Friends and Neighbors

New pastor is cause for celebration in Perrine

When a church gets a new spiritual leader, it is due cause for celebration. So, beginning at 7:30 p .m. Wednesday, Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church at 10701 SW 184th St in Perrine will kick off five days of celebration to mark the installation of the Rev. Theodis “Theo” Johnson III, as the church’s new spiritual leader.

There is a lot to celebrate about the path Johnson’s life has taken, which has led to his becoming Sweet Home’s new senior pastor. To start, Johnson said he has always believed "there was a calling on his life", because at an early age he sensed that he was destined to lead and help others.

He grew up in Dallas in a neighborhood that was filled with hopelessness and where there were few opportunities. With the Lord’s help and the encouragement of his parents, Johnson graduated high school and entered Prairie View A & M University in Houston, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in radio and television communications. He was the first in h is family to graduate from college.

Later, Johnson married his high school sweetheart Alicia Jackson, and moved back to Dallas to pursue the ministry. He served as associate minister of West Mt. Horeb Missionary Baptist Church and later earned a master of theology in pastoral leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary. While at Mt. Horeb, he helped establish three churches and was promoted to executive pastor and lead pastor of the church.

Johnson and his family, which includes four children, moved to south Florida in 2010 to become associate pastor of Sweet Home. He served in that role for two years and when the Rev. Jeremy Upton resigned, Johnson was asked to serve as the interim pastor. It was in May, that the congregation realized it already had its new spiritual leader in Johnson and asked him to assume the role, which he accepted.

When asked what are his mainstays in life, Johnson said, "It is the love of God, love of family and love for this church that strengthens and sustains me."

The celebration services will start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday the Rev. Dr. Joseph Turner, senior pastor of Mount Moriah Church in Perrine, and his congregation will be in charge of the worship service. And at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the Rev. Dr. Alphonso Jackson Sr., and the congregation at Second Baptist Church in Richmond Heights will be in charge of the service.

The celebration will continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a night of worship featuring New York gospel recording artist Ronald Julian. Then, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, youth and families are invited to the church to celebrate the new pastor with a "Fun, Family and Friends Day community Picnic" on the grounds of the church.

On Sunday, installation ceremonies will be during two services, beginning at 10 a.m. with a unity service featuring the Rev. James Johnson, senior pastor at Christian Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas as the guest speaker. At 4 p.m. Johnson will be officially installed by the Rev. Billie Matthews, senior pastor of West Mt. Horeb Missionary Baptist Church at Dallas.

The community is invited to all services.

Film Festival gets new director

Congratulations to Igor Shteyrenberg, who recently was appointed director of the Miami Jewish Film Festival.

Shteyrenberg was reared in Miami and earned a master’s degree from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He has worked at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, and at the Miami International Film Festival, where he over saw much of the behind the scenes work.

As he assumes his new duties, Shteyrenberg brings with him academic mastery of film, practical experience in the industry and an understanding of the South Florida community. On Sept. 23, he plans to screen the critically acclaimed Israeli film Fill the Void at the Frank Theater Intracoastal.

The screening of the film will mark the first for the festival to partner with Sony Pictures Classics, Shteyrenberg said. "This provides us with a boost of excitement looking ahead to the Festival’s lineup for its 17th annual edition and our ambitious plans in year-round programming."

Tickets for Fill the Void are $12 general admission; $10 for students and seniors and free for Festival members and may be purchased online at

‘Women of Color Empowerment’ conference

The Third Annual Women of Color Empowerment conference will be Oct. 5, at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

According to a press release, the conference will focus on educating and motivating dynamic women of color to lead effectively. The event will feature Lita Rosario, Esq., as the keynote speaker. Rosario is an entertainment power broker and principal of WYZ Girl entertainment Consulting, LLC in Washington. In her lecture Rosario will share secrets on "Tooting Your Own Horn Without Bragging".

Attendees to the conference will have the opportunity to network with other leaders, receive helpful information and enjoy fellowship and brunch.

Sponsorships are available. The deadline to be included on the invitation as a sponsor is Sept. 17. To become a sponsor, visit

Learn about health care act

Brian Keeley, CEO of Baptist Hospital and Raymond Paultre, state organizational director of Enroll America, will speaker and answer questions on "Affordable Health Care — What You Want to Know and What You Need to Know," from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Coral Gables Congregational Church 3010 De Soto Blvd.

The event is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). For more information call Barbara Schwartz, AAUW co-president at 305-385-5877.

Church to host fashion show

The Rev. Kyle Gibson and the congregation at Metropolitan A.M.E. church at 1778 NW 69th St., invites the community to a "God Glamourous Women Fashion Show" at 3:30 p.m. today at the church.

The donation is $15 at the door. Following the fashion show, refreshments will be served.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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