January 2021 - March 2021

Congratulatory Announcements

Bishop Frederick Calhoun James and Episcopal Supervisor Dr. Theressa Gregg James Commemorated their Seventy-Sixth Wedding Anniversary on Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Dr. Theressa Gregg James, Episcopal Supervisor,  commemorated their Seventy-Sixth Wedding Anniversary, Wednesday, December 30, 2020. They were married on December 30, 1944.
Bishop and Mrs. Frederick Calhoun James, “a model Christian Couple” actively served together in Episcopal Ministry in the 15th (South Africa and South West Africa), 18th (Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Mozambique), 12th (Oklahoma and Arkansas), 7th Episcopal District (South Carolina), the Ecumenical and Urban Affairs Office of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the 2nd (Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, respectively.


Seventy-Sixth Wedding Anniversary congratulatory messages can be mailed to: 

Bishop and Mrs. Frederick Calhoun James

2421 Lang Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29204

Phone Calls: 803-256-8756
Email: BishopFCJ@aol.com or BISHOPFREDCJAMES@aol.com
Or mailed to: 

Office of Bishop Frederick C. James
3700 Forest Drive #420
Columbia, SC 29204
(803) 787-8201
(803) 787-8215 – FAX


The Reverend Brandon L. Montague, Youth pastor of Fair Havens AME Church in Curtis Bay, Maryland united in Marriage to Ms. Shantrice Reaves


On Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:30 PM (EST) the Reverend Brandon L. Montague, Youth pastor of Fair Havens AME Church located in Curtis Bay, Maryland declared his love for Ms. Shantrice Reaves. They were joined together in Holy Matrimony at Memorial Baptist Church located in Baltimore Maryland. Where the Pastor and Officiant was the Rev. Dr. Calvin Keene.   

Due to COVID-19, the in-person attendance was kept to a small number according to Maryland State restrictions. However, zoom and Facebook Live allowed the ceremony to be available to over 500 attendees. 

As the Reverend Montague is a High School Teacher (conflicting schedule) they have set their honeymoon for Grand Turk in June of 2021. Continued prayers and support are desired for this young couple as they start a new life together.

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: mrsdo7@aol.com  (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: irbyman@poynter.org (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. 

*Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis invited to be a Speaker at the Annual Psychology Day to be held at the United Nations in New York City Thursday, April 15, 2021  


I am writing to you on behalf of the Psychology Day at the United Nations Planning Committee to invite you to be a speaker at our event scheduled for Thursday, April 15, 2021.  Our annual Psychology Day at the UN, usually held at the United Nations in New York City, will be a virtual event this year due to the pandemic.  This flagship event is organized by the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations (PCUN), whose members are representatives of Psychology NGOs accredited at the United Nations. The event is devoted to the exploration of how psychological theory, research and practice can address issues of global importance.  Previous Psychology Day programs have focused on topics such as climate change, peace and human rights, global violence, migration, education and sustainable development, and well-being in the context of political and ecological instability.
This year, the title and theme of Psychology Day is “Psychological Contributions to Building Back Better in a Post-Pandemic World”.  Currently we are experiencing the worst pandemic in 100 years, but now there is some amelioration of this disease as a result of the vaccines. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that we should not simply return to the way the world was prior to the pandemic but try to build a better world. Planning for a better future amid dire events is a sign of optimism for the future of the world.
In our virtual event, we are inviting experts from five different areas in Psychology to outline how to address the challenges stemming from the pandemic and provide recommendations to build a better world.  Evidence-based research from social, clinical, educational, health, and industrial/organization psychology can provide insight into achieving the goals proposed by the UN Secretary-General.  The Planning Committee is reaching out to several accomplished psychologists with expertise in these areas, to form a panel that will describe approaches to planning for the future.  Please, note that the United Nations is a secular institution, and PCUN would like the presentation to be psychology-content based.
In light of your expertise in the cultural context of trauma recovery and providing relief and empowerment to marginalized persons, we would be honored if you would accept our invitation to be one of five speakers on the panel. The specific theme for the clinical psychology area is: Ways to expand and improve mental health services for all individuals including those in underserved populations, as well as the equitable treatment of communities with low resources. 

We would be very appreciative if you could respond to this invitation by March 1, 2021 to let us know if you are available and interested in participating.  If so, we will send further details. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Comfort B. Asanbe, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Psychology Day at the United Nations
Janet Sigal, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Psychology Day at the United Nations
Walter Reichman, Ed.D.
Co-Chair, Psychology Day at the United Nations
Leslie Popoff, Ph.D.
President, Psychology Coalition at the United Nations
UN Representative, International Council of Psychologists


Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, is the youngest child of Bishop John R. Bryant the 106th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Episcopal Supervisor (Retired)  Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant.  Dr. Thema Byant-Davis went to high school in Monrovia, Liberia when her parents served in The Fourteenth Episcopal District. She is a licensed psychologist and an ordained minister in the A.M.E. Church, serving on the Ministerial Staff at FAME Los Angeles where Dr. Edgar Boyd is her Pastor. She is a sacred artist who has worked nationally and globally to provide relief and empowerment to marginalized persons. Dr. Thema, a professor at Pepperdine University, is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women. Her contributions to psychological research, policy, and practice have been honored by national and regional psychological associations. 

Congratulatory email can be forwarded via: queenakosua@hotmail.com.

Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Marcellus A. Norris pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church in Harlem New York for successfully defending his dissertation on Securing Future Generations: Adaptive Model for Mentoring in the A.M.E. Church from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio

The Reverend Dr. Marcellus A. Norris, Pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church, Harlem, New York successfully defended his dissertation on Securing Future Generations: Adaptive Model for Mentoring in the A.M.E. Church from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio.  Dr. Marcellus A. Norris, pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church, Harlem, New York is also a Candidate for Executive Director of Church Growth and Development. He is the husband of Anethia Théréss Norris, father of London Nicholas Arnell and Marcellus A. Norris, II.  He is the son of Bishop Richard Franklin Norris (retired) and the late Episcopal Supervisor Mary Ann Norris, and the brother of Rev. Richard F. Norris, II.  
A third generation A.M.E. preacher, Rev. Dr. Marcellus A. Norris graduated in May 2007, from Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg with a Master of Divinity Degree.
Rev. Dr. Marcellus A. Norris has also pastored the following churches:

  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, Cito, PA
  • St. Peter’s A.M.E. Church, Shippensburg, PA
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, West Chester, PA
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, Bryn Mar, PA
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church, Norwalk, CT
  • St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Cambridge, MA

In November 2012, Rev. Norris was appointed by Bishop Ingram as the First Episcopal District Chairman of Christian Education.
Pastor Norris has held the position as the Connectional Parliamentarian for the Richard Allen Young Adult Council.
Pastor Norris is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and is a Master Mason and member of Xenia Lodge #50.
His favorite scripture is: Proverbs 17:22
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:  marcellus.norris@gmail.com

*The Mayor and the Village Of Maryville Illinois Held a Drive By Birthday Celebration for Dr. John Q. Owens “Honoring a Hero” 95 years old and a World War II Veteran

The Maryville community spent time Saturday celebrating Rev. John Q. Owens’ 95th birthday with a drive-by parade and small gathering.

Over the years, Rev. John Owens has served the U.S. Army in World War II and is a retired pastor from Bethel AME Church in Madison.

“It is an honor to have a citizen in the village who has reached such a milestone,” said Mayor Craig Short. The village set up a parade to include a fire truck, ambulance and police car to drive from Anderson Hospital to Rev. Owens’ home in Maryville, where he and his wife Dr. Dorothy Owens have lived since 1997.
The socially distanced celebration included balloon decorations, a large happy birthday sign and refreshments for neighbors who decided to socialize with the family following the parade. Rev. Owens made a 10-minute speech, during which he spoke about taking so many lives in battle and remembering feeling happy about it. Now, many years later, he said cares about all lives.

Rev. Owens was accompanied by his wife as well as Gary McCants, presiding elder of the South District of AME Church, who referred to Rev. Owens as a mentor.

Family and friends helped make the celebration idea a reality, under the direction of Ruth Hibbler, who has been the Owens’ neighbor for 24 years.

“We are just going to see if we can celebrate his day, it’s a big day and everything,” she said.

The families have been close-knit for years. The Hibbler’s six-year-old daughter, at the time, welcomed Rev. Owens and his family to the community and the Rev. Owens used to play chess with the Hibbler’s son. “Our two kids have always been dear to their [Owens] hearts. There is a long history,” says Hibbler.

Serving the public for the past year 40 years, Rev. Owens has always helped those in need. Hibbler recalled when her husband, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served his 20 years, become sick and disabled.

“I remember when that all came about, Mr. Owens and the whole neighborhood donated a flagpole to our yard and. Owens came down and dedicated the flagpole,” said Hibbler.

As a young man, Rev. Owens did not have a desire to follow his father into service with the church. However, following his service in WWII, he did just that through the Pentecostal faith. He was the pastor at three different churches before starting his 20-year tenure at Bethel AME Church.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: mrsdo7@aol.com

*Sis. Fredia Ann Hanley-Johnson, the Immediate Past President of CONN-M-SWAWO Plus PK'S, Celebrates her 60th Birthday on Mother's Day, May 9th  

Blessings and congratulations are extended to a phenomenal woman, Sis. Fredia Ann Hanley-Johnson, the Immediate Past President of CONN-M-SWAWO Plus PK'S.
She will celebrate her 60th birthday on Mother's Day, May 9th.  Her birthday celebration with family and friends as well as her trip to Italy has been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19. 
Her husband, Rev. Dr. Wayne A. Johnson, Sr., her children, grandchildren and the Shiloh AME Church Family, Morganton, NC salute her and praise God for her love of family and God's people.
Birthday wishes can be sent to: 
Sis. Fredia Hanley Johnson
1293 N Powerhouse Rd
Morganton, NC 28655
Thank you for helping us celebrate this great woman God. 


*The Reverend Dr. Jermaine Mulley Celebrates Two Academic Achievements, receiving his DMin from Payne Theological Seminary and Graduating From The US Army Chaplain School and Center

The Reverend Jermaine K. Mulley has successfully defended his dissertation on Good Friday 2021 and has now earned his DMin in Biblical, Political & Social Ethics from Payne Theological Seminary. He is the pastor of St. Luke AME Church, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, the Sixteenth Episcopal District, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, Presiding Prelate.

Additionally, he is a graduate of The US Army Chaplain School and Center (22 APR 2021) endorsed by Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, Endorsing Officer and The African Methodist Episcopal Church Chaplains Commission.


Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: jermainemulley@gmail.com, Rev. Dr. Rev. Jermaine K. Mulley.


On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, and  Mrs. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant, Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestone reached.