Congratulatory Announcements

February 2021


*Black History Moment “Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Madison, Illinois Style ” - A Living Legend,  THE REVEREND DR. JOHN Q. OWENS, JR.

For a young man who had no interest in being a Minister, a World War II Veteran of the U.S. Army, who intentions were to re-enlist, also of the Pentecostal faith, that pastored Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for over 20 years must have been the work of God. Until Rev. Owens’ retirement, many members born into the Church only knew of one Pastor. A long running tenure of 20 years at one Church was almost unheard of in the itineracy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Before the appointment to Bethel Rev. Owens and his wife Dorothy, served a combined 20 years at three other Churches. Rev. Owens is a prolific preacher-teacher, he became a Connectional Officer in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and will always remain in the History, hearts, and legacy of Bethel. We love you and thank God for Rev. John Q. Owens.

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Madison, Illinois (Reprint)
Rev. Ralph (Rick)Jackson, Pastor
Gail Gordon, Media Ministry

The Rev. Dr. John Q. Owens Social Action Director/Consultant Tenure began immediately following the death of Dr. Leroy Nesbit in South Africa. Attending the General Board Meeting as a Member for 16 years In Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Owens was approached then, by the Church Secretary, Dr. Richard Allen Chappell to serve as the interim Social Action Director/Consultant, several Bishops approved, Bishop John H. Adams, Bishop Vinton R. Anderson, Bishop Howard Thomas Primm, Retired; a Motion was Made by Bishop Frank Madison Reid, II And several seconded the Motion, Dr. Owens Served faithfully with His Spouse, Dr. Dorothy with perfect Attendance over 21, years. Serving on the Connectional Level, pastored over Forty Years and Retired Under Bishop John R. Bryant from Bethel AME Church, Madison, Illinois.
Dr. Dorothy Owens, the spouse of Rev. Dr. John Q. Owens is the Founder (1989) and President Emeritus of Conn-M-Swawo+P.K.'s and a Life Member of the Women’s Missionary Society, having served in numerous capacities on all levels.

Congratulatory responses can be emailed to:  (Rev. Dr. John Q. Owens) 


*Tampa Bay Gospel Awards is excited to announce the Reverend Kenny Irby as the 2021 Dr. C.P Epps Pastoral Leadership Award Recipient.


The Reverend Kenny Irby is the Pastor of the Historic Bethel AME St. Petersburg (West Coast Conference - 11th Episcopal District). Rev. Irby also serves as the Community Intervention & Juvenile Outreach Director for the St. Petersburg Police Department.

He is also the Co-Creator and Current President of Men & Women In the Making program, an innovative role modeling and academic enrichment program for minority male youth.

Kenny travels widely trumpeting the need for justice ministry, amplifying the voices of the visual journalists and is a frequent motivational speaker, lecturer, and content judge. He brings to his teaching endeavors 30+ years of experience focused on quality leadership, building integrity and excellence.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: (Rev. Kenny Irby)



*Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr.  Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church  Baton Rouge Approved to teach as a Graduate Faculty Member,  Louisiana State University 

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Baton Rouge, Louisiana was recently approved to teach as a Graduate Faculty member at Louisiana State University. His course History of The Civil Rights Movement is presently offered as a graduate course. Dr. Kelly was also involved in developing a Service-Learning optional course Introduction to African American Studies. This course will highlight the African American presence at Louisiana State University and the legacy of the African American presence in this country. Dr. Kelly is graduate of Morehouse College, where he received the Forbes Prize as Athlete with the highest GPA. He continued his education at Springfield College and serve as Graduate assistant under Legendary Coach Silvia, Olympic swimming Hall of fame Coach honoree. He was named as Bethune and King Scholar at Boston University School of Theology. While at Boston University he served as Black Seminarian President.

He is also a graduate of Memphis Theological Seminary, where he completed his D.Min. In addition to teaching Graduate students, he also teaches with undergraduate faculty in The African And African American Studies Program.