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Gigi Tinsley

Stories by Gigi

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W.R. Courtney: “When He says go, you must go”

Described as humble, lion of a servant

Willie Ruth Courtney was born Oct. 24 and grew up in Ocala. She is what many describe as “laid back” but those who know her will quickly inject “she is very observant and knows what is going on around her.” She was raised in Ocala and is the mother of two and grandmother of five grandchildren. Her daughter, Julia Lenita Rolle is a teacher in Ocala and her son, Trent Crowell presently, is in Miami. He is a professional cook.

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Pastor Avery Jones: Singer of praises and leader of many folks

“I want him to order my steps”

Avery L. Jones was born in Miami on Dec. 18, 1962. He is one of four children born to the late Alfonso Jones and Lillie Shephard. He attended school in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools System. In April of 1984 Jones married “the beautiful” Albertha Ashley. From that union they had two beautiful daughters, Ashley and Adonnas Jones.

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Brandon A. Jones’ aim as a pastor: “Lead an exemplary life”

Brandon Antwan Jones is a native of Miami. He was born Sept. 2, 1990, to the parentage of Leroy Jones and Lisa Frasier. Brandon received his primary and secondary education from the public schools of Miami-Dade County. Shortly after graduating from high school, and just as he had enrolled in college, he married his longtime girlfriend, (since eighth grade) Reina Arline. That union has produced three lovely daughters, Lanah, Savannah and Brooklynn.

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Pastor Lockhart: Bringing energy to First Church

New youth ministry launches April 8

Reverend Harvey Lockhart is the pastor of First Church of North Miami Congregational United Church of Christ. Ordained in 2009, Pastor Lockhart was installed as pastor of First Church in 2012 where he has brought an exciting new energy that is all about improving the quality of worship while making the church more visible in and to the community. Pastor Lockhart believes sincerely that the church is supposed to be involved in the community in which it sits. There are ample opportunities for the church to make a difference utilizing its resources and talent to impact families in the community.

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Community Easter egg hunting

Police, Net office and a bunch of volunteers make event successful

Omega Power and Praise Ministry Inc., 4705 NW 17 Ave., along with the Miami Model City Net Office, and the city of Miami North Police Station presented Omega’s Annual Easter Basket Giveaway/Easter Egg Hunt Community Fun Day. The event was held on Friday, March 25, at the Belafonte Tacolcy Center on the corner of 10th Avenue and 61st Street. ‘What a ‘fun time’ it was when children from all communities came together to enjoy a day of excitement,” Dr. Harriette Wilson-Greene said. “God gave me these areas to include in our Easter community events, 20th Street to 79th Street and 7th Avenue to 32nd Avenue. These invitations were given to 15 schools in our area; 50 vouchers were also given. The school chose the children to receive the vouchers and their siblings. Omega’s food bank recipients and children in surrounding neighborhoods were also invited.”

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Carl Johnson: One must be faithful to become fruitful

Carl Johnson is a native Floridian and was born Sept. 23, 1960, in Miami, to Hattie M. and the late Fernie Johnson Sr. As a child, Carl joined the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Reverend Alonzo Anderson. At the age 7, his parents allowed him to take an active part in children’s activities in the church.

Pastor wears many different hats in life

All of them lead to the Lord, her savior

Joy Ella Little-Jackson is the daughter of Ida Mae and the late George Chatman Little Sr. Joy is the sixth of seven children, born Nov. 23, 1953 and educated in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. She is a graduate of Miami Jackson Senior High class of 1971, where she graduated in the top five percent of the class. Her higher education includes receiving a Bachelor’s of Education degree from Barry University and a Master’s in Music Education from Florida International University. While attending college, Joy accepted the Lord as her personal savior. It was reported by family members, even as a child, Joy would petition the Lord, on behalf of sick individuals and those persons would quickly, or quicker than expected, be healed from their ailments.

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Miami Jackson Generals Alumni Association Hall of Fame

The place to be on last Saturday, March 5 at 6 p.m. was in the remade lovely supper club for the evening, El Miami Jackson General Place, for The Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The place was simply lovely, the guests were dressed and the music was melodious and inviting. There were more than 350 guests. Mistress of Ceremony Pamela Knox-Shuler from the Class of 1973, had to make several attempts to quiet individuals who had not seen each other in a long time. There was much excitement in the air.

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Bishop Bobby Wellons helps souls reach the holiness  

Pastor has been through many trials in his life and overcame them

February, the month that is celebrated as Black History Month in the U.S. is the month, on the 22nd day, that Bobby Wellons was born to the late Ellen Wellons in Cordell, Georgia. He was the fifth child of six children. Because of how restless he was in her womb, she is said to have stated to family members, “This boy was anointed while still in my stomach and never stopped jumping around, just like he was preaching.” Although poor and raised in a single-parent home, he was brought up in church and learned to reverence God while he was a young child.

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Apostle Dr. Arlene Davis: Called to build up the people

“A little one shall become a thousand and a small one a strong nation”

Arlene B. Davis is the fourth of 12 children born to and raised by the late Sister Annie Brown in Cordele, Ga. Her academic education began and ended in the South Georgia Public School System. She graduated from the A.S. Clarke Senior High School in 1968.

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Rector of St. Agnes is young with goals

He leads a church that has been serving Overtown for over 118 years

He is a native of the Bahamas and attended school at Learn Yard Primary, Hawksbill All Age and Freeport Anglican High, Grand Bahamas, Bahamas. His educational accomplishments include the following: a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Theology with the Colin and Pearl Kirton Award in Doctrine Philosophy from Codrington College/University of the West Indies. He also obtained a Master’s of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from the University of the West Indies.

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Elder Rodney B. James: A visionary leader for people

He is an accomplished pastor, teacher and spiritual innovator

Elder Rodney B. James was selected by the membership on Aug. 15, 2011 to become the senior pastor/teacher of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church (MOMBC) of South Miami Inc. at 6316 SW 59th Place and on October 2011 was duly installed as its ninth pastor. Numerous members and leaders proclaim that in the four years James has been at the helm and through many exemplary, spiritual, visionary, leadership examples, he continually show them how to build MOMBC of South Miami ministries so that they beam around the community and across the state.

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Leaving legacies while celebrating several lives

Maria Troutman James is head of five generations

Maria Troutman James, “the matriarch of the James family” as she is called, was married to Nathaniel James Sr. for 65 years when he died in 2012 at the age of 92. She is now 89 years old. The couple lived and were married in the beautiful St Croix, Virgin Islands. Nathaniel James worked as a cook on cruise ships as a young man. It was told to Maria by Nathaniel that he had been thinking about it for sometime but this particular day, after the birth of two of his children, Nathaniel decided that he wanted to have a better life for his family and figured he could do that better in Miami.

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Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. Bryant: A pastor who prepares the people

Reverend Dr. Jimmie L. Bryant, the senior pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Liberty City, located at 1899 NW 64th St. in Miami, is married to Estella King Bryant, a registered nurse. That marriage has produced five daughters: Monique, Tiffany, Patience, Katrina and Michelle; two sons-in-law, William Stennett and Rev. Derrick Kelly; three granddaughters, Santana Neal, Yahnae Laing and Ashley Savaian; grandson, Malcolm Kelly; Godchildren: Shea Rogers, Richelle Brianna Strachan, Josephine Williams and Kardin James G. Rogers.

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Pastor wears many hats and shepherds the flock at church

Peace Missionary Baptist Church, located at 11500 NW 17th Ave., will celebrate the church’s 37th anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 from 6 - 10 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Center, 3000 NW 199th St., in Miami Gardens. The public is cordially invited to attend this historical event and share this experience with the excited members. For ticket information contact Sis. Denise Larmond at 786-457-1058.  The anniversary celebration will culminate on Sunday, Feb.14th at 4 p.m. with the Rev. Woodrow Jenkins and the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church family. The anniversary colors are shades of purple and the theme is “God’s Church Through Peace, Faith, Love and Salvation.”

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The MLK Parade Committee thanks Miami-Dade

More than 500,000 came out to support the late Dr. Preston Marshall’s parade

On Monday, Jan. 18th, the current MLK Parade and Festivities Committee Inc., a State of Florida non-profit 501 © (3), continued the work and legacy of founder the late Dr. Preston W. Marshall, Jr., with the assistance of The Miami Times, Miami-Dade County, city of Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Humana, WLRN TV Station, Cox Media and McDonald’s Corp. The committee celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., (MLK) and presented the 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade that traveled east down 54th Street from 11th to 32nd Avenues. The MLK parade is the largest in the United States. More than 500,000 people of all ethnic backgrounds, young and old alike, prayed together, laughed and danced together, and demonstrated pride in their community, as they lined the barricaded streets for eight miles.

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Pastor Ulysses S. Morris: A man grounded in faith

Micah 6:8 asks the question, “And what does the Lord require of You? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Pastor Ulysses S. Morris, known by friends and co-workers as “Bro. Morris,” follows that scripture to the letter. Those who know him describe him as being fair, firm, merciful and a man who loves the Lord. “My father is a humble man who truly loves the Lord and people, unconditionally,” Dr. Betty M. Everett, his daughter and his assistant overseer, said. “He always tells us, what people do to you is not that important. It is how you handle what they do to you that is important.” An example of the unconditional love Morris has for his fellow man is demonstrated in how he treated the man who murdered his brother, Joseph Morris, in 1981. He invited the man and took him to church with him.

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Overseer Dr. Harriette Wilson Greene: “An angel here on earth”

Overseer Dr. Harriette Wilson Greene is known throughout Miami as a feeder of both spiritual and natural food. In November 2015, the ministry distributed natural food to 5,587 individuals. Greene is the daughter of the late Harry L. Rolle and Katherine H. Wilson. She is a product of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and a graduate of Miami Jackson Senior High School. She received her bachelor’s degree and a doctorate degree from Jacksonville Theology University. Greene’s love for people led her to become a registered medical assistant, during which she took care of the sick. Her occupation led her to become a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She then founded the Omega Power and Praise Ministry Inc. located at 4705 NW 17th Ave., in Miami, where she has served as pastor for the past 16 years. Greene, 60, was married to James Greene Sr. and from the union came “four beautiful children.” There are two surviving daughters, Tyra Griffin and Jade Greene; one son, James Greene Jr., and one deceased daughter, Dorie L. Washington. She is the grandmother of nine grand children: Ashley, Terence, Jamil, Jamel, Christopher, Caleia, Jaiden, Danvondra and Jayden. Greene is also very proud of her children’s achievements. All three have attended college and two are college graduates.

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Elder Smith: A man who loves the Lord

Served as deacon for Opa-locka church for several years

Elder George E. Smith was born on April 22, 1950 in Macon, Ga. He is the seventh child born to the late Elder Artie B. Smith and Mother Becky M. Smith. As a child, his family moved to Liberty City, where he was raised and completed his early childhood education. Smith attended the Church of God By Faith’s Matthew Sippio Academy in Ocala, where he completed his high school education. After high school, Elder George enlisted in the United States Marine Corp, where he honorably served his country. In 1975, he met Missionary Donna L. Smith, whom he married in 1979, and to this reunion three daughters were born: Ceenay, Celeste and Leticia.

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Dr. Jeffrey Swain and FMU committed to Miami-Dade County

Several MLK celebrations planned in Broward and Miami-Dade

Dr. Jeffrey D. Swain, director of Centers for Academic Support and Retention is around town meeting with organizations and residents making sure that they are aware that Florida Memorial University is here in Miami-Dade County to serve the young and elderly prospective students. And as Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Swain puts it: “I am trying to make the university chapel (Susie C. Holley Religious Center) a community space and its pulpit a coveted preaching spot.” He went on to say that “I pray regularly with the President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, her cabinet, faculty and students.  I conduct Bible study and worship and do all the duties of any other pastor (visiting the sick, marriages, funerals, etc.).   I am a Northwestern graduate.” The university has confirmed plans where Dr. Martin Luther King can be duly honored at the first of what is to become annually, The MLK Celebration. On Jan. 11, 2016, 7 p.m., Rev. Michael K. Anderson, Pastor of New Jerusalem M.B. Church located at 2254 Douglass St., Hollywood, FL 33020; Jan. 12, 7 p.m., Rev. Steven Caldwell, Pastor of New Providence M.B. Church located at 760 NW 53rd St., Miami, 33127; Jan. 13, 7 p.m., Rev. Dale L. Powell, Pastor of New Shiloh M.B. Church, located at 1350 NW 95th St.,, Miami, 33147; and Jan. 14, 11 a.m., Dr. Walter T. Richardson, Pastor Emeritus Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, currently CEO of Walter T. Richardson Ministries.

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Baptist Ministers Council hosts Christmas service

Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church, located at 5946 NW 12 Ave., “Cook’s Corner,” was the place to be for all senior citizens on Wednesday, Dec. 9. The members of Jordan Grove and their pastor, Rev. Douglas Cook, graciously received everyone who came through their sanctuary doors to celebrate the Annual Senior Christmas Service. Rev. Stanley at 90 was the eldest in attendance.

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Pastor Kevin Lee: “I have learned to lean on the Lord” in life

God’s Promises are true, always

Reverend Kevin Lee, 58, the pastor of Restoration Life Empowerment Center at 4784 NW 167th St in Miami Gardens, is not just a minister who talks and preaches about having faith in God. He has personal examples to share with everyone he meets. “My faith has been put to many tests and has come out better than pure gold,” Lee said. “To have to care for a very sick wife for many years, not go where her wheelchair could not go, and to have her, ultimately, die in my arms, are tests that bar none.” Sheila, Pastor Lee’s wife, died May 22, 2015 and Lee is “missing her more-and-more each day, thanking God for the 16 years he allowed us to be together, and if it would be granted, I would only ask that he give us more time to be together,” Lee said. “Even though we had some tough times, we still had a great marriage.” Sheila and Kevin were parents of four “loving children:” Kevin Elisha Lee, Alina Denise Lee, Victoria Williams-Lowe, and Ezara Betsy. As a young teen, Lee accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at the House of God Miracle Revival Fellowship. Lee was raised by a foster parent, Eula Moss. She had a son, Elisha Moss. Lee never knew his own parents until he was an adult. He grew up under the spiritual leadership of Pastor Elder Johnny Lee Wilson. After his death, his sister-in-law, Rev. Sally Wilson became the pastor. He was saved from his “worldly life of activities under her spiritual leadership,” Lee said.

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There will be a MLK Parade

Date set for Jan. 18

On Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, “Dr.” Preston W. Marshall Jr. died at North Shore Hospital. As the information about his death spread around Miami-Dade County, throughout Florida and across the nation, the questions that usually followed were: “Will there still be a Martin Luther King Parade? or “What’s going to happen to the parade?” Out of about 25 calls this reporter received, my responses were always the same. Yes, as far as I know. I don’t see why there won’t be one. Or, nothing should happen to stop it. I am sure Dr. Marshall would want it to go on. You see, I was and am in a different position than those individuals calling to ask if there was going to be a parade. I marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the many attempts to desegregate dwellings, schools, stores and restaurants in Tallahassee. So I feel strongly about the well-deserved honors that have been and continue to be bestowed upon this man. I also worked with Dr. Marshall for many years,

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Sankofa: Moving forward while also looking back

AHCAC Celebrates 40 years of community empowerment through the arts

The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) celebrated 40 years of community arts and culture, culminating on Saturday, Nov. 14th at its Liberty City location. NBC affiliate WTVJ Channel 6, News Anchor Jawan Strader, served as the master of ceremony for the evening. It was years ago that Channel 6 heralded the Center as a "hidden gem" in the inner-city community of Miami. In the days that followed, highlights from the event were broadcasted during their news hour. The gala featured such alumni as jazz and R&B singers Ja'Nia Harden and Zipporah Hayes. The speaker was award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. He said, as a young man who resided in Liberty City, he needed the secure environment and the artistic, educational programming that the AHCAC provided.

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Rev. John C. Vaughn: From the civil rights movement to inner city

In 2012, Reverend John Cread Vaughn was sent to New Covenant Presbyterian Church (NCPC) located at 4300 NW 12th Ave. in Miami as its Stated Supply Pastor to replace, according to the history located in the archives of the church, Geraldine “Jerri” Kilpatrick Owens and Laura Powell. New Covenant Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Allapattah. It is significant for being the first Southern congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to break racial barriers. Vaughn was born in Chicago and was married for 55 years before his wife died in 2014. He is the father of two daughters, one killed in a car accident; has five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1952-1954. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Illinois in Anthropology; a Master’s of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary; and in 1960 was ordained into the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. He obtained a PhD in Sociology from the State University of New York at Albany. Vaughn has pastored numerous churches including: Presbyterian Church Albany, NY, where he worked with a Black militant group, The Brothers, who were involved in building low-cost houses. He was also active in the Civil Rights movement.

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Book captures the prayers, sermons after the massacre

Pastors, priests and rabbis, Black and white contributed

“A Storm Has Passed” is the compilation of nine sermons from CDs, YouTube, live stream or video sermons and prayers that were preached or said on June 21, 2015 by pastors to their congregations, to show sympathy, condolences, and unity towards the nine families and friends murdered in the massacre on June 17, 2015 at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, located at 110 Calhoun St., in Charleston, South Carolina. Only excerpts were used from the manuscript, submitted by The Lutheran Church of Atonement, along with the six prayers. The sermons and prayers commemorated the lives of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel and State Senator; Ethel Lance, 70, a retired City of Gaillard Auditorium employee; Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, a speech pathologist, track coach and pastor; Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Tywanza Sanders, 26, a recent college graduate, poet and businessman; Rev.

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Bishop Richardson: "A compassionate man"

He not only talks Christianity but is also a pastor's pastor

It is a normalcy for members to respect and care about their pastor, but when a pastor’s peers hold him or her in high esteem that is, as the slogan goes, “a coat of another color.” A survey, by this reporter, of more than 25 pastors on Nov. 11, revealed the high respect they hold for Bishop Richardson. He is the founder and Pastor of The Church of God of Miami located at 1351 NW 67th St., in Liberty City; founder of The Church of God Vero Beach; The Church of God Belle Glade; and The Church of God Valdosta in Georgia. When asked why he believes so many pastors think so highly of him and refer to him as “a pastor’s pastor,” his response was the same as it was more than 20 years ago.

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Bishop Billy Baskin says: “40 years, A Legacy of Faith”

New Way Baptist Fellowship Church celebrates four decades

New Way Fellowship Baptist Church’s officers and members, under the spiritual leadership of Bishop Billy Baskin and his wife, Bishop Catherine P. Baskin, are in the final stage of celebrating their fourth decade of existence. The excitement has rapidly started to spread and they invite the community to share this historical celebration with them. “We celebrate 40 years on November 15 and prayerfully embrace the future,” Bishops Billy and Catherine P. Baskin said. Leola Adams, a Charter Member said, “Forty years ago, our pastors launched out on faith and trusted God for His faithfulness. Today, we thank God for the journey. We can look back and say ‘Look where He brought us from.’”

Herschel L. Haynes steps down as Chairman of HPHA

Community servant resigns after more than 25 years of serving

Just before closing the Oct. 27th monthly meeting of the Hadley Park Homeowners Association’s (HPHA), Chairman Herschel L. Haynes informed the homeowners, renters, School Board Member of District 2, school Board Staff members, speakers and guests, “As of tonight, I am stepping down as chairman of the Hadley Park Homeowners Association. I pray that I have done well for the almost-30 years I have served you. I can truly say I did it from my heart. Let us stand.” “It’s been a long time and I am tired,” Haynes said, after the meeting. “It is not like I am leaving town, it’s just that I need some time to do some personal things that I am unable to get done with the responsibilities I have for the residents as their chairman. With those demands and needs placed in the hands of others, I can focus on myself and other things I need and want to get

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We must love each other as God loves us

Love and gratitude are important in the daily lives of Christians

Pastor Jodie and his wife, “First Lady” Arpie Alexander have been servants of God, serving as the spiritual leaders for 16 years of Soul Saving Missionary Baptist Church located at 2170 NW 76 St., in Liberty City. The Alexanders are both from a small town in Florida called Madison. It is about one hour from Tallahassee. They knew each other as teenagers, fell in love as young adults, and were married Dec. 23,1961. In 1963, they moved to Miami. The Alexanders are the parents of Pamela Robinson, Valerie Hooper (Bryan) and Constance. They have four grandson.

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Apostle Delores Lyles pastors with Holy Spirit

She ministers at Elohim Adonai House of Prayer Ministries

Elohim Adonai House of Prayer Ministries at 21485 NW 27 Ave. is “under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and I am in second place, when it comes to leadership,” says Apostle Pastor Dr. Delores Lyles. Lyles says her passion is being a faithful steward through praying, preaching God’s Word, bringing and helping to save souls for the Kingdom as it is epitomized in Proverb 31:10-11- the qualities of a virtuous woman. Lyles is a teacher and, currently, the church has a membership of 80 and is growing.

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Pastor leads Greater New Bethel since 1979

Dr. G. David Horton says, “I ain’t tired, yet” to serve the Lord

Greater New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, now located at 17025 NW 22nd Ave., began its first worship service in the spring of 1929 with its pastor, Reverend R.B. Blanks and six members. According to the church’s historical archives, “They stood as a solid testimony to the courage, faith and love of the many diligent Christians who now share in the inspiring cultural history of this great church.”

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Brian Dennis preaches initial sermon Oct. 18

Raised in church-going home, he escaped the wiles of Miami-Dade

On Sunday, Oct. 18 at 4 p.m., Minister Brian Dennis, the columnist for Word On the Street in The Miami Times, will preach his initial sermon at Faith, Truth and Deliverance Church of God By Faith, located at 16969 NW 23 Ave. Elder Cleveland Roberts, III is the pastor. The public is cordially invited to attend. “I knew God had a call on my life as little boy. I always wanted to go to church and hear the pastor preach the word of God. I constantly called my Aunt Karen Boyd to take me to our church,” Dennis said when asked when he knew he wanted a relationship with the Lord. “I loved to hear Father Kenneth Major [Rector of Church of the Incarnation] sing ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.’ The majority of my family attended Church of the Incarnation but grandmother, Dorothy Murphy’s church was New Mount Moriah of Liberty City.”

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The will to balance both school and work leads to Cornerstone Tabernacle

Church invites community to prayer revival late in December

Patrick Wallace, 47, is a native of Miami who attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School. He went to Job Corp and completed all high school requirements there. Wallace returned to Miami and became a member of Cooper Temple Church of God (C.O.G.I.C.). He served under the leadership of Pastor Linwood Cooper, and became a preacher of the word of God. Wallace moved to Washington, D.C., and joined New Bethel C.O.G.I.C., under the leadership of Bishop Sherman Scott Howard.

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8-year-old kicks off annual doll collection drive

Zoe Terry asks for dolls of color for girls locally and around the world

Zoe Terry is sponsoring, along with her mother, Nakia Bowling, a free community event, Sunday, Oct. 25th from 2-6 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Amphitheater, located at 3000 NW 199th St. in Miami Gardens. The event will be the kick-off to Zoe’s annual doll collection drive.

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'EJ’s Road Trip' to the White House inspires kids

Book takes children and their parents on imaginary trip around the nation

A book entitled “EJ’s Exciting Road Trip” tells about what happened during a trip to the historical Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama; to historical sites in Washington, D.C and the White House. To add to his excitement, EJ was able to see President Barack Obama leaving the White House grounds by helicopter. The trip was a birthday gift given to him by his mother, Suze Guillaume, a community activist in Miami. The book is inspired by and co-written by a 5-year-old Edwin Bonill Jr. His relatives, friends, and those who are currently being introduced to the young writer affectionately call him EJ. The primary reason, said Guillaume, for writing this book was to help her son tell the public about his birthday experience and, Guillaume said, “to help empower children all over the world to want to read, write, and be able to share their dreams with others.”

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2015 historic Junior Orange Bowl Court

First Black little sister and Miss Congeniality join this year’s royal court

On Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Rebeca Sosa Theater, located at 1401 Westward Dr., in Miami Springs, the Junior Orange Bowl Committee held its 66th Annual Royal Court Pageant — and history was made. Takiyah Belfort, 10, competed in the Little Sister category and won the prize. She is the first Black Junior Orange Bowl Little Sister crowned by the organization in its 66 years of existence. Takiyah is a fifth grade student at Citrus Grove Elementary and the daughter of LaQuoya and Tony Belfort.

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Pastor of the Week

Rev. Gregory D. Thompson Jr.: A servant according to the Lord’s description

Gregory D. Thompson Jr., born in Miami, is a graduate of Miami Jackson Senior High School. At an early age, Gregory said he “felt the call of God on his life, urging him to serve him,” but like most young people, he tried to evade God and “the pull” he had on his life. “I did not realize as a youngster, you could be young, serve the Lord, and be happy. I am happy that I gave the Lord charge of my life as a young man,” said Thompson. Being raised in the church, as was Thompson, made it very hard for him to escape the long arms of God. In fact, being taught who God was early in life, made it, said Thompson, “Very difficult to be disobedient to God’s word.” The promise made in Proverb 22:6 is very true. “Train up a child when he is young and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Rise Up 4 Change program works with homeless, disadvantaged kids

Marlins’ Coach Lenny Harris hosted 35 children and staff at a recent game

On Sept. 12, Miami Marlins’ third base coach Lenny Harris hosted the Rise Up 4 Change Youth Program at the Marlins’ Stadium. The Rise Up 4 Change (RU4C) program is an organization that does workshops for disadvantaged and homeless children throughout South Florida.

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Pastor R. Joaquin Willis grows human and community gardens in Liberty City

Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is a native of Mobile, Alabama and the senior pastor of the Open Door Unification Community Church at 6001 NW Eighth Ave., Miami. The church has a membership of more than 300, a Family Life Center; a 501(c) 3 and Miami Youth Garden Inc., (MyG), created to assist in human and community development. There is literally a live garden growing on the grounds for the members and the community for true growth.

Master servant of God retires after 56 years of stellar service

Rev. Dr. George E. McRae is the first inner-city pastor to form a refuge center for HIV/AIDS clients

Reverend Dr. George E. McRae is described by hundreds as being a unique human-being who cares about others and never seems to get tired of serving them. Evangelist Ladi G. Jenkins, a former entrepreneur, social worker and member of Northside Church of God in Miami-Dade County had the opportunity to consult with him on many occasions, when the two of them worked with HIV/AIDS clients.

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The miracle on 119th Street remembered

Pastor credits prayer for saving property from being repossessed

Pastor credits prayer for saving property from being repossessed. The Taylors believe in miracles.

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Moses Hillman: “A devoted family man”

He celebrates his 100th birthday Sept. 12

A celebration to honor Moses Hillman’s 100th birthday will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Miami Shores Country Club, 10000 Biscayne Blvd. Moses Hillman was born Sept.15, 1915 in Springvale, Georgia. He was the fourth of 13 children born to Arthur and Vilene Lee Hillman. He moved to Miami and was drafted into the military in the late 1930s. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945 after which he returned to Miami. It was at this time he met and married the late Lucille Henderson.

Christian Girls Brunch Club hosts 2nd annual Prayer Brunch and Auction

The Christian Girls Brunch Club (CGBC), a young woman’s ministry, will host its second annual “Power Up” Prayer Brunch and Silent Auction 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at First Presbyterian Church of Miami located at 609 Brickell Ave., in downtown Miami. This event will benefit the Miami Rescue Mission’s Center for homeless women and children.

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Trained early to love God and serve people

Reverend Dr. Anthony Tate’s life revolved around the word of the Lord in early training

Reverent Dr. Anthony A. Tate, the founder and pastor of the New Resurrection Community Church located at 2167 NW 64 St., Miami. was trained at an early age to love God, his son, Jesus Christ, and obey the Holy Spirit. “Following the will of God has been easy for me ,” Tate said. “It is so true. If a child is trained when he is young, he might stray away for a while but once you get the love of God in your heart, you will return.”

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Churches unite as First Deliverance

Supportive pastor ‘reaching the unreachable’

Errol P. Cooper was born to the late Deacon Lenwood and Mother Annie Lee Cooper Sr. Nov. 27, 1963 in Miami. He was raised by God-fearing parents that took him to church regularly and lived holy, righteous, lives before him, his brother, Lenwood Jr., and their foster siblings: Vanessa Harper, Stephanie Wright, Judy and Edward Berry.

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Local pastor inspired by Sunday School convention more than two decades ago

Roberts has served more than 20 years

In 1988, Cleveland “Cleve” Roberts III accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life. “I was filled with the Holy Ghost and eagerly wanted to work in the ministry of Jesus Christ,” said Roberts. He began to serve faithfully under Elder Artie B. Smith and in 1990, Roberts was appointed to the Deacon Board.

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Pastor of the Week: Pastor Jeffrey L. Mack: Serving for the Lord

Second Canaan’s pastor serves as president of FECDC of Christian Education

Reverend Jeffrey L. Mack is president of the Florida East Coast District Congress of Christian Education and pastor of Second Canaan Missionary Baptist Church. The Congress convened on Sunday at the Baptist Church, located at 4343 NW 17th Ave., Miami, with an Oratorical Contest. The Congress will continue through Thursday at New Canaan and will conclude on Friday evening, with a youth pageantry. The pageantry will be at New Birth Baptist Church, at 13500 NW 22nd Ave., where Bishop Victor T. Curry, is pastor.

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Pastor of the Week:Ronald Rasool Malik: Imam Muslim who cares about his community

MAS follows true orthodox faith

“As a youngster I felt differently when it came to accepting the facts given to me when I went to church. I just didn’t believe all they said about Christianity. I Believe in God. But I believe in just one God, Allah,” said Ronald Rasool Malik.

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Pastor Marshall: There is no distance with God

From Miami to Naples, God is there

The Redeemed Community Church of Naples (RCCON), now at 512 11th St. N., in Naples, Fla. was founded and organized in Liberty City 19 years ago by Reverend Sterling Kevin Marshall. He was led to the Lord as a child by Pastor Katrina Forbes in central Miami at Now Faith Deliverance Tabernacle (NFDT). At the age 19, Marshall was ordained and licensed, by Pastor Forbes, a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and certified to perform all homiletical ceremonies “that pastors in the Christian religion were licensed to do,” Marshall said.

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