Congratulations to Stephanie Young who recently became an Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement where she serves as the White House’s primary liaison to the African American community. She most recently served as the White House Associate Communications Director where she worked with various components within the White House and the administration to develop and manage communications strategy to roll out new policy and Presidential events. Stephanie coordinated with our Department of Social Action in organizing the meeting of the Black Methodist Coalition at the White House on September 2, 2015. Stephanie appears in the November edition of Essence Magazine featuring “Women in the White House.” Stephanie is the youngest daughter of Bishop and Mrs. McKinley Young, Presiding Bishop and Supervisor of the Third Episcopal District. She is an active member of Allen Chapel AME Church, Washington, DC, Reverend Michael Bell, Pastor.
Congratulations to the Reverend Dr. Orlando Morris McCauley, Jr., a member of the 2015 graduating class of Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC for receiving the Doctor of Ministry Degree. Reverend McCauley is the Pastor of St. Luke AME Church – Sumter, SC, Sumter District, Northeast Annual Conference, the Seventh Episcopal District. Congratulations to the Reverend Dr. Dwayne Bruce, a member of the 2015 graduating class of Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC for receiving the Doctor of Ministry Degree. Reverend Bruce is the Pastor of Beulah AME Church – Sumter, SC, Sumter District, Northeast Annual Conference, the Seventh Episcopal District. Congratulations to the Reverend Dr. Barbara Regina Chisolm, a member of the 2015 graduating class of Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC for receiving the Doctor of Ministry Degree. Reverend Chisolm is the Pastor of Greater Zion AME Church – Awendaw, SC, Mt. Pleasant District, Palmetto Annual Conference, the Seventh Episcopal District.
The project titles for the "7th District Trio" were as follows: Dr. McCauley's, "How to Encourage Local AME Churches to Support the Connectional Church." Dr. Chisolm's, "Intentional Hospitality in the Transformation of Traditional Churches for New Communities." Dr. Bruce's, "An Intentional Hospitality Program: The Transformation of Traditional Churches for New Communities." The 7th District Trio are the second group of preachers to complete their D. Min Program at Wesley Theological Seminary. The First group of graduates featured 7 preachers including Reverend Dr. Sandy W. Drayton, Presiding Elder of the Georgetown District, Palmetto Annual Conference. The first graduation was held May 12, 2014, at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC The Initiatives were launched under the Episcopal Leadership of Bishop Preston Warren Williams, II, who's also an alum of Wesley Theological Seminary, and was further enhanced under Bishop Richard Franklin Norris' tenure. The program began under the name "Pan Methodist Track." The 2015 commencement exercises, which was held May 12th featured a total of 156 candidates, 69 of which received their Masters of Divinity degree, 20 were recipients of a Masters of Arts degree, 6 were awarded Masters of Theological Studies, whereas, 61 were awarded the Doctor of Ministry degree respectively.
Pastor Yolanda and Gregory Whiten praise God for His Mighty Acts! They together, announce that their son Jacob Gregory Whiten was awarded the Juris Doctor degree from Duke University Law School, Durham-North Carolina, on May 10, 2015. Jacob was the Notes Editor on the Gender Law and Policy Journal and an Assistant serving those in need at the Citizens Law Clinic. Jacob's mom is an Ordained Itinerant Elder and Pastor of St. James AME Church in Brighton, Michigan, 4th Episcopal District, Senior Bishop John R. Bryant, presiding prelate.
The Reverend Michele Celeste Williams received the Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio. The Reverend Dr. Michele Celeste Williams, pastor of Payne Chapel AME Church, Brunswick, Georgia received the Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio on May 22, 2015. Reverend Dr. Michele C. Williams’ project dissertation entitled, “Pastor and People jointly fitted together: a Congregational Model to reduce Church Conflict while creating Vitality and Health.”
Congratulations to the Reverend Rose Marie Stokes-Smalls, associate minister of Olive Branch AME Church, Mount Pleasant, SC. She received a Master of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio, on Friday, May 22, 2015.
Congratulatory expressions can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Reverend Rose Marie Stokes-Smalls. Tiffany Marie Kelly, the daughter of Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. and First Lady Linda M. Kelly of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was awarded The Crystal Group Innovation Scholarship for 2015-2016 School year. Tiffany is a Senior at Nova Southeastern University majoring in Sports Management, with a Minor in Computer Science. The Crystal Group Innovation Scholarship is awarded each year to (2) full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree within the School of Business, the School of Engineering, or related majors. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria: be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate business program (major), engineering program (major), or related major working toward a bachelor’s degree, at an accredited two-year or four-year institution, located in the United State; have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; must have completed at least 60 semester hours and must submit a typed (double-spaced) essay answering one of the posed questions asked by the Crystal Group.
Congratulations to Rev. Toni Belin Ingram! The Rev. Toni Belin Ingram will serve as director of Candler’s Black Church Studies (BCS) program, as well as an assistant professor in the practice of practical theology. She succeeds Teresa Fry Brown, who has been named the school’s next Bandy Professor of Preaching. Ingram, a 2007 Candler graduate, pastors Greater Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, and has also served as an intern chaplain at Emory University Hospital. She specializes in pastoral care, faith and philanthropy, church and community, nonprofit leadership and urban ministries.
The Reverend Toni Belin Ingram is the wife of Raymond Ingram and the daughter of Bishop and Mrs. Henry Allen Belin, Jr. (retired).
It is with great excitement and joy that I announce the birth of my newest grandchild, a beautiful little girl, Kalley Renee Lynn Johnson, born to my "#1 And Only Daughter," Alona Thomas and Leon Johnson. Lil' Miss Kalley made her grand appearance on Thursday, 6/18/2015, at 5:26 AM, weighing 7.0 lbs and 19.5" long. I am the very proud grandmother, aka "Mama Rev," Itinerant Elder and recent transplant from the 5th Episcopal District, now serving in the 3rd Episcopal District as an Associate Minister at United AME Church-Xenia, Ohio (Pastor John E. Freeman). I am currently a senior residing on the campus of Payne Theological Seminary.
In May 2015, Colonel Troy E. Dunn became the Installation Commander of the 10th Air Base Wing, U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He commands a team of more than 3,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel who conduct base-level activities for the entire installation, including security, civil engineering, communications, logistics, finance, contracting, chaplaincy, legal, lodging, medical, military and civilian personnel and force support programs. The 10th Air Base Wing supports more than 4,000 cadets and a total military community of more than 25,000 personnel. He is responsible for a $150 million annual operating budget and serves as the Crisis Action Team Commander during all Air Force Academy installation contingency operations. Colonel Troy E. Dunn is the son of Reverend Roosevelt and Mrs. Gloria Dunn of Oklahoma City. Reverend and Mrs. Dunn are members of Allen Chapel AME Church. Troy is married to Sonya Carter Dunn and they have four children; Elisabeth, Jonathan, Matthew and Hannah. Sonya is the daughter of the Reverend Seaborn Carter who once pastored Sherman Chapel AME Church in Oklahoma City and the late Reverend Cora Carter. Please see more accomplishments of Colonel Troy E. Dunn at this link: http://www.usafa.af.mil/information/biographies/bio.asp?id=18443
Mrs. Ella Belle Richardson Couch, widow of the late Reverend W. T. Couch of the Tennessee Annual Conference, Thirteenth Episcopal District, will celebrate her 105th birthday on August 2, 2015. Mrs. Couch is currently the oldest member of St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Clarksville, Tennessee. She continues to play the organ at the church located at 518 Franklin Street as she has done for fifty plus years. Every Sunday morning finds her pulling herself up the long banister staircase at St. Peter's AME Church to reach her appointed destination at the organ. Mrs. Ella B. Couch takes pride in being a lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a Life Member of the Women's Missionary Society.
CONGRATULATIONS to REV. DR. CONSTANCE C. WHEELER EVANS on being elected Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Washington Theological Consortium. The Washington Theological Consortium (WTC), the largest international organization of its kind, is a community of Theological Schools of diverse Christian traditions — with partners in education, Islamic, and Jewish studies, and business, — that pursue ecumenical dialogue, interfaith understanding, and educational collaboration to better equip clergy and laity for the ministry of the Church in a diverse society. The WTC started in 1971 with seven member schools from Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and historically Black universities. Membership in the Consortium now includes entire educational organizations, schools within universities, and independent educational centers. Today the Consortium offers over 300 courses per semester for cross-registration, a dozen theological libraries, and opportunities for public and adult education that are unsurpassed in the nation. Beginning in September 2015 Dr. Evans will lead the WTC Board in developing and implementing its platform for 2015-16, including technology integration to enhance social media outreach along with member and student engagement. Rev. Wheeler-Evans is the senior pastor of Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., Second Episcopal District, Washington Conference. Dr. Evans is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington (DC); Clergy for Community Wealth Preservation (CCWP), a group of 40 concerned pastors and clergy addressing the issues of homeownership, economic development, health and poverty, and political action for DC residents; the Washington Conference Board of Examiners (serving as Board Secretary and an instructor). She is the past Caucus leader for Women in Ministry of the Capital District of the Washington Conference; and past Director of Protestant Chaplaincy at Georgetown University.
SEPTEMBER 2015 Pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant, Founder of EMPOWERMENT TEMPLE A.M.E. CHURCH in Baltimore, has been named among 100 Most Influential African Americans. He is the son of Senior Bishop John R. Bryant, presiding prelate of the 4th Episcopal District and Senior Episcopal Supervisor, the Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant.
Sincere congratulations are extended to the Reverend Doctor Jerome V. Harris and Mrs. Sandra Elaine Harris who will celebrate their forty – fifth (45) wedding anniversary on September 19, 2015. Dr. Harris has served as a General Officer and the Executive Director of the AMEC Department of Retirement Services since 2000 and is the former Senior Pastor of the Historic Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama.
Presiding Elder, Rev. Dr. Wilton E Blake and Mrs. Joann Blake will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on September 21, 2015. Rev. Blake has been Presiding Elder of the Cincinnati District in the South Ohio Conference, Third Episcopal District, for the past 5 years, following pastoring several churches in the Ohio and South Ohio Conferences. Presiding Elder Blake is retired as Chief of the Chaplains Service of the Dayton and Cincinnati Veterans Administration and his wife, Joann, is a retired Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
The Rev. Dr. Herman Kelly, pastor of Bethel AME Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been asked to give the commencement prayer of blessing representing BRAVE, for fallen law enforcement officers - a prayer of blessing and protection by the Governor of Louisiana at the Blessing of Law Enforcement event. BRAVE means Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination. Dr. Kelly graduated in the Inaugural Cops/Clergy Training which is a program to get Clergy involved in positive relationship with Law Enforcement. The event will be held on the steps of the capitol building on Monday, September 14, 2015 at 11:30 am.
Dr. E. Gail Anderson Holness, Pastor of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church (DC) was appointed and confirmed to serve on the Mayor of Washington, DC Muriel Bowser's Interfaith Council on September 18, 2015. The Interfaith Council advises the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Mayor's Director for Religious Affairs, and the Mayor's Cabinet, on various matters that affect the spiritual, faith and religious well-being of all the residents of the District of Columbia as well as advising the Mayor in creating and maintaining a spiritual perspective when setting goals and casting the vision for the District. The Interfaith Council serves as a liaison between the Mayor and the faith community by making recommendations on developing, expanding, or fostering public-private partnerships and linkages between the District and faith-related organizations using grant, District, federal, foundation, or private funding sources. The Interfaith Council advise on the methods of identifying and meeting social service needs and serve as a forum for public comments and views on existing and planned proposals for faith community policies, programs, resources and activities. Promoting spirituality, accountability and integrity among the faith and governmental leadership in the District is an important aspect of the Interfaith Council's functions, along with exchanging information and resources to promote the common good among the faith community and promoting respect, cooperation and tolerance between and among the religious communities and the general public in the District. The Interfaith Council is an advocate on behalf of people who are poor and disenfranchised and offer public prayers of intercession for justice, healing and unity in the community. Dr. Holness was also recently elected to serve a two year term as President of the DC Democratic Women's Club. She is the mother of Rev. Ali Holness, youth church minister at Historic Big Bethel Atlanta, Ga.