Community Voices

Liberty City pastor to be honored with ‘An Evening of Fellowship and Elegant Dining’

The Rev. C.P. Preston Jr., pastor at Peaceful Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
The Rev. C.P. Preston Jr., pastor at Peaceful Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Because of what I do, am privileged to know a lot of great men of God who serve our community. One of them is, the Rev. C.P. Preston Jr., pastor at Peaceful Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

Preston recently celebrated his 30th pastoral anniversary at Peaceful Zion, 400 NW 68th St. in Liberty City, and the congregation will honor him Saturday at a Pastoral Anniversary Celebration Banquet.

Called “An Evening of Fellowship and Elegant Dining,” the event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Fontainebleau Hotel, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

It is a fitting recognition for Preston and his wife, Robyn, who lead the congregation with love and affection. Like so many other pastors have done, Preston followed his father, the late Rev. C.P. Preston Sr., into the ministry.

A native of Miami, Preston is a graduate of Miami Carol City High School, where he was an outstanding quarterback on the school’s football team. He is also a graduate of Florida Memorial University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. He later earned a master’s in theology from North Florida Baptist Theological Seminary in Jacksonville and a master’s in education with certification in administration and supervision from Nova Southeastern University, where he also earned a doctorate in theology. Preston was also bestowed with two honorary doctorate degrees — from Smith Chapel Bible College and Trinity Theological Seminary of South Florida.

Preston taught for 11 years in the Miami-Dade Public Schools System before leaving to become a full-time pastor.

As a dedicated Christian leader, Preston has served as president of the Minister’s and Deacons Union for the Southern Division of the Florida East Coast Baptist Association; was awarded the Presidential Award at the 124th Florida General Baptist convention in 1999; and in 2003, was elected as moderator of the second largest Baptist association in the country — the Florida East Coast Missionary Baptist Association. In this role, he oversees over 170 churches.

He currently serves as the general secretary of the Florida General Baptist State convention.

The Prestons are the parents of Terrell, Clinton and Carla, and the grandparents of nine.

Preston’s celebration dinner is open to the community and is a semi-formal, all-white attire event. The Rev. C.E. Glover, pastor of Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, will be the guest speaker.

Tickets cost $60 and may be purchased by calling 305-836-1495 or 305-624-4232.

It is never too late to say “thanks” to someone or some organization in our community that as done something worthwhile. I am speaking about Immanuel Temple, a Pembroke Pines church, many of whose members live in Miami-Dade County.

Back in September, the Rev. John F. White II, pastor of the church, declared the month as its “Jubilee Season” and funneled all its gifts of mission offering into what White calls “Kingdom Opportunities,” in which the money is used to help those in need.

For example, one couple who had been walking to church were blessed with a car; six local students in need were presented with new laptop computers; 60 South Broward school principals were given gift bags and letters of appreciation for their commitment to children.

In addition, over 1,000 officers in Opa-locka, Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, Miramar and Pembroke Pines received gift bags and letters of appreciation from the church.

Said White: “These officers put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve. It is the least we can do.”

In giving to those in need, White said, “With so many people in such great need, we use this time as yet another opportunity to reach out and express the love of Christ in a tangible way. In 1 John 3:18, the Bible tells us, ‘Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.’”

Miami Baha’i Center discusses gender equality

The Miami Baha’i Center at 9300 S. Dixie Hwy., Suite 209, will have its November Fireside event at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The topic will be “Gender Equality and Power: A Baha’i Perspective.”

According to information from the center, the presentation will address the relationship between power and gender, and how gender equality may impact these relations in present day.

The event is free. Call 305-323-9967 for more information.

Holiday bazaar at Silver Palm United Methodist

Silver Palm United Methodist Church, 15855 SW 248th St., Redland, will have its Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the church.

There will be handmade Christmas crafts, plants, orchids and farm-fresh Redland produce for sale, as well as items from Lydia’s Closet, which features knickknacks, household items, small appliances, books and much more.

Silver Palm United Methodist Church is just east of Redland Middle School and across the street from Knaus Berry Farm.

Sounds like a great family outing. Call the church at 305-247-3769 for more information.

Pioneer Museum reopens with Everglades exhibit

Our South Florida fall is a great time to get outdoors and visit places of interest in our area.

One of them is the Pioneer Museum, which reopened Nov. 12 for the 2016-17 season, and has a new Everglades exhibit.

The exhibit celebrates the centennial of the creation of Royal Palm State Park in 1916 and on display are maps and photos tracing the history of the area and its evolution from Paradise Key to Royal Palm State Park to Everglades National Park.

The park, a project of the Women’s Clubs of Florida and the Homestead Woman’s Club, was founded in 1914 to aid in the effort. The Redland, Princeton and Longview clubs also played important roles in the park project. It is interesting to know that the club women were the first Florida environmentalists and at that time, they could not even vote.

According to historical information, the women’s clubs owned and managed Florida’s first state park until 1947, when it became part of Everglades National Park. The women were also responsible for establishing free lending libraries around Florida, including the Lily Lawrence Bow Library in Homestead.

The Florida Pioneer Museum is a joint venture of the city of Florida City and the Florida Pioneer Museum Association. Its hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, and admission is free. Tours can be arranged by calling Bob Jensen at 305-248-0976 or by emailing him at

New youth service at Miami Shores Presbyterian

The leaders of Miami Shores Presbyterian Church at 602 NE 96th St. have created a new service geared toward the youth of Miami called “DeVine.”

The casual worship service features friendship and food from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays in the fellowship hall.

According to Elder Thom Timko, the special worship service will be held through Dec. 18 and is a great way to worship for young adults and youth. If you go, you may bring a dish to share.

The Rev. Kim Robles is pastor of the church. For more information call 305-458-3338.

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