Congratulatory Announcements

August 2022

*The Right Reverend Carolyn Tyler Guidry 122nd Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Celebrates 85th Birthday August 25, 2022


The Right Reverend Carolyn Tyler-Guidry, a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was the first woman appointed to be a presiding elder in the Fifth Episcopal District of the AME Church and the second woman to become a bishop in the denomination.
Bishop Guidry was born on August 25, 1937, in Jackson, Mississippi. Tyler-Guidry attended J.P. Campbell College in Jackson and received an Associate of Arts Degree in Business and Secretarial Science degree. She then began working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Tyler-Guidry held the women's voter registration chair. In 1964, she was hired by the Security Pacific Bank in California where she worked for twelve years.

In 1977, she attended the Los Angeles Bible School to pursue the path of ministry, and was ordained as an itinerant Elder that year. She then served as the pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Indio, California, where she oversaw renovations to the church and parsonage, and the creation of a day care center. In 1983, she was appointed to the Cain Memorial A.M.E. Church in Bakersfield, California, where she served for five years. Cary B. Tyler, her first husband, died in 1988.

In 1989, she became the first female to be appointed to a major metropolitan church when she was appointed to the Walker Temple A.M.E. Church, with 600 members, in Los Angeles.

In 1994, she became the first female appointed to presiding elder in the Fifth Episcopal District. In this role she oversaw 19 churches in Los Angeles. She ran for election for bishop in 1996 and 2000; while her first two efforts were unsuccessful, her willingness to stand for election helped raise visibility for women clergy. In 2000, Vashti Murphy McKensie become the first woman elected bishop in the A.M.E. Church. In July 2004, she became the second woman to be elected as bishop in the A.M.E. Church. That same year, she received her master's of theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Upon her election as bishop, she was appointed to serve as the presiding prelate of the 16th Episcopal district of the AME Church, comprising Suriname, Guyana, the Windward Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and London, England. Not long after she was appointed, Hurricane Ivan caused severe damage in the region, especially in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, which made her first months in office very hectic. In 2008, at the 48th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the AME Church, she was appointed to serve as bishop of the 8th Episcopal District, which comprises the US states of Louisiana and Mississippi. She retired in 2012. Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry served an unprecedented two terms as the Social Action Commission Chair, 2004-2012.

In addition to her ministry in the church, she has been actively involved in charitable and non-profit organizations. Tyler-Guidry served as the secretary on the board of the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Indio, president of the Riverside County Board of Mental Health, and Treasurer of the national board of One Church One Child. She is also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority.

Bishop Guidry is the widow of Donovan Guidry, a retired officer in the United States Army, who died in June 2007 after a lengthy illness. She is the mother of six children, grandmother of thirteen and great-grandmother of eleven.

Congratulatory responses can be emailed to:



*Congratulations to John Thomas III, Editor of The Christian Recorder on his appointment as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina as of August 15, 2022

John Thomas III joined the Department of Political Science in August, 2022. His research interests include comparative race politics, social movements, democratic consolidation, minority rights and public policy with a regional focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. John's dissertation examined the evolution of the social movements of Black activists in Peru and Ecuador from 1980 to 2016 and their impacts on state institutions and the broader society. He has received funding from several entities to conduct his research including the University of Chicago Division of Social Sciences, the Tinker Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, TIAA-CREF, and the US Department of Education. He is also an American Political Science Association Diversity Fellow.

John has consulted on issues of Afro-Latinx social inclusion for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the governments of Honduras and Peru. He has served as a Teaching Consultant at the Chicago Center for Teaching, taught Political Science courses at Chicago State University and was a Presidential Fellow at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio through the Gift of Black Theology Collaborative.

Congratulatory messages can be sent to:



*Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor, III, 20th Editor AMEC Christian Recorder and the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor Celebrates 60th Wedding Anniversary


Congratulations to the Rev. Dr Calvin Herbert Sydnor III, retired 20th Editor of The Christian Recorder and the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor - Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary!  

They were married on August 18, 1962 at St. James AME Church in Danville, Kentucky. 

August 18th is a memorable day each year for Calvin, Charlotte, the Blake and Sydnor families, as it has been for the last 60 years!

 August 18th is also the birthday of the Rev. Dr Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor. August 18, 1962 was on a Saturday and she wanted a Sunday wedding, but many of the wedding guests had traveled long distances to attend the wedding and her parents thought Saturday would be a more convenient day to allow wedding guests to attend the wedding and return home and to work on the following Monday. 

Down through the years, several people have asked us for the “key” to our long marriage.  One thing we know is that it wasn’t luck!

I feel blessed to have married such a wonderful woman.  I knew she was going to be my wife shortly after meeting and getting to know her; that was in September 1961 at Wilberforce University. I met her and her friends in front of Shorter Hall.  I was with my friend and roommate, Rodger Reed!

 Long before I arrived at Wilberforce, I had decided that I would only marry an AME, and I believe that decision was a good one and got us off to a good start in our relationship and marriage.

Congratulatory messages can be sent to:



*Happy 95th Birthday to Mrs. Melanie Frances Jones Thibodeaux, widow of Rev. Dr. G.H.J. Thibodeaux (A.M.E. General Officer)


Mrs. Melanie Frances Jones Thibodeaux is the widow of Rev. Dr. G.H.J. Thibodeaux (A.M.E. General Officer  and the Mother of Mrs. Roslyn Thibodeaux Goodall. She will celebrate her 95th birthday on Saturday, August 27, 2022.  A lifelong resident of Shreveport, LA, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas and additional hours in Special Education instruction from Grambling College.    Mrs. Thibodeaux is a 1945 graduate of Central Colored High School in Shreveport.  

Mrs.  Thibodeaux has been a faithful member of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church for more than 70 years, where she has the distinction of being the oldest member.  Over those years, she served as a Steward, President and Vice President of the Women’s Missionary Society, Director of the Young People’s Department, Sunday School Teacher, Chair of Founder’s Day, Co-Chair of the Church's Anniversary and in many other capacities. To this day, she regularly attends church service, via the Church’s conference line. She also attends conference and connectional church meetings that are conducted via a virtual platform.  Rev. Dr. Glenell Lee-Pruitt is her Pastor and Bishop and Supervisor Stafford J. N. Wicker are her Episcopal leaders.

Mrs. Thibodeaux became a Life Member of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) of the A.M.E. Church in 1984 and has faithfully served on the local, conference and connectional levels. She currently serves as Life Member Coordinator for the Central North Louisiana Conference of the 8th District. Mrs. Thibodeaux served as Chair of the Budget and Financial Estimates Committee under the administration of then International WMS President, Mrs. Delores Kennedy Williams. She has also served as President of the Clergy Spouses organization of the 8th Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. She and her committees planned and executed many fun and informative retreats.

Mrs. Thibodeaux served as the office manager for her late husband during his service to the A.M.E. Church as Director of Evangelism and Worship. She began her early classroom career as a substitute teacher at the Milam Street Special Education School.  She was later hired as a Special Education teacher at Linear High School.  When Green Oaks High School was built, in 1972, she and her students became the first Special Education class, there.  While at Greek Oaks, Mrs. Thibodeaux was sponsor of the 4-H Club and a sponsor of the Senior Classes. She retired from Green Oaks High School in 1990.

Mrs. Thibodeaux pledged Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at Paul Quinn College as a member of the Tau Beta Chapter.  She transferred her membership to Beta Epsilon Zeta Chapter in 1955 and has enjoyed uninterrupted service in this organization for 67 years.  Mrs. Thibodeaux is a past president of Beta Epsilon Zeta Chapter.  She was the sponsor when Psi Sigma Chapter was chartered at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.  She has served in many Chapter and Regional offices, in the Sorority. Through her guidance and example, her daughter also pledged Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Prior to its dissolution, Mrs. Thibodeaux was an active member of the Shreveport -Bossier Chapter of Church Women United where she served as President and Vice President. Through her service, she was honored, by the Chapter, as a Woman of Valor.

Mrs. Thibodeaux has a caring heart and always thinks of others. A great example of this is how she reached out to her family, friends and business associates to collect funds to purchase items for 8th District members who were displaced because of hurricane Katrina. Her outreach provided more than four families with bedding, household goods, clothing and finances. Partnering with her daughter, she was able to provide jobs for the adult members who relocated to Dallas.

Mrs. Melanie Thibodeaux loves people and has left an indelible mark on the lives of many.   She is known for leaving places better than she finds them. Happy 95th Birthday to Mrs. Melanie Thibodeaux.

Congratulatory expressions may be sent to:  Mrs. Melanie Jones Thibodeaux

c/o 4830 Line Ave., Suite 141, Shreveport, LA 71106 or



*Caleb Akil Dickens was born to Pastor Conitras Dicken and Rev. Akil Dickens


On July 28, 2022, Caleb Akil Dickens was born to Pastor Conitras and Rev. Akil Dickens. Caleb is their firstborn weighing 6 lbs, 6 oz. Pastor Conitras Houston Dickens is the Senior Pastor of DuPage AME Church in Lisle, IL and the Special Assistant to Chief Information Officer/General Secretary, Dr. Jeffery Cooper. Rev. Akil Dickens serves alongside his wife as the Executive Pastor of DuPage AME Church.

Congratulatory messages can be sent to::



*Presiding Elder Ralph and Mrs. Pat Johnson will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday, August 27, 2022. 

Presiding Elder Ralph and Mrs. Pat Johnson will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday, August 27, 2022. The Rev. Dr.  Johnson serves as the presiding elder of the North District of the Tennessee Annual Conference and as the very proud pastor of St. Paul Oakwood, TN.

Presiding Elder Johnson says, "We have shared and experienced so much during our wonderful years together, and God has blessed us through it all. We will celebrate with our children and grandchildren with fine-dining at an elegant restaurant in Nashville."

You may send congratulatory messages to:  



*Reverend A. J. Holman, Sr. appointed the Grand Historian of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World

*Congratulations to the Reverend A. J. Holman, Sr., pastor of Bethel A. M. E. Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee for being appointed the Grand Historian of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World  He is a professional Genealogist serving several families. Reverend Holman serves as an Assistant Grand Chaplain of the same order as well as State Chaplain and Historian of the Tennessee Association of Elks of which he wrote its history. He has written the history of his local lodge, Armistice Lodge #440, Chattanooga, TN. He is a product of Bishop College (now Paul Quinn College), Dallas, TX and Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Seminary, Atlanta, GA. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in History at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. The Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World, a 501©(8) fraternal organization established 125 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio by Benjamin Franklin Howard and Arthur James Riggs, promoting charity, justice, brotherly, fidelity, & sisterly love. The organization claims descent from the Free African Society, our parent body in history. It is currently lead by Grand Exalted Ruler Leonard J. Polk, Jr., Esquire.

Congratulatory email messages can be emailed to:



*Rev. Walt "Baby" Love, longtime radio host and personality elected to the Radio Hall of Fame

*Congratulations to Rev. Walt "Baby" Love, longtime radio host & personality, on his election to the Radio Hall of Fame!  Reverend Walter L. Shaw Jr., better known as Walt “Baby” Love, has been consistent in lending his unique blend of Christian faith, motivational and inspirational personal experiences to millions of listeners each week for over forty-nine years.

Having been the host of four uplifting radio programs; The Countdown With Walt “Baby” Love aired for an unprecedented twenty nine years from August 1982 thru August 2011; Gospel Traxx With Walt “Baby” Love for twenty two years (and still going strong); The Urban AC Countdown for fifteen years and the short form vignette program African American Making It Happen for seven years. Walt has been heard on hundreds of radio stations around the world throughout his career and his “Brand” is associated with excellence.

Rev. Love, an ordained Elder on the staff at FAME (Los Angeles), previously won the Billboard Music Award for Best Syndicated Show & the Stellar Award for Best Gospel Radio Personality.  Rev. Walt is married to The Rev. Patricia Shaw, associate minister at Bethel AME (Oxnard).

Information on the induction ceremony (November 1, in Chicago) is available at  Radio Hall Of Fame


*Rev. Mindy L. Mayes pastor of Bethel AME Church Noblesville, IN elected the first African American President of the Rotary Club of Wabash, Indiana

Rev. Mindy L. Mayes, MPH, MDiv was elected the first African American President of the Rotary Club of Wabash, IN. She is the pastor of Bethel AME Church - Noblesville, IN. Mindy has served as the Pastor of Bethel-Noblesville for the last 4 years. Secularly she serves as a Health and Human Sciences Extension Educator with Purdue Extension Wabash County. In her position as President of the Wabash Rotary Club Mindy looks forward to taking action in the change of the world, improving the lives of citizens within Wabash County and beyond. 


*Congratulations to MASTER JACOB CUTHBERT, III on his graduation from the Federal Teen



Congratulations to MASTER JACOB CUTHBERT, III on his graduation from the Federal Teen Academy. The Tampa Federal Teen Academy was held August 3rd and 4th at the FBI Tampa Field Office. The Federal Teen Academy allows high school students (14-to-17-year old's) an opportunity to get a comprehensive look into the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Attorney’s Office-Middle District of Florida (USAO), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Participants were provided with several presentations on topics such as terrorism, drugs, cyber-crime, cybersecurity, human trafficking, gangs, guns, explosives, evidence response, surveillance techniques, SWAT, and the day-to-day operations of a federal agency.  Participants were also afforded the opportunity to learn from special agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, and professional staff about investigative tactics that include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses assisting with cases. 

Master Jacob is a member of Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, FL and is the son of the Rev. Dr. Missiouri L. McPhee (Connectional Director of Boys Scouts).

Congratulatory messages can be sent to Jacob at


On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield and  Dr. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant  Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestones reached.