Bishop T. Larry Kirkland Sr.Episcopal Supervisor Mary L. KirklandPastor John and Lady Denise Hunter
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., presiding prelate of the 5th Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church, and Mrs. Mary L. Kirkland, Episcopal Supervisor, convened the 87th Session of the Southern California Annual Conference on October 26 and will continue to October 30 at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel, 5711 West Century Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Pastor John J. Hunter, First Lady Denise Hunter and the members of First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles are hosting the week-long program. Thousands of people from California, Nevada, and throughout the country are attending to participate in worship services, business sessions, and Conference Institute classes.
"This is an important gathering for all local A.M.E. members as well as believers in the gospel of Christ Jesus. All of our activities will focus on preparing the saints and strengthening the church universal to do the work of ministry that is critical to our continuing success in these challenging times," said Bishop Kirkland.
"It is our hope and prayer that all who desire a closer walk with the Lord, regardless of religious affiliation, will join us this week and I guarantee you will experience renewal and recommitment to God," Bishop Kirkland said.
Activities began earlier this week with the Pre-Conference Musical featuring the Southern California Conference (SCC) Choir under the direction of Professor Ron Lowe. Also, the SCC Women In Ministry, led by Rev. Felicia R. Bagneris, presented workshops, a luncheon honoring Rev. Annie C. Watson and hosted worship with preaching by Presiding Elder Shermella Garrett.
Supervisor Kirkland administered the Women's Missionary Society Convention on Tuesday, overseeing business meetings and the WMS ‘Witness Night' program. The convention culminated with an ‘Hour of Power' service on Wednesday.
Bishop Kirkland officially opened the Conference Business Session with roll call on Wednesday at 10 a.m., and the Opening Worship Service took place at 7 p.m., with the sermon delivered by Rev. Mary S. Minor of Murph Chapel/St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Valinda.
On Thursday, October 27, business sessions continue and at 7 p.m., Ecumenical Night will be celebrated. The service will benefit Paine Theological Seminary, an A.M.E. institution.
The agenda on Friday, October 28, includes the election of clergy and lay delegates to the 49th General Conference of the A.M.E. Church in 2012 where bishops will be elected and policies, programs and legislation will be implemented to guide the denomination for the next four years. Also on Friday, Lay Witness Night will be observed at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, October 29, the Ordination Service will take place at 11 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Clement Fugh, Chief Information Officer of the A.M.E. Church, will be the guest preacher. Also, the Young People's Division will hold several sessions and present its Youth Night program at 6 p.m.
The Closing Worship and Commissioning Service is set for Sunday, October 30, at 3 p.m., at New Philadelphia A.M.E. Church, 19100 Susana Road in Rancho Dominquez. Retired Bishop John Hurst Adams, former pastor of Grant A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, will preach.
The Fifth District Planning Meeting begins on Monday, October 31, at the LAX Hilton. Registration will be held in the morning and worship at 12 noon with Rev. Tyrus Myhand bringing the message.
On Tuesday, November 1, the plenary session starts at 9 a.m., with reports from all organizations in the District. At 12 noon, the service will feature Bishop Sarah F. Davis, presiding prelate of the 16th Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church.
For more information, call the FAME church office at (323) 730-7750.