Community Voices

Interfaith conversation from a Native-America perspective Saturday in Coral Gables

Bishop Walter Richardson of The Church of God Tabernacle in a 2011 file photo.
Bishop Walter Richardson of The Church of God Tabernacle in a 2011 file photo. Miami Herald File

The Ruth K. & Shepard Board Distinguished Lecture Series and the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University will present a special Earth Day celebration at a breakfast event 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Coral Gables Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 3010 De Soto Blvd.

The annual interfaith lecture and gathering will feature Bobby Cypress Billie, an Aboriginal elder and spiritual leader of the original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation of Florida. The topic of the event, “The Indigenous Voice in the Interfaith Conversation,” will feature an interfaith conversation from a Native-America perspective.

According to information from FIU, Billie is from the Panther Clan on his mother’s side, and from the Wind Clan on his father’s side, and was educated by his elders in the traditional culture of his people.

He is an educator and an environmental and Aboriginal-rights advocate and has helped individuals and groups across Florida and beyond, in their environmental struggles. He continually educates people on the importance of biodiversity and the need to care for natural systems.

Billie is an ardent spokesman for the rights of Aboriginal Peoples and environmental justice and has led litigation efforts to protect water, wetlands, Aboriginal burial grounds and sacred sites throughout Florida.

The kosher-style breakfast and the presentation is free ad open to the public. To RSVP and or more information, call 305-348-7266.

Bishop Richardson honored on 52nd anniversary

The Church of God Tabernacle (True Holiness) at 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City, will celebrate a major milestone this weekend: the 52nd pastoral anniversary of Bishop Walter H. Richardson, believed to be one of the longest-serving pastors in South Florida. The theme is “Leading by God’s Grace for 52 Years”.

The anniversary celebration will kick off with an banquet 4 p.m. Saturday at the Pembroke Lakes Golf and Country Club.

Special church services will be at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sundayand will feature Bishop Richardson’s sons, who followed him into the ministry, as speakers. Elder Alfred J, Richardson will speak at the morning worship service and the Rev. Dr. Walter T. Richardson will speak at the evening service.

Everyone is welcome.

Mount Tabor Baptist welcomes new pastor

Warm congratulations to the Rev. Wendell H. Paris Jr., who will be installed as the new senior pastor of Mount Tabor Baptist Church, 10500 NW Seventh Ave. at 4 p.m. on April 30.

The theme of the installation is “Embracing God’s Future with Faith.” Paris is prepared to bring many “new innovative ideas on worship and service that will challenge the church to move forward with his vision,” according to information from the church.

The speaker at the installation service will be the Rev. Dr. Edward L. Wheeler, president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. The Rev. Dr. Jerome Symonette of Restoring Grace Community Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale will give the charge to the congregation.

The Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson of Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, will give the charge to the pastor; and the Rev. Andrew McRae of Gainesville will say the prayer of installation.

Paris is not a newcomer to ministry . He served as university chaplain and professor of Philosophy at Florida Memorial University from 2007-15. He also served as pastor of Christian Education, Healthcare, Substance Abuse and Outreach Ministries at Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn.

Events held during the week leading up to the installation will include a spiritual revival at 7 p.m. April 27, led by the Rev. John H. White of The Immanuel Temple A.M.E. Church at Pembroke Pines, and a banquet at 7 p.m. on April 28, at Don Shula’s Hotel in Miami Lakes. Banquet tickets are $65 per person.

Call the church at 305-762-4356, for tickets and more information.

‘Songs for the Soul’ concert at FIU

You are invited to a concert, “Songs for the Soul,” to be at 7:30 p.m. April 27 at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center Concert Hall at FIU, 10910 SW 17th St. in Miami.

The concert of choral music to inspire and uplift will feature the FIU Choirs and the Robert Morgan Educational Center Varsity Chorus conducted by Dr. Kathryn K Longo.

The program will feature such works as, “Five Hebrew Love Songs” by Eric Whitacre; “Set Me As a Seal” by Rene Clausen, and “El Vito” by Mack Wilberg.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for FIU faculty, staff, alumni and seniors; and $5 for students. Call 305-348-0496 for more information.

‘Four Agreements’ at Unity on the Bay

Unity on the Bay will feature an evening of Toltec Wisdom called “Four Agreements for a Better Life” at 7 p.m. Saturday at 411 NE 21st St., Miami.

The event will be led by popular authors don Miguel Ruiz Sr., and sons don Miguel Ruiz Jr., and, for the first time, don Jose Ruiz. The three authors will share the wisdom contained in their books, including “The 4 Agreements” and “The 5th Agreement.”

The program is free to Miami students and educators, “because we truly believe in the importance of making spiritual teachings available to individuals of any age, especially children,” said Jason Weeks of Unity.

Weeks said to help get free tickets to students and educators, Unity has partnered with Mindful Kids Miami, a nonprofit organization seeking to bring the benefits of mindfulness to children in Miami Dade county.

Weeks said the presentation, “The 4 Agreements for a Better Life” will deepen the understanding and practice of “The 4 Agreements” and guide participants toward the life they really want to live.

For free tickets and more information on this event visit, or call Weeks at 305-458-9039.

‘Esteem the Elderly High’ awards

The Triumphant People Community Task Force will present its “Esteem the Elderly High” awards at 7:30 p.m. July 20 and 21 at several area churches.

To nominate a senior citizen (age 65 or older) to be honored, visit and download a nominating form.

The nominations must be received by June 1 and must include how the nominee has made a positive difference in the lives of others.

Call Elder Veronica V. Morning-Morrison at 786-499-6457 for more information.

Fundraising golf tournament

The 18th annual golf tournament hosted by the Family Christian Association of America (FCAA) will begin 8 a.m. April 27 at the Grand Palms Golf Resort in Pembroke Pines.

Golfers will compete for individual prizes in the closest to the pin, longest drive, and 50/50 contests. There will also be team prizes. The awards will be presented at the luncheon immediately following play.

Proceeds from the tournament will be used to sustain FCAA’s Youth Development Program, as well as to provide scholarship funds for college-bound high school seniors.

To register for the golf tournament or to make a donation to FCAA, contact Rosalyn C. Alls at 305-685-4881, ext. 217, or email

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