Adams Tabernacle of Faith AME offers solutions for Black families

admin | 6/14/2012, 5:30 a.m.

To Reverend Melvin Payne of the Adams Tabernacle of Faith African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Pembroke Pines, one of the most important issues for our communities today are relationships. All of our relationships are really all about how well you relate to God, he explained. When your relationship with God is great you instantly recognize that you are no better than anyone else because you recognize your own deficiencies and shortcomings. The church is also dedicated to helping to mend the relationships between people and will offer classes about marriage, parenting and child rearing through their recently founded Family and Marriage Institute. Lets face it, when you look at the family situation - only 35 percent of our people are getting married and only 50 percent of those couples are staying married - our families are crying out for help, he said. Our children are struggling with their relationships at home as a result they grow up only to continue the same dysfunctional behavior and relationships in their homes. He further explained, Thats why family and marriage is a part of our ministry because we want to teach how to get married and stay married. Walking by faith Ordained in ministry in 1987, Payne was given his first senior pastoral position at St. Stephens AME Church which is located in a small, agricultural community in Okeechobee, Florida. They called me the walking preacher because on the weekend I would walk from one end of the county to the next, he said. I went from door to door and I knew everyone by name. His weekend excursions included stops everywhere from the corner grocery store to a local drug den. The minister explained, People need to feel comfortable with the preacher and learn that were no different from then, so I feel comfortable going out and meeting the people and going to many places that many wouldnt bother to go. To Payne, who was raised in Overtown, getting to know everyone in the local community was his duty as a Christian. I think that there is a mandate by God for us to go out into the world and that means that you need to go out and touch the people, he explained. And Payne brought that philosophy with him when he was assigned to found the Adams Tabernacle of Faith in Pembroke Pines. But the new community required a new strategy. I had to come up with a different model because what worked in Okeechobee didnt necessarily work in Pembroke Pines because here you have gated communities, he said. Yet Payne was able to slowly reach more and more people until a church that had begun with three worshippers grew to over 100 members. The growing church moved into a newly renovated warehouse with state-of-the-art classrooms and sanctuary last year. Now, the AME church offers several other ministries including a Youth Ministry, Family and Marriage Ministry and Health and Wellness Ministry - all founded to provide holistic care to its members. I love Bible study and it is essential, explained Payne, However, we must also teach families about the importance of healthy relationships, proper behavior, nutrition and exercise. The churchs motto is providing hope, faith and health to hurting families for the Kingdom. Adams Tabernacle of Faith AME Church is located at The church is located at 28051 Johnson St., Suites 115 -116 in Pembroke Pines. For more information about their ministries, please call 954-431-2486. By Kaila Heardkheard@miamitimesonline.com