Northwest Baptist’s pastor retiring after 34 years

After serving Northwest Baptist Church for 34 years, the Rev. James Summers has decided to step down as pastor of the church at 951 NW 136th St. He will preach his farewell sermon at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Retiring for Summers and his wife Sandra, is a bittersweet decision. "The people at this church have been nothing but a blessing to me," he said. "But it’s time for me and Sandra to focus on the rest of our lives."

The "rest of their lives" will be in Nashville, where Summers said he was born and raised. "We are going back home where we have a lot of family," he said. And while he is excited about retiring and going back home and renewing fellowship with old friends, he said he is not quitting preaching. "I’m just quitting pastoring," he said.

Summers said he has a lot of family in Nashville, “and because we are family-focused, we are looking forward to being back with family.”

He said he will miss the people at Northwest Baptist. "We haven’t had one church fight in all the 34 years I have been pastor. You know, they say where two or three Baptist are gathered together, there will be a church fight," he said with a chuckle. "Not so with this church. These are lovely people... they have been nothing but gracious to me and my family."

Because he enjoys preaching, Summers said he will be preaching back in Nashville. "Over the years, we have visited Nashville often, and I always preach when I go there," Summers said. He will also use his retirement to focus on a couple of booklets he wants to write. "Just some things I have thought about in the last 10 or 12 years. I’ve spent 10 years researching how the Church has remained silent most of the time during some very difficult times, especially when the Jewish community was being persecuted by the Nazis."

Summers and his wife are the parents of three grown children and eight grandchildren. He will officially retire on Oct. 18. The congregation is inviting all friends and former members out to hear Summers’ farewell sermon at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Following the service there will be a luncheon in the church’s fellowship hall.

Jewish special education group celebrates 20 years

Congratulations to the Association for Jewish Special Education(AJSE) on the occasion of its 20th Lech Lecha B’nai Mitzvah Anniversary. To celebrate, the organization will have a special service at 10 a.m. Saturday, at Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom, 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami.

In 1993, six AJSE students became B’nai Mitzvah at Temple Zion-Israelite Center in Miami. Since then, Temple Zion was replaced by Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom. In honor of the milestone, Temple President Frank Kreutzer has invited AJSE to return to celebrate the anniversary. Following the anniversary service, lunch will be served. To attend, please RSVP by calling 305-205-3846 or 954-442-9624.

Miami Unitarians mark 75 years

Congratulations are also in order for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami, which is celebrating its Jubilee 75th year in Miami. Recently at the congregation’s Jubilee Dinner, Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a proclamation which said in part that the congregation was established in 1938 and the first minister the Rev. Joe Barth served from February 1939 through December 1955.

The proclamation also stated that Barth "set a template for our congregation as an oasis for free expression and racial justice in Miami (at a time of segregation). Since then to our present time, nine settled ministers have each left their mark working against segregation, supporting the separation of church and state, protesting the Vietnam War, while strongly supporting our veterans, worker for justice, the feminist movement, immigration reform and justice and becoming a safe have for GLBT community members. ... We draw from words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love."

Have a beer with the archbishop

The Archdiocese of Miami will present Archbishop Thomas Wenski in a program called "Theology on Tap", from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 15, at the Homefield Sports Bar and Grill, 8575 SW 124th Ave.

If you have ever wanted to deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith over a mug of cold beer or a glass of wine, here is your opportunity. The archbishop will speak on "Relevance Found: How is the Catholic Church Relevant in our Lives Today?"

According to a press release from the archdiocese, the program will provide an opportunity for Catholic adults to explore their faith in a casual atmosphere through presentations geared to integrate the Catholic faith into daily living. participants must be 21 years or older.

To RSVP, contact Rick Dominguez at

Women’s Club to hold fund-raiser

The Cutler Ridge Woman’s Club invites the community to its fundraiser to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a "Bunco Fall Flurry" followed by lunch at noon. the event will be at Cutler Ridge Park, 10100 SW 200th St. in Cutler Bay. the cost is $15 per person. The program will include a treasure table, baked goods, books, an auction table and door prizes.

All profits from the fundraiser will go to the club’s charitable projects.

For more information call Ruth Perry at 305-245-9255 or Peggy Bell at 305-322-5305.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, 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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