"By the grace of God I am here today"
Amarilis Rodriguez was raised in a family that practiced witchcraft. She says she was told that she “was born to be a psychic medium.” And that it “came to a standpoint in my life where I no longer wanted to live and I contemplated suicide.” “In 1991, I walked into my bathroom determined to take my life. As I looked into the mirror, I no longer saw myself but a woman that told me to kill myself. That no one loved me. I proceeded to grab a blade with the intentions of cutting my veins. As I turned on the shower, instead of water
You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will not change. Christians serve the God that gives them free choice. They are allowed to take a chance on individuals and opportunities as they see fit to do so. His desire is that men, women and children will eventually come to the realization that he is the only one worth spending eternity with. Therefore, make your choice now. Take a chance guided by the evidence presented in his word. If you choose him, it will change your life, all for the best, for eternity.
Founder of Shalom Community Church
Joanem Frandy Floreal is known in the community as “Pastor Fanfan.” The church Floreal founded and serves as the senior pastor is called Shalom Community Church, a United Methodist denomination. It is said by many that “Shalom Community Church is one of the fastest-growing congregations in the Haitian community. Many people are attracted by the lively worship and the dynamic and relevant preaching of Pastor Fanfan.”
Brothers group sings to God’s glory
One of the most talked about quartet groups in the Fort Lauderdale area today is the new, young and aspiring group called Brothers. Over the last two years, the well-dressed, soul-stirring gentlemen have brought quartet singing back to the forefront. The hit single, “What a Friend,” is the most requested song at their events.
Bread of Life Community Church founder wanted to be a detective
Keith Moore was in the prime of his life, playing college football in California, when God stepped in and began to change the course of his life. One night at Pac Jam, a teenage nightclub in Miami, Moore says, the Lord spoke to his heart and said to him, “Don’t forget me and what I’ve done for you.” It was at that time he decided to develop a personal relationship with the Lord. That week, he went to church and surrendered his life to the Lord, and was born again at 18 years of age.
Pastor of the week
The Reverend Baron C. Mashack is known for his passionate worship, no-nonsense approach to teaching and preaching the word of God and for his cutting-edge approach and strong desire to impact the culture for Christ. He is a native New Yorker, who grew up in the Congregational Church of God in Manhattan, N.Y. under the leadership of Dr. William Aaron and later, Dr. Levorne Aaron. He attended St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications.
People spend too much time worrying about things pending and situations that might come. Much of the time spent worrying could be put to more productive use such as networking, discussing, formulating, and implementing a plan to solve that situation or problem. When you have done all you can about a problem or situation, give it to the Lord. Proverbs 15:29 reminds us that God hears the cries of the righteous (the upright, in right standing with him).
Albert Alex Fulbright, 72, known by most as “Justice,” died Dec. 10th and was cremated on the 14th “without any of his family being notified,” according to Twondy G. Wilcox. “When we met for the Memorial Service for Georgia Jones-Ayers, who died Feb. 17th, and Justice wasn’t there, I then became a bit concerned. But when he did not come to her funeral, I knew something was wrong,” Wilcox said, who lives in Fort Lauderdale. “Justice loved her (Jones-Ayers)like a sister and nothing but death would keep him away from being at her funeral.”
Omega Power and Praise Ministry does giveaways for schools and residents
Omega Power and Praise Ministry (OPPM), Inc. has once again taken on the posture of a servant. While many were preparing for the Easter holiday, Dr. Harriette Wilson Greene and her committee were burning the midnight oil. “This year was like no other event we have ever done," Greene said. "Supplies were slow coming in, but we kept the faith, believing that because it was for the children God would meet our needs.”
Sabrina Johnson James leads Tag Team 4 Jesus Christ Outreach Ministries Inc.
Rev. Sabrina Johnson James, born Nov. 27, 1966 in Shellman, Ga., is the second oldest of seven children born to the late Christeen Perry Bartlet Johnson and James Johnson. James is also the mother of seven and has been attending church since birth. She started working in the church at age 3, when her grandmother, Fannie Mae Johnson and her mother, gave permission for her to serve as an usher. “I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at the age of 21, but I really came into an intimate relationship with him at age 29 when I had to have surgery on my left lung,” James said. “Through this experience, I drew closer to the father and that relationship has grown stronger ever day since.”
In 2008, two men, Dwayne Bennett Sr., 42 and Linord Albury, 44, whose daily activities dealing in illegal drugs and sports bookings earned them the titles of being real hardcore street thugs. But something happened to them that “changed our lives forever,” Bennett said. “We accepted the Lord as our Savior and wanted to tell others about our experience. We knew we could not have such a great revelation and just keep it to ourselves,” Bennett added. Albury and Bennett said they went to several churches, on several different occasions, but never felt the love they heard that one should feel when they are among other Christians.
What it really means and how to do it
In Matthew 6:12, Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to pray. He said, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In verse 14, He told them, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Verse 15 says it emphatically: “But, if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Isn’t it ironic that we almost always think very narrow-minded. We have two or more sets of rules for the same thing and want folk to go along with that kind of silly thinking.
“I serve today, to make things better for tomorrow” for all the people
The Rev. Jimmie L. Williams III has made numerous accomplishments both in his community and as a servant of God. Williams is a Homestead councilman. He was first elected to the council in 2009 and was re-elected to a four-year term in November 2013 to serve Council Seat 4, which includes the southwest area of the city.
Get started with what you are passionate about and your gift will find you
For the sixth year, Bible Out Loud Ministries brings to the community the production, “Love Equals An Empty Tomb.” On April 3rd at 6 p.m. — Good Friday for Christians and the beginning of Passover at sundown for Jews — the multi-sensory production will be staged at Ninety-third Street Community Baptist Church at 2330 NW 93rd St., Miami, where Reverend Carl Johnson is pastor.
Military-man-turned-church-founder recommends a consistent prayer life
The Reverend Dr. James Curtis Eubanks of Fort Lauderdale is a pastor’s pastor. He has personally mentored and prepared four ministers to become pastors. Currently, he is the counseling pastor for the members of Northside Church of God at 2590 NW 103rd St. in Miami where Minister Paul Nicholson is the interim pastor. “Dr. Eubanks is a real example of what a true man of God and a pastor should be. He is truly a man of integrity,” Nicholson said.
Partner with the masses and impact the world, says Young of his ministry
Reverend Dr. Robert L. Young, senior pastor, and his wife of 44 years, J. Elaine, executive pastor, are the spiritual leaders of New Seventy-ninth Street Word Church International. The tall building is located at 2275 NW 79th St., Miami. The Youngs are affectionately called “Pastor Rob,” and “Pastor Elaine,” respectively by their parishioners, family members and friends.
Dr. Harriette Wilson-Greene on March 12 was recognized at a breakfast event honoring outstanding women in the community. The City of Miami Commission on the Status of Women hosted this event entitled, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” Wilson-Greene was honored for her community activism by Commissioner Keon Hardemon, of District 5.
Beta Tau Zeta chapter celebrates its 69th year of serving
The President of Beta Tau Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Cora L. Coleman Portee, the Zetas, along with the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue of Miami, Florida Inc. invite the public to join them at their 69th year celebration of community service . It is also the end of Portee’s presidential leadership, due to term restraints.
The scripture, taken from Isaiah 55:4 that says “Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people,” describes the character of Elder Clifford Sanders. Elder Clifford is the senior pastor at JHV Shiloh Ministries (JSM) at 11936 NW 19th Ave., a Not-for-Profit 501(C) 3, Faith-based, community organization. He wears many hats, both literally and figuratively. He says he is committed to leading himself and others in performances and in making changes.
Local non profit has support of a driving force in Cutler Bay area
Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay has partnered with the Rise Up 4 Change organization, in an effort to help at-risk youth, in the southwest area. “The combined effort is to help these youth become successful citizens in their communities,” said Nicole Waters, director of marketing for the auto company. “This is our way of giving back to a community that has been very supportive of our business.”
Elder Samuel Joseph Eaves, II could be like many who have reached the highest pinnacle in education, but he chose to place his emphasis on serving others and teaching them.
Pastor Donald Lee Henry is passionate about working with young people, particularly young men. In his work in the prison system, he has seen many young men incarcerated and knows if he can help just one of them stay out of prison, it will make a positive difference.
Youth get more than free dance training from NDLB scholarships
For the last three years, No Dancer Left Behind Inc. (NDLB) has provided free lessons to disadvantaged children and teenagers, ages 6 to 19. Since May 2012, the NDLB program has provided $10,000 in scholarships along with life skills to needy students at Diversity Dance Center, according to Cassie Maura-Rahming, assistant director. NDLB at 6823 Sunset Strip, in Sunrise is a not-for-profit agency founded by Artistic Director/Choreographer Terrica Maura and her mother, Maura-Rahming.
Singer and radio personality “Mother” Rosa Shaw, who broadcasted live on WMBM 1490 for more than 50 years, will celebrate her 106th birthday on Feb. 21. Shaw has appeared in several concerts and programs, filling churches and auditoriums to capacity. She recorded with Decca Records, where she sang background on Rev. James Cleveland’s "I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired." Shaw also sang with Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Sam Cook, Mahalia Jackson and others at New York's Apollo Theater and Yankee Stadium.
Recently, many of my single friends and acquaintances have been complaining about the “lack of single men in this town.” Some have gotten so desperate for a husband that they’ve sent resumes to cities like Atlanta, Seattle, Boston, and Oklahoma City. Yeah, Oklahoma! It seems that folk in the tourist department of these cities are running impressive advertisements about the large number of available men of every ethnicity and persuasion who have jobs.
Apostle Sonja Carter: Evangelizing through local communities
Apostle Sonja Y. Carter, the pastor of Centurion Apostolic International Ministries (CAIM), has sent letters to all the churches on 17th Avenue from 40th Street to Miami Gardens, to Step Outside and Pray on Feb. 22nd at noon. “We are asking the pastors to lead all of their members out of the church, and have them line up on the sidewalk and pray, for 15 minutes for the community,” Carter said. “I believe if all these churches will step outside and evangelize for 15 minutes, a change will take place in all of our communities.”
God wants his people whole in every aspect of their lives. Each of us should want the same for each other but too many of us do not. The example we should follow is found in 3 John 2-3: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, just as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell me about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.” It is a pity that so many of us believe and hang on to the erroneous belief that the only thing God expects or wants of us is that we be saved. He wants us to be saved but his desire is also that we be whole, healthy, wealthy and wise.
Pastor of the Week
Johnny L. Barber is the youngest moderator in the 112-year history of The Florida East Coast Baptist Association (FECBA) that was founded in 1903. He serves under the Florida General Baptist Convention where President James B. Sampson provides leadership and guidance. He is running for his second term on Thursday, Feb. 12. Moderator Barber, in this noble role, provides leadership to some of the flourishing Baptist churches throughout the state of Florida. The association has churches within its district from Cocoa Beach to Florida City, including the 500-membership church of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist in Miami, where Barber has served as pastor since 2002.
Since a teenager, all of the Curry’s aim has been to empower people
Bishop Victor T. Curry, is a pastor, preacher, author, teacher and social activist who is the epitome of focused leadership,” said numerous members of mega-church New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International at 2300 NW 135th St., Opa-locka. Curry, who was ordained more than 30 years ago, gives daily service. “I am motivated by divinely-prescribed commitments to my faith and invigora
Restaurant owner marks 39th anniversary with celebration
James "Jim" Brimberry needed a plan after he returned to the Brownsville area after serving in the United States Army fighting a war in Germany. His white friends told him Royal Castle had a management training program for returning soldiers and was hiring. It was 1964 and Brimberry had served three years in the army. He enrolled in Royal Castle's training program that was held at the location at 67th Street and Seventh Avenue. Royal Castle's main office was at Ninth Street and Biscayne Boulevard.
Family and friends this weekend will celebrate the life of Benjamin F. Gardner, the first Black kennel owner in Miami-Dade who died Dec. 7. He was 69. A memorial service will be held for Gardner at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24 at Pratt Memorial Holy Spirit Christian Church in Miami Gardens, located at 1900 NW 183rd St.
Jennifer Booker discovered her passion for writing when she was in middle school. She wrote an essay about being sheriff for a day for a contest and won the first prize. That passion has not dissipated; “it has gotten deeper,” she says. Her recently self-published book, “Gimme My Shoe” stemmed from her daughters’ fight over a shoe. In her blog about her daughters Jayla, 7 and Joi, 3 (www.jensjoojoobeans.com), she writes stories about being a mom.
Centenarian, first tenant in Pepper Towers
Christell Porter will turn 100 on Jan. 25. Her daughter, Norma Dunwoody, 80, wants her mother to be remembered “by the few individuals who are still alive and knew her or us.” “My mother was the first tenant to move into the Claude Pepper Towers, a senior citizen residence, more than 30-plus years ago,” Dunwoody said.
Firm wants to help children learn about economic resources
The Abundance Group (TAG) wants to help youth in Miami-Dade and surrounding areas get a head start in financial education. To do this the youth are invited to attend the Abundance Group’s Financial Planning Session. On Jan. 17, the group will host the “I Have a Dream-Young Entrepreneurship Camp” (YEC) in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The free community event will be at Myrtle Grove K-8 Center, 3125 NW 175 St., Miami Gardens.
Angela M. and Frederick Thomas creates community organizations that foster feeding and clothing those less fortunate by sealing gap
Angela M. Thomas and her husband Frederick Thomas encourage change for the better. They do this through the community organization Rise Up 4 Change and its offshoot, Giving from My Heart Inc. The Thomases will introduce the organization to the community at a ribbon-cutting event called "I Heart You" Feb. 7 at Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, 10701 SW 211 St. Cutler Bay from 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, which includes dinner, networking and live entertainment.
How is your spiritual vision?
Before my sight became blurred and I was forced to wear glasses or contact lenses to read anything closer than arm’s length, “seeing” was taken for granted. Just as we take breathing for granted, I took seeing for granted until I could not do it as I had done before.
Resolutions may not work, but trust in God always leads to success
God has a plan for our lives. Those who do not take the time to invest in his “soul bank” will not be able to reap the many rewards, bonuses, and accolades he has stored up for redemption. In Jeremiah 29:11-12, it is written: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.”
First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, so that the outside may be clean also.” (Matt. 23:25, 26)
In the early 1960s, there was a hit song called, “The Great Pretender.” The song, in essence, was about a man who was in love with a young lady. She did not reciprocate that love, so he pretended, when he was around other people that everything was copacetic. He only cried when he was alone, believing that no one knew that she didn’t love him as he loved her. He was a pretender.
Lobbyists added to one of leading FL government affairs firm as a partner
Tony Crapp Jr. has joined Ballard Partners’ Miami office, the government affairs firm announced Dec. 19. Crapp, managing partner at PC & Associates of South Florida, will be a new partner with Ballard. Crapp brings years of experience in local government operations and public policy matters to the Florida-based lobbying firm, which has offices in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. “Tony will be a fantastic addition to Ballard Partners,” said Brian Ballard, president of Ballard Partners. “He is well-respected in the Miami-Dade community and his background in city government and public policy issues will make him a vital member of our team.”
Times-Dudley penned 'Jasper, the Fetching Cat' under Candace Lynn
Robbin Times-Dudley recently fulfilled her long-time goal of becoming a children’s book author. “Jasper, the Fetching Cat,” her first book written under the pen name Candace Lynn, was featured during the recent 2014 Miami Book Fair. Jasper has the “purrfect” home and family. Mr. Ford, while relaxing in his favorite chair, pats Jasper on the head. Mrs. Ford gives him cat treats whenever he begs for them. Best of all, 8-year-old Timmy is the “purrfect” owner. Then, a new puppy, Toby, arrives and spoils the “purrfection.” He cries at night, chews things, drools too much, and keeps drinking from Jasper's water dish. Yuck! What's a feline to do?
Eight-year-old on a mission to give dolls to little Brown girls in need
Zoe Terry knows about the "spirit of giving." Since 3 years old, Zoe was taught to share her Christmas toys. "Give one of your Christmas gifts to a child less fortunate than you are,” Zoe's mother Nakia Bowling said she told Zoe. And that's what she did.
HCOC’s motto is “gaining, grounding, growing and glorifying” through its out-of-the-box approach to ministry
The Hope Church of Christ (HCOC) cannot be readily seen as one drives down Northwest 199th St. It’s nestled in an old business park behind the former John Walsh building at 295 NW 199th St. Just because the physical building is out of sight, it does not fit into the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” HCOC is doing great things in the city of Miami Gardens and surrounding areas. It is readily in the minds of many.
Members of the 1965 graduating classes of Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Miami Northwestern and North Dade Senior high schools are all anxiously awaiting their 50th class reunions in 2015. Representatives from historically Black high schools collaborated to plan and present a kick-off event prior to the individual school’s celebration. “Because we were born into segregation and graduated high school just after the civil rights acts were passed, we have always been on the cutting edge of civil rights developments,” said June S. Garvin, a graduate of Miami Northwestern. “Our cohorts have a unique perspective on race relations in this country.”
Victor Carter accepted the Lord as his personal Savior and was filled with the Holy Ghost on April 9, 1976. Three years later he answered the “call” for him to preach the gospel according to God’s will and his way. September 1979 he preached his first sermon as a servant to God’s people.Carter, the son of Rebecca and William Carter, was born in Miami but reared in Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Trials and tribulations can make you strong
We are living in an era that is filled with situations and circumstances that produce in our lives too much stress, states of depression and, in many cases, feelings of low self-esteem. Christians call these conditions their “trials and tribulations.” The secular world calls them “bad luck,” or being “down-on-their-luck.” Be that as it may, most of these conditions are self-inflicted. Christians should learn, as they go through different situations, to lean and depend on God’s word. His word will instruct and guide them as they go through these difficult times.
Elder John Robinson III is the Centennial Coordinator for Florida’s East coast and the Pastor of the Week
The Florida East Coast District Superintendent (2012-present) of the Church of God By Faith Inc. (C.O.G.B.F.) is Elder John Robinson III. His wife is Lady Tammy Lynn Robinson. The East Coast District is a branch of the C.O.G.B.F., which consists of 16 churches that serve communities from Melbourne to Miami.
The Bible teaches us, “Remind your people of these great facts, and command them, in the name of the Lord, not to argue over unimportant things. Such arguments are confusing and useless and even harmful.” (II Timothy 2:14 LB). The Bible contains about 3.6 million letters, 773,693 words, 31,102 verses, 1,189 chapters and 66 books, depending on which version you are reading. These books contain information that is pertinent to any subject our minds are capable of thinking about. Sometimes when we ask a question, people are quick to give answers, but it will be their opinion.
Former bank, jewelry store robber writes book, a changed man
Author Nathaniel Thurston Jr. signs his book “For You Woman: Spirit Jewels” simply “Me.” He said he signed the book that way because, “That’s who I am, Me.” Thurston is a man short in statute with a strong voice. He seems to be quite sure of who he was and who he has become after spending 31 consecutive years in prisons.
Julius Green has a remarkable outlook on life. Whether he is in pain or not, when anyone asks him how he is doing, Green’s reply, according to his niece Deborah Johnson, is always the same: “No aches, no pain.”
Tomorrow, Nov. 27 is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and families across the nation will gather together to play games, watch games, and eat tons and tons of great tasting food. Some folks will travel miles just to be home with family, others just have to go across town, while some of us will walk into the dining areas of our homes and eat until our stomachs hurt.