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A WORSHIPPING PEOPLE WHO: A. Come to church on a regular basis B. Continually invite others to church and make visitors feel welcome C. Participate in the worship experience (singing, praying, listening, praising, etc.)


A SPIRIT-FILLED, PRAYING CHURCH THAT: A. Prays and meditates at a regular time each day B. Encourages members to connect regularly with prayer partners C. Prays for the needs of members and the Church as a whole D. Allows the Holy Spirit to free each member to express himself without feeling embarrassed


A WITNESSING SOUL WINNING CHURCH THAT ENCOURAGES EVERY MEMBER TO: A. Bring one person to Christ B. Participate in the Evangelism activities C. Know and to work the plan of salvation


A CARING CHURCH WHOSE MEMBERS: A. Visit the sick and shut-in and those who are incarcerated B. Provide social services for disabled, handicapped and aged individuals



A BIBLE-BASED CHURCH THAT ENCOURAGES EVERY MEMBER TO: A. Bring his/her Bible to worship services B. Read the Bible on a daily basis C. Participate in one of the Bible Study classes

VII. A STRONG CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CHURCH THAT: A. Develops spiritual growth and increases attendance in the Church School B. Plans activities focused on enhancing the spiritual development of all membership components of the church C. Plans a comprehensive ministry for youths (13 to 17) D. Conducts a ministry for young adults (18 to 40) E. Trains individuals for various ministry roles within the church VIII.

A COMMUNITY CONSCIOUS CHURCH THAT: A. Encourages economic development B. Encourages networking and brokering within the Black Community C. Implements an effective ministry to aid the less fortunate. D. Develops a stronger relationship with A Life Recovery Center


A POLITICALLY AWARE AND ACTIVE CHURCH THAT: A. Sponsors Church, Academy and Society Lecture Series B. Sponsors political forums C. Keeps abreast of current political issues

X. A CHURCH WITH A GLOBAL VISION THAT: A. Is consciously concerned about the plight of the Third World People and supports at least three mission Churches.


The Senior Minister’s Message Greetings and Welcome to Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. and Supervisor Connie Richardson, Host Presiding Elder Mary Robinson, Presiding Elder James Davis and Presiding Elder Carlton Taylor, District Consultants, Host Pastor Reverend Freddie N. Tellis, Pastors, Delegates, Alternates and Observers of the 147th Session of the Florida Annual Conference:


Deana and I are delighted to welcome each of you back to Bethel AME Church for the 147th Session of the Florida Annual Conference, the best Annual Conference in all of African Methodism--made better with the appointment and return of Bishop and Supervisor Adam Jefferson and Connie Speights Richardson, Jr. I am certain that every pastor and delegate present share in my excitement about the leadership and ministry that they will provide the Eleventh Episcopal District. This Annual Conference Report for 2011-12 bears witness to the outstanding grace and fulfilled promises of God. The Bethel AME Church continues its 147 year history of service to our membership, our local community, and beyond. The men and women of Bethel have done extraordinary work in the vineyard of the Lord during this Season of Great Expectations. Both the spiritual and fiscal impact of their work in our community are immeasurable. Most importantly, within our four walls, the Word of God has been preached, souls have been saved and the Holy Spirit has been present! The Bethel family is blessed and we are delighted to bless others through our sharing of God’s gifts through worship and works. We gratefully acknowledge the extraordinary contributions and support of Bishop McKinley Young and Supervisor Dorothy Jackson Young. Their natural affection for Deana and my ministry here at Bethel has been humbling and an enormous honor. We are eternally grateful for their undying love, never ceasing prayers and unending support not only as our former Episcopal leaders of this Episcopal District but as our parents. Then, the families and individuals of the Bethel AME Church family continue to astound us with their generosity and the selfless sharing of their gifts, talents and treasures in support of this ministry. This report describes their worthwhile efforts in evangelism, worship, missions, ministry and stewardship. May God bless each member of Bethel for embracing the “Call to Make a Difference.” Finally, this marks our fourth annual report as the pastor and first lady of this great church and my sixteenth as minister in the AME Church. We are grateful for the support of both Presiding Elders Carlton Taylor and Ralph Wilson during this last quadrennium. As current senior minister, I am humbled beyond description to have the thirty-third pastor of Bethel, Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. as our Resident Bishop. I am also doubly excited at the opportunity to enjoy his wise counsel and his unfaltering support of this ministry. To God be the Glory! In His Name because of Christ and Calvary,

Reverend Dr. Julius Harrison McAllister, Jr., Senior Minister Mrs. Deana Young McAllister, First Lady

THE PASTOR’S ANNUAL REPORT ELEVENTH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT 147th SESSION OF THE FLORIDA ANNUAL CONFERENCE AUGUST 14-17, 2012 Church Presiding Bishop Episcopal Supervisor Presiding Elder Senior Minister

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church The Right Reverend Adam J. Richardson, Jr. Mrs. Connie Speights-Richardson The Reverend Dr. Carlton Taylor The Reverend Dr. Julius H. McAllister, Jr.

Numerical Statistics Accessions






Full Membership


Property Valuation


Insurance Valuation


Church School Membership


Financial Statistics Total Income Raised


Bethel Community Development Corporation


A Life Recovery Center


Total Church Indebtedness


Receipt on General Budget


Cash on General Budget


Total General Budget


Presiding Elder Carlton Taylor and Mrs. Trina Taylor


Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr. Presiding Bishop

God has Spoken…Let the Church say Amen! 5

A son of the parsonage, Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. was born to preach; he was raised to serve the Lord; he was instructed to serve humanity, and he was prepared to lead the people of God. God would speak to a young Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. and inform his circumstances and choices all of his life. The Mount Olive AME Church of Clearwater, Florida was his cradle and nursery. Here, Bishop Richardson first heard the words, “Yes, Jesus loves me!” Bishop Richardson’s lifelong conversation with his Creator and Redeemer continued throughout his childhood in Tampa, Florida and through his college days in Tallahassee at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and at the Bethel AME Church. Then the Lord would speak again in 1978. Reverend Dr. Ira D. Hinson, then pastor of Bethel Tallahassee, was moved to Greater Bethel, Miami (Overtown). The Lord spoke to Bishop Samuel Morris and Reverend Adam Jefferson Richardson returned to Bethel AME Church, Tallahassee as its Senior Minister. The Bethel AME Church is delighted to have the Bishop and Supervisor Richardson return to Bethel and to the Florida Annual Conference. The expanse of his legacy and his comforting shadow still remain at Bethel. During his eighteen year tenure as Pastor, there was no doubt that the then Reverend Dr. Adam J. Richardson, Jr. remained in constant dialogue with the Lord. This was most evident because of Reverend Dr. Richardson’s creation of progressive ministries, production and renovation of a new facility, and his prodigious accomplishments. Namely, Reverend Dr. Richardson, while Senior Minister, led the members in the construction of a new $2 million worship, community and educational facility; the creation of the A Life Recovery Center, a residential drug treatment center in Frenchtown; the founding of the Bethel Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 devoted to affordable housing options for low income families; the purchase of the Bethel by the Lake Campsite and Retreat Center, and the production of a weekly television broadcast that reached thousands of homes in the Panhandle and Southern Georgia, and the list could continue...To God be the Glory! Certainly the Lord has spoken to Bishop Richardson throughout his Episcopal Service in the Fourteenth, Nineteenth, and Second Episcopal Districts. Each district was enlightened, equipped and empowered by his leadership. Once again the Lord has spoken, and the Richardsons have returned to the Electrifying Eleventh. There is no doubt in our minds...The Best Is Yet to Come!

God has spoken, let the Church say Amen! Reverend Dr. Julius H. McAllister

Mrs. Connie S. Richardson Episcopal Supervisor

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3 NIV ~

As Christians, we must daily show the world that we belong to the Lord by evidencing His nature in our walk, witness, and our works. This has been no less true of our Episcopal Supervisor, Sister Connie Speights Richardson. I am so very grateful to follow in her godly footsteps as the current First Lady of the Bethel AME Church Family. For more than sixteen years, as an Episcopal Supervisor, she has led her Episcopal District Women’s Missionary Societies with both adequate, appropriate and able authority. Because of her formal training as a medical provider (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner--(ARNP), and nursing educator), through conversation and observation, she readily discerned the needs of the people found in her Districts. Where both financial and human resources were lacking, Sister Richardson was able to marshal adequate financial resources to serve the people. With her infectious enthusiasm, the Women’s Missionary Society in the Second, Nineteenth, and even Fourteenth Episcopal Districts were able to provide appropriate services that would ultimately, heal the broken hearted, and bind up their wounds just like our God! Supervisor Richardson’s “walk, witness and works” have been a reflection of not only her intellect; (She was her high school valedictorian); her career (She has been an ARNP and professor of nursing for more than thirty years); her motherhood (She has two successful children both with post graduate degrees); her marriage, but also her innate Christian matriarchal and healing spirit. All of these things coalesce in this wonderful woman of God and define her Christian service and leadership. The Eleventh Episcopal District Women’s Missionary Society will no doubt call her our “Mother in God,” much like our brothers and sisters in the 19th Episcopal District who lovingly named her Masechaba, “Mother of the Nation.” Sister Richardson’s empathy translates to persons from all walks of life, all nations and all levels of need and distress. Whether it is AIDS patients here or abroad or terminally ill patients in Tallahassee, Florida, Supervisor Connie Speights Richardson has a willing spirit to heal the broken hearted, and bind up their wounds! We rejoice in her appointment and praise God for her gifts!

To God be the Glory! First Lady Deana Y. McAllister


Preach the Word! Good News! “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’ ” Mark 16: 15 NIV


Spiritual nourishment, provided through the powerful and fervent preaching of the Word of God by Reverend Julius, permeated this Season of Great Expectations. Visiting clergy also proclaimed God’s amazing power and saving grace. Their names and sermon titles are presented on these pages.


As A Body of Believers... We Have Only Done Our Duty! “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘we are Unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ” Luke 17: 10 NLT


The Church at Work

As humble servants of the Most High God, we delighted in the privilege to do His work and His will during this Season of Great Expectations. The following pages provide a brief summary of our humble efforts to be obedient to God and His Word.

Missions and Outreach

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.’ ’’ Matthew 9: 37-38 NLT Soaring on its legacy of service, the Elkins-Williams Women’s Missionary Society was visibly active during the year providing care and relief to persons in need throughout the Tallahassee Community. One of their signature projects involved preparing and serving a hot, balanced meal to 200 individuals at the Tallahassee Homeless Shelter each month. This service also included cleaning the kitchen facility after each meal. Through the Angel Tree Network Project, members expressed love and care to the sick and shut-in by visiting patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitative centers twice a month. Also, twice weekly, members provided personal care to designated home-bound shut-in. This labor of love involved combing and brushing hair, cutting finger and toe nails, providing sit-in care, reading mail, light house cleaning, shopping, transporting persons to doctor’s visits, and other services. Other mission projects included providing school supplies WMS Serves the Homeless and back packs to Hope House, furnishing clothes and shoes to ECHO, visiting and donating to the PACE Center for Girls, contributing items to the Brehon Institute for Family Services, contributing to the Veterans House, and donating books to the Emerging Leaders Conference Project. The society partnered with Stewardess Board #4 in the first annual Diapers for Babies Drive. Recognizing the importance of developing and maintaining good health, members sponsored two health seminars. The society continued its partnership with Christian Women United (CWU) in fellowship each month and in ecumenical celebrations such as Human Rights Day and World Day of Prayer.

The Church School coordinated Bethel’s Thanksgiving Basket Program that supplied 450 baskets to sick and shut-in members of the congregation and needy families in the community.

Volunteers Prepare Thanksgiving Baskets

The Daughters of Sarah Allen coordinated the annual Families Reaching Families Christmas Project. Gifts were provided to 48 needy families. Stewardess Board #1 provided mentoring to Nim’s Middle School students and donated supplies and monetary gifts to the school. Stewardess Board #2 provided assistance and support to a needy family.

Christmas Gifts for the Needy

Stewardess Board #4 inaugurated the first annual Diapers for Babies Drive. The Diapers, donated to Brehon Institute for Family Services, totalled 2,115. The board also gave a monetary gift to the Project Annie Food Program and supplied the Tallahassee Homeless Shelter with socks and gift bags. The N. Z. Graham Board donated clothing and household supplies to the Homeless Shelter, provided a monetary gift and volunteers to the Big Bend Hospice House, provided blankets for Gambro Dialysis patients, and donated grocery gift cards to three needy families.

The A. J. Kershaw Board provided monetary gifts to the Tallahassee Homeless Shelter. Also, on the first Wednesday of each month, the board purStewardess Board #4 and WMS chased, cooked, and served meat for the noon meal. Members donated wigs for cancer patients. Bible Class lll provided produce from its vegetable garden to the Tallahassee Homeless Shelter. A Life Recovery Center served 209 persons, of which 95 were drug court clients, 68 were residential clients, and 46 were intensive outpatient clients. The Commission on Christian Social Action conducted a “Uniting to Protect our Votes and Preserve Our Voices” Campaign. Six members of Bethel were trained and certified by the Supervisor of Elections to register voters; the commission held two Voter Registration Drives, and a “Voter Education Awareness Page” was placed in the church worship guide. The commission also participated in the AME Day at the Capitol, joined the


Tallahassee Ministerial Alliance and pastors in the Tallahassee District at a meeting with former Senator Al Lawson to discuss the need for this area’s interests to be represented in the Florida Congress, and participated in PICO United Florida Civil Engagement and Voter Outreach Training. The Commission on Health held its Sixth Annual Day of Dialogue on Minority Health, “From Mission to Omission: Breaking Barriers to Quality Health,” in Crawfordville, FL. It also participated in a Prayer Breakfast, “The Gospel of Social Change” in Quincy, FL.


DSA visit Museum of Agriculture

The Daughters of Sarah Allen carried mentees on an educational excursion to the Museum of Agriculture and Historic Villages in Tifton, GA. The annual sleepover included a coupon savings workshop, an English/Grammar workshop, a college chat, and arts and crafts activities. The annual Mother/Daughter Luncheon featured a “Women of the Bible” fashion show. Three mentees were awarded the Maggie Metcalf Award. The organization also donated clothing to the Newborn Nursery at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

Bethel awarded the Richard Allen Educational Empowerment Award to Superintendent of Education Jackie Pons and Dr. Julian White, FAMU Director of Bands. Bethel awarded the Richard Allen Community Empowerment Award to six individuals whose consistent efforts have contributed to the enhancement of life in Tallahassee and surrounding communities: Kenneth Austin, Sharon Ofuani, LaVerne Payne, Gaye Harper, Thomas Lewis, and Allen Stucks.

Richard Allen Community Empowerment Awardees

Bethel hosted the 11th Episcopal District AME Day at the Capitol. Bethel supported and participated in the Annual Urban League Sunday Kickoff. The Transportation Ministry expanded its efforts to bring more students to church by increasing the number of locations for picking up students at FAMU and FSU. The Young Adult Ministry represented mightily for FSU’s Hand in Hand Across time event celebrating 50 years of integration at The Florida State University.

Discipleship and Christian Education

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. ...And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 42 NIV We thank God for adding ninety-nine souls to our church family. Bible Study, Prayer Meeting, and Church School convened weekly.


Seeking a stronger and more intimate relationship with God and His intervention into our personal lives and the work of Bethel, the congregation began the calendar year with a 21-day fast. The Lenten Season was celebrated with a special Ash Wednesday worship serTuesday Summer vice which included the imposition of the Bible Study ashes. During the forty day period, daily devotions were provided by the associate ministers, and the congregation participated in the Daniel Fast.

Reverend Julius & Jadon Grant

Reverend Julius provided a daily devotion and pastoral prayer to the congregation via e-mail. The Reverend Melvin Payne was appointed Youth Minister. The New Members Orientation Course was conducted quarterly. Reverend Julius provided weekly oral and written lessons on the importance of stewardship. The Youth Church was reestablished (1st through 4th Sundays) for children 7-17 years old. The Music and Creative Arts Ministry presented a stirring Good Friday/Easter production entitled “We Remember Cavalry.” The anointed “Women in Worship” Mass Choir blessed the church and community during the Women’s Week Celebration.

“We Remember Calvary”

Women’s Week Mass Choir

The Bethel Church School, Youth Fellowship Choir, and Young People’s Division presented an Easter program entitled “Alive: A Celebration of the Risen King” with over fifty participants delighting the congregation through recitation, dance, singing, and drama. The Lay Organization offered a course entitled AME 1101: The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity.


The Commission on Christian Education facilitated the Bethel Leadership Retreat, “Committed to Giving.” The retreat was facilitated by Dr. William Watley, Senior Minister of the St. Philip AME Church in Atlanta. The Board of Stewards conducted three days of Steward Orientation and Training. The Board of Trustees held a leadership Training and Orientation Workshop facilitated by the Reverend Dr. Marvin Zanders, III, Senior Pastor of the St Paul AMEC in Jacksonville, FL. The Church School was well represented at the Tallahassee District Church School Convention hosted by Flipper Chapel AME Church. Twenty-one delegates represented Bethel and eleven of the conference teachers and workshop presenters were from Bethel. The YPD participated in the 11th Episcopal District’s Black Heritage Weekend at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL. Our young people earned 48 medals with 18 first place finishes. The Church School African American History Month Program featured lectures, creative arts, an essay contest, and an art exhibit featuring Bethel artists. Theme: Women in American History and Culture: Sapphire Is a Precious Gem.” The Young Adult Ministry provided Bible study for young people ages 18-35 every Tuesday, allowing them to engage in God’s Word and encourage one another in the Lord.

In – Reach/Fellowship

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5: 11 NIV The Children’s Ministry established the Children’s Corner to provide religious and fun programs and activities for children from birth to six (6) years old during the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Bethel awarded a scholarship to each of its high school graduates and provided each college graduate with a monetary gift.

Reverend Julius with High School Graduates

The Bethel Student Guidance and Support Program (SGS) continued to make an impact on the lives of college students. Twenty-five students were assigned to church members as mentees during a Matching Ceremony and Dinner. Structured activities designed to promote bonding between participating church members and their assigned mentees included a family bowling and pizza outing and a pot luck dinner.

SGS parents and mentees bond and bowl

Bethel awarded the Richard Allen Educational Empowerment Award to eight members of the congregation: Inez Henry, Bill Johnson, Theoria Clark, Beverly Barber, Sylvia Petties, Hodgetta Huckaby, Angela Richardson, and Reggie Davis. The Commission on Health held a “Fall into Health Breakfast.” It also conducted blood pressure screening each Sunday. The Youth Ministry sponsored its annual “Holyween” Fall Harvest Ball which provided food, music, and fun for its members. The Julia Morgan Women’s Missionary Society was renamed the Elkins-Williams Women’s Missionary Society in honor of the combined 50 years plus of service provided by Sister Margaree Elkins and Sister Olivia Williams to the WMS throughout the Connection. The society also held its Annual Old Fashion Dinner.

Margaree Elkins, Reverend Julius and Olivia Williams Bethel recognized members who brought the most family/friends to service on Family and Friends Day. The Church School recognized over 30 honor roll students who met the Church School attendance requirements with AMC gift cards. It observed Mother’s Day and Father’s Day by holding special programs and honoring each mother and father with a gift. Also, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt provided much fun and enjoyment for the children. The Youth Ministry documented the achievements of youth and young adults in their annual publication “Youth Aspirations and Young Adult Accomplishments.” It also recognized the achievements of high school and college graduates at the Annual Youth Day Worship Service. The Reverend Melvin Payne delivered the message.


The Media and Sound Ministry produced CDs and DVDs of Sunday worship services. Bethel celebrated the Third Anniversary of The First Family with worship and fellowship. With the objective of improving the health of our members, “Let’s Move Bethel,” a walking program, was initiated by Reverend Julius and First Lady Deana, and a Weigh Watchers Chapter was established at the church.


The Young People’s Department (YPD) held a Pasta Feast and a Pajama Praise Party. Children who attended the Black Heritage Weekend displayed their talents in a showcase entitled “A Little Piece of Broadway.”

YPDers present “A Little Piece of Broadway” The Bethel Men’s Ministry held its 4th Annual Sunday Super Bowl Fellowship. The Senior Adult Ministry remained on the move enjoying road trips and dinner excursions.

Senior Adult Ministry enjoy boating excursion to Shell Island TEMPORAL AFFAIRS

“‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.’ ” Leviticus 19: 30 As trusted managers of the temporal affairs of the church, members of the Board of Trustees, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, committed themselves to honoring God through the proper keeping of His house. The following actions were taken:

Insurance and Contracts Renewed insurance policies for the main church property (including liability coverage), and church vehicles

Negotiated the renewal of the lawn care service contract

Negotiated a contract for janitorial maintenance

Maintenance Conducted weekly monitoring and evaluation of both the lawn maintenance and janitorial maintenance providers

Provided for the routine inspection of the kitchen fire suppression system and church fire extinguishers

Conducted the annual Church Clean-Up Day

Provided oversight for the following:

Pressure washing of church exterior

Painting of identified areas throughout the church complex

Shampooing of carpet and pews

Stripping and waxing of floors

Servicing of the HVAC unit

Inspecting and servicing of all plumbing fixtures

Enhancing of landscape

Documentation Conducted the annual survey of church property Installations Coordinated the installation of an underground irrigation system for the lawn area in front of the church.

Trustees take inventory

Annual Church Clean -Up Day



The Bethel AME Church School

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119: 18 NIV


The Church School at Bethel AME Church takes its mission to “teach, train, nurture, prepare, and recruit adults and children in God’s word for Christian service…” seriously and strives to remain true to its purpose. Indeed, during this “Season of Great Expectations,” the dynamic, innovative, and spirit-filled Church School embraced the vision of Reverend Julius and anxiously looks forward to seeing what God has planned next for us. We thank God for the many ways He blessed us throughout the year. Among the many memorable programs were the Church School Promotion Exercise and Vacation Bible School. The Church School Promotion Exercise, held on June 3rd, marked the graduation of students from one Church School class to the next. The theme for the program was "Learning and Living the Word of God." The Reverend Marcus D. Payne, III, Bethel’s newly appointed Youth Minister, provided an engaging message entitled "Purity through Faith in the Lord," based on Psalm 119: 9, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your Word.” Fifteen graduates were presented with promotion certificates from Reverend Julius and later with gifts to mark their outstanding achievement in and commitment to Church School participation. The 2012 Vacation Bible School was held from June 4th – 8th. This wonderful Christian education experience, however, was ushered in on Sunday, June 3rd, when many of the parishioners supported VBS by wearing specifically designed VBS tee shirts to church worship services. Of particular note is the fact that the church leadership, specifically Reverend Julius, the stewards, stewardesses, trustees, choir members, and ushers led this effort. Then, from June 4th – June 8th, over 140 registrants experienced an “amazing” VBS journey featuring an “Awesome God with Awesome Power.” Each day was packed with activities designed to engage students spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. A highlight of the week was the very enlightening speech on aviation given to grades 7 – 12 by Lance Hagen, an outstanding young man who grew up in Bethel Church and who graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. VBS culminated on Sunday, June 10, with a quite a remarkable closing ceremony. Each class participated in some aspect of the program and clearly demonstrated their creativity, talents, and knowledge. Indeed, the Church School is excited about the new things God has in store for us. Through faith, we EXPECT great things to happen in and through Church School! Therefore, we eagerly anticipate even more opportunities to bless and be blessed by the Lord. Thanks, Father, for allowing us to be called “your children!”



Superintendent Austin presents promotion certificate Ushers show their support for VBS Rev. Payne

VBS Students, Faculty and Staff; Proud graduates show off their diplomas; Kitchen Volunteers

Lance Hagen speaks to 7th-12th Grade Classes Chess Class;VBS Choir

Superintendent Austin Patricia Proctor reviews lesson Closing prayer


3rd Grade and 5th Grade Classes


Bethel Community Development Corporation

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building... But each one should be careful how he builds... If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. I Corinthians 3:9, 10, 14 NIV


The Bethel AME Church Family in 1995, led by then Senior Minister and Pastor, Reverend Dr. Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr., responded to the needs of the people living in the Bond neighborhood, a community found in the shadow of the Bethel AME Church, by establishing the Bethel Community Development Corporation. This 501 (c) 3 was created as an affiliate ministry of the Bethel AME Church to address the blight, the lack of homeownership, the increase in absentee landlords, the crime, the drug abuse and the endemic and pervasive loss of a sense of community in this once vibrant African American community. The original board of directors and incorporators included members of the Bethel AME Church, persons from the community and elected officials. Inaugural Board of Directors and Incorporators Rev. Dr. Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Chair Ms. Flora Hall Dr. Nicholas Gaymon, Secretary Mr. John D. Harris Mr. George Drumming Mrs. Patricia MGowan Dr. Charles Evans Dr. Melvin Stith Dr. Joseph L. Webster Mr. William Stevens Dr. Freddie L. Groomes The Honorable Ron Weaver Mr. Hodges Abner The Honorable Anita Davis Mr. William C. Proctor Dr. Ralph Turner Dr. Johnnie Cue Blake Mr. Frank Williams Mrs. Barbara Rouse Mr. Fred Peacock At the time of its founding and even now, the Bethel CDC has a two-fold mission: 1) to provide safe, decent, clean, and affordable housing for disadvantaged families of low to moderate income, and working with governmental and other agencies to bring this about, and 2) to provide opportunities for economic development, that should result in the ownership and management of business enterprises in the African American community. Both of these initiatives will help in tackling the more oblivious problems of crime, unemployment, despair, drug abuse, and the dissolution of the family. To effectuate a plan of action, Board Chair, Reverend Dr. Adam Richardson, Jr. and the Board of Directors created a public private partnership with the City of Tallahassee and its Department of Neighborhood Services, made possible by Mrs. Anita Favors, the Deputy City Manager and a member of the Bethel Church to designate the Bethel CDC as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). With this designation, the

Bethel CDC was then able to secure federal financing for the construction of affordable new homes for low income first time homebuyers. Just prior to Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. leaving Bethel to fulfill his Episcopal duties in October 1996, the first three houses were constructed and the first three families were served. Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr.’s vision for changing the quality of the lives of the people who live in the shadow of the Church continues. Bishop Richardson’s legacy of salvation includes more than the souls converted and the persons baptized, it also includes the families who have enjoyed the luxury of homeownership and the benefits that provides a family – safety, security, and self-sufficiency. Since its founding, the Bethel Community Development Corporation has been responsible for more than $5 million in new construction in the Bond Community alone. During the Reverend Dr. Julius H. McAllister, Jr.’s administration, the Bethel CDC has now added to its inventory of services, owner-occupied rehabilitation and weatherization of homes in the historic neighborhoods of Frenchtown, Springfield, Apalachee Ridge, Providence, and Bond. More than twenty families have been served through this program and it has had a fiscal impact of more than $780,000 in these neighborhoods. Further, the Bethel CDC most recently signed a contract for more than half a million dollars ($500,000) to construct affordable rental housing for low income families in the Bond and Springfield neighborhoods. These are just examples of how the nobility of Bishop Richardson’s notion to “change family at a time” continues. The Bethel CDC will continue Bishop Richardson’s vision to meet the needs of working class families through affordable housing and we do not doubt that the “Best is Yet to Come!”

Bethel CDC Homes in different phases of construction


The Bethel Street Ministry “ ‘And you shall be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…’” Acts 1: 8 NLT Organized by Reverend Julius in 2010, the Street Ministry has become an effective method of evangelism. Under the passionately committed leadership of Co-chairs, Sister Brenda J. Jarmon and Sister Rhonda Ransom, and with the guidance of the


Holy Spirit, God blessed the Street Ministry with a very productive year. Five outings were conducted. Three took place at the Southside Shopping Center where team members engaged approximately 90 shoppers in prayer and personal witness, and an invitation to accept Christ has their personal savior was extended to the unsaved. Each person was offered a Bible and a book mark inscribed with scripture. Two outings targeted the Jake Gaither Community where the team ministered door-to-door and at the community center. Approximately 70 homes were visited. During the Jake Gaither Community outing the “Living Water/Bread of Life” outreach initiative, in collaboration with the Bethel Lay Organization, was introduced by Brother Ric Mathis. Each individual/family min-

Street Ministry Team

istered to was given packaged bread and water. The label

Bible Study and Planning Meeting

alone…’ – join us at Bethel AME as we share Jesus the Bread of

on the packaged bread reads, “ ‘Man does not live by bread Life.” The label on the packaged water reads,“ ‘Whosoever drinks of this water shall be thirsty again.’ Jesus offers water that is everlasting! Quench your spiritual thirst at Bethel AME Church.”

The label inscriptions, based on Matthew 4: 4 and John 4: 13-14, are intended to inform and remind individuals that only the written Word, the Bible, and the living Word, Jesus Christ, can satisfy our hungry and thirsty souls. Joining the Jake Gaither Community outings was Burnic Jordan, the 12 year old son of Joyce Plair-Gordon, who inspired all with his warm and enthusiastic greetings, hand shaking, and well wishes. Small in number, Bethel’s Street Ministry is composed of persons who love the Lord and truly believe that they have been called by Him to make a difference. And while they actively invite and encourage new members to join them, they joyfully go about their God-given responsibility guided by their motto, “Man counts numbers but God makes numbers count.” In addition to Sisters Jarmon and Ransom, other members of the Street Ministry Coordinating Team include Sisters Patricia Bradford, Magelean Edwards, Connie Jenkins-Pye, Joyce PlairJordan, and Brothers Donald Glasper, Gary Goodwin, Kyle Harris, Burnic Jordan, Mark Lucas, Ric Mathis, and the Reverend Aaron Treadwell.

Bunic Jordan with Jake Gaither Community resident

Unforgettable Moments Valentine’s Ball “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under earth. …a time to laugh…a time to dance…a time to embrace…a time to love.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4-5, 8 NLV In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon reminds us to take pleasure in life because it is a special gift from God, and to let joy accompany us as we work to fulfill His purposes on earth. Applying this wisdom to our ministry at Bethel, Reverend Julius encouraged the congregation to come together with our families and friends in a first of its kind Unforgettable Moments Valentine’s Ball on February 3, 2012. The purpose was to have FUN – to relax, to reminisce and to fellowship, giving thanks to God for life’s pleasures that come from Him – recognizing that, when we consider what the Lord has done and will yet do for us, we have reason to be cheerful in our thanksgiving.

Bishop and Episcopal The evening was filled with excitement and gaiety. While enjoying a sumptuous Supervisor Young bring greetings dinner, we laughed at the transformation of hair styles, dress, and physical appearances revealed in a special video of members enjoying personal unforgettable moments across the years; we danced to music that not only promoted the sanctity of love and marriage, but also tested our agility and endurance. Throughout the evening, we exchanged warm embraces reflecting our affection and joyful appreciation for one another. But the highlight of the evening was a beautiful ceremony in which couples, from newlywed to those married for over fifty years, expressed their enduring love and commitment in a Renewal of Wedding Vows over which Bishop McKinley Young officiated. Proverbs 17: 22 tell us that “a merry heart does good like a medicine.” All will agree that we left the ball with merry hearts filled with love of God and for one another, thanking God for one of His many incredible gifts – a family of believers called Bethel. Bethel AME Church’s inaugural Valentine’s Ball was a signature, celebratory event that inclined all who attended to realize that “unforgettable moments” are bound to avail when the spirit of the Lord is present.

Dancing the Night Away


“He make The pictures on these pages tell of our efforts to blend our spiritual and natural gifts to build up the body of Christ.


es the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.� - Ephesians 4: 16 NLT


Index of Photographs



Easter Parade


Easter Parade


Easter Parade


Steward Board Orientation and Training


Bishop Young preaches the Easter Sermon


Reverend Julius and First Lady Deana with the Easter Youth Choir


Easter Egg Hunt


Easter Egg Hunt


Easter Egg Hunt


Dr. William Watley presents at the Leadership Retreat


Stewardess Board #1 Fellowship Dinner


Stewardess Boards #4 during Black History Month


Annie Harris displays her artwork at the Black History Month Art Exhibit


Sam Heyward reviews Church School lesson


Stewards prepare to serve Thanksgiving volunteers


Allen Byrd prepares to pick up college students for worship


Margaree Elkins, Reverend Julius, Olivia Williams and First Lady Deana


Junior Class conducts Church School


Reverend Melvin Payne during Youth Day Service


Salad made from Church School Class #3 garden served at Homeless Shelter


Lay Organization Awareness Sunday


A.J. Kershaw Board donates wigs for cancer patients.


AME Day at the Capital


“A Little Piece of Broadway”


“A Little Piece of Broadway”


“A Little Piece of Broadway”


Dr. Elsie Crowell presents at the Annual Day of Dialogue


Bethel AME Church’s First Family

Bethel AME Annual Report  

Bethel AME Annual Report

Bethel AME Annual Report  

Bethel AME Annual Report