CHURCH OF MY DREAMS This is the church of my dreamsâ€Ś The church of the warm heart, Of the open mind, Of the adventurous spirit. The church that cares, That heals hurt lives, That comforts old people, That knows no division of culture or class No frontiers, geographical or social. The church that inquires as well as answers; That looks forward as well as backwards. The church of the people, High as the ideals of Jesus, Low as the humblest human; A working Church, A worshiping church, A winsome church. A church that interprets the Truth in terms of truth; That inspires courage for this life And hope for the life to come. A church of courage A church of all good men and women, A church of the living God.
Table of Contents NAME
Church of My Dreams
Table of Contents
Reverend Julius' 10-Point Plan for a Thriving Church
Bethel AMEC Membership Covenant
Mission Statement and Soul Goal
Bethel AME Church Schedule
Bethel AME Church Holiday Closings
2013 Ministry Experiences
Bethel AME Church Music & Creative Arts Ministry Rehearsals and Schedule About Your Place of Worship
About Church Expectations
Church Procedures and Services
Answers to Your Questions about Church Services
Funeral Policy and Guidelines
About Ministry Experiences
Bethel AMEC Leadership
Care Leaders Council
Reverend Julius' Vision Ten Point Thrust for Becoming a Thriving Church I.
A WORSHIPPING PEOPLE WHO: a. Come to church on a regular basis b. Continually invite people 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 a. Prays for the needs of members and the Church as a whole b. Allows the Holy Spirit to free each member to express him or herself without feeling embarrassed.
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
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 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 the disabled, handicapped and aged
A TITHING CHURCH WHERE EVERY MEMBER MOVES TOWARD BECOMING A TITHER
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.
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
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. 4
Bethel AME Church Membership Covenant Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior, received the covenant of baptism, and being in agreement with Bethel’s Mission Statement, ministry and the leadership of this church, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Bethel Church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following: 1. I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH By acting in love toward other members By refusing to gossip By following leadership 2. I WILL SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MY CHURCH By praying for its growth By inviting the unchurched to attend By warmly welcoming those who visit 3. I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF MY CHURCH By developing a servant’s heart By discovering and using my gifts and talents By developing a shepherd’s spirit 4. I WILL SUPPORT THE MISSION OF MY CHURCH By attending faithfully By participating actively in ministries and organizations By giving my tithes and offering
Mission Statement Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a body of Christian believers, is committed to Missions, Evangelism, Worship, Stewardship and the Proclamation and Study of the Word of God. We are called to make a difference by providing holistic ministries that meet the needs of members and people from all walks of life.
Theme: “Striving to Be More Like Christ”
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
Bethel AME Church Schedule Morning Worship Church School Quarterly Conference Church Conference Official Board Meeting Steward Board Meeting Trustee Board Meeting Stewardess #1 Stewardess #2 Stewardess #3 Stewardess #4 Bible Study Prayer Meeting Love Feast Holy Communion Baptism New Members Orientation New Members Received Care Leaders Council Ushers Auxiliary #1 Ushers Auxiliary #2 Street Ministry Daughters of Sarah Allen Lay Organization Elkins-Williams Women’s Missionary Society Young People’s Division Youth Ministry N.Z. Graham B.L. Perry Breakfast Served
Sunday, 7:45 and 11:00 a.m. Sunday, 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. October, January, April and July To Be Announced Monday after 3rd Sunday Monday after 1st Sunday Monday after 2 nd Sunday Saturday before 1st Sunday, March, July and November Saturday before 1st Sunday, April, Aug. and December Saturday before 1st Sunday, Jan., May and September Saturday before 1st Sunday, Feb., June, and October Tuesday, 12:00 noon Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, before 1st Sunday First Sunday, 7:45 and 11:00 a.m. 2nd Sunday Four Quarterly Classes (six sessions) – Sunday 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. 4th Sunday February 23 and June 3 st 1 Saturday, as announced 1st Saturday, as announced Every 1st Saturday Every 1st Saturday 3rd Sunday – January, April, May and July Monday following 4th Sunday – 6:00 p.m. To Be Announced nd 2 Monday, Monthly rd 3 Saturday, Jan, Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, Sept., Oct., Nov. 4th Sunday, Monthly Every Sunday - 9:30 a.m.
Bethel AME Church Office Holiday Closings for
2012 - 2013 Monday, December 24, 2012 - Friday, January 4, 2013 Monday, January 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday, February 18 - President's Day Friday, March 29 - Good Friday Monday, May 27 - Memorial Day Thursday, July 4- Friday, July 5 - Independence Day Monday, September 2 - Labor Day Monday, November 11 - Veterans Day Wednesday, November 27 - Friday, November 29 - Thanksgiving Holidays Monday, December 23 - Saturday, January 4, 2014 - Christmas Holidays
Bethel AME Church 2012 - 2013 Ministry Experiences January January 2nd-4th January 6th January 11th-13th January 24th-26th January 24th-26th January 27th
26th Church Growth Seminar ~ Memphis, Tennessee First Sunday in January Leadership Retreat District Conference ~ Concord AME Church Miccosukee, Florida FOCUS Retreat for the Music & Creative Arts Ministry Ministry Day
February February 8th February 10th February 10th February 13th February 15th February 15th-17th February 17th February 23rd February 24th
Valentine's Ball AMEC Founder’s Day WMS Old Fashioned Dinner Ash Wednesday Worship Service Eleventh Episcopal District Founder’s Day Jacksonville, Florida 26th Black Heritage Weekend ~ Jacksonville, Florida Business Day Greek Step Show Greek Sunday
March March 10th March 14th-15th March 17th March 24 March 26th-30th March 29th March 31st
WMS Day Mid Year Convocation ~ Orlando, Florida Class Leader Pew Sunday Palm Sunday LifeTouch Photography Good Friday Worship Service Easter Sunday 9
April April 1st-3rd April 2nd-6th April 14th April 28th
Pastor’s Twentieth Year in the Ministry Celebration Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus Trinity UCC Church ~ Chicago, Illinois LifeTouch Photography N.Z. Graham Fellowship Dinner Retirement Celebration for Church Members
May May 12th May 16th-18th May 19th
Mother’s Day/Women’s Week 12th Annual Sons of Allen Retreat ~ Fort Walton, Florida Annual Lay Awareness Day
June June 3rd - 7th June 6th-7th June 9th June 13th-15th June 21st June 23rd-26th
Vacation Bible School Youth Revival Youth Sunday Church School Convention Ralph L. Wilson Scholarship Banquet Bishops’ Council/General Board ~ Kingston, Jamaica
July July 21st July 22nd-25th
Debutante and Master’s Ceremony ~ Orlando, Florida Christian Education Congress ~ Orlando, Florida
August August 11th August 24th August 25th
Members Appreciation Sunday Family and Friends Cook-Out at Bethel by the Lake Family and Friends Day
September September 8th September 9th -13th September 15th-17th September 24th- 27th September 29th
Collegiate Sunday Florida Annual Conference, Bethel AME Church Pensacola, Florida Menâ€™s Week Revival Central Annual Conference, New Bethel AME Church Orlando, Florida Education Sunday
October October 8th-11th October 13th October 15th- 18th October 29th-November 1st
South Annual Conference, Mount Hermon AME Church Miami Gardens, Florida First Family Appreciation West Coast Conference, New Bethel AME Church Lakeland, Florida East Conference, Greater Grant Memorial AME Church Jacksonville, Florida
November November 5th-8th November 8th -9th November 14th-15th
Bahamas Conference, Cousin-McPhee AME Church Nassau, Bahamas Thanksgiving Basket Distribution Eleventh Episcopal District Planning Meeting
December December 7th December 8th December 14th December 15th December 20th TBD
Florida Conference Day of Sharing Day of Sharing Day of Sharing, Central Conference Mount Olive AME Church ~ Orlando, Florida Day of Sharing, South Conference Saint James AME Church ~ Miami, Florida Christmas Fellowship (Church Leadership) December Come Home For Christmas
Bethel AME Church Music & Creative Arts Ministry Choir Rehearsals Bethel Chorale Bethel Fellowship Choir Male Chorus Voices of Judah Collegiate Choir Youth Fellowship Choir Liturgical Dance Ministry
Monday, 6:00 p.m. Tuesday 6:00 p.m. Thursday, 6:00 p.m. (based on ministry dates) Thursday, 6:00 p.m. Saturday, 12:00 p.m. 2nd & 3rd Sundays and 4th Saturday, 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday, 5:45 p.m.
Choir Schedule JANUARY 6 Bethel Fellowship Choir 13 Male Chorus 20 Bethel Chorale 27 Bethel Mass Choir
APRIL 7 14 21 28
FEBRUARY 3 Bethel Fellowship Choir & Collegiate Choir 10 Founder's Day (Male Chorus) 17 Bethel Chorale 24 Voices of Judah & Collegiate Choir MARCH 3 10 17 24 31
MAY 5 12 19 26
Bethel Fellowship Choir Male Chorus Bethel Chorale Palm Sunday (Bethel Fellowship Choir) Bethel Mass Choir
JUNE 2 9 16 23 30
Bethel Fellowship Choir & Collegiate Choir Male Chorus Bethel Chorale Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir Bethel Fellowship Choir Mother’s Day–Male Chorus Bethel Chorale Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir Bethel Fellowship Choir Youth Fellowship Choir Father’s Day–Women's Mass Choir Bethel Chorale Voices of Judah
JULY 7 14 21 28
OCTOBER 6 Bethel Fellowship Choir 13 Male Chorus 20 Bethel Chorale 27 Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir
Bethel Fellowship Choir Male Chorus Bethel Chorale Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir
AUGUST 4 Bethel Fellowship Choir 11 Male Chorus 18 Bethel Chorale 25 Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir
NOVEMBER 3 Bethel Fellowship Choir & Collegiate Choir 10 Male Chorus 17 Bethel Chorale 24 Voices of Judah &h Fellowship Choir
SEPTEMBER 1 Bethel Fellowship Choir 8 Bethel Chorale 15 Male Chorus 22 Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir 29 Collegiate Choir
DECEMBER 1 Bethel Fellowship Choir & Collegiate Choir 8 Male Chorus 15 Bethel Chorale 22 Voices of Judah & Youth Fellowship Choir 29 Bethel Mass Choir
Yearly Special Sunday Rehearsal Schedule Easter Mass Choir Rehearsal
Watch-Night 2013 Mass Choir Schedule
Saturday, March 10, 2013, 10:00am Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:00pm Thursday, March 28, 2013, 6:00pm Saturday, March 30, 2013, 10:00am Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:45 & 11:00am Service
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 6:00pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 6:00pm Saturday, December 28, 2013, 10:00am Monday, December 30th, 2013, 6:30pm Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 10:00 Watch-Night Service
Family & Friendâ€™s Day Mass Choir Rehearsal Thursday, August 15, 2013, 6:00pm Thursday, August 22, 2013, 6:00pm Saturday, August 24, 2013, 10:00am Sunday, August 25, 2013, 7:45 & 11:00am Service
Your Place of Worship In all liturgical churches you will see a CHANCEL or ALTAR Rail. It is the place where worshipers offer prayer, sacrifices, and offerings. It is the place where we receive the Lord’s Supper, where baptisms are administered, where couples are joined in holy wedlock, and where the dead are memorialized. It is a most sacred place. Thus, each person must recognize its importance and uniqueness. No one should SIT on it, LEAN on it, STEP ACROSS it, or in any way defame or profane it. It is the responsibility of each member to correct others in their misuse or abuse of the Holy Chancel/Altar Rail. The ALTAR is the place where sacrifices are made by the priest. In our church, the ordained clergy serve the priestly function. The Altar in our church is generally referred to as the “communion table.” Likewise, it should be considered sacred and not be misused or profaned in any way. Nothing but the elements for the celebration of the Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper is to be placed on this special table. The PULPIT is the raised platform where the Holy Scriptures are read, sermons are preached, and from which the order of services are led by the ordained clergy. Only in special cases should it be entered, and only as the Pastor gives direction and permission. When the congregation is at WORSHIP, please be aware that it is rude and improper for worshipers to talk, except as they participate in the worship. If you must talk, say “Amen.” If you must whisper, whisper a prayer. One should be very selective of the time one chooses to leave the sanctuary, or walk from one place to another when the worship is in progress. There should be no walking or entering the sanctuary during the reading of the Holy Scriptures, the Decalogue, the Offering, and the Prayers. Only in cases of real emergency can this be tolerated. When the sermon is being preached, absolutely no one should walk, except under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. Not only is this practice of walking during services rude and inconsiderate, it is also a serious distraction to the preacher and congregation. Late worshipers may enter at the direction of the ushers. It should be also mentioned that each member, in his/her love for the house of God, should take special care for cleanliness on Sunday and on other occasions when entering and using church facilities. When in the sanctuary be sure to pick up the Sunday Bulletin, offering envelopes, and other literature from the floor. Keep the hymn books, Bibles and envelopes in place until their use is required. Do not place gum wrappers on the floor or gum under the seats. The book racks on the back of the pews are not trash receptacles. When using other parts of the church, the same rule of thumb applies. Keep your church and all its facilities clean as a matter of personal pride.
Church Expectations What is expected of you as a member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church? You are expected to be a good steward of your TIME, TALENT and TREASURE, thereby demonstrating exemplary STEWARDSHIP. By stewardship we mean the management and giving of TIME, TALENT and TREASURE. With regard to your TIME, you are expected to come to church for worship and other activities. You cannot expect to be KNOWN nor will you know other members of the fellowship unless you are PRESENT when we assemble. With regard to TALENT, we believe that there is something each person can do; you have abilities, given by GOD, through which YOU might glorify Him. There is no such thing as a BENCH member. There is ALWAYS something to do. DO NOT WAIT TO BE ASKED! Tell us what you WANT to do, or CAN do, or WILL do to glorify God and enhance our overall mission at Bethel. Identify with one of the ministries, or develop a ministry, and go to work. Additionally, there are organizations and auxiliaries of which you may become a part that will help you get to meet and know other members, and through which you may share your talents and assist the advancement of the church. With regard to TREASURE, there is the expectation that each member contribute financially to the upkeep of Godâ€™s church. GIVING is as vital to being a Christian as is WORSHIP. The stewardship, the management and giving of our treasure, like the stewardship of our time and talent, is an integral part of our Christian commitment and responsibility. The evidence of our faith requires that we share our earthly possessions for the enhancement of Godâ€™s kingdom, the work of His Church, and for the support of its benevolent enterprises. EVERYTHING WE HAVE BELONGS TO GOD. What Can You Expect of Your Church? You can expect YOUR church to assist your SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT. The church provides opportunities for Worship, Study, Fellowship and Recreation. Through relevant preaching and pastoral counseling, the church seeks to help each person reach a high level of Christian maturity. Preaching is taken seriously. It is biblically based, theologically sound and geared to the issues and concerns of our day and time. Your development, however, is largely dependent upon how much attention you give to it. In addition to our regular 7:45 and 11:00 a.m. worship services, EACH Sunday morning, we also have Bible Study on Tuesdays at 12:00 noon and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., along with Prayer Meeting. Various other worship services are held during the course of the year in observance of holidays and special days on the Christian Liturgical Calendar. These special day observances are also educational in nature, as we devote attention to the historical and biblical background out of which these observances evolved. Specific study periods also include the Sunday Church School at 9:30 a.m. You can also expect YOUR church to assist in your EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT. However, it does not matter how good and relevant the preaching is if you are not at church to hear it. You can benefit from the thought process and research that goes into each sermon by being present. It may be the very thing you need to hear for some particular problem, question or concern you may have. If, however, you just must be absent, some sermons are available on CD and DVD. Additionally, there are situations that develop in the lives of persons and/or families that require outside assistance. The senior minister is available to those who seek his help and service. In cases where the problem lies outside the competence of the senior minister and/or ministerial staff, referrals are made to outside sources for the kind of assistance either needed or desired. All such matters are kept in the strictest confidence and trust. If you wish to make use of this ministry, 15
you should call the senior minister at the church office to make arrangements to meet with him at a designated time. If the senior minister is unavailable, you may make arrangements through the church administrator. Further, if you should become ill or confined to the hospital, you should notify the church office. You can only expect the attention of the senior minister or care leader when he/she is informed about the situation. If you should suffer the loss of a loved one kindly inform the church office at once. An appropriate condolence will be forwarded. WE CARE! Moreover, care is given to helping members deal with daily challenges of life by conducting seminars and workshops and providing study materials. The Christian Education Commission is the source for delivering these services. However, the Health Ministry and Lay Organization also provide special services.
Church Procedures and Services SPECIAL PROCEDURES Accidents and Incidents When an accident or unbecoming incident happens on any of the church properties, it should be reported immediately to the church office or an officer of the church. It should not be assumed that the church is responsible unless it is determined by the pastor that the church has been negligent in some manner. Incident forms should be completed and forwarded to the church administrator. A copy is shared with the senior minister and placed in the files. When the senior minister determines that the insurance company should be informed, the incident report, along with a written request for the insurance companyâ€™s review and determination, should be forwarded to the company. The complainant should be directed to: 1) go to his/her doctor, 2) obtain a written diagnosis from the doctor, and 3) turn it in to be forwarded to the insurance company. Persons attending non Bethel events will report their incident to the organization renting the facility and provide a copy to Bethel. The renter should have its own insurance coverage, and have a signed waiver of liability agreement with Bethel. Only if it can be proven that the accident occurred because of negligence on the part of Bethel will Bethel enter into discussion with non-Bethel agents about the matter. Grievance Procedure To aid in maintaining user satisfaction, a grievance procedure has been established by the Board of Stewards to be administered by the Chairman of the Staff Relations Committee. Any member who wishes to report an incident that does not adhere to the policies and procedures stated within this document may report the same to the Staff Relations Committee by providing details of the incident on the Church Grievance Form, which may be obtained from the church office. The completed form should be placed in the steward mail box located in the library. Upon receipt of the completed and signed Church Grievance Form, the Staff Relations Committee will review the completed complainantâ€™s form and determine whether there is cause for concern. If yes, the complainant will be called in for an interview, after which the Staff Relations Committee will determine what, if any, action should be taken. It is expected that complaints will be processed within ten working days. Emergency Procedures I. If an individual gets sick during a worship service or program, the following steps should be taken: a. Get the attention of an usher; b. Take individual to lounging area; c. If necessary, usher may elect to have sound technician place an emergency call on screen in sanctuary. d. Inform church staff. e. If an accident occurs, a member of the church staff will write up an incident report and turn the report into the church office for appropriate follow-up and filing. 17
In case of fire, the Fire and Safety Drill Committee will take over. All members are asked to follow instructions, as given, about exits to use.
Administrative Procedures and Services The following procedures and instructions will ensure that all members enjoy and benefit from services provided by the church office, Commission on Stewardship and Finance Committee, and facility management staff. Further, they are designed to assure that the operations are user friendly and add quality to the processes that enable Bethel to meet the challenges of providing excellent service. Church Hours The church is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday as needed. However, no event should be scheduled to start before 8 a.m. and end after 9 p.m. Should there be a need to enter the building before opening time or stay beyond closing time, arrangements should be made with the church office in advance. This policy applies to Bethel organizations as well as non-Bethel organizations. The church office hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. The church office is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sundays, it opens at 7 a.m. and closes at the end of the 11:00 a.m. worship service, unless special arrangements have been made. Church Keys Keys to the church building are only given to the pastor, executive assistant to the pastor, church administrator, facilities manager, designated trustees and janitorial service representative. If there is a need for a member or catering service to enter the building before office hours, arrangements should be made with the church administrator to have a staff member open the door. Keys to the sound equipment and video equipment are maintained by the Director of Sound/Video and referrals should be made to him. When the keys are needed for special events (funerals, weddings, etc.), the facility manager will address this need. Keys for the pastorâ€™s office and the church office are not to be given to anyone without the pastorâ€™s prior knowledge and authorization. Keys for other rooms are available in the church administratorâ€™s office and may be requested, if the situation warrants. When a key is released to a member to enter a room or to use the church van, and not returned, the user will be assessed a fee of $10 to replace the key. Note that church keys cannot be duplicated without authorization to do so.
Fiscal Procedures/Management Check Requests Requests for checks by members and organizations should be made by completing a Check Request Form that is available in the church library or online. It should include the name and address of the person to whom the check is being made, the exact amount to be paid, and the purpose for the payment. Also, it should be appropriately signed by two authorized representatives of the organization (president and treasurer or requestor and treasurer). The proper receipt or documentation of the reason for requesting the funds should be attached. The check request should be made in 18
accordance with the organizationâ€™s budget for the year, as reflected in the church budget. If it is determined that the budget is overspent, the request is subject to denial by the pastor. If it is determined that the funds are not being spent in accordance with the mission and goals of Bethel, the requests are subject to denial. The church administrator receives and validates check requests with the pastor for budget adherence and the processing of the purchase orders. Please allow a 7 day turn-a-round time. Deposit of Funds All organizations are to turn in funds, collected in the name of Bethel, to the church office, during the week and apart from the Sunday contributions. This includes assessments, fees, selling of products and fund raising activities. These funds may be turned in on Mondays and Thursdays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The finance committee will count in accordance with established counting procedures, and provide a receipt to the organization. These monies will be deposited with the mid-week deposit by the treasurer and will be credited to the organizationâ€™s account by the executive assistant. All contributions received on Sunday are counted by the assigned finance committee and verified with the envelopes in which the money is submitted. Each envelope is initialed by the person who opens the envelope. The counting is recorded on the proper forms which detail currency, cash, and checks as well as by categories â€“ tithes pledges, offering, gifts for mission, debt reduction, church school, and special assessments. After verifying the check and balance processes, the cash monies are listed properly on the bank deposit slip, placed in a sealed envelope and given to the church treasurer for depositing in the bank. The checks are deposited through the ACH System. The church treasurer, upon making the deposit and receiving proper deposit slips, attaches the deposit slip to the accounting form and turns it in to the church office. A copy is given to the fiscal affairs officer for proper entry into the computer, and to the church treasurer. All envelopes are entered into the computer for proper crediting to the individuals and organizations by the executive assistant. A report for individual members is provided via mail quarterly, April 15 th, July 15th, October 15th and January 15th. Reports on organization activity are included in the monthly finance report generated by the fiscal affairs officer and distributed at the meeting of the Official Board on the Monday following the third Sunday of each month. Purchases Prior to making a purchase, a request must be made on a Purchase Order Form and submitted to the church office for approval by the senior minister. The church administrator reviews the request for adherence to the budget prior to forwarding the same to the senior minister. The church administrator also determines whether the purchase can be made with a vendor for which the church already has an account or can be purchased with the church credit card. If the request is in relations to an unbudgeted event, the church administrator verifies whether there are sufficient unbudgeted funds available in the account. To make the process move smoothly, organizations are asked to provide an invoice at the time of the purchase order, and must provide receipts after the purchase in order to process a check request and payment for the item. If a purchase order has not been processed, a request for a check is not honored, unless approved by the senior minister.
Receipts Organizations that have money to turn into the office to be deposited in their accounts may do so on Mondays and Thursdays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The office staff places the money into the safe. The assigned finance officer will count the money and write a receipt. The receipt is placed in the organization’s mailbox in the library to be picked up. Money collected on Saturday or Sunday evening, when the office is not open, is given to the chairman of the finance committee, the pastor, or his designee to be placed in the safe. However, the office should be notified of this need so that arrangements can be made. Personal Financial Statements Personal Financial Statements are provided to members quarterly. They are mailed to the home of the member. If there are any oversights in the statement, this should be reported to the executive assistant immediately. These statements may be used for income tax purposes at the end of the year. Member contributions reports are mailed quarterly: the second week of January, April, July, and October. Church Organization Financial Statements Church and Church Organization Financial Statements are given out monthly at the Official Board meetings held on the Monday after the third Sunday. Church officers are required to attend these meetings in order to address the business of the church. Any irregularities in these reports should be addressed to the fiscal affairs officer. Organizations are asked to keep up with their statements and reconcile them with their deposits and expenditures. Planning and Budgeting Bethel organizations shall outline all proposed activities along with related budget costs prior to the Annual Church Conference. Upon approval of the budget by the budget committee and the senior minister, purchases can be made accordingly. If the organization plans an activity after this process has been completed, the plan must still be approved by the senior minister prior to moving forward with implementation – making related purchases and spending commitments. Travel Bethel organizations frequently plan trips. Prior to completing plans for the trip, the pastor must approve all trips where members are traveling in the name of Bethel and utilizing Bethel’s funds, equipment, and materials. Employees must have authorization from the pastor before making arrangements to travel on church business or training for programmatic matters. Travel procedures are available in the Personnel Policies and Procedures. If youth, under age 18, are involved, a Travel Permission Form must be completed and signed by the parent of each child and the authorized representative of the organization. The permission forms are subject to the pastor’s approval. Therefore, they should be turned into the office at least three days prior to the date scheduled to leave. The approved permission form relieves Bethel of liability beyond its jurisdiction or coverage by the insurance carrier. Forms may be picked up in the church office. Travel arrangements
for guest speakers from out of town must be cleared with the pastor. Upon approval, travel arrangements will be made by the executive assistant or church administrator.
Church Facility, Equipment and Property Usage Church Equipment, Supplies, Furniture and Kitchen Utensils For the use of church equipment, supplies, utensils, and furniture, please check with the facility manager. The appropriate request form should be completed, turned in and approved. Music, video, and sound equipment should be checked out with approval of the Director of Sound/Video. Do not remove any of this equipment from their locations without permission. All equipment, supplies or furnishings are to remain on the church property. Any property or equipment removed must be placed back in its original location. The office staff, including the facility manager, does not have authority to loan church furniture (tables and chairs) and equipment. Church Vans and Bus The church vans may be requested for use by church organizations by completing a Van Request Form that is available in the Library. It is imperative that the number of persons (children and adults) be indicated, as well as the destination and purpose of the trip. If youth under age 18 are involved, a Travel Permission Form must be completed and signed by the parent of each child and the authorized representative of the organization. The permission forms are subject to the pastorâ€™s approval. Therefore, they should be turned into the office at least three days prior to the date scheduled to leave. The approved permission form relieves Bethel of liability beyond its jurisdiction or coverage by the insurance carrier. Forms and may be picked up in the church office. The van must be scheduled to return at a reasonable hour when the church building is open, so that when young people are involved parents can pick up their children at the church. If the van returns after 9 p.m., no one in the church building and no one will be able to enter the building. The security system will be on and only authorized persons can turn it off. Only drivers who have been certified by the insurance carrier and approved by the pastor, as a member of the Transportation Ministry, may drive the van/bus. Please check the office for individuals who are certified. Only the person authorized to drive may pick up the keys for the van. The keys will be in an envelope. The driver must check the van for mileage (enter on the envelope) and conditions of vehicle before pulling off. If there are any irregularities, please report them to the church office immediately. When returning the van, it is a must that: a) gas used is replaced, b) all trash is removed, and c) the steps and seats are in place. The van should be locked and the keys returned to the church office. If the church office is closed, put the keys in the envelope in which the keys were received and place them in the executive assistant mailbox in the library. Any incidents that happen on the bus or on the trip - bodily or property damage in or out of the group - should be reported to the church office as soon as the group returns. This information may be provided to the church administrator or
executive assistant on the Incident Form, which is available in the church office. This enables the pastor to respond to any inquiries and also provides the basis for taking additional action if insurance or medical considerations need to be made. Van/Bus Scheduling The scheduling of a van or bus should be cleared with the office. The Van/Bus Request Forms must be completed and approved by the space committee chair. The vans/bus must be refilled with gas when returned to the church. The keys must be returned to the church office. When youth groups use the vans/bus, Travel Permission Forms must be completed by the parent and turned in. An estimated return time must be given to the facility manager, and arrangements must be made for parents to pick up youths on time. The church doors will not be open if there is no staff in the building. Space and Facility Usage Bethelâ€™s space and facilities are available to Bethel members as well as non-members. If it is a church planned activity, Bethelâ€™s organizations may use space at no cost. If it is a fund-raising activity, rental fees apply. Fund raisers and all activities that are non-Bethel related require payment of fees as stated on the Space and Facility Request Form, which is available in the church office. Space and Facility Request Forms must be completed in detail and returned to the church office. The person wishing to utilize the space will discuss it with the church administrator to assure that all expectations of the church and the renter are adequately expressed in writing. Requests that are not stated on the Request Form are subject to denial. Deposits to secure rental must be submitted to the church office. After both of these steps are completed, the renter will receive a copy of the form signed by the Space Committee representative to indicate that the request is approved, and the facility manager will enter the event on the calendar in full and forward information regarding the event to appropriate staff. The church administrator maintains approved space request information on a master calendar. To avoid conflicts, tentative requests (completing the form, awaiting approval) are penciled in with name and phone number of the person making the request. Tentative scheduling and deposit, however, do not assure space. Payments of deposit, as listed on the Space Request Form and approval by the Space Committee representative are the determining factors. Payment of deposit is given to the fiscal affairs officer who accepts and receipts monies in accordance with the fee schedule listed on the Space Request Form. Full payment must be made prior to use of space. The renter must provide proof of insurance and sign a waiver of church liability prior to the event. Church organizations may request the use of classroom space for church business from the church office by completing the Space Request Form and turning it in to the facility manager or church administrator. Written approval and/or a phone call are provided no later than 24 hours before the space is needed. Organizations, however, needing to use the sanctuary, fellowship hall or chapel for large events, should make the request at least a month ahead of time. Last minute requests cannot be guaranteed for specific space. Meetings should not be scheduled in the sanctuary without approval from the office.
After using the space, lights must be turned off. Trash on tables, chairs and desks should be removed. Any equipment or furniture brought in from another room should be returned. If the office is open, the staff should be informed that the meeting has ended and the participants are leaving the building. Moreover, events not approved during the Church Conference must be discussed with and approved by the pastor.
Information and Communication Phone Calls The phones have been designed to ring 5 times prior to sending the call to the voice mail. Calls for the pastor, if he is not in, are referred to the church administrator or transferred to his voice mail. If it is a generic request for information about time and place of a Bethel activity, please check the calendar listed in the weekly church bulletin. No information is given about a church member or staff member’s involvement with the church other than he or she is a member, chair or head of an organization, or a staff person, unless the church administrator or fiscal affairs officer provides it, and it is cleared with the pastor. Work phone numbers are not given out without permission of the member. Home phone numbers are listed in the church directory. This is the number that the member has provided the church for listing, but should be used for church related purposes only. Phone calls are transferred to the appropriate individual. In his or her absence, calls are transferred to the voice mail. Messages are taken in writing and placed in the staff person’s mailbox. Phone calls for the pastor are transferred to the church administrator. Messages for a president or chair of an organization, CDC staff, or office staff are placed in the appropriate mailboxes. To identify heads of organizations, refer to the church directory. Requests for contributions of food, money, or other assistance, should be referred to the pastor or church administrator. In general, however, for food, clothing, rent or utilities assistance, calls are referred to other agencies based on information that is provided to the church. Extreme emergencies are referred to the pastor. Information Distribution Personal information provided to the church or to the pastor by members is private and confidential. No information shall be made public about anyone unless authorized by the individual to whom the information belongs. Information about a member’s contributions to the church will only be given to the member. However, it may be used by the senior minister as deemed necessary. Membership information (financial and personal) is maintained in the church’s database and is subject to review by the pastor and appropriate office staff. Personal Information Update Personal information, i.e., names, addresses, birthdays, membership in organizations, places of employment, phone numbers, etc., is maintained by the executive assistant. Members are to call or write the office when any of this 23
information changes. This information is for church use only and is not shared with vendors or organizations outside of the church. Occasionally, the information is used to celebrate and recognize special events in the lives of the members or the church.
Church Office Services and Procedures It is the primary mission of the church staff to assist the senior minister in carrying out his administrative and pastoral duties. In so doing, the intent is to provide a user friendly, aesthetically pleasing and serviceable environment wherein the needs of the congregation may be met with reasonableness and user satisfaction. Print-Ready Materials Materials needed to be distributed should come ready to print. Details regarding how the material is to be organized should be given. Three to five working days are needed to prepare the information. An organizationâ€™s representative should proof the materials for content and grammatical errors. If there are any changes to be made, they will be made only as time permits within the regular working hours. The executive assistant is not responsible for information or instructions that are not provided in writing. Copy and Program Production Copies of materials and information needed by Bethel organizations may be made in the church office by the organizationâ€™s representative. The church office is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Each president/chair of an organization is entrusted with the privilege of using the copy machine for Bethel affairs. Please sign the copy information booklet when copies are completed. If there is a need for large volumes of copies, 100 or more sheets, the representative should call the church office before coming on Monday through Thursday to ensure that sufficient paper is available. Programs that need to be typed and copied by the office staff should be turned in to the office on Monday through Wednesday. Please note that Friday is set aside to produce the church bulletins for Sunday. The organizationâ€™s representative should complete a Work Request Form which requires detailed instructions, in writing, about color, size, organization and number of copies. The office staff will not be responsible for attending to detail that is not provided. An organization representative should make time to proof materials. The office staff is not responsible for providing what was not requested. There is no charge for black and white copies for church affairs, including programs. Church organizations will be charged, however, for color copies. Charges will be assessed as follows: Color - .50 per copy - Bethel church organizations Color - 1.50 per copy - Non-Bethel organizations and facility users 24
Black and white - .25 - Non-Bethel organizations and facility users Announcements for the Bulletin and Video Screens Announcements should be made utilizing the Announcement Form and submitted to the church office by the end of the business day on Wednesday. Filing Copies of letters, memos, announcements that are mailed or manually distributed are placed in the Chron file which is kept in the executive assistantâ€™s office. They are filed by month, date and year. Appropriate documents pertaining to the letter or memo, are attached. Copies of mail received are placed in the appropriate file by category, organization and or name. All files are in alphabetical order from A-Z. Related correspondence and other documents should be attached. Individual files are in chronological order. A log of files is maintained in the file drawer. The office assistants are responsible for daily maintenance of these files. All files, except files maintained by the trustees, stewards, financial records and vendor files are housed in the church administratorâ€™s office. The trustee files include original documents on the church building and properties and related activities. The financial records are maintained by the fiscal affairs officer and include accounts payable and receivable, budgets, budget reports as well as payroll. The files are by category and chronological order.
Answers to Your Questions About Church Services Altar Flowers Commemorative floral arrangements for the pulpit area for such occasions as memorials, weddings, anniversaries, etc., are encouraged. Reservations should be made by contacting the church office. The Pulpit Aid Board solicits flowers for the altar during Christmas and Easter Seasons, the Annual Conference, and other special events. Baptisms Baptisms, by sprinkling and pouring, are performed on the second Sunday of each month. Immersion is performed on Wednesday night at Bible Study. Persons desiring to make arrangements for baptisms by either mode should contact the church office to designate the date and time and to provide information for a Certificate of Holy Baptism. Special requested dates must be cleared with the senior minister. Appointments Appointments with the senior minister should be scheduled with the church administrator. Benevolent Assistance Emergency assistance is sometimes available to persons in need of short-term help. Application for assistance should be made to the senior minister. Bulletin Announcements Announcements should be emailed or placed on one of the forms located in the library. The form should be completed and returned to the staff assistant or placed in the staff assistantâ€™s box by Wednesday 12 noon if it is church related and expected to appear in the bulletin and on the video screen on the following Sunday. Announcements will not be made during worship service or from the pulpit unless deemed necessary by the senior minister. Counseling Counseling is available to all members without fee. The senior minister, staff ministers or specially trained counseling teams are available to provide short term counseling ministry. However, referrals are made to other counseling and psychiatric services when the issue is beyond the time constraints and/or competence of the senior minister and staff. To schedule appointments, contact the church administrator. Communion Communion is offered every First Sunday, and at some special church services. It is available for the sick and shut-in on first Sundays, at special requests, and for weddings. Death and Funeral Arrangements To report the death of a member or a loved one, contact the senior minister and/or the church office as well as your care leader. Please provide as much information as necessary. Please do not set the date and time of the service without consultation and confirmation from the senior minister. Assistance with the memorial service is generally provided by Mrs. Margaree Elkins or Mr. Darryl Jones. 26
Facility Usage Individuals and organizations desiring the use of the sanctuary, fellowship hall, kitchen, chapel, classrooms or hallways should contact the church office and complete the Facility Space Usage Form requesting the designated space and to reserve specific time, equipment and set up. Space and Facility Usage Forms are available in the Library. There is a usage fee for all activities outside of our normal church related ministries and programs. Fees for space usage must be paid 3 days prior to the event. Sick and Shut-Ins To report the illness of a member, contact the class leader and the church office. Please provide the name of the hospital or health care facility, room number, phone number, if and when surgery is required, conditions for visitation, and any other information pertaining to the illness. Media Ministry If you wish to purchase audio or video cassette tapes, CDs or DVDs, please contact the Media Ministry in the sound room, located in the hallway near the office, following Sunday services, or call the church office to place your order. Please be as specific as possible about the date and event. Weddings To arrange a wedding, contact the church administrator and arrange a consultation date with the pastor or staff minister. The date and time of the ceremony will be established by the minister and couple in accordance with the availability of the facility. Every effort will be made to accommodate the desires of the couple where possible and feasible. A space and facility usage form must be completed in order to assure that all needs are accommodated. Additionally, the couple must meet with the church wedding coordinator to discuss the details of the wedding ceremony.
Funeral Policy and Guidelines The following policies and guidelines govern all funerals and memorial services held at Bethel AME Church: Deceased Members There will be no funerals or memorials at Bethel on Sundays. Prior to establishing a date and time for a funeral, the family should contact the senior minister or his designee to see if the he and/or the church are available. Once the pastor has agreed to a day and time for the services, the funeral home will be notified of the same. The senior minister or his designee will assist the family in planning funeral services. There will be no changes in the order of service without prior notice to the minister in charge. The Necrology Ministry, in consultation with the family, will prepare the final order of service and obituary if needed. The final order of service must be approved by the senior minister prior to printing. It is the pastoral duty of the senior minister to conduct all funerals. Therefore, the senior minister or his designee will officiate at all funerals unless otherwise agreed upon by both the senior minister and the family. If the senior minister is unable to officiate or give the eulogy, he will designate someone from his staff. In the case of a guest eulogist, the church is not responsible for travel, lodging, honorarium and meals or hosting. The family and eulogist must work out these arrangements in advance. The guest eulogist will only provide the eulogy. He/she will not perform in any other capacity at the church or cemetery without the consent of the senior minister. When a guest musician or soloist is used, it is the responsibility of the family to compensate him/her for services rendered. Processionals should include the following in the order listed: Clergy, Officers (Boards of Stewards and Trustees), Stewardesses, active pall bearers and family members of the deceased. All honorary pall bearers, organizations, boards, fraternities, sororities, and clubs may request special seating upon availability. The funeral service will include a maximum of three reflections listed in the funeral program. 28
The senior minister will designate an individual to read resolutions. Only resolutions provided by the Bethel Church will be read. All other resolutions will be acknowledged. Resolutions and acknowledgments are read by a member of the Necrology Ministry, unless agreed upon by the senior minister. When an active member expires, the senior minister or his designee will contact the Necrology Ministry and Courtesy Guild to ensure a quality worship service and repast. Families can expect a complimentary repast for up to 100 family members and friends. If the family’s need is greater than the maximum allowed, the church will negotiate an additional cost. The meal will be served in the H. Manning Efferson – Julia Morgan Fellowship Hall following the interment, unless otherwise specified. The repast will be our standard meal prepared and served by the Courtesy Guild. Church boards and auxiliaries are encouraged, but not required, to provide additional food items on the occasion of a member’s demise as a form of final tribute. All Bethel members will receive the same quality of care and attention to include advisement, counseling, and courtesies. Members in good and regular standing are guaranteed the same level of services regardless of length of membership, church affiliations, and inactivity due to their health status. The same courtesy applies to the member’s spouse who is not a member. On the occasion of the passing of a loved one, a member can expect that the Church will respond by including the family’s name on the prayer list, the forwarding of a resolution to the funeral service, and a bereavement card mailed to their address. All of this is contingent upon the church office being duly informed of the member’s bereavement and the appropriate contact information being provided by the immediate family. Video Tributes can only be played prior to funeral services and not during the worship service. Deceased Nonmembers The scheduling of funerals for deceased persons who are not members of Bethel will be done through the local funeral home. There is a required fee for all nonmembers. The fee schedule can be secured from the funeral home. Final payment (money order or certified check) must be provided within two (2) days prior to the funeral service. The Bethel Courtesy Guild, at the discretion of the senior minister or his designee, may offer its services to prepare the repast at a nominal cost and volume to be negotiated by the church and the local funeral home. Families of deceased nonmembers also enjoy the right to secure outside caterers for the preparation and serving of the repast meal. The same rules for all facility rentals regarding cooking and clean up still apply. The president of the Courtesy Guild, or her/his designee, is expected to be present to assist while the guest caterers are present. 29
Ministry Experiences Boards Steward Board Stewards support and assist the pastor in the spiritual growth and development of the church and membership. Their responsibilities include: accounting for all monies or other provisions collected for support of the pastor or the church - reporting expenditures, seeking relief and comfort for the needy and distressed, registering all baptisms, marriages and deaths of congregation; providing the implements and elements of the Holy Communion, and other duties as specified in the AMEC Discipline or directed by the pastor. Stewardesses Board The main duty of the stewardesses is to assist the stewards in carrying out their duties regarding baptism and the Lordâ€™s Supper (Holy Communion). They provide and implement the elements of the Holy Communion and Holy Baptism, dress the pulpit and altar rail with suitable clean white coverings for these rituals, and provide other suitable dressings in accordance with the liturgical calendar. Trustee Board Trustees manage all the temporal concerns of the church, not otherwise provided for, guard all real estate, churches, schools, and other properties obtained by the church; make improvements upon the property or real estate when authorized by a majority of legal members of the church, and perform other duties as stipulated in the AMEC Discipline or directed by the senior minister. Deaconesses Board Deaconesses are women who are widowed or unmarried women of good repute. They are selected by the senior minister and the Official Board and are set apart and consecrated by the Bishop of the 11th Episcopal District. The duties of deaconesses include: 1) encouraging, fostering and improving the general interests of the church; 2) promoting the comfort and soliciting the friendship and sympathy of the general public; 3) cheering the fallen, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, seeking out the homeless, encouraging thrift, visiting mental health institutions, prisons, and saving the lost.
Licensed Missionary Any member in good standing and of good moral, religious character who desires a license to engage in urban or rural missionary work may be recommended by his/her class leader to the Quarterly Conference. If the Quarterly Conference thinks he/she will be useful in the missionary service of the church, the presiding elder, being authorized by the presiding bishop, shall grant a Missionary Certificate, subject to Annual Conference renewal. Each licensed missionary worker must make a full report of all spiritual and financial activity to the Quarterly and Annual Conferences. Care Leaders Care Leader meet and coordinate with class members. They inquire about their membersâ€™ spiritual and personal well being, visit with them from time to time, receive what they are willing to contribute for the support of the Gospel when necessary, watch over probationers with special care, and recommend those who are eligible, at the end of ninety days, for full membership. They report those who are sick, who walk disorderly, and who are enduring times of emotional and financial distress to the church, and perform other duties as stipulated in the AMEC Discipline.
Auxiliaries N.Z. Graham Auxiliary The N.Z. Graham Auxiliary is named in honor of a former pastor of Bethel AME Church. The members pray with and for each other, fellowship, and perform services for the church and the community. They are devoted to the spiritual development of the church and involve themselves in projects to enhance the financial and physical well being of the church. A.J. Kershaw Auxiliary The A.J. Kershaw Auxiliary is named in honor of a former pastor of Bethel. The purpose is to be of service to the sick and needy, and to work in harmony with the senior minister and other boards and auxiliaries to improve the spiritual and physical aspects of the church. B.L. Perry Auxiliary The B.L. Perry Auxiliary is named in honor of Benjamin L. Perry, Sr., an ardent member of Bethel who gave untiring leadership as Sunday School superintendent. The members conduct activities and programs to assist the church with its spiritual and outreach goals.
Ushers Auxiliary The Ushers Auxiliaries #1 and #2 are the official doorkeepers of the church. As such, they greet, seat and assure the comfort of individuals as they enter and congregate in the sanctuary. They also see that all who attend receive all the information and materials needed to participate in the worship service and adhere to procedures governing the worship service. Additionally, they receive offerings from the congregation and direct the movement of individuals during various aspects of the service. Sam Sampson Auxiliary The Sam Sampson Auxiliary is named in the honor of the Reverend Sam Sampson, a former assistant pastor of Bethel AME Church. The members are involved in religious fellowship and develop, and implement programs and activities to support individuals aspiring to be ministers and are enrolled in a seminary. Moreover, the members work diligently to assist the church in achieving its mission and goals. Pastor’s Aid Auxiliary The Pastor’s Aid Auxiliary is dedicated to assisting the senior minister with projects dedicated to supporting his comfort in carrying out his job as pastor and senior minister. This would include but is not limited to planning programs and projects for the purpose of raising funds to assist the senior minister with professional needs such as travel, robes, office needs, and First Family appreciation events. Pulpit Aid Auxiliary The Pulpit Aid Auxiliary is dedicated to planning and implementing activities that result in appropriately beautifying the pulpit. This includes decorating for Sunday worship services and seasonal activities in accordance with the liturgical calendar. In this regard, the Pulpit Aid Auxiliary solicits the aid of the membership in providing flowers for Easter, Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, and in memory of loved ones.
Ministries Bible Study Bible Study is a 50 minute class of intense study and exploration of the Holy Bible that is held every Tuesday at noon, during lunch break. It is designed to enhance the individual’s knowledge and understanding of God’s Word with the aim of facilitating spiritual and personal growth and development. Bible Study is also conducted on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. immediately following prayer meeting which begins at 6:30 p.m. It too is an intense study and exploration of the Bible based on themes as selected by the senior minister and sometimes coinciding topics suggested by the Liturgical Calendar.
Church School The Church School teaches, trains, nurtures, prepares and recruits adults and children to study God’s Word, get involved in Christian service, and effectively promote Christian living and leadership. Vacation Bible School Vacation Bible School is a one week program that teaches Bible study, music, arts and craft, and facilitates discussion of relative social issues, etc., for youths and adults. It is usually held in June, onehalf day, for five days. It is designed to enhance religious education as well as spiritual and personal development of those who attend. Senior Adult Ministry The Senior Adult Ministry is designed to involve and nurture senior adults. Emphasis is given to developing programs and activities that will enrich the lives of those who have entered the retirement phase of their life. A major goal is to help them to enjoy the evening of their lives in a personally fulfilling and wholesome way through educational, social, spiritual and recreational activities and programs. Opportunities are provided for senior adults to inspire and guide others, by using their years of Christian experiences to witness about God's power, grace, and inspirational promises. Women’s Ministry The mission of the Women’s Ministry is to provide Christian women with opportunities to explore critical issues that affect their lives. Some of these issues are motherhood, single parenthood, divorce, employment, sexual harassment and family violence. Through shared Christian dialogue and professional consultation, women acquire awareness, strength of direction and self renewal that are needed to carry out their complex and often conflicting roles in the church, the home, the work place and the community. This ministry is designed to create spiritual bonding among women of the church, as well as to reinforce individual spiritual development. Men’s Ministry (Sons of Allen) The mission of the Men’s Ministry is to provide opportunities for Christian men to engage in activities that will allow them to enhance their efforts to effectively carry out their responsibilities as husbands, fathers, providers and leaders. Issues such as economic advancement, monogamous relationships, and responsible fatherhood are discussed and addressed from a biblical point of view. Emphasis is placed on the responsibility of providing positive role models for African-American youths and young adults, in general, and African-American males, in particular. Activities that focus on improving the spiritual bond among men and that enhance individual spiritual growth and development are also conducted.
Collegiate Ministry The Collegiate Ministry works to develop in young Christian women and men a spiritual awareness and resolve that will enable them to adopt and implement a Christ-like world view in the construction of a realistic and workable philosophy of life, develop and devote the use of their talents, time and service to improve the quality of life for others; and provide opportunities within the church and community to sharpen, develop and refine their leadership potential and skills. Youth Ministry The mission of the Youth Ministry is to engage young members of the congregation, under 18 years of age, in programs and activities designed to help them discover, acknowledge, and adopt the life of Jesus Christ as the pattern for their lives. Through participation in Bible study, youth meetings, worship services, church organizations, and leisure activities, members discover and assist each other in acknowledging that the Gospel of Christ provides the way to a meaningful life. Ultimately, these activities contribute to the spiritual, educational and social growth of Bethel's youths. Children’s Ministry The mission of the Children’s Ministry is to provide children, age’s five to twelve, with early opportunities to become a part of the community of Christians who gather each Sunday to celebrate God’s gift of new life in Jesus Christ. Children actively participate in Sunday Christian worship on a level that is age appropriate and understandable. Through scripture, sermon, sacrament (Holy Communion), prayer, music and offering, participants receive all of the components of an orderly, disciplined and essential worship experience. The Children’s Ministry also provides opportunities for children to participate in various church programs and activities including events which promote social, emotional and educational growth. Music and Creative Arts Ministry The Mission of the Music and Creative Arts Ministry is to assist with providing meaningful and appropriate worship service through music, drama, liturgical dance, and other forms of creative arts. In cooperation with the senior minister, it carefully selects and performs music and other visual arts worthy of the worship of God. It seeks to enhance the worship experience. Liturgical Dance Company The Bethel Liturgical Dance Company is a component of the Music and Creative Arts Ministry. It strives to spiritually enrich and deepen the worship service and other programs through dance, sometimes in conjunction with the choir and orchestra.
Sound and Video Ministry The Sound and Video Ministry enhances the worship services and other programs through the utilization of electronics. It produces CDs and DVDs of church services and special events for distribution to members and the public. Girl Scouts Ministry The Girl Scouts Ministry is dedicated to the informal educational, personal and social development of women and girls. Bethel sponsors brownies, daisy, cadets, seniors, and junior troops. The girls are mentored and are involved in a number of civic projects and progressive personal development activities. Daughters of Sarah Allen The Daughters of Sarah Allen is a body of women who network for the purpose of helping other women and girls find Christ in their lives through various activities and programs that address their personal and educational needs. It is an outreach program. The Daughters promote finer womanhood for young girls and female members of the church and the community, and provide female fellowship and mentorship in the promotion of Christian principles and the advancement of local and connectional church.
Commissions Commission on Membership and Evangelism The Commission on Membership and Evangelism recommends and implements programs designed to increase and maintain membership. It seeks to encourage and persuade individuals to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives, and to become actively involved in and committed to the life and work of the church. Commission on Christian Education The Christian Education Commission carefully studies the Christian education needs of the church and determines means for meeting those needs including: encouraging the correlation of the programs of educational agencies for the various age groups, recommending the approval of curricula in harmony with found needs and standards adopted by the Division of Christian Education, and supervising the recruitment, training and assignment of Christian education workers in the church. The commission makes sure that: 1) the various departments and groups are supplied with adequate and appropriate literature and proper equipment, 2) suitable missionary programs are carried out in all departments, and 3) appropriate liturgical days are observed annually.
Commission on Missions and Welfare The Commission on Missions and Welfare disseminates missionary information and literature, and oversees the churchâ€™s program on welfare and charity Commission on Stewardship and Finance The Commission on Stewardship and Finance promotes Christian stewardship and administers the financial program of the church. Commission on Public Relations The Commission on Public Relations gathers and disseminates information of public interest to the secular press, the religious press, radio, television, other legitimate media, and the official organs of the AME Church. It is also responsible for intra congregational communication. Commission on Christian Social Action The Commission on Christian Social Action coordinates activities in the areas of social, racial, and economic relations; temperance, world peace, and community cooperation as directed by the Connectional Social Action Commission Commission on Health The Commission on Health provides programs to improve the personal health of members and that address the health needs of the community. Special emphasis is placed on health issues that disproportionally affect African-Americans.
Outreach Ministries A Life Recovery Center A Life Recovery Center is designed to assist individuals who need drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment, and their families. It is a residential program funded by the City of Tallahassee, County of Leon and State of Florida agencies. The treatment is in the form of counseling and emotional support. Referral for medical treatment is made when determined necessary.
Bethel by the Lake The Bethel by the Lake Committee plans and oversees the development of programs and activities held at Bethel by the Lake Campsite and Retreat. It is responsible for marketing, maintaining and renting the property and conducting special events and programs sponsored by the church at the camp throughout the year. It focuses on providing educational and recreational activities for youths and adults that speak to their spiritual and personal development. The property is available to community organizations for purposes that align with the mission and goals of the church. Bethel Community Development Corporation The Bethel Community Development Corporation was formed to assist persons who live on Tallahasseeâ€™s Southside of town to raise their economic, educational and social levels. The major impetus is to assist persons to acquire decent and affordable housing. The Bethel Community Development Corporation, also referred to as the Bethel CDC, utilizes numerous strategies to accomplish its mission including: 1) utilizing housing research studies currently performed by the City of Tallahassee, 2) conducting door to door surveys of targeted neighborhoods, 3) conducting educational workshops focusing on credit repair and financial management, and 4) providing information to potential homeowners on various down payment assistance programs.
Support Ministries Care and Support Ministry The Care and Support Ministry provides counseling and information to assist individuals who are concerned with or experiencing issues related to death and dying. A function of this ministry is to help individuals find resources or measures that will assist them in facing a new phase of life with a sense of gratitude and acceptance of Godâ€™s will as a demonstration of spiritual and personal growth. Necrology Committee The Necrology Committee keeps an accurate record of deceased members, assists bereaved families with the preparation and implementation of funeral services to be held at Bethel, prepares resolutions from the church regarding members and family members who pass, prepares meals for bereaved families at the church following the funeral services, advises the pastor on matters pertaining to the needs of bereaved families, assures appropriate announcements of deaths, and performs other duties as assigned by the pastor.
Connectional Organizational Components Lay Organization The Lay Organization attempts to instill in its membership a love and appreciation for the history, tradition and principles of African Methodism. It advocates respect and loyalty to constituted authority, encourages the support of the total program of the local church, fosters systematic and regular study of the Word of God, and performs other duties as stipulated in the AMEC Discipline. Under the direction of the senior minister, the Lay strives to meet the needs of humanity through witness and service, to prepare young and mature people alike to worship and praise God, and to give service to surrounding communities by participating in ministries that enrich the quality of life. Women’s Missionary Society The Women’s Missionary Society is a church wide organization of the AME Church functioning through Connectional, Episcopal, Conference, and local bodies, whose mission is to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ by service and witness to the world. Its mission is furthered by helping people grow in the knowledge and experience of God through continual training and individual and collective mission work. Young People’s Division (YPD) The Young People’s Division (YPD) implements a missionary program in the local church. The program includes Bible study, study of the Doctrine and Discipline of the AME Church, service projects in the community, and workshops in Christian social relations and family life. The Young People’s Division is under the umbrella of the Women’s Missionary Society.
Special Programs Florida Annual Conference The Florida Annual Conference meets once each year. The presiding bishop is in charge of this meeting. Bethel AME Church is a leading member of the Florida Conference of the 11 th Episcopal District. The function of the Florida Conference, as well as all other conferences, is to hear reports of the pastors and congregations, to hear literary reports on issues facing the constituencies of the conference and to take action if required, to ordain preachers for ministry in the denomination, to receive transfers of preachers from other Annual Conferences, and to make pastoral appointments to various churches and appointments to various standing committees and organizational components of the Conference.
African American History Month African American History Month is observed throughout the church during the month of February. During this period, various ministries, auxiliaries, boards, committees and organizations carry out planned programs and activities designed to give God glory and praise for His love and faithfulness throughout the struggle of Africans and African Americans, and recognize and learn more about the contributions of African Americans to American life and culture. Additionally, Bethel celebrates Founders Day which commemorates the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the genius and leadership of Richard Allen, founder and first bishop. Youth Sunday Scholarship Day is an annual program usually conducted on the 2nd Sunday in June. The purpose of this day is to recognize the educational achievements of youths and to honor graduates at all levels. Church members make an annual contribution to the scholarship fund. Scholarships are awarded to graduates after completing an application which is reviewed and recommended to the senior minister for appropriate action. Education Sunday This day is designated for recognizing and appreciating the accomplishments and contributions of individuals who work or have previously worked unselfishly to enhance the educational status and betterment of the Tallahassee Community and beyond. This recognition assists Bethel in establishing a better working relationship with educational institutions and demonstrates Bethelâ€™s support of the community in assisting our youth and adults in meeting their overall educational pursuits. The special program is a part of the educational enhancement mission that is a tradition of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Program of Sharing The Thanksgiving Basket Distribution is an annual event sponsored by the Church School. Its purpose is to provide a nutritious and tasty Thanksgiving dinner for needy families in the Tallahassee Community. Providing nourishments for these families is one way of sharing the goodness of God. Come Home for Christmas 2013 Come Home For Christmas (CHFC), an outreach endeavor, is a series of events during the holiday season sponsored by Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church that allows its members to be of service to Tallahassee families in need. This is the first year of this ministry which will provide church members with an opportunity to get involved in doing the work of the church by providing the monetary means necessary for others to have a blessed Christmas. Members are challenged to step outside their 39
comfort zone to give while also getting involved in specific tasks that will facilitate the success of people being fed and clothed. Specifically, CHFC is comprised of the following components: WELCOME HOME We invite homeless men, women, and children to be our special guests for a two-night revival. Each night of the revival dinner is served and each adult and child in attendance receives a special gift which includes a duffel bag filled with essential goods – hats, scarfs, gloves, socks, underwear, blankets, etc. Transportation to and from the revival is provided by the church. In other areas where this program has been implemented, churches have given over 400 gift bags, feeding more than 250 people. Additionally, they have monetarily gifted each shelter, enabling them to continue their ministries. GRANT A WISH This is a new component of CHFC in which we “grant a wish” for ill and terminally ill children identified by a local hospital. Children will be granted their wish for a specific toy, book or article of clothing and will join us for a special “Grant A Wish” pizza party.
Bethel AME Church Leadership Boards & Auxiliaries
Reverend Dr. Julius H. McAllister, Jr.
Bishop Frances Harris
Reverend David Williams
Reverend William â€œBillâ€? Proctor
Reverend Dr. William Liptrot
Reverend Dr. Kimberly Corbin
Reverend Melvin Payne, III
Reverend Marcus Payne
Associate Minister, Retired
Reverend Evelyn Corbin
Steward Board Pro-Tem
Sister Barbara R. Cotton
Steward Board Pro-Tem
Brother Edwardo Williams
Trustee Board Pro-Tem
Brother Reginald Davis
Trustee Board Pro-Tem
Sister Dorothy P. Williams
Stewardess Board #1
Sister Regina Bryant
Stewardess Board #2
Sister Patricia McGowan
Stewardess Board #3
Sister Rhonda Davis
Stewardess Board #4
Sister Florida Dobson
Sister Olivia Williams
Sister Debra Austin
Sister Sandra O. Gregg
Sister Olivia Carter 41
Sister Delores Hudson, Co-Chair
Sister Sylvia Petties
Care Leaders Council
Sister Margaree B. Elkins
Young People’s Division
Sister Carolyn Butler
Membership & Evangelism
Sister Brenda Jarmon
Vacation Bible School
Usher Auxiliary #1
Sister Jean Jasmin
Usher Auxiliary #2
Sister Flora Hall
Youth Usher Auxiliary
Sister Gaye O’Neal Harper
Music & Creative Arts
Brother Brandon Boyd
Sound Ministry & Media Ministry
Brother Al Jones
Men’s Ministry/Sons of Allen
Brother Sam Heyward
Daughters of Sarah Allen
Sister Barbara Kelly
Senior Adult Ministry
Sister LaJoycea Condry
Young Adult Ministry
Brother Kyle Harris & Advisory Council
Pastor’s Aid Board
Sister Carolyn Daniels
Pulpit Aid Board
Sister Linn Ann Griffin
Sister Helen Stucks
N.Z. Graham Auxiliary
Sister Everline Hamm
B.L. Perry Auxiliary
Sister Mary Blount
A.J. Kershaw Auxiliary
Sister Leila Walker
Sam Sampson Auxiliary
Sister Gerri Chambers
Health & Wellness
Dr. Penny Ralston, Interim
Sister Mary Newell
Sister Dorothy Williams
Care & Support
Sister Jackie Robinson
Brother Darryl Jones
Sister Margaree Elkins
Sister Sabrina Wright
Brother Darryl Jones
A Life Recovery Center
Sister Emma Hill
Brother Reggie Grant
Reverend Melvin Payne
Brother Lionel Thompson
Care Leaders Council 2012-2013 Dorothy Parker Class #1
Gertrude Gaines Class #13
Charles Burgess Class #23
Everline H. Hamm Class #2
Allen L. Byrd Class #14
Delores Chavis Class #24
Edwardo & Cheryl Williams Class #3
Deidra Jones, Co-Chair Class #14
Patricia Proctor Class #25
Isaac Banks Class #4
Willie Gardner Class #15
Beverly Nash Class #26
Dorothy P. Williams Class #5
Sonja Mathews Class #16
Mary Abner Class #27
Alfred & Johnnie B. Taylor Class #6
William Barnes Class #17
Samuel L. Heyward Class #28
Vivian Browdy Class #7
Irene Perry, Co-Chair Class #17
Eileen Warner Class #29
Walter Everett Class #8
Helen Johnson Class #18
Rosalie H. Bruce Class #30
Thelma Hannon Class #9
Olivia Williams Class #19
Delores Harrison Class #31
Hilda Jackson Class #10
Carolyn Daniels Class #20
Delores Harpool Class #32
Gaye Oâ€™Neal Harper Class #11
Alice Mathis Class #21
Jackie Robinson Class #33
Mary Andrews Class #12
Ephraim Bryant Class #22
Claudia R. Miles Class #34
Bobby Colston Class #35
Rosalind Parlor Class #50
LaJoycea T. Condry Class #65
Brenda Jarmon Class #36
Gerri Chambers Class #51
Delverna Henry Class #66
Cynthia A. Seaborn Class #37
Gary & Faye Goodwin Class #52
Olivia Carter Class #67
Patricia Bradford Class #38
Sylvia Petties Class #53
Jacqueline Henderson Class #68
Reggie & Adriane Grant Class #39
Susie Gilliam Class #54
Victor Holman Class #69
Shirley Gooding-Butler Class #40
Vera Jones Class #55
Mathe` Metcaft Class #70
Henry Broomfield Class #41
Erica Clark Green Class #56
Mary Smith Class #71
Ora Mukes Class #42
Darryl Jones Class #57
Hodgetta Huckaby Class #72
Kate Condra Class #43
Sonja Reddick Class #58
Mary Blount Class #73
Cassandra Jenkins Class #44
Theodore James Class #59
Betsy Henderson Class #74
Connie E. Jenkins-Pye Class #45
Dara G. Moody Class #60
Jacqueline Williams Class #75
Karwynn & Livetra Paul Class #46
Alfonza Hall Class #61
Barbara Weaver Class #76
Teretha Harrison Class #47
Marva Ford Jones Class #62
Patricia McGowan Class #77
Lillian Tate Class #48
Barbara Kelly Class #63
Larry & Rossa V. White Class #78
Sandra O. Gregg Class #49
Mae Truesdell Class #64
Bettye Stevens Class #79
Margaree B. Elkins Class #80
Jerri Wynn Class #83
Denise O. James Class #86
Florida & Herbert Parker Class #81
Mary McLendon Class #84
JoHanna Hawkins Class #87
Shirley Collins-Hackley Class #82
Junelle N. Gallon Class #85
Kara B. Irby Class #88