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Gigi Tinsley

Stories by Gigi

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Because of the love of family and friends, Thed beat the odds

Thed was empowered by family, defied the odds to live on

Theodore H. Smith was born and raised in Overtown to loving and caring parents, Blonevia and Carl Smith 80 years ago. Theodore’s birthday was March 23 and he celebrated with family, friends and his church members. “The love began for Thed (as he is affectionately called by family and friends) at birth and it has never stopped,” Courtney Johnson, Theodore’s loving cousin said. “He is my mother’s brother and they never considered casting him aside after. Real love was instilled in us when we were kids and it has never faded. Wherever they went, so went Thed. ”

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Rev. Reginald Preston’s goal is to live the word

People must see and be taught the importance of Christian character

Rev. Reginald Preston was born in Miami to the parentage of Vera and Deacon Theodore Preston. He was reared in the Lemon City area (now referred to as Little Haiti). He was educated in the Miami-Dade County School System and graduated from Miami Edison Sr. High school in 1985. He continued his education at

In April bring mother, family and sing-along

In May come back and treat your mother special

The Miami Children’s Chorus invites the whole community to come and sing-along with them on April 12th at the North Shore Park and Youth Center, 501 72nd St. on Miami Beach. When asked why are they inviting the entire community, their reply was “We want to get everyone singing again.”

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Greater Bethel AME celebrates 118 years

Building a church in the African Methodist Episcopal denomination was planted in the minds and hearts of a small group of Black Christians early in 1896. A meeting was scheduled and held March 12. 1896, three months before the city was incorporated at the home of Alex Lightburn to organize themselves. Bethel A.M.E. was organized under the the leadership of Bishop James Crawford Embry and Presiding Elder L.T. Long.

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Rev. Willie Brown: Striving to preach and teach

Willie Brown, 43, is a music teacher at Linda Linton K-8 Center on 135 St. and Memorial Highway in North Miami. He is a well-disciplined instructor he said and in addition to being a mentor and an inspiration to his students, wants to also be a man that God can use to help his people.

Mrs. Antoinette M. McPhee celebrates her 101st birthday

Mrs. Antoinette M. McPhee, who was 101 on March, is a very blessed lady. She beat the odds predicted by the US Census. According to them, McPhee was not suppose to be alive today. It was predicted in 2005 by the US Census that there would be 114,000 centenarians in the US. They missed the count by more than one-half. Only 53,364 made it. McPhee is among that elite group of individuals, of which 82 percent are women.

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Omega Power and Praise gives back

Pastor Harriette Wilson-Greene has been “a giver since she was a child because her parents instilled those values in her,” Regina Davis, the coordinator and director of the Parents IOU Group said. “When there is a passion for what one is doing, it doesn’t feel like work. You do it because there is a need and it makes you happy doing it.” Wilson-Greene has been a pastor of the Omega Power and Praise Ministry, Inc., for 14 years at 4705 NW 17th

'Church Mess' coming to Miami

One of the longest-running urban gospel stage plays in the country is set to bring an eclectic mix of comedy, drama and music during its stop in Miami after 165 stops since starting out in Miami, 2006. “Church Mess: The Play” also delivers a message of hope that God can deliver anyone out of a messy situation, including the ones church-going folks sometimes find themselves.

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Virginia Bostic: 68 years of singing

Last month, Music Minister Virginia Bostic was honored as a “Living Legend” for her more than 68 years of singing praises to her Lord and Savior. Those celebrating this milestone included: Commissioners Barbara Jordan, District 1, Miami Gardens; Jean Monestime District 2, the Miami-Dade County commission, the public, and her church, New Christ Tabernacle Church, 1305 NW 54th St. where Rev. Harold Marsh is the senior pastor, Bostic has been the music minister for twelve years.

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Zion Hope’s vision is to serve God faithfully

Pastor of the Week

Rev. Dr. Edward Mitchell, Jr. (who rather be referred to as W. Edward or Mitchell) was born in Oberlin, Ohio to Mildred Marie and Willard, Sr. and raised in Akron. “The same place LeBron James of The Heat came from,” Mitchell said with Heat pride.

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Abstinence is for the strong

Abstinence Between Strong Teens International, Inc. has been around for over 20 years, educating youth on relationships, marriage and sex from a character development perspective. It was founded by an educator, Althea McMillan, a Miami-Dade County school teacher who watched the teen pregnancy rate increase year-after-year and felt that something needed to be done beside telling the students to, “just say no.”

National week of prayer for HIV/AIDS awareness

Community prayer breakfast, HIV/AIDS forum and gospel concert among activities

March 2nd-9th is recognized as the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS (NWPHA). The National Week of Prayer for the healing of AIDS is an annual HIV awareness campaign designed to mobilize faith communities everywhere and highlight the contributions and impact congregations are making in the area of HIV prevention, testing, direct service, advocacy and community engagement.

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Rev. Jackson: Servant of Jesus Christ

Rev. Dr. Dennis M. Jackson, a native of Moultrie, GA, born to the parentage of the late Mary Lee Jackson and the late Arthur Eugene Jackson says that he is “God’s under shepherd at United Christian Praise and Worship Center, Inc.” The place that he, the members, and others refer to as “Holy Ghost Headquarters, USA.” Jackson has been the pastor of UCPWC since 1996.

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FANM celebrates 21 years of empowering women

Bastien is the founder and current Executive Director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami

“When it comes to Haitians, Marleine Bastien is one of the most passionate and articulate spokespersons in Miami,” Leroy Jones, Executive Director of NANA and Tools for Change said. “From the early 90s until now, if a Haitian boat filled with Haitians came to our shores, Ms. Bastien was there. After ‘wet-foot dry-foot’ started, she yelled even louder about the injustices. ”

Mrs. Burnett attributes longevity to her faith

When one has lived long enough to be called a centurion, that individual belongs to a very elite group that has very few members. Mrs. Gertrude McNish Jones Burnett, 99, will belong to that group in less than eleven months. Burnett was born January 9, 1915 in Fort White, Columbia County, Florida. She is one of six children born to Carrie and Walter McNish.

Amistad Sunday at Church of the Open Door united

Christians celebrate friendship

The Church of the Open Door, 6001 NW 8th Ave., under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Joaquin, Congregational, United Church of Christ, and the United Black Christians will, for the 17th consecutive year, host the celebration of Amistad Sunday. Their aim is to constantly keep that legacy in the minds of Floridians. La Amistad, in Spanish means Friendship, but the ship that carried Mendes, who were originally taken from Sierra Leone to Puerto Principe, Cuba to be sold into slavery was showing everything but the act of

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The Rosa Shaw Story

The famous Mother Evangelist Rosa Shaw spoke openly and candidly about her life and the many opportunities given to her by God, during our interview. Her son, Charles Johnson, the older of her two sons, helped fill in the gaps when she, the day before her 105th birthday, was unable to remember a name, place, or incident. Her youngest son, Peter Johnson, lives in Newark, NJ where Charles lived for many years, too. Shaw was born in Bishopville, SC and moved to Tampa, FL as a young woman. Before becoming an evangelist, musician and pastor, she was an entrepreneur. Shaw was a cosmetologist and owned a beauty salon and restaurant in Tampa.

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BTW’s “Apples”did not fall far from the “Trees”

On Sunday, Feb. 9th, Booker T. Washington Alumni Association, Inc.’s Orange, Black and White Tea Committee, chaired by Ms. Cecilia L. Hunter presented the very successful “The Apples Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree” celebration instead of the usual annual “Unsung Heroes” event.

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Family is most important to Reverend Whisby

Elder Willie Whisby “has had mature thoughts for as long as I have known him, and that is a long time,” Mrs. Thessalonia H. Tinsley, 92, said when asked by this reporter, her daughter. “As a young boy, he was helping his daddy and other grown men make repairs on houses. They were doing what you all now call ‘house flipping’ long before it was on television.”

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Signature Suites open at Northshore

The Mother/Baby Unit (3rd floor-main bldg.), the same area where the first baby was born more than 60 years ago, and weighed in at nine pounds, has been refurbished and that mother would not recognize it, if she saw it today. The maternity suites are beautiful and can be easily compared to any fine hotel suite at any resort around.

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Dade County Deltas honor their founders

TV and Radio personality headlines celebration

Biblically, it is written: “Give honor where honor is due.” The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dade County Alumnae Chapter took that statement literally and acted positively upon it Sat., Jan 25 at the J.W. Marriott Brickell. They honored their 22 founders with all the vim, vigor and respect any group could have for those whose shoulders they now stand.

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Leroy Washington left a great legacy

Leroy Washington was born in Greenville, FL on May 1, 1925 to the parentage of the late George and Leanna Stevens Washington. He was the youngest of five children and graduated from Greenville High School.

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Correctly trained, your child will make you proud

Torace Poole has established his ministry at an early age

The word of God says if parents train their children well while they are young, even if they depart from the training, they will return. “Somehow, it seems that those are just spoken words and not words that are acted upon,” Evangelist Ladi Jenkins said. “We must learn to either believe or not believe the word of God. There is no in between or taking parts of it.”

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City Cemetery honors Black charter

The 21st annual Commemorative Service and Youth Talent on Parade program will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE 2nd Ave.. and Biscayne Park, next to the cemetery. Commissioner Audrey Edmonson will bring greetings and make presentations to the Essay Contest and Youth Talent On Parade winners. Other program participants include: Mrs. Becky Roper Matkov, President of Dade Heritage Trust; James McQueen, Esq., Chief of Staff and Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

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Hadley Park Homeowners feeling ignored and left out

Residents express displeasure with police and city officials

At the recent Hadley Park Homeowners (and Rentals) (HPHA) Association meeting held on Jan. 28 at the Carrie P. Meek Senior Citizen Center, 1350 NW 50th St., “being left out,” and “ignored” were voiced adamantly and with much concern by the members of the Association. They unanimously said, “We are going to be respected and treated fairly by those we helped or did not help get into office. If not, we will get them out of office.”

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The valley prepares you for the peak in your life

Struggles make triumph feel amazing

At birth, Marvin Charles Lue, Jr. was not expected to live beyond the first 24 hours, due to a rare gastric condition that to this day challenges him. “My father died when I was four years old and my paternal and maternal grandparents soon followed him,” Lue said. “My mother was constantly moving from state-to-state and city-to-city doing her best to give us a better quality of life. I had to endure a nomadic childhood which meant changing schools frequently.

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From the Jail to the pulpit

One seldom meets a more concerned, people-loving, sensitive, individual than Ulysses S. Morris, Jr. “When one hears Overseer Morris’ life story, it appears that all of his life, God has been preparing him for this season of his life,” Rev. Leroy Smith said. “If this man had not come into my life when he did, I am

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UM Sr. members make sweet music

Have you always wished you had the time to learn to play a musical instrument but never did? The University of Miami is offering that opportunity to senior citizens who have that desire. This is something George Early has always wanted to do — play a trumpet.

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Is mediocrity the new standard for Black students?

Florida adopts race-based academic goals, community in uproar

While many thought Jim Crow politics ended with the Civil Rights movement, the Southern Poverty Law Center alleges otherwise in their most recent complaint against the Florida Department of Education. The complaint alleges that the Department of Education adopted a discriminatory strategic plan that sets lower academic expectations for Black and Hispanic students based on race and nationality.

North Central vying to become City

Citizens in North Central section unincorporated Miami are working extremely hard to make their area another city in Miami-Dade County. “I have followed the City hood efforts in North Central for several years and applaud the dedication and tenacity of the leaders and the community to stay the course of this most

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Spirit of Jesus Deliverance Center founded to teach

Reverend Maurice Robinson and his wife, Helen who prefers to be called the “Elect Lady,” are very impressive about their feelings for people and the Lord. They are very much aware of the fact that in order to have a friend, one must first be friendly. Their aim, according to both Robinsons is to build a church that reflects what God says in his word — ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ and ‘love your neighbor as your self.’

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Helen Jenkins: From first lady to pastor

“I don’t take my position at all lightly"

The definition of a pastor, according to Pastor Helen Jenkins is someone whom God has anointed and called to do a special work, including but not limited to teaching and training believers to become committed followers of Jesus Christ.

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Pete Scott named Nat’l Fireman of the Year in 2013

“Because of the prayers of my parents, I am what I am”

The word of God says: “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it.”

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McCullough, Sr.: A self-motived visionary

“My goal is to lead according to God’s word"

Pastor Martai D. McCullough, Sr. is a young, goal-oriented professional with hands-on experience that he hopes will help him reach the vision of being a great shepherd. “I want to help the people of God get a greater knowledge of and a deeper relationship with the Lord by feeding them the word of God,” McCullough said.

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Rev. Cook celebrates 46 years of preaching

Closing in on final sermon at Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Douglas Cook, Sr., the well-known, white-haired, people-loving pastor of Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church, will preach the word of God to hundreds-of-thousands of individuals for the final time in Jan. 2014. ‘“I am not tired yet,” Cook said. “God’s word keeps you wanting to hear more-and-more about him. The more you hear about him, the more you want to hear.”

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Hospitality Committee gives flowers to Patterson, 99

Born in Miami on Feb. 7, 1914, Dorothy Patterson will be 100 years-old on Feb. 5, 2014. She is the only child of the late Lillian and Timothy Farrington. Though Dorothy, at birth weighted twelve and one-half pounds, today at 99, “She has a nice little body shape and has a bundle of energy, a good mind, and loves to dance.,” Dr. Dory Lingo, the Hospitality Ministry President of the Church of the Open Door U.C.C. said. The same church where Patterson is a member of.

Dr. Barrau, M.D.: So. FL Chapter hosts gala

“I believe the Haitian doctors and African American doctors are too distant in their professions, social activities and in their communities. Hopefully, beginning with a combined knowledge of professions and socializing we can become closer,” Barrau said. “Most African American doctors are not aware that there is an association of Haitian physicians. Hopefully, by letting them know what we do and their letting us know what they do, we can become closer in our efforts.”

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A pastor, mentor and great trainer retires

McIntyre leaves pastoring but will continue God’s work

Rev. Marvin James McIntyre, Sr. a very reserved, disciplined, calm, “Christ-influenced,” 78 year-old pastor is leaving that career to take on a more “evangelistic one.” He says, “I am leaving the pulpit/pastoral part of the job I have proudly done for 33 years but will always be a spokesperson for the Lord.” The young man, personally selected, to replace McIntyre is Rev. Brandon Jones, the son of Lisa Frazier and Leroy Jones, who is not only a preacher but also

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A century of service, sisterhood and scholarship

The grand chapter, Alpha Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was founded Jan. 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate students on the campus of Howard University. Many of those same women were among the first Black Women to join the Women’s Suffrage March down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. “One hundred years ago, those women realized that when collective strength is used much can be accomplished,” Maud Newbold, the organizer, first president of the Dade County Alumnae Chapter organized Jan. 10, 1981 and General Centennial Chairperson, said. “we know the value of unity and the strength it can

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Jesus Loves Me celebrates 9th anniversary

“Prepared people for prepared work”

“Pastor Diane E. Owens is a very God-driven, outgoing individual who is dependable and enjoys helping children in the community educationally and spiritually, “Sister Holly Lee said. “She shows her concern for all of us. Many of our services are held outside of the building [BAC Bldg. at 6600 NW 27th Ave.] because some of the members and visitors have physical problems and difficulty climbing stairs.”

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S.H.E.A.R. helps spread holiday cheer to all

This is the time of the year that people smile more, are more courteous towards each other and are more giving towards the less fortunate. I’ve always wondered what people think happens to the needy around this time of the year? Well, at

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Dr. Russell reaches out through lifeline ministry

“I love the Lord and will serve, forever”

Dr. Calvin Russell, a native of Miami says he, “loves the Lord who has declared my life to serving his people and worshipping and giving praise to Him.”

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Unstoppable despite disabilities

Paraplegic Gleneisha Darkins determined to finish school

It was about this time of the year —Thanksgiving — in Nov. 2010 when Gleneiesha Darkins and a carload of her classmates from the Richmond Heights area were coming home from Florida A& M University [FAMU] to spend the holidays with their families and they were involved in a horrific accident.

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Omega Power and Praise ministry gives and feeds

Pastor Wilson-Green: “We wish that we could do more”

The Omega Power and Praise Ministry, Inc., is dedicated to serving the community and providing a place of worship for all who wish to get closer to God. The church is under the leadership of Pastor Harriette Wilson-Green, who is a very knowledgeable and intelligent lady who devotes the majority of her time looking out for the welfare and well-being of others.

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L’Oréal Paris honors and supports Women of Worth

One of three Florida women need your vote

Ten advocating women from around the nation are being recognized by the renown for their community involvement. Three from the south Florida area have won $10,000 each and are now seeking the position of National Honoree Woman of Worth and be the additional award of $25,000.

Residents voice on opinions on Lemon City vs. Little Haiti

Residents of Liberty City and surrounding areas have flooded The Miami Times with telephone calls that expressed their concerns about the possibility of there being a name change for Lemon City. As one caller said, “to do so would push aside the fact that the people who lived, slaved and died in that area and let them be forgotten and dismissed,” stated Courtney Demerritte, the great-grandson of Elizabeth and Rodney Ferguson who lived in Lemon City in the 30s and 40s.

AHCAC: Still the great secret on 62nd Street

Drama, dancing and music fit for Broadway

That large, blue building on NW 62nd and 22nd Avenue is a mystery for far too many residents of Miami-Dade County but plans are in the works to change that. The fenced-in, one-block building with the African trim has been there since 1975. Countless numbers of students have attended classes in drama and dance there. Many of them have gone on to study, sing and dance with some of the greatest professional groups in the nation with some “graduates” making quite a name for themselves.

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Smith's aim is to follow the example of Christ

Isaac Smith was born to the late Saintana and Daniel Smith in Nassau, Bahamas in 1966. When he was 12-years-old, the family migrated to the U.S. and took residence in Miami. The thing most vivid in his young mind from then to now is “I was always in church,” Smith said. As a youngster,

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Pastor Jackson: Raised on the word of God

Local pastor follows in his father’s footsteps

The Millrock Holy Missionary Baptist Church (2575 N.W. 65th St.) was founded 45 years ago by the late Pastor Emeritus Reverend Andrew Jackson. His son, the Reverend Aaron Jackson, has served as the church’s pastor since 2007. Before the son took over, Millrock was under the leadership of Rev. James McKinnon, his brother-in-law. Since its inception, Millrock has been under the guidance and direction of a family member.

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RJT Foundation honored for services rendered

“To lose a child hurts the entire family, someone has to be there to help them”

Denise Brown, the founder and president of the RJT Foundation lost a son, Roman Bradley, along with his childhood friend JaQuevin Myles on March 1, 2012 in a drive-by shooting. Brown along with JaQuevin’s mother, Jacklyn Hall and