Ebenezer United Methodist Church at 2011 NW 35th St., is celebrating its 114th anniversary throughout August, culminating on Aug. 26, with Rev. Dr. Harold D. Lewis Sr. as the guest speaker. Lewis is director of Florida Conference Office of Congregational Excellence. He also is the director of Black Congregational Development.
On Aug. 12, the church will celebrate Multi-Cultural Sunday, recognizing the members who are from different ethnic backgrounds. "Over the years, the church has become very diverse," said Marian M. Smith, a member of the church.
The century-old church once was all-black (although it did have a lone white member back in the 1940s) and was located at Northwest 10th Street and Third Avenue in Overtown. When the I-95 highway cut through the Overtown neighborhood, many of the longtime members had to be relocated to other areas and the church membership dwindled. In June of 1973, the church moved to its present home and continued its traditions, even adding new ones, such as installing the Rev. Dr. Joreatha M. Capers as the first woman pastor of the church.
Smith said today the congregation is made up of Hispanics, Haitians, Jamaicans as well as African-Americans. Sunday’s services will be tri-lingual and the guest speaker will be Minister Roberta S. White. She is a graduate of Wesley Seminary in Washington.
Pioneer Sunday will be on Aug. 19, and all members who are 70 years and older and/or whose families were pioneers of the church. The guest speaker will be Tanya James.
The anniversary celebration will culminate during worship services at 10 a.m. on Aug. 26.
‘Live Out Loud’
Jesus People Ministries Church International at 4055 NE 183rd St. in Miami Gardens, kicked off its "Live Out Loud" campaign during last Sunday’s worship services. Throughout August, there will be events for the entire family, such as the free Summer Comedy Show to be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at the church.
Then, on Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., the church will host a free Hip Hop Dance Seminar, to be followed on Aug. 14, by a Back-to-School Prayer Campaign and school supplies give-away.
The Rev. Dr. Gloria Williams, senior pastor of the church said, "We’re no fair-weather, ‘let’s keep quiet’ Christians ... We are living out loud."
Stay tuned to this column for more happenings at the church. You may also call 305-625-9630, or log onto www.jesuspeoplemiami.org for more information.
Also, congratulations to Christian Williams and Dominique Edwards, both youth members at JPM, who recently participated in the Amateur Athletic Union 2012 Junior Olympics in Houston.
Christian competed in the high jump competition and placed fifth, earning him a medal. Dominique competed in the discus competition and also placed fifth, earning her a medal.
Called to preach
Congratulations to Evangelist Essie L. Baker, on the occasion of her preaching anniversary. She will be honored Sunday, during special services.
Baker was a budding young singer with a bright future in the secular music world, when she decided that she would rather accept the Lord as her personal Savior. She often testifies to young people that she used to "wake up angry," not knowing why she was angry. She said she realized that something was missing from her life, and that something was Jesus Christ. So at the age of 16, Baker accepted the Lord.
Once saved, she began to travel throughout Florida, Georgia and Alabama as a missionary, along with her mother Evangelist Essie M. Redmond, leading people to the Lord and using her beautiful contralto voice to inspire listeners.
When she accepted the calling to be an evangelist, while in her 20s, not too many people who knew her were surprised. Baker comes from a preaching family. Not only is her mother an evangelist, but her late father Wille Redmond Jr., was a noted evangelist in The Church of God Tabernacle. When he died, he was serving as the pastor at The Church of God Tabernacle in Belle Glade. And Baker’s aunt Annie Frances Nixon, is also an evangelist at the church.
Baker and her husband Ronald Sr., have been married for 26 years. They are the parents of four ; Ronald, r., Wilnard, Khrystyan and Chassidy. They live in the Miami Shores area.
The service starts at 10 a. m. at the church, 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City, where Bishop Walter H. Richardson is the pastor and overseer. The community is invited.
Beth David Congregation and the Gordon Schools will host a free Family Fun Day Carnival from noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 26, at the synagogue, 2625 SW Third Ave.
The day will include carnival rides, a rock wall, bounce house, balloon making, face painting and prizes. Attendees will have a chance to enjoy a free sample of the Gordon Schools’ enrichment classes, including dance, Green Monkey Yoga, musical theatre, and Kidokinetics. food will be available for purchase. To register and for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s free and open to the community.