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Gigi Tinsley

Stories by Gigi

Happy 100th birthday Ms. Christell Porter

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.

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Abundance Group hosts MLK Youth Financial session

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.

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Charity for change

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.

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Visions are clear or distorted

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.

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God has plans for you in 2015

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.”

Tony Crapp joins Ballard Partners’ firm in Miami

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.”

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Jesus knows all pretenders

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.

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Hope Church of Christ: A lifestyle

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.

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Zoe Terry CEO of Zoe’s Dolls

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.

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Natural Bridge teacher becomes author of book

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? 

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Black historical high school classes share reunion kick-off

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.”

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Elder Victor Carter: A servant working for all God’s people

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.

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Lean on the Lord

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.

Read before quoting what 'thus says the Lord'

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.

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Nathaniel Thurston: Life after 31 years in prison

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.

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Church celebrates love in Jesus Christ

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.

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Be thankful to God every day

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.

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Julius Green, 92, celebrates birthday 'no aches, no pain'

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.”

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Pastor Leslie Brown III: Directs others to Jesus Christ

Leslie Brown III was born in Bronx, N.Y. Since his father, Leslie Jr. was in the military, the Brown family lived in numerous countries and cities, including Panama and Germany. The family eventually ended up in Sioux City, Iowa. Brown attended Briar Clift University in Iowa and majored in Pastoral Ministry. He was “called” into the ministry at the age of 20 while still a member of Mount Zion M.B. Church.

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We need to know God from A to Z

Throughout the Bible, we find that God wants only the best for our lives and those in our households. He tells us if we seek him first, we can ask him for anything and it will not be denied. He knows that when we get to have a personal relationship with him, our requests won’t be for silly things that he will get no glory out of our having. God wants the whole family to serve him, not just one or two members. He also wants men to be men. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (the devil).” This scripture not only applies to men; it also applies to women and children.

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The Village will help families in need for Christmas

Sharing Hope Empowerment and Reaction (SHEAR), a nonprofit organization, Angel Tree Prison Ministry and Love Over Violence and Evil (LOVE.) have partnered together for their second annual Christmas in the Village Toy Giveaway. This fun-filled event will take place on Dec. 20 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Koinonia Worship Center and Village, 4900 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. in West Park to help families needing assistance for Christmas in South Florida.

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Pastor of the Week

A sincere relationship with the Lord

Sarah A. Person is the founder and senior Pastor of Tabernacle of Deliverance Praise and Worship Center. She is a native of Picalune, Mississippi and is the proud mother of four children, 14 grandchildren and one great-grand child. Person accepted the Lord as her personal Savior in 1974 and happily says, “I have never done anything that I am more proud of. Having a sincere relationship with the Lord is the best thing that can happen to anyone. For you see, when there is a true relationship with the Lord, you can ask whatever you want and it shall be given to you. You know why? When there is a true relationship with the Lord, you will not ask for stupid things.”

God loves those who sow seeds faithfully

President Abraham Lincoln’s speech concerning slavery and Mark 3:25 both share a point: a house divided against itself cannot stand. It is also true that seven things that can divide a house are hated by God: “A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imagination, feet that run swiftly to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among the brethrens” (Proverbs 6:16-19). One of the greatest things that Christians – not mimics, but true Christians – have going for themselves is unity.

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Minister's main goal is to help others grow

Veronica Y. Morning-Morrison, 56, is a native Miamian. She is single and the mother of Immanuel Dejon Morrison. She graduated from Miami Central Senior High School, class of 1975 and from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, May 20, 1979, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Secondary Education. She has been a licensed, ordained minister for more than 33 years at Lively Stones for Jesus Ministries, (LSJM) Inc. 835 NW 119th St. She has also served as the administrator and community activist for LSJM since 1982.

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Halloween: A long standing tradition

A time for saints not witches and ghosts

Children and adults will vie for first place for the most hideous and ridiculous costumes this Friday, Oct. 31. As part of Halloween, children walk in neighborhoods, making horrible sounds at an attempt to frightened individuals into giving them goodies. This is called “trick or treat.” You give them a treat or you will be tricked. Adults who participate in celebrating this holiday, on the other hand, will strive to give the best party of the year.

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Pastor G.S. Smith: The world is his congregation

ARC’s history and legacy will live on; it’s structured that way

A pastor, who started in the ministry of Jesus Christ six decades ago, was recognized by President Barack Obama via Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, last week. That pastor is Gilbert S. Smith, a Miami homegrown answer to the national broadcast evangelists. He and his wife have been the spiritual leaders for more than 43 years. He started in a humble storefront and today the world is his congregation.

Israel Milton to be honored for his years of dedicated service

Community Action and Human Services Dept. will reunite former employees

An Inaugural Reunion for the Community Action and Human Services Department (CAHSD) will reunite many of the former 1,400 employees and honor one of its own. Today the 37-year-old department employs about 600. The reunion is set for 7 p.m., Friday Oct. 24 at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail. The public is cordially invited to attend. Israel Milton, who went to work for human services in 1981 as the Assistant Director, will be honored at the CAHSD Reunion.

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Giving is a mandate from God

I believe most of you think about money, when you see the word “giving.” But there are so many other ways to give and, this week, we are going to focus on some of them. The secret of true abiding happiness is not receiving, as most people think, it's giving. The Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) This is not a theory, it is the truth.

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C. Sorrells-Brown: An apostle chosen to serve

Cassie Sorrells was born in Connecticut to the late Pastor Ulysees Sorrells and mother Bertha Sorrells-Kennedy. She attended Connecticut public schools and graduated from Western Connecticut State College, in Danbury with three degrees – an Associate of Science in Afro-American Studies, a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Arts in Secondary Education, specializing in English. While attending college, she was selected “Who’s Who Among Afro-American Students.” She also has an Honorary Doctorate in Theology with an earned degree in Religious Studies.

Have faith to keep and promises to fulfill

Have no fear. Have faith and see the promises of God. At II Kings 6:16-17 in the Bible, there is story about a situation that developed because some seminary students had outgrown their dormitory. They asked Elisha, a prophet of God, for permission to build a new dormitory down by the Jordan River, where there were many trees. He gave them permission to build. The students loved Elisha because of his total trust in God and respected his opinion; therefore, he was asked to go with them to select the spot for their new dormitory. When they found the spot, they begin to chop down the trees.

Pastor to receive award created in the name of activist Georgia Jones-Ayers

Ronae Cambridge will be honored at the Spirit of Excellence Gala, Awards Banquet

One is a dynamic religious leader of a Liberty City church. Another one dared to be the first Black to run for mayor for Miami-Dade County. Then there is the activist who serves tirelessly to ensure that Black youth get a quality education in the nation's fourth-largest public school system. Pastor Ronae Cambridge, activist Helen Williams and Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall will be honored for their community service at the Spirit of Excellence Gala and Awards Banquet Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the African Heritage Culture Arts Center, at 6161 NW 22nd Ave.

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Pastor of the Week

Minister Henton: A young man fully dedicated to do and fulfill all of God’s will

As a young child, Minister Harrell L. Henton was taught to sing praises and worship to the Lord by his grandfather. “I have been working for the Lord for as long as I can remember,” Henton said. Under the guidance of his grandfather, Robert Holt Sr. and still a youngster, Henton made the grand decision to dedicate his full life to the work of the Lord and his church.

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The church is of God not man

The church’s purpose and needs are clearly identified and addressed in the New Testament. A wide-range of topics are also covered in God’s Word. The subject is introduced in the words of Jesus, “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18)

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Instructive words for us to live by

Christians should incorporate the counsel of God in every facet of their lives. Just as there are “fair-weather friends,” there are “Sunday Christians,” who proclaim to be sanctified on Sunday and maybe on Wednesday night at Bible study. On all the other days, they live like disciples of the devil.

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Autistic man’s ‘Green Flamingo’ produced by Cirque du Soleil

David Pedemonte-Forte, a 29-year-old autistic young man, has written a children’s book entitled “The Green Flamingo,” that has caught the eye of a major production company in Las Vegas. The book deals with bullying and how it can devastate the victim and loved ones.

Eufaula Frazier: 90th birthday to raise funds for students

“A servant to humanity, trailblazer, innovator and visionary,” are adjectives used by Akua Scott and others to describe Eufaula S. Frazier. Scott and Liz Collins are co-chair and chair respectively, of a committee preparing to celebrate this Frazier’s 90th birthday on Oct. 18 at the Miami Airport Marriott, 1201 NW 42nd Ave. from 7 to 11 p.m.

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Committed to being a servant of true God

Thelma B. Knowles was born in Miami, to the parentage of Willard and Jouselin Butler. She graduated from Booker T. Washington Senior High School in 1959 and from Southern University in 1961. Knowles would later receive her Doctorate Degree in Theology from Jacksonville Theological Seminary in 1996. She has been in the gospel ministry for more than 40 years, and in the interim was ordained an apostle. She embraced Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in 1954.

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Critically acclaimed Gracias Choir performs in Miami

Group will present free Christmas Cantata

The Gracias Choir was introduced to me by Sarai Trinidad, a media coordinator, and Paul Black who works for International Youth Fellowship (IYF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth of young people around the world. Trinidad informed me that “the critically acclaimed Gracias Choir returns to Miami to provide a musical experience unlike any other. This year’s Grand prizewinner of the Riva del Garda international Choral Competition in Italy and the winner of the first prize at Montreaux Choral Competition in Switzerland,” will present the “Gracias Christmas Cantata.”

L.O.V.E. raises violence awareness

L.O.V.E. (Love over Violence and Evil) and S.H.E.A.R., Inc. (Sharing Hope Empowerment and Reaction), both non-profit organizations, have teamed up with Lively Stones for Jesus Ministries and Apostle Dr. Thelma B. Knowles to host the 1st L.O.V.E. Field Day and Music Festival. The event will take place Sat., Nov. 8th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex in Miami Gardens.

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God doesn’t consider gender when his message is at stake

Born in 1953 in Cordele, GA., Emily Moore-Harris says “The next year, “my family relocated to Miami. “I was raised in this city and have lived here all of my life. I My husband James and I have three sons: Adrian, Alvin and Kori. After graduating from Miami Central High School in 1971 she later attended Miami Dade College where she graduated in 1994. She enrolled in Florida International University (FIU) before she graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in psychology.

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Queen Mother Nana has 80th birthday and instooled three locals

Queen Mother Boatenma Constance Ekon (Nana) was recently given a grand birthday bash that was attended by several movers and shakers in Miami’s Black community. It was standing room only on Aug. 17 at The American Legion Post 29 at 6445 NE 7th Ave. where relatives, politicians, community leaders and citizens came to celebrate her 80th birthday and “instool” three selectees. To instool means to elevate a selected individual from the rank of great standing in their community, city or state, to that of African royalty; usually to the state of “Queen Mother.”

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Don't let sin hold you hostage

Too many individuals allow their past failures, sins that were purposely plotted, schemed and implemented, and the ones that “just happened” to hold them hostage and keep them from freely serving the Lord. Don’t let sin hold you hostage.

Stacey Morrison’s final curtain call

‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course. . .’

Stacey Yvonne Morrison was born to Almarita “Rita” Mackins and the late Ernest Foley Morrison on April 25, 1971 in Miami, FL. While she was young, Morrison excelled in the arts, academics, and athletics. She graduated from Miami Killian Senior High school in 1989. During her senior year, she was voted “Most Athletic” for her achievements in basketball and track and field. She was honored for a mural she painted on the school’s courtyard commemorating Black History.

Pastor Murphy: “I want to build God a spiritual and physical house”

Dorthea Murphy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1943. She attended Mays High School but was unable to graduate due to the financial support she had to give to the family. She was obligated to stop school, and help her mother buy food and clothes for her siblings.

A perfect community for imperfect people

In the beginning there was a perfect world. It was created by God and everything in it was excellent. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us all about God’s perfect creations. The scripture also says, “Let us make man in our image. After our own likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

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Opa-locka student excels at Osceola High School

Kimani “Kiki” Francois is at the top of her game and climbing

Kimani “Kiki” Francois is one extraordinary high school student. Not only is Kimani a high-stellar student at Osceola High school, she excels in extra-curriculum activities also. She was elected Basketball Scholar of the Year for 2012 and 2013; Insurance Of America Scholar for Osceola 2013 and featured in ES3 Magazine; National Honor Society, and featured in the Peabody Hotel Newsletter (Scholar Honors).

There is a right time for everything

Wisdom properly guides one to apply information to help a person solved a problem or get out of a situation. Getting old does not always provide an individual wisdom. I am sure you know some seniors who have lacked wisdom when they were in certain situations.

Hellanna S. Waiters aims to be pure before God

Hellanna S. Waiters is a poet, spoken word artist and author. She recently completed her book entitled Hellanna’s Inspirational Approach: Inspiring you as you journey through life. Her inspiration has come from Maya Angelou. Hellanna said, “I have a passion for writing.”

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The Lord’s vision helped Rhodes found Word Counselors Ministries

Dr. Napoleon D. Rhodes Sr., is the International Prelate of the Convention of Covenanting Churches. The organization has churches in the U.S., including Miami, Palm Beach and Riviera Beach. It also has churches in several foreign countries, including the Philippines, Africa, Asia, India and Iran. In 1977, Rhodes says he “followed a vision from the Lord and contacted two of his dearest friends and founded Word Counselors Ministries to help the body of Christ.”

Get rid of your excess baggage

When an individual decides to change from worldly living to one with biblical principles, he or she become as what Christians describes as a “new creature,” who has received a brand new life. This new life includes different attitudes, desires, ambitions and needs. The transformation may be insidious but there have been cases where all of these characteristics manifest immediately. Some Christians even claim they have experienced a change in appearance after their conversion.