Ministerial Fellowship. Rev. Ellis is a co-founder of Ervin House; the first owned and operated African American half way house for ex-offenders in the state of Kentucky. He is also founder/owner of the first black shoe store located in West Louisville, The Boot Gallery. 
On Saturday, May 16, 2015, Eugenia Michelle Brannon was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication with a concentration on Broadcast Journalism, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Eugenia is the daughter of Presiding Elder (retired) Eugene and Anita Brannon  (1st Vice President of CONN-M-SWAWO +PK's).  She is President of the YPD of Union A.M.E. Church, in Little Rock, and serves as one of the Liturgical Dance coaches there. She is also the Corresponding Secretary for the Arkansas Annual Conference YPD.  Prior to her graduation, Eugenia served as an officer in the Epsilon Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated on the campus of UALR. During the Spring Semester of her senior year, Eugenia interned at KARK Channel 4/FOX 16 News, and  had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the oldest living person (at that time) in the USA, who just happened to reside in Camden, AR. Eugenia will attend Graduate School to pursue a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication, and looks forward to a career in the Journalism.
On May 9, 2015, Jeremy Andre Cox received the Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. His minor is in Sociology. Jeremy is the son of the Rev. Ashley and Sister Tracey Cox of Columbia, Tennessee. Rev. Cox is the Pastor of St. Matthew AME Church in Cornersville, Tennessee.

Congratulations to the Reverend Brandon A. A. J. Davis, Pastor of St. Andrews AME Church - Youngstown, Ohio.  Rev. Dr. Davis is the former Connectional Committee Chairman for the Richard Allen Young Adult Council.  The Reverend Brandon Davis received the Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. His dissertation was entitled “Social Change Within the AME Church through the Ministry of Bishop Joseph Gomez.”

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