Congratulatory Announcements 

December 2021


 

Supervisor Ainsley M. Byfield and Bishop Anne Henning Byfield celebrate 45 years of marriage on December 24, 2021 

Supervisor Ainsley M. Byfield and Bishop Anne Henning Byfield joyfully celebrate 45 years of marriage on December 24, 2021.  On Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Bishop Henning Byfield met Bro. Ainsley in Indianapolis, and she knew he was the one.  She was dating his friend who was about to graduate from seminary and leave for Cameron. Two weeks after her boyfriend’s graduation party and her return from the 1976 General Conference she and Bro. Ainsley dated and were married six months later.  This union has taken them to many places and through many life challenges and joys.  They have one son, Michael Ainsley and four grandchildren.   They celebrate their 45th union in Tennessee where Bishop Henning Byfield was born.  Supervisor Ainsley Byfield was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

They shout “to God be the Glory” for being the rock of their marriage. 

Email well-wishes can be sent to: ahenningbyfield@gmail.com

 


Birthday Celebration Missive - Mrs. Gloria Sykes Bruce widow of the Late Dr. Yale Benjamin Bruce Retired General Officer Celebrates Eighty-Fifth Birthday

December 14, 2021, marked a blessed milestone; eighty-five years of life. I was born the youngest child of Deacon Washington T. and Mrs. Drucilla Sykes of Jacksonville, FL. My father was a builder, and his name appears on the cornerstone of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church today as Chairman of the Deacon Board and involved in its construction during my childhood. My mother had very little education beyond elementary school, but she was aggressively intentional that all of us attend and graduate from college. As spirit-filled parents, the church and Christian Education were tenets of my growth and development.

I was a product of Duval County Public School System, graduating from New Stanton High School, June 1954, first graduating class of the new school from the Ashley Street location. I enrolled at Edward Waters College (now University) with no idea that this educational institution would be the change agent of my future life.
 
I met this young man who was enrolled in Lee Seminary of Edward Waters College. As part of their training, seminary students were in charge of Chapel on Friday. When Yale Benjamin Bruce preached, the Lee Seminary Chapel would be packed. His preaching, singing, and praying were exceptional gifts from God! We met and became friends the spring of my sophomore (last) year at EWC which was a two year college at the time. Our friendship grew and blossomed as we continued matriculating at different institutions of higher learning but not losing focus of the goal to complete our education. After receiving the Associate of Arts degree, I continued at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, FL, majoring in Library Science/English with a minor in Contemporary Literature and graduating in 1959. The fall of that year, my career commenced as School Librarian at Northwestern High School, Jacksonville, FL.
 
On September 26, 1959, Yale Benjamin Bruce and I became one flesh as man and wife. Our Marriage and Ministry started at Zion Hill AME Church, Tallahassee, FL and spent our entire years of ministry in the Eleventh Episcopal District beginning with the late Bishop William Franklin Ball and ended with the late Bishop McKinley Young on July 16, 2006. Dr. Yale Benjamin Bruce was appointed Presiding Elder of the “Nurturing” North Orlando District of the Central Conference, Eleventh Episcopal District by Bishop John Hurst Adams, November 2000.

From 1985 to 1992, Dr. Bruce served the Connectional Church as Executive Director, Department of Worship and Evangelism. The centerpiece of his tenure in this position, was the start of the Evangelism Seminars that were held in January starting in 1986 in Orlando, FL and they continue today.  We are grateful that his successors continue to sponsor the Seminars in various cities throughout the Connection. On a personal note, I do recall the impetus for the seminar was to bring a more cohesive relationship for clergy and laity. The month of January was selected because it didn’t affect any other connectional gatherings/meetings.
 
Along the journey, God blessed us to have a family of children from our ministry at New Bethel, Sanford, FL, Allen Chapel, Plant City, FL, Allen Chapel, Pensacola, FL, Mt. Olive, Jacksonville, FL, Mt. Zion, Tampa, FL, Greater Bethel Gainesville, FL, Allen Chapel, Daytona Beach, FL, Mt Olive, Orlando, FL, Mt. Hermon, Opa Locka, FL and Greater Grant, Jacksonville, FL which was his last pastoral appointment by Bishop John Hurst Adams.

Our marriage produced six children; three that are deceased and three who are making notable contributions in their professions. Clifton Bruce, Architect, MLM Architects, Maitland FL. His architectural skills can be seen at Orlando International Airport at the expansion of the Security Check Point and the new international section that opens in 2022. Derek Bruce, Esq., Managerial Shareholder, Gunster Law, Orlando, FL who is on the List of Best Lawyers of America from 2018 - 2022 and received the Bishop’s Award, October 1, 2020, from Bishop A. J. Richardson, 11th Episcopal District. Yolanda Bruce Nash, Esq., United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington, DC.
 
The word of God that has been a guidepost in my marriage and raising our children and continues today is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” On my birthday, I have very little to regret in Marriage and Ministry because I always lived by the Golden Rule, remembered precepts and examples from my God-fearing parents and gave my best!
 
I do live a portion of the year in Upper Marlboro, MD with my daughter, Yolanda and her husband, Johnny Nash, an Administrator, Anne Arundel County Public School System and enrolled in the Doctoral Program, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. I am a member of Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Columbia, MD. Rev. C. Michele Langston, Pastor. When at home in Orlando, FL, I maintain membership at Mt. Olive AME Church which has been our family place of worship since 1980 when we were the Clergy Family and Dr. Bruce became an AMEC General Officer.
 
Have a blessed Christmas and blessings in the New Year 2022.
 
My email address is brucegs@bellsouth net to connect with me. It would be my pleasure to hear from you!

 - Gloria Sykes Bruce 


 

The Reverend Terence R. Gray I, senior pastor of Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, Florida was awarded the Black Lives Matter Award by the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) 

PICTURE: (from left to right) Mrs. Jacqueline Burton (CNBC President), The Rev. Terence R. Gray I (Honoree), and Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson (CNBC Board Chair) 

CONGRATULATIONS are extended to The Reverend Terence R. Gray I, senior pastor of Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, Florida who was awarded the Black Lives Matter Award by the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) at its 2021 National Ecumenical Service held at Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando, FL on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. The Ecumenical Service served as the opening event for the CNBC's 2021 Consultation gathering, The Consequences of Racism: Impact and Revelations of COVID-19: What's Next? 

CNBC is comprised of the national leadership of the seven largest historically Black denominations in America. The organization represents more than 80% of African American Christians across this nation that have a combined membership of over 20 million people and 30,000 congregations. CNBC serves as the vehicle by which its member denominations collaborate in the areas of health, social justice and public policy on behalf of African American communities. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, CNBC was founded by the late Bishop John Hurst Adams, former Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Congratulatory announcements can be emailed to:

The Rev. Terence R. Gray I

Email: pastor@saintmarkorlando.org

 


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