Mt. Hermon AME Church brings generations together

admin | 5/17/2012, 6:25 a.m.

Pastor Michael K. Bouie has led 10 congregations throughout Georgia and Florida in his pastoral career. But coming to Miami Gardens Mt. Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church over a month ago proved to be a new experience even for this seasoned minister. The thing that stands out most about Mt. Hermon is that it is more diversified than many of the churches that I served and it is also younger than any of the churches that I served, said the 52-year-old minister. With a congregation of approximately 2500 members, the 60-year old church draws a variety of parishioners from senior citizens to the middle aged and young adult as well as youth members. When asked how one church can meet such a diverse set of expectations and needs, Bouie replied, Its a challenge, but I think what makes it work is a continuing education about what each [group] brings to the table. He further explained, If we ever stop appreciating the different generations, then were going to have problems. In June, the church will adopt the theme of Generation Next, and services and activities will be planned and executed by the churchs youth members. The church also provides an all-boys charter school, the Richard Allen Leadership Academy, as well as several popular ministries including outreach, youth and music. Such activities are familiar to Bouie, who in addition to having a ministerial career that spans 30-plus years, also has been attending church regularly since he was a child. Unfortunately, my best church memory was during the days of segregation in Miami because at that time the church provided more fellowship opportunities than we do today, he explained. It kept the church strong because we needed the fellowship to bind us together and keep us abreast of what was going on in the community. However, Im not saying that times are not good nowadays, but now churches have to work to [teach] that belief that we are responsible for each other since we just don't have segregation to deal with, he said. A faith of encouragement Most times when Bouie is behind the pulpit, he finds himself passing along messages meant to offer encouragement to everyone. The minister even started Majestic Inspiration, regular emails he sends to over 3000 subscribers that offer biblical and sometimes personal lessons about hope. The pastor also provides his insight and services to other churches and ministries with his consulting business where he is frequently called upon to offer leadership training. A lot of time, pastors dont devote as much time on the development of the persons we bring into leadership and I think in many churches people learn with on the job training, he said. But, the church is starting to get away from that thinking where the pastor is wearing all of those hats and I think today [churches are] more respectful of the gifts of others. Mt. Hermon AME Church is located at 17800 NW 25th Avenue in Miami Gardens. by Kaila Heardkheard@miamitimesonline.com