Bishop T. Larry and Supervisor Mary L. Kirkland
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
African Methodists representing 14 states will gather in Los Angeles for the 2012 Fifth Episcopal District Midyear Convocation along with celebrating the 50th Ministerial Anniversary of Presiding Prelate T. Larry Kirkland, Sr.
Bishop Kirkland and Episcopal Supervisor Mary L. Kirkland will convene the annual session on Tuesday, March 13, through Friday, March 16, at the LAX Hilton Hotel, 5711 West Century Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The agenda will include worship services, business sessions and workshops. Among the highlights will be a special worship on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m., dedicated to the Bishop's anniversary.
Following the service, a gala reception will be held featuring tributes from the religious community, elected officials and civic leaders throughout greater Los Angeles. The theme for the evening is ‘Called, Courageous, and Committed: A Living Legacy.'
Several renowned ministers will participate including the Rev. Dr. Frank Madison Reid III, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Baltimore and the guest preacher for the Anniversary service. Rev. Isaiah Waddy, pastor of Greater St. Peter A.M.E. Church in Jonesboro, GA, will instruct Session One and preach for the Thursday Hour of Power service.
Also, the Rev. Dr. Franklin Ray, pastor of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, will bring the message on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The convocation will also feature a special luncheon honoring Mrs. Mary L. Kirkland, Episcopal Supervisor of the Women's Missionary Society, for her dedicated commitment and support to overseas and local missions.
A number of local clergy and laypersons will play roles in the four-day conference. They include Pastor Mark Whitlock of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church who will preach at Wednesday's 12:00 noon service; Judge Patricia Mayberry, District Director of Lay Activities, who will instruct a training workshop; the Rev. Dorisalene Hughes, the District Prayer Coordinator, and Sister Jackie Dupont-Walker who serves as the 50th Anniversary Chairperson.
In addition, Bishop Kirkland will moderate a special forum on emphasizing concepts and methodologies to promote church growth and development in the 21st Century. The panel discussion will focus on strategies to change the ‘methods' without changing the ‘message.'
The panelists are the Rev. Donna Davis, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. - Portland; the Rev. John Hill, pastor of Grant Chapel - Albuquerque; Brother Donald Jones, Lay Organization, president, Mid-west Conference; and the Rev. Joyce Kitchen, pastor of Emmanuel-H. McNeil Turner A.M.E. - Los Angeles.
The Prayer Lab presenters are the Rev. Carolyn Baskin-Bell, pastor of Rose of Sharon A.M.E.; the Rev. Larry Campbell, pastor of St. Paul A.M.E.; and the Rev. Stephanie Butler Edwards who will conduct a dance prayer lab.
On Thursday, the District Lay Organization will hold the ‘Evening of Elegance' following the business session. The program will include the Scholarship and Awards Recognition honoring past District Missionary Presidents and District Young People's Division Directors. The Lay's Mini-Convention will be held from March 16 to March 18, after the Midyear Convocation. For details on all events, visit www.amec5th.net.