Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Missionary Betty Richardson honored at Church of God Tabernacle

Missionary Enid C. Betty Richardson of the Church of God Tabernacle.
Missionary Enid C. Betty Richardson of the Church of God Tabernacle.

So often in our lifetime, many bad things happen to keep us from thinking of the good things — and good people — that life has afforded us.

Last Sunday, at The Church of God Tabernacle, the congregation and friends of Missionary Enid C. Betty Richardson gathered to let her know that she is “good people” and that her good works had not been forgotten.

Missionary Betty, as she is lovingly called, is the wife of Bishop Walter H. Richardson, pastor of the Liberty City church for nearly 50 years.

The bishop married the widow Missionary Betty Forbes in 2000, four years after the death of his beloved Missionary Poseline, and nearly two years after the death of her husband, Clifford. It was a marriage designed by God.

It isn’t easy being a second wife, especially to a man who was married 49 years to his first wife. But Missionary Betty stepped in and took up the mantel, vowing to love and cherish the bishop to the end.

She has never fallen short of her vow, showing her love and attending to the needs of her husband who is 23 years her senior. It is an intimate relationship that Missionary Betty isn’t ashamed to share with the world.

Missionary Betty doesn’t only profess her love for her husband for all to see, she also does many good works behind the scene, good works that often go unnoticed until God reveals them.

She is the kind of giving person who buys clothes for the needy children who attend church, so they won’t feel out of place. And it isn’t uncommon for her to slip money into the hand of someone in need that God has revealed to her.

She is involved in nearly every aspect of the church, including serving as the president of the Sunday School Teachers and Secretaries; a member of the Trustee Board; Youth Group Committee member; Senior Citizens Ministry; Tabernacle Gospel Choir and Saturday Morning Bible Study Group, to name a few.

Missionary Betty was born on Christmas Day in 1945, in Nassau, Bahamas. She graduated from Saint John’s College and later received a Certificate of Education from the University of Cambridge in London. She came to this country in August 1969 as the bride of Clifford Forbes, who died in 1998. Their sons are Clifford Jr. and Dobrie, who have presented her with six grandchildren.

Last Sunday was Missionary E.C. Betty Richardson Day at The Church of God Tabernacle. And what a day it was, with her favorite songs being performed by the Church of God Mass Choir and the Bible class Mass Choir. The morning ended with lunch with Missionary Betty and Bishop Richardson at the Miami Shores Country Club.

Congratulations, Missionary Betty. You are so deserving of every honor coming your way.

Joint Lenten Services

Joint Lenten Services will be at Trinity Cathedral at 5 p.m. Sunday at 464 NE 16th St. in Miami.

Other Joint Lenten services will be at 5 p.m., March 15 at Church of the Holy Family, 18501 NW Seventh Ave. in Miami Gardens; and at 5 p.m. March 22 at the Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church, 1750 NW Third Ave. in Overtown.

All are welcome.

Wednesday Lentin Services

Rotating Wednesday Lenten services for Miami area Lutheran churches will continue on March 11 at St. Johns Lutheran Church, 10390 NE Second Ave., and on March 18 at South Miami Lutheran Church, 7190 SW 72nd St. Rotating services were also held at Immanuel and St. Marks Lutheran churches.

Also, South Miami Lutheran Church at 7190 SW 72nd St. will have its annual Spring Community Flea Market all day Saturday on the church grounds. The event will have more than 50 vendors and lunch and baked goods will also be for sale.

The community is invited.

Hadassah current events discussion

The Inter-American Chapter of Hadassah will present “Current Events, Featuring Rhoda Sigman, JCC Moderator and popular current events presenter, along with Dianne Gottlieb, Hadassah National Board member and a frequent visitor to Israel, in a special discussion at 7:30 p.m. March 12 at Temple Moses.

The discussion topic is: “Hadassah — a Beacon of healing, teaching and research in the face of terrorism.” Temple Moses is at 1200 Normandy Dr. in Miami Beach.

Call Genie Ayers at 305-861-0687 for more information. You may also email her at

International Women’s Day concert

The Alhambra Orchestra will honor International Women’s Day with a special program at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 DeSoto Blvd.

The concert is called “Springtime Serenade” and will feature pianist Zoe Seniodi performing Pheadra by Miamian Thomas Sleeper; Kimberly Soby, soprano soloist, singing Vivaldi’s Vengo a Voi, and Liubov Ohrimenko, violinist, performing Bach’s E minor Violin Concerto with the string ensemble.

The program will also include string pieces by Grainger and Mascagni, and a wind ensemble arrangement of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Admission is free. Call 305-668-9260 for more information.

Celebration of Amistad

The Church of the Open Door, Congregational, United Church of Christ at 6001 NW Eighth Ave. in Liberty City will have its annual celebration of Amistad Sunday 10:30 a.m. March 8, during the worship service.

The event celebrates the founding of the American Missionary Association, the first abolitionist organization in the United States with integrated leadership. The association established more than 500 schools, churches, libraries and universities for the newly freed African Americans of the South.

Graduates of American Missionary Association colleges will be honored during the service, when Lee Pitts of the award-winning television talk show, Lee Pitts Live of FOX 4 in Southwest Florida, will be guest speaker.

The 2015 Amistad Sunday honorees are: Rosalind Smith-Bonds, Fisk University; Dr. Gay Outler, Talladega College; Aundrella Hamed, Howard University; Jeffrey T. Gilbert, Hampton University; and Jai Ingraham, Clark-Atlanta University.

The worship service also celebrates the day in 1839 when a group of enslaved Africans aboard the schooner Amistad broke free while being transported around the island of Cuba. The Africans attempted to sail the small vessel back to Africa, but were captured by the U.S. Revenue Brig Washington, just off the coast of Long Island. The Africans were charged with mutiny and threatened with return to slavery.

Connecticut Congregationalist formed the Amistad Committee, which organized a legal defense, eased the captives’ confinement during the lengthy court case and eventually funded their return to Africa after winning a favorable decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Rev. Dr. Joaquin Willis, pastor, invites the community to attend the Amistad Sunday worship service.

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.